Here: In the Undertow of Wonder

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Dusty Road Press, Dec 19, 2019
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Elizabeth Gardner's "Here." is a hardcover book of 144 pages featuring her full color photographs and prose. The book's 8" x 8" size and soft touch cover invites readers to take the book in hand for intimate and comfortable reading sessions; the traditional Smythsewn construction enables the book to open fully, ensuring an unhurried experience - and a book that will last for generations. The book's endpapers feature hand-drawn maps of Gill, Massachusetts, stretching out along the banks of the Connecticut River, where Gardner's daily explorations and ruminations capture the ever-shifting landscapes outside and in. The interior of the book contains 128 photographs, beautifully printed in full color on acid-free paper by one of New England's premier printers. Gardner's written observations range from the dry and witty to the deeply philosophical, and serve as perfect counterpoint to the rich and varied color photographs. Finding echoes of herself and a generous wisdom in the natural world, Gardner connects landscape to heart through her lyrical reflections and photographs.A central "character" in her local landscape is a small, sturdy barn, to which Gardner returns again and again in all seasons and in all qualities of light and weather. The artist invites the reader to accompany her on a meditative walk through a constantly changing but ever-beautiful landscape that pulls us inward for a shared but deeply personal experience.In this unusual and heart-stirring book, Elizabeth Gardner "underscores the Emersonian notion that nature holds the key to apprehending one's true self - an experience fostered in solitude and mirrored in the shifting dynamics of color, of shadow and light, of seasonal death and rebirth." In her devotion to her daily walkabouts through her rural neighborhood, recording and sharing the bits of beauty she finds along the way, Gardner reminds us that nature - in all its brilliance - is literally at everyone's backdoor. This book will inspire many readers to enter the same practice of walking, seeing, discovering, and reflecting - and to find solace and comfort there. A balm for a weary world, "Here." offers a way through.

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Beautiful. The book to make it all come down to the leaves, and the sky and our breathing in the now. What a gift this writer has.

About the author (2019)

Elizabeth Gardner started walking and writing to reframe her world when she was very small. Losing herself in the wilds of wherever she was, in those hidden pockets tucked just out of sight - climbing trees, hunting for salamanders, collecting chestnuts - and in the wilds of her imagination, too, helped her make sense of the world. She didn't add photography to the mix until a class in high school brought her into that world just beyond - and into a space that reminded her to slow down and pay attention. An Exeter/Williams grad, Liz has spent much of her adult years happily immersed in the intersection of the educational and natural landscape, teaching creative movement and dance, designing curriculum and nature-based enrichment programs for schools and local families, homeschooling her two sons, and working as a content creator, writer, educational consultant, and tutor. After a breast cancer diagnosis hit in 2008, Liz returned to the things that had sustained her as a child - walking long miles, writing about her experience (in her "Flip Side of Forty" blog), and taking photographs. Ever since, the world has shimmered with a new kind of beauty and urgency. When not walking the magic road, dancing, or taking in live music, Liz works with college-bound students to help them unearth their stories and find their authentic selves through her FlipSwitch Coaching business. She's currently working on an interactive, creative workbook to help students - and adults - figure out their next, right steps through a series of fun, guided exercises. "Here. In the Undertow of Wonder" is the first in what she hopes will be a happy stack of books of her writing and photographs.

Bruce Kennett, book designer of "Here.," has worked as a printer and compositor (letterpress and offset), designer, photographer, teacher, presenter, and editor at large. Bruce is a teller of stories, marrying tradition and technology in his work. From bookplates less than two inches high, to photo murals fifty feet long, he employs words and images in varying combinations, dedicating himself to the craft of creating and keeping in mind the point of view of the reader or visitor.Kennett studied calligraphy and book design in Austria with Friedrich Neugebauer and subsequently made the English translation of Neugebauer's "The Mystic Art of Written Forms." During the 1980s, he worked at Maine's renowned Anthoensen Press, and since then has maintained his own studio with clients that have ranged from the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Grolier Club to L.L. Bean and the Mount Washington Observatory. His deep appreciation for music took him to work at Transparent Audio and "Listener" magazine. Since 1980, he's given lectures at universities and conferences on topics pertaining to the graphic arts and history of printing. On any given day, you might find him in his studio, located in his beautiful converted barn in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, working with a rapidograph pen or bone folder in hand, or at the computer screen. He uses technologies from medieval to modern, choosing those that can best serve the project under development. Bruce's recent work is a biography of American artist, graphic designer, puppeteer, and humorist W. A. Dwiggins.

Graduate of Northfield Mount Hermon School and Macalester College, Luke Poulsen is a talented artist, designer, music producer, and freelance marketing consultant.

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