The Green Bookcase
Essay by William Heyen, photographs by Karla Linn Merrifield
Published by Hollybrook House Press, 2018
“Maybe the existence of my poem, & of the book, & of the writing we all do, is evidence still not of total resignation but of action & commitment, of love,” says eminent American poet William Heyen in the Afterword of the 2nd Edition of The Green Bookcase, which chronicles and celebrates in Heyen’s and accompanying photographs his more than 50 years of publication in “little mags” from around the world. All lavishly illustrated with forty-nine full-color photographs by Karla Linn Merrifield.
Heyen’s essay is au fond a conversation among the poet, journals and magazines on the bookcase’s shelves, and the reader. Heyen wants us to “see this unique entity [the bookcase], walk up to it, sit in the rusted & paint-splotched metal chair (itself part of this ensemble) where its companion often sat–left shoulder toward the case, light coming from the right–& even handle/peruse one or more of the voluminous constituent artifacts themselves as he’d arranged, beginning from the top left shelf, chronologically….Some are so thin that they are hidden.”
In his forward to the 2nd Edition, Grant Holcomb III, director emeritus, Memorial Art Gallery/University of Rochester, writes: “a book is like a garden carried in your pocket.” If true, what glorious landscapes are to be found within The Green Bookcase!”