The House the Poet Built

In the summer of 1985, painter DeLoss McGraw arrived at the door of poet W. D. Snodgrass's country house near Erieville, New York, bearing a mysterious wooden box. The next morning McGraw opened the box to reveal ten prepared etching plates neatly separated to protect their surface. He proposed that W. D. write a short phrase at the top of each plate and McGraw would respond with an image underneath. The artist suggested that these ten phrases might become a poem. What happened as a result is a delightful and very personal retelling of "The House that Jack Built" in which the poet becomes the "daft old bard" and finds himself at the center of a whirring menagerie. McGraw's sensitive images perfectly capture the wondrous activity around the poet's house.

Ten-stanza poem by W. D. Snodgrass; ten hand tinted, soft-ground etchings by DeLoss McGraw. Introduction by Constance Glenn. Fourteen letterpress pages handset in Caslon 540 and printed letterpress by Bill Kelly on Rives Tan paper. Unbound, housed in a clamshell box covered in cloth printed with an etching by the artist made by Nanci Kelly. 10 3/8" x 16 3/4". Edition of 30. 1985.