The Field of Aki

prints by Frank Boyden; translation and preface by Edward Morris; calligraphy by Bai Qianshen
Walla Walla, Washington: Crab Quill Press, 2004


Like Evidence of Night, Frank's sixth collaborative book, The Field of Aki (2004), also presents an excellent example of how a book insinuates its structure, material, and system into the information it carries. The Field of Aki challenges some of the usual expectations of a book. It is quite large, measuring 10.75 x 29 x 1.25 inches, and for that matter heavy (book, box, and corbel weighing over 28 pounds). Rather than being held in the hand, it is meant to be presented on a wall; and while most books are viewed within arm's length, this one is designed to be viewed from much greater distances. Most books close when the reader's attention drifts away, but this book is designed to remain open. And while most books of poetry present a set of poems, this one presents a single poem in multiple manifestations --including material, visual, haptic, and polylingual expressions.


This is an excerpt from an essay I wrote on my collaborations with my father, Frank Boyden, for his book Frank Boyden: Prints and Books, which I co-authored with Prudence Roberts (Salem, Oregon: Hallie-Ford Museum of Art, 2006).  Read the whole essay