by Edward Sanders
A Book of Glyphs is a facsimile reproduction of legendary author, musician and Fugs founder Ed Sanders’ first book-length work of glyphs, which he created in Florence, Italy in 2008, using colored pencils and a small sketchbook. Though each piece stands on its own, collectively the 72 glyphs convey, with characteristic humility and humor, many of the themes explored by Sanders over his long and diverse career, including history, myth, activism and pacifism. The glyph—“a drawing that is charged with literary, emotional, historical or mythic and poetic intensity”—has been a dimension of Sanders’ poetry since 1962; he cites Zen rock gardens, the markings on Egyptian tombs and the typographic designs in John Cage’s writings as influences in the development of the form. Sanders’ name for the original notebook is “Smile-Book of Grace-Joy,” which aptly describes the range of concerns explored in this important and joyful work.
Ed Sanders’s notes on each of the Glyphs may be viewed and/or downloaded here (pdf).