The Mutanabbi Street Coalition, February 2009. Item #3560
Approx. 40 broadsides housed in clamshell box. Broadsides contain poetry and artwork; the poetry of Saadi Yousef in translation is featured prominently, as are works by Yehuda Amichai, Abd al-Wahhab al-Bayati, Abdul-Razzaq al-Rubai, Sinan Antoon, and others.
This set of broadsides features the work of 42 printers that participated in the "Mutanabbi Street Initiative," begun by Beau Beausoleil. The project is named after the destruction of the famous bookselling street in Iraq, and this collection of broadsides is part of the many rhizomatic projects that emerged to generate fundraising and support after this 2007 tragedy. Contributors include letterpress printers such as Peter Koch, Katherine Case, Lisa Rappoport, Harry Reese, Yvonne Tsang, Kathleen Walkup, and others. The result is a powerful collation of printing techniques—handmade papers, screenprinting, letterpress, cut paper structures, and more. The content of the broadsides processes the grief of the bombing and the strength and importance of Arabic literary culture.
The colophon states that this is from an edition of 10 sets; one complete set is housed in a custom box created by John DeMerritt and kept by the artist. Nine subsequent sets were created, in custom boxes fabricated by Danya Winterman. Only two sets are held by institutional libraries. This is no. 3 from that edition of nine sets, and lacks broadside by Bonnie Bernstein.