Video: A Fish Story

Long ago, but not far away, I took BART to San Francisco once a week. Debarking the train, I would begin to walk. I liked walking along the Embarcadero, along San Francisco Bay, nearly underneath the Bay Bridge, looking back towards home in Oakland, across the water. On one of my journeys, I was watching the gulls, walking by the piers in the direction of Fisherman's Wharf, but still quite a distance away, and words began to come to me. I stopped at a grassy hill and sat down, opened my notebook, and began to write. The bright light, the view across the water, the position on the grass, and the feeling I had then is still vivid now. Somehow I knew that I had to keep writing at that moment or it would be lost. And somehow I stayed there while the words flowed, and I finished the story.

A Fish Story became my eighth artist book, letterpress printed while I was attending summer school. Hokusai's famous wave inspired the linoleum cut, and taking advantage of the folded pages for a Japanese sidebound book, I made cutouts and sandwiched colored paper between the folds to show through. For whatever reason, I could not envision a cover, so the front contains only the title.

Man. Fish. Bird. I still work with these subjects, all these years later.

A Fish Story

More book art videos at my YouTube channel, never mind.


JustJudy said…
The Fish Story blew me away. So many connections: I have been doing mokuhanga printing and studied "The Wave", I have written a poem about missing the sea during lockdown, I am reading "The Mermaid of Black Conch" - a cursed fish woman is caught, and I love the paper and presentation. Absolutely beautiful reading - thank you so much. Judy
Alisa said…
Judy – Thank you so much for writing. It means a lot that the book touched someone, and I never know. You are welcome.
Anonymous said…
Thank for reading this Ali. It was a most lovely reading of a lovely story and brought me back to kindergarten when the teacher would read to us in the reading circle. This brought me a moment of joy as life has been so chaotic. Listening to you read ... thank you so much!
Alisa said…
Oh, LindaQ! So nice to hear from you! Thank you for writing!