REQUEST, UPPER BIG BRANCH
By Jacob Strautmann (author), Laraine Armenti (artist)
This artist’s book was made in limited edition for the Boston University poetry book project, an annual event for first year, second semester MFA degree candidates. Each artist is randomly paired with a current or former poet in the BU writing program.
Jacob Strautmann wrote his poem ‘Request, Upper Big Branch’ in response to the April 5, 2010 coal mining disaster in West Virginia, where twenty-nine men died in a massive coal dust explosion. Massey Energy corporation was found to be guilty of flagrant violations of Mine Safety and Health Administration regulations with tacit approval by government inspectors.
Italics are used in the poem to quote a government document which stipulated that ‘Removal of the mantrips shall only take place under the direct supervision of an Authorized Representative of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.’ A ‘mantrip’ is a small vehicle, also referred to as a Jitney Personnel Carrier, used to transport people into and out of the mine; the Ellis Portal is the opening in the ground used to access the mine.
Four of fifty unique hardcover books with portfolio sleeves were made: typeset in Adobe Garamond Pro, text printed with Epson Stylus Photo 1400 printer, Arches Aquarelle 90 lb hot press paper, sumi ink paintings, with end papers and end caps hand painted in methyl cellulose acrylic paint.
9″ x 6″, 24 pages, Copyright 2012
THE MEDITATIONS OF RABBIT AND PIERROT
By Laraine Armenti (author, illustrator)
The Meditations of Rabbit and Pierrot is a picture book of original gouache paintings. The pictures form a wordless narrative of two characters, a stuffed toy rabbit and a silk costumed doll. Each start out in their isolated reveries until the two characters meet: Rabbit, an innocent and playful animal; Pierrot, a naive and trusting sad clown.
Paperback, 6″ x 8″, 24 pages, Copyright 2010
$18 plus shipping, handling and applicable tax
WATER IS RISING IN THE CLASSROOM:
TRUE TERROR DREAMS OF TEACHERS
By Elliot Lilien (author), Laraine Armenti (illustrator, designer)
Water is Rising in the Classroom: True Terror Dreams of Teachers is a collection of nightmares of actual teachers. Teachers in classrooms K-12 were interviewed in seventeen schools in three states to gather the nightmares for the book. The stress brought on by teaching is evident in the dreams. Teachers are afraid they will lose control, be humiliated, have no preparation, or be put in charge of students who could not be handled by anyone. Teachers in all schools surveyed admitted to having the dreams, there being no apparent difference in the nature of the dreams experienced by men and women, teachers in wealthy versus less wealthy schools, or public versus independent schools. The book is interesting and humorous, and reveals the pressures teachers experience.
Paperback, 7″ x 8″, 98 pages, 37 black and white illustrations, Copyright 2004
$11 plus shipping, handling and applicable tax
BEES GO BUZZING
AND OTHER ANIMAL SONGS
By Jim Armenti (song writer, musician)
Laraine Armenti (illustrator, designer)
A book and cassette of eight animal songs with lyrics illustrated in black sumi ink: Cats, Chickens, Worms, Bees Go Buzzing, Cows, Duck, Skunk, and the Elephant.
Cassette and Illustrated Book,
7″ x 5.5″, 20 pages, Copyright 1992
CONCORD: ITS BLACK HISTORY
1636 — 1860
Barbara K. Elliot and Janet W. Jones
Laraine Armenti and Carolyn King
A book written for children to learn about the history of black people who lived, worked, and died in Concord, Massachusetts in 1636 to 1860.
Soft cover illustrated book, 8.75″ x 6″
132 pages, Copyright 1976