In Walt Whitman’s poetry and prose moments of face-to-face encounter recur. The poet seems to look up from the page to address us directly or he records a moment of intimate encounter with a contemporary.
Such moments can be found in the earliest poetry—in “Faces” and “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”—and are especially frequent in the poems of Drum Taps, written during his wartime service among the sick and wounded in Washington, DC’s military hospitals.
Face to Face, a handmade artist’s book, pairs these passages of encounter with chlorophyll prints that render images from the Library of Congress’ Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War portraits. The edition is limited to three letterpress, post-bound books, each containing its own collection of unique leafprints.