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Martin Wong: Footprints, Poems, and Leaves

Martin Wong: Footprints, Poems, and Leaves


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A rich and engaging facsimile of the artist’s first visual poetry book, self-published in 1968

The paintings of Chinese American artist Martin Wong (1946–99) are celebrated for their affecting fusion of social realism, visual language, queerness and racial identity.
Footprints, Poems, and Leaves is a facsimile of his first poetry book, self-published in 1968. The volume collates dozens of poems written by Wong between 1966 and 1968, a tumultuous period in his life spent at the epicenter of the hippie movement in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. Handwritten in what would become his signature calligraphic style, Wong’s poems presage the haunting sensibility of his later visual works. The thematic content of the poems ranges from surrealist descriptions of the urban subculture that surrounded him to downtrodden yet tender biographical entries. This new edition possesses a double cover showcasing intricate drawings of skeletal angels and other tableaux, as well as a folded, looseleaf broadsheet containing two poems and a drawing of a bony leaf.

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