There isn’t much in the world that can capture the feeling of being happily lost in the world of books. The journey to worlds we may never see is one that can start at any age. Simply picking up a book opens us up to new ideas and makes us a part of stories more grand than the universe we know. It’s hard to capture the years of wonder lining our bookshelves. That, however, hasn’t stopped a brilliant Canada-based photographer from trying, and making parts of that sensation wonderful and real.
Joel Robison, also known as boywonder (a user name we’re pretty fond of), creates some wonder of his own with photos based around the world of books. He explores both the comfort of reading and the worlds books open up for their readers. Paper dragons, whales that travel through pages, and worlds imbued with the magic created by books are only a few of the sights to see in the boy wonder’s photography. His self-portraits are at once cozy and mystifying. Tea cups and books welcome the viewer into a world just ever so slightly different for our own. In some pictures, Robison is tiny and the world is big. They capture how vast and engulfing some story worlds are--how small we are when peeking into worlds that are not our own, worlds that may not exist.
Booze and literature are steadfast companions—a symbiotic union of sorts that has fueled the creative germs of countless scribes. Whether it be through Kerouac’s manic search for the ephemeral “IT," Fitzgerald’s rapid collapse in the face of his own virility, or even the many tortured souls of the Bard’s creation—alcohol is a vehicle, both in literature and reality, that resonates throughout time.
What better way to celebrate this age old union than through a literary pub crawl! “Shakesbeer," an annual celebration put on by the New York Shakespeare Exchange, strives to meld the literary with the debaucherous. In their mission to “explore what happens when contemporary culture is infused with Shakespearean poetry and themes in unexpected ways," the NYSX has fashioned a 4 bar/ 4 scene ode to the evisceration of love—aptly entitled the “V-Day Detox."
Tom Waits has worked with photographer Michael O’Brien to release this illustrated poetry book. O'Brien has already worked with the singer before. He is the one who took the picture that is used as the Glitter and Doom cover. The book called Hard Ground will be released in next March.
You could read on the University of Texas Press website that the book aims to “create a portrait of homelessness that impels us to look into the eyes of people who live "on the hard ground" and recognize our common humanity.” Here are some sample pictures of the book.