On March 11, 2015 Fintel Library will hold an informal talk by artist Binh Danh featuring the artist’s book by Danh which he has donated to the college. Also on display will be the college’s copy of Walt Whitman’s 1855 first edition Leaves of Grass, a rare book of great importance and beauty. The talk and reception will run from 7:30 -9:00 P.M.
The artist’s website describes Binh Danh as:
“… an artist of national importance with work that investigates his Vietnamese heritage and our collective memory of war, both in Viet Nam and Cambodia—work that, in his own words, deals with “mortality, memory, history, landscape, justice, evidence, and spirituality.” His technique incorporates his invention of the chlorophyll printing process, in which photographic images appear embedded in leaves through the action of photosynthesis. His newer body of work focuses on the Daguerreotype process.” http://binhdanh.com/bio.html
The college’s copy of Walt Whitman’s 1855 (first edition) Leaves of Grass will also be on exhibit. Roanoke College English Professor Robert Schultz calls this volume “possibly the most important book of American poetry yet published.” Roanoke College’s copy was a gift from the class of 1965.
The American Academy of Poets speaks of the first edition of Leaves of Grass in its biography of Whitman.
“In 1855, Whitman published his first edition of Leaves of Grass, a slim volume consisting of twelve untitled poems and a preface. He designed the cover, and typeset and paid for the printing of the book himself. Upon the completion, he sent a copy to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who praised it so highly that Whitman reprinted the letter, in subsequent editions—without obtaining Emerson’s permission. The letter from Emerson included the now famous line: “I greet you at the beginning of a great career.” http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/book/leaves-grass