John Ashbery in new clothes

I took opportunity to try some advise of Jacqueline Liekens, exposed in her marvelous book on bookbinding La reliure: technique et rigueur, by rebinding a book of poems of the great American poet John Ashbery.


The book was already quite outworn as it was one of those beloved books which had been read many times in various places.  Also it was edited in paperback, so it seemed right to make a new elegant hardcover.

ashbery before

As the original cover didn’t fit with new design of the binding, I decided just leave them aside, separated from the book.

I also decided this time to work a little bit on so called kleisterpapier, an often used german term of type of paste paper based on mixing dense starch solutions with colors. Right density of the mixture facilitates making patterns using various solid objects on a surface of the paper leaf.

For the structure of the cover I used fixing of bands and cardboards proposed by J. Liekens. As well as my first one two-core headband.

double-core headband


According to Cristof Polo, “this is the intervention of one of my most appreciated and shabby books, one of peaks in the XX century English written poetry”. The rebinding of this out-of-print Spanish edition of Three Poems “implies a kind of very special re-reading: the same text on the same paper full of fingerprints now forms a completely new object”. The re-reading turns into “a re-materialization of the book”.

You can see the results here.