Past Pygmalion


by Marcella Hague Matthaei

ISBN 0-932274-56-0

In celebrating the Kenneth Rexroth centennial Cadmus Editions is honored to publish Past Pygmalion, a cycle of poems by his last student, Marcella Matthaei. This elegant book, a collaboration of master book makers, has a foreword by Ned O'Gorman and has bound into it as frontispiece illustration a platinum palladium photographic print of the poet at age eleven, photographed originally by Diane Arbus as part of the Matthaei Collection of Commissioned Family Photographs and printed from an internegative by the master photoprinter John Marcy.

Signed/Limited edition

Size: 10 ¼" x 10 ¼",
3 blank leaves, 12 unpaginated leaves including photographic print,
3 blank leaves

Limitation: Edition limited to 50 copies; 40 copies numbered 1–40
signed by the poet; platinum palladium photographic prints
signed and numbered by John Marcy,
and ten hors commerce copies numbered I-X.

Letterpress printing by Graham Mackintosh in San Francisco, California,
on Rives BKF tan mouldmade paper.
Platinum palladium photoprinting by John Marcy, of Northampton, Massachusetts.

Type composed in Elizabeth (Elizabeth Friedländer) by Bruce Washbish
of the Anchor & Acorn Press in Petaluma, California.

Handbound in green Thai silk covered boards, gold stamped on cover and spine,
by James Tapley, Hand Bookbinder, in Sarasota, Florida.
Designed by Bruce Washbish and Jeffrey Miller.

About the Book

Marcella Matthaei is one of those rare poetic beings in whom the self is indistinguishable from what it says, in whom nothing interferes with the need to sing and to praise. Her poems are pure lyric utterances, untouched by fear, duplicity, delusion, and connivance, and they are a reminder of how much grace and illumination a passionate speaker of words can bring to our lives.

— Vijay Seshadri

The distinguished portrait of Marcella—hidden from the world's view for thirty years—gleams out of Arbus's photographic universe like a new star.

— Janet Malcolm, reviewing exhibits at Mount Holyoke College Museum of Art and Grey Art Gallery, New York University, and catalog of the exhibition