Robert MacFarlane writes “There is no lone tree language, but a forest of tree languages.”
In About Trees, Katie Holten invites us to enter some of these forests. She has created a Tree Alphabet and used it to translate a compendium of well known, loved, lost and new writing. She takes readers on a journey from ‘primeval atoms’ and cave paintings to the death of a 3,500 year-old cypress tree, from Tree Clocks in Mongolia and forest fragments in the Amazon to Emerson’s language of fossil poetry, unearthing a grove of beautiful stories along the way.
About Trees is the first book in Broken Dimanche Press's series: Parapoetics - a Literature beyond the Human. Recognizing a crisis of representation as our species adapts to life in the Anthropocene, About Trees considers our relationship with language, landscape, and perception.
The result is an astonishing fusion of storytelling and art, which celebrates trees and our understanding of them, their past and their future, their potential and their ubiquity. It is a book to leaf through, again and again.
About Trees is available from independent bookstores including Book Culture, Three Lives, The Strand, 192 Books and McNally Jackson in New York; Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard; Green Apple Books in San Francisco; Chaucer's in Santa Barbara; Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland; Zabriskie Buchladen and St. George's Bookshop in Berlin, Germany.
A set of four signed and numbered limited edition offset prints are available here.
Ida Bencke's text About About Trees is printed, in the Walbaum font, on the inside flaps of the dust jacket.
The same text appears on the cover, translated into the Trees font: See below.
Ida Bencke's text About About Trees is translated into Trees on the cover: