Artist Books

cubes of photos and stanzas
cubes of photos and stanzas

Night House

by Jody Alexander and Robert Perry

A collaborative project of 2012 — three cubes with nine individual stanzas selected by Jody Alexander from Robert Perry’s poem that was inspired by a handmade book of that name made by Jody.

Using the same materials as her original book of mull fabric and her snapshots taken at night, Jody constructed the cubes, and placed three stanzas and three photos on to each cube.

what will I say

to the cabinet of

high expectations

not to mention

the anxious chest

of drawers

while the dog

wonders where

I’m going to sleep


the knives in their

drawers unwilling

to divulge their


box of poems
box of poems

Civil War Suite

Box of Poems by Robert Perry

A suite of poems, written in 1999-2000 inspired by the Ken Burns PBS documentary on the Civil War, printed on sheets of translucent vellum encased in beeswax. Design and photography (taken in the Stanford University Arboretum) by Robert Perry. Photos printed on glass cover by photographer Steve Fisch.



In this place of peace

our angel weeps

a tiny creek

surrounded by a sea

of regiments

the machines of war

wait for glory

in rain and darkness

blinding light

the vacant trees of

dawn find them


the republic

not the least

bit whole



Many fell at Antietam

their blood flowed

onto the land

not long before the

Emancipation  Proclamation

enacted January 1863

the cause of freedom

thought to ennoble

the carnage and

promote victory

images of the battle

captured on glass

negatives made

into positives

infused with light

printed on paper and

exhibited to the public

the eyes of the world

looked upon them

matched the lists of names

and dispositions read

to the horrors revealed

in those photographs

the search for truth

and reason pursued

as history records

each furrow

torn across the page

like seeds planted

in a shallow

unsettled earth

below an empty sky

crops sown

with shouts and wails

consumed by fire

flames glow white

conjure images of young men

twisted and spent

possessed by demons

it would seem

this passion play

all about shadows and light

dreams of home

against all hope

these boys will get there

one way or another

forever free indeed

altered book

Vanity Fair | A Novel  Without A Hero

Altered Book by Robert Perry

A two-part biographical poem about Bob Dylan by Robert Perry with found photos placed in an old edition of Vanity Fair by William Thackeray.

altered book page spread (poem)
altered book spread (photo)



He stepped onto the Gospel Ship

began to shout and sing


His songs of circus dreams

confusion boat and broken-hearted lovers looking for a place to hide


He sang in ancient tongues

of blood and daggers

behind the curtain of the feast


His guitar of jangling wires

his harmonica

of dark confessions


Taking us far beyond the sky

returning us to earth

unharmed and dreaming

changed forever


While he flew too close to the sun

and fell into a sea of pavement

learning how to pray

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