Blue Moon: The Ono no Komachi Poems is a collection of tanka written in the voice of Japan’s famous waka (tanka) poet, Ono no Komachi, who lived and wrote in the Heian Court, Japan’s golden era of literature.
The challenge was to create a book respecting the traditional Japanese format, yet be able to accommodate a western style text block of individually folded pages that could be printed and reproduced with both text and images. Traditional Japanese paper was used for the cover, in a pattern that was used for kimonos for hundreds of years. It was wrapped as a brush mat would be, with a bone clasp. Each toji, as it is known, is created by hand using traditional Japanese tools and hand-sewn in a toji pattern. Original artwork was created to complement the poems, including the cover title.
Poet and paper artist, Terry Ann Carter is the author of eight collections of long form poetry, two haiku guidebooks, and five haiku chapbooks; she has edited four haiku anthologies and is a past president of Haiku Canada.
Heather MacDonald is a painter, and teaches Japanese painting (sumi-e), while pursuing formal studies in shodo (Japanese calligraphy). She’s been creating art and hand-made books for many years and recently began learning mokuhanga (Japanese print-making) and sashiko (Japanese traditional embroidery). She is a lover of poetry, particularly the Japanese forms and has managed to write a few decent ones. She figures another hundred years of study should be just about right. She’s still working on her website, The Way of the Brush, and has started an Instagram account, SumiHeather.