New York Workshop: Sept. 21-26, 2022

June 24, 2022
Alex Webb, from the Aperture book, Brooklyn: The City Within, with Rebecca Norris Webb

Taught by Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb, this workshop will be about finding your own unique vision of New York City by using the camera to explore the city in a direct, spontaneous way. Open to both serious amateurs and professionals alike, it is a workshop that will emphasize the development of your own personal way of seeing photographically. This workshop will also be about learning how to edit your work intuitively, and also include discussions about how to take your photography to the next level.

NOTE: This is a workshop for photographers who collaborate with the world, not for those who dramatically alter their photographs digitally. All participants must be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to attend this workshop, and follow all COVID-19 protocols

Workshop location: NYFA

20 Jay Street, 7th Floor, Dumbo, Brooklyn

Limit: 10 photographers

Applications open:  Monday, June 27, 2022

Early Acceptance Deadline: Monday, July 11, 2022

Early Acceptance Notification: Friday, July 15, 2022

Workshop fee: US $2000.  Upon workshop acceptance, a payment of $1000; payment in full by Monday, August 22, 2022  

Workshop Assistant: Matthew Sgambati

TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THE WORKSHOP

Please email:

1. 10jpgs (72dpi; 2000 pixels longest side) that represent who you are as a photographer, or direct us to a series or two on your website or other online link.  If you work in a series, please include a selection from one or two personal projects –– the work that represents your passions, your obsessions. 

2. Also include a short description of why you’d like to take this workshop and what or where you’d like to photograph for the week (no more than 150 words in a word doc).

3. Lastly, please include a short bio (not more than 100 words) that includes where you live, your day job,  and something about your relationship to photography.

Please write on the email’s subject line—FYV: NYC September 2022—and email your application to Natasha at webbnorriswebbworkshops@gmail.com

CLASSROOM SCHEDULE: In Brief

Wednesday, Sept. 21: 9:30am-3:00pm

Thursday, Sept. 22: 9:30am-1:30pm

Friday, Sept. 23: Individual meetings: 10am-4pm

Saturday, Sept.24: 9:30am-1:30pm

Sunday, Sept. 25: 9:30am-1:30pm

Monday, Sept. 26: 9:30am-9:00pm

Schedule is subject to change at any time.

THE SCHEDULE

There are two main components of this class: the spontaneous act of photographing and intuitive editing.  The workshop will begin with Alex and Rebecca, a creative team who often edit projects together (including their joint books Brooklyn: The City Within and their upcoming book, Waves), who will critique each participant’s past work as a starting off point for a larger discussion about various photographic issues. By that first afternoon, participants will be working on their first assignment, which they will choose themselves. It may be a specific street, neighborhood, subculture, ethnic group, profession, family or individual; it may be continuing work on an ongoing project in New York City; but it must be something that you’re passionate enough to return to every day to photograph.

For the rest of the workshop, we will meet in the mornings and critique as a group each student’s ongoing work. Throughout the workshop, we will try to build a coherent set of images for each photographer that will begin to represent his or her photographic stance or attitude toward the city of New York. We will view this work as a group at the end of the workshop.

Besides photographing and editing each day, there will also be print and book demonstrations and an editing exercise.  We will also touch on a variety of topics, including the process of photographing spontaneously and intuitively; how to photograph in cultures other than one’s own; the relationship between images (such as the sequencing and juxtaposition of photographs); how to edit photographs intuitively; an introduction on being on press with a book; how to work with a designer on a book; the practical realities of the magazine and art worlds; the emotional and psychological implications of working in color vs. black and white; the difference between images in a book and images on the wall; and how long-term projects can evolve into books and exhibitions.  There will also be a chance for each participant to have a one-on-one meeting with Alex and Rebecca, including discussing a long-term project or work-in-progress that the participant is passionate about.

WHAT TO BRING THE FIRST DAY

The first day we would like all participants to bring about 30 PRINTS (NOT digital files), representing the work that they feel best represents who they are as photographers. We are interested in each participant’s individual vision, rather than whether he or she can work professionally or not. So bring the personal project or projects –– the work that represents your passions, your obsessions –– not the set of portraits done simply to satisfy an editor or art director. For the first reviews, we find that working with prints has huge benefits. The prints do not have to be fine prints: they can be cheap 4×6 machine prints, inkjet prints, etc. – just prints that enable us to see the image.

Participants need to bring their digital camera the first day, because they will go out and photograph immediately after class.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR THE WORKSHOP

During the week all participants will be photographing every day, except the last day. We encourage you to work digitally. All work needs to be downloaded into a single workshop computer attached to a digital projector. (We do not have time to shut down the projector and hook up individual laptops.) We need to be able to see work (from the previous day) at the beginning of the class everyday. Each participant will also need a thumbdrive or hard drive, and a laptop with Bridge, Light Room, or another editing software. (Participants will only bring laptops the last day of the workshop.)

A FINAL NOTE: BRING QUESTIONS

And please bring lots of questions to the workshop. The ultimate direction of the workshop will be influenced by the kinds of questions that you pose.

Rebecca Norris Webb, from the Aperture book, Brooklyn: The City Within, with Alex Webb

Alex & Rebecca’s WAVES: Upcoming Book Events

May 14, 2022

Saturday May 21, NEW YORK, 2PM: Waves book signing, Robert Klein Gallery, Booth 218, AIPAD, 2PM, 415 5th Avenue, 2nd Floor, NY, NY

Friday May 27: PARIS, 6-7:30PM: Together & Apart: Talk & book signing, Magnum Galerie, Paris (limited seating). Register here for this free event.

Tuesday June 21: NEW YORK, 7-9PM: Waves: Talk/book signing with Darius Himes, International Head of Photographs at Christie’s, at Launch Photo Book Store/Michael Foley Gallery. Register here for this free event.

Friday, July 8: WELLFLEET, MA, 5-6:30PM: Waves Talk/Book signing, Preservation Hall, Wellfleet MA, 5-6:30PM. Register here for this free event.

VIRTUAL WAVES TALK

LINK TO VIDEO CONVERSATION WITH ALEX, REBECCA, AND RADIUS PUBLISHER & DESIGNER DAVID CHICKEY, ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE NEW COLLABORATIVE BOOK, WAVES.

PRE-ORDER WAVES

Thanks to all of you who’ve supported the production of our upcoming collaborative book, Waves, by preordering a limited edition or a copy of the book. We’ve nearly reached our fundraising goal to cover the production of Waves, a pandemic logbook in words and photographs on Cape Cod.

If you haven’t already, you can support the production of the book in one of two ways:

Preorder a Waves Limited Edition (two small prints included; free worldwide shipping)

Preorder a Waves book (signed/unsigned; free US shipping)

In addition, Radius Books, our nonprofit publisher, donates 300 copies of each book—including Waves—to underserved libraries.

FINDING YOUR VISION: NY

February 14, 2022
Photo: Alex Webb, Park Slope, Brooklyn, 2018,
from the Aperture book, The City Within, with Rebecca Norris Webb

May 4-9, 2022

Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

This workshop will be about finding your own unique vision of New York City by using the camera to explore the city in a direct, spontaneous way. Open to both serious amateurs and professionals alike, it is a workshop that will emphasize the development of your own personal way of seeing photographically. This workshop will also be about learning how to edit your work intuitively, and also include discussions about how to take your photography to the next level.

NOTE: This is a workshop for photographers who collaborate with the world, not for those who dramatically alter their photographs digitally.

Workshop location: NYFA, 20 Jay Street, 7th Floor, Dumbo, Brooklyn; Limit: 14 photographers

Applications open:  Monday, February 14, 2022

Early Application Deadline: Monday, Feb. 28, 2022

Early Acceptance Notification: Monday, March 7, 2022

Workshop fee: US $1900.  Upon workshop acceptance, a payment of $950; payment in full by Monday, April 4, 2022

NOTE: All participants must be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to attend this workshop, and follow all COVID-19 protocols.

TO APPLY, PLEASE EMAIL THE FOLLOWING:

1.  10jpgs (72dpi; 2000 pixels longest side) that represent who you are as a photographer. We aren’t interested in photographs done simply to satisfy an editor or art director or client. If you’re working on a project, please include a selection from the project.

2. Short statement about why you’d like to take this workshop (not more than 150 words).

3. Short bio: include where you live, something about your relationship to photography, and what you see as your next step photographically (not more than 100 words)

Please write on the email’s subject line—FYV: NYC 2022—and email your application to: webbnorriswebbworkshops@gmail.com

MORE ABOUT THE WORKSHOP:

There are two main components of this class: the spontaneous act of photographing and intuitive editing.  The workshop will begin with Alex and Rebecca, a creative team who often edit projects together (including their recent collaborative book Brooklyn: The City Within, and their upcoming book, Waves), who will critique each participant’s past work as a starting off point for a larger discussion about various photographic issues. By that first afternoon, participants will be working on their first assignment, which they will choose themselves. It may be a specific street, neighborhood, subculture, ethnic group, profession, family or individual; it may be photographing various events or festivals around the city, such as the Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Mexican communities around the city; it may be continuing work on an ongoing project in New York City; but it must be something that you’re passionate enough to return to every day to photograph.

For the rest of the workshop, we will meet in the mornings and critique as a group each student’s ongoing work. Throughout the workshop, we will try to build a coherent set of images for each photographer that will begin to represent his or her photographic stance or attitude toward the city of New York. We will view this work as a group at the end of the workshop.

Besides photographing and editing each day, there will also be print and book demonstrations and an editing exercise.  We will also touch on a variety of topics, including the process of photographing spontaneously and intuitively; how to photograph in cultures other than one’s own; the relationship between images (such as the sequencing and juxtaposition of photographs); how to edit photographs intuitively; an introduction on being on press with a book; how to work with a designer on a book; the practical realities of the magazine and art worlds; the emotional and psychological implications of working in color vs. black and white; the difference between images in a book and images on the wall; and how long-term projects can evolve into books and exhibitions.  There will also be a chance for each participant to have a one-on-one meeting with Alex and Rebecca, including, if you wish, a review of a long-term project or work-in-progress that the participant is passionate about.

Photo: Rebecca Norris Webb, Shimmering, 2018,
from the Aperture book, Brooklyn: The City Within, with Alex Webb

Art of Editing Online Workshop 2022

July 19, 2021
Alex Webb/Slant Rhymes

Do you know where you’re going next with your photographs — or where they are taking you? Consider joining Alex and Rebecca — who have created some 20 books between the two of them — for this intensive selecting-and-sequencing workshop, called the Art of Editing Online Workshop. During three intensive days, Alex and Rebecca will guide you through the process of shaping a series of photographs that you are passionate about into a coherent whole. Alex and Rebecca will tailor two individual assignments for each participant’s work. The workshop will also include book presentations, a group editing exercise, and an individual meeting with Alex and Rebecca.

WORKSHOP DATES: Saturday January 15-Monday January 17, 2022

WORKSHOP LOCATION: ZOOM

WORKSHOP LIMIT: 8 participants

WORKSHOP COST: $1250

APPLICATIONS OPEN: Monday July 19, 2021

EARLY APPLICATIONS CLOSE: Thursday August 26, 2021 12:00 PM ET

EARLY APPLICATION NOTIFICATION: Monday August 30, 2021

WAIT LIST ONLY. To be added to the Wait List, please email Tash at webbnorriswebbworkshops@gmail.com with a link to your work online.

IF YOU’D LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS WORKSHOP, PLEASE EMAIL THE FOLLOWING TO TASH, and put ART OF EDITING 2022 on the email’s subject line: webbnorriswebbworkshops@gmail.com

  1. Link to your series or project online, or 10 small jpgs (2000 pixels longest side, 72 dpi)
  2. Short description of your series/project (no more than 100 words)
  3. Statement about why you’d like to take this workshop (no more than 100 words)
  4. Short bio, including where you live and your relationship to photography (no more than 50 words

Saturday Jan. 15: 9:30 AM ET — 4 PM ET

Sunday Jan. 16: Individual sessions between 9:15 AM ET — 6PM ET; Group session: 1-2:15 PM ET

Monday Jan. 17: 10 AM ET — 5 PM ET

Rebecca Norris Webb/Slant Rhymes

FINDING YOUR VISION WORKSHOP: NYC October 28-November 2, 2021

June 14, 2021
Alex Webb, Park Slope, 2018, from the joint Aperture book, Brooklyn, with Rebecca Norris Webb

Photo: Alex Webb, Park Slope, 2018, from the joint Aperture book, Brooklyn: The City Within, with Rebecca Norris Webb

This in-person workshop with Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb will be about finding your own unique vision of New York City by using the camera to explore the city in a direct, spontaneous way. Open to both serious amateurs and professionals alike, it is a workshop that will emphasize the development of your own personal way of seeing photographically. This workshop will also be about learning how to edit your work intuitively, and also include discussions about how to take your photography to the next level.

Workshop Dates: Thursday October 28-Tuesday November 2, 2021

Workshop location: NYFA; 20 Jay Street, 7th Floor, Dumbo, Brooklyn (near the F subway stop)

Limit: 8 photographers

ONLY ONE SPACE LEFT IN THIS WORKSHOP

Workshop Assistant: Natasha Lehner

Everyone must be fully COVID-19 vaccinated to attend this workshop, and bring a copy of their vaccination record on the first day of the workshop.

Workshop Fee: $1900. $950 on acceptance; $950 by Monday August 30, 2021

MORE ABOUT THE WORKSHOP

There are two main components of this class: the spontaneous act of photographing and intuitive editing.  The workshop will begin with Alex and Rebecca, a creative team who often edit projects together (including their joint Aperture books Brooklyn: The City Within and Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image), who will critique each participant’s past work as a starting off point for a larger discussion about various photographic issues. By that first afternoon, participants will be working on their first assignment, which they will choose themselves. It may be a specific street, neighborhood, subculture, ethnic group, profession, family or individual; it may be photographing various events or festivals around the city, it may be continuing work on an ongoing project in New York City; but it must be something that you’re passionate enough to return to every day to photograph.

For the rest of the workshop, we will meet in the mornings and critique as a group each student’s ongoing work. Throughout the workshop, we will try to build a coherent set of images for each photographer that will begin to represent his or her photographic stance or attitude toward the city of New York. We will view this work as a group at the end of the workshop.

NOTE: This is a workshop for photographers who collaborate with the world, not for those who dramatically alter their photographs digitally. You must be at least 18 years old to apply.

TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THE WORKSHOP

Please email:

1,  10jpgs (72dpi; 2000 pixels longest side) that represent who you are as a photographer, or direct us to a series or two on your website or other online link.  If you work in a series, please include a selection from one or two personal projects –– the work that represents your passions, your obsessions. 

2, Also include a short description of why you’d like to take this workshop and what or where you’d like to photograph for the week (no more than 150 words in a word doc).

3. Lastly, please include a short bio (not more than 100 words) that includes where you live, your day job,  and something about your relationship to photography.

Please write on the email’s subject line—FYV: NYC 2021—and email your application to Natasha at webbnorriswebbworkshops@gmail.com

CLASSROOM SCHEDULE

Thursday: 9:30am-3pm

Friday-Saturday: 9:30am-1:00pm

Sunday: Individual meetings: 10-12; 12:30-2:30pm

Monday: 9:30am-1pm

Tuesday: 9:30am-3pm; 7-8:00pm

Schedule is subject to change at any time.

WORKSHOP FEE: $1900

Upon workshop acceptance, a payment of $950; payment in full two months before the workshop begins — Friday, July 23, 2021.

Cancellation Policy: After payment in full, all but $100 will be refunded if we can find someone to fill your spot. If we can’t find someone to fill your spot, the complete amount — $1900 — can be put towards a future workshop that Alex and Rebecca produce.

In the U.S., you have the option of paying by check or credit card. 

—If paying by check, please make the checks out to Alex Webb and mail to:

Alex Webb/ Rebecca Norris Webb

319 Garfield Pl., #1B

Brooklyn, NY   11215

—If paying by credit card, please make payment arrangments directly with Alex: webbnorriswebb@gmail.com

Participants living outside the U.S. can make pay via bank transfer or credit card

—If via bank transfer or credit card, you will make payment arrangements directly with Alex: webbnorriswebb@gmail.com

Please note: Housing, food, transportation, are the responsibility of the workshop participants.

Photo: Rebecca Norris Webb, Shimmering, 2018, from the joint Aperture book, Brooklyn: The City Within, with Alex Webb

Christian Cravo interviews Alex Webb

March 24, 2021

SATURDAY MARCH 27, 3PM EDT: Join us for this free online conversation with photographers Alex Webb and Christian Cravo, an event that’s part of Festival Transatlantico in Brazil.

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/c/InstitutoMarioCravoNeto

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/festivaltransatlantico

BUY ALEX’S MAGNUM SQUARE PRINT: https://bit.ly/315G44O

ART OF EDITING: Jan. 2021

November 23, 2020

ART OF EDITING ONLINE WORKSHOP
Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb
DATES: January 16-18, 2021
LOCATION: ZOOM: FEE: $1500: LIMIT: 8 Projects
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Do you know where you’re going next with your project—or where it’s taking you? Consider joining Alex and Rebecca—who have created 20 books between the two of them—for this intensive selecting-and-sequencing workshop, called the Art of Editing. During three intensive days, Alex and Rebecca will guide you through the process of shaping into a coherent whole a series of photographs from a project that you’re passionate about. Over the course of the workshop, they will tailor two individual assignments for each participant’s project. The workshop will also include book presentations, a group editing exercise, an individual meeting with Alex and Rebecca, and a private meeting with a designer who will create a possible cover for your project.

Workshop Schedule in Brief
Saturday: 9:30AM ET—4PM ET
Sunday: Book Presentation: 1-2:15PM ET. For the rest of the day, individual meetings with the Webbs and with the designer will be arranged. Optional digital meetings with Mark are also available.
Monday: 10AM-5:30PM ET

To apply, please email the following to Mark Davis, the workshop assistant: webbnorriswebbworkshops@gmail.com

  1. A link to your project online, or 10 small jpgs (2000 pixels longest side, 72 dpi) from your project.
  2. A short statement about your project (no more 100 words)
  3. Statement about why you’d like to take this workshop (no more than 100 words)
  4. Short bio, including where you live, your relationship to photography, and, if you have them, links to your website and Instagram (no more than 50 words)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Tuesday, December 15, 2020

On Wright Morris and Photo-Texts

January 29, 2020

Wright Morris, White-Sided Grain Elevator, Nebraska, 1940

 

Born in the Great Plains state of Nebraska, Wright Morris was a pioneer of what he called “photo-texts,” books that combine his photographs and words— most notably The Inhabitants (1946), The Home Place (1948), and God’s Country and My People (1968). More often than not, he focused on his home state, creating a unique and symbiotic relationship between his writings and his 4×5 images: “Two separate mediums are employed for two distinct views,” Wright said in an interview. “Only when refocused in the mind’s eye will the third view result.”

Beginning in 1934, Morris explored this new creative territory steadily for some fifteen years. At their best, Morris’s paired words and photographs do indeed shine. The lyrical text below accompanies his photograph White-Sided Grain Elevator, Nebraska, 1940, in The Home Place, which touches on the widespread loss of farms in drought-ravaged eastern Nebraska during the Great Depression:

There’s a simple reason for grain elevators, as there is for everything, but the force behind the reason, the reason for the reason, is the land and the sky. There’s too much sky out here, for one thing, too much horizontal, too many lines without stops, so that the exclamation, the perpendicular, had to come. . . . On a good day, with a slanting sun, a man can walk to the edge of his town and see the light on the next town, ten miles away. In the sea of corn, that flash of light is like a sail. It reminds a man the place is still inhabited.

 As someone who also interweaves words and photographs in my books, I’ve learned from Morris’s photo-texts that looking closely at a landscape—especially one where you’ve lived or spent considerable time—is akin to a kind of listening. If you look deeply enough—especially in a place rich in memory and poetic associations—you may very well begin to hear what you see. This became evident to me while working on my third book, My Dakota. South Dakota, where I came of age, is, like its southern neighbor Nebraska, a sparsely populated state of disappearing family farms and struggling small towns, a place dominated by space and silence and solitude, by brutal wind and extreme weather. In 2006, after my brother died unexpectedly of heart failure, it felt like all I could do was drive through the prairies and badlands of South Dakota and photograph. And I began to wonder: Does loss have its own geography?

Look closely enough and you can almost hear the low hum of loss in many of Morris’s unpeopled photographs, which seem uncannily filled with the presence of others, reflecting the sensibility of someone well acquainted with absence. And from time to time, Morris’s words address his deepest loss, which lies beneath much of his work—the death of his mother Grace, a farmer’s daughter, six days after his birth—including this passage from God’s Country and My People:

I have not forgotten. She sees the new world through my eyes. . . . The landscape lies within me and proves to be a fiction that resists erosion.

Perhaps Morris’s words “enhance and enlarge” his photographs by evoking a different kind of landscape. Ultimately, could it be that Morris’s writing—the second of his “two distinct views”—creates a kind of private and interior Nebraska, one that suggests what all that emptiness feels like to those of us who grew up on the Great Plains, a place that was also growing up in us?—Rebecca Norris Webb, from Pier 24’s Photographers Looking at Photographs: 75 Pictures from the Pilara Foundation, edited by Allie Haeusslein, published by Pier 24, 2019.

For more about the new book, including how to order it online, please follow this link.

 

New Book: Photographers Looking at Photographs

January 29, 2020

Photographers Looking at Photographs, Pier 24, 2019

 

Alex and I are honored to be part of this wonderful new book, Photographers Looking at Photographs, edited by Pier 24’s Allie Haeusslein, a kind of creative conversation with John Szarkowski’s famous book, Looking at Photographs, in which the noted MOMA curator wrote about 100 photographs from the museum’s collection. We were among 75 photographers chosen—including Mark Steinmetz, Mimi Plumb, Jim Goldberg, Deborah Luster, Alec Soth, Catherine Opie, Hank Willis Thomas, Linda Connor, Robert Polidori, and An-My Le—to write about photographs from the Pilara Foundation collection. Alex and I wrote about two of our photographic inspirations—Josef Koudelka for Alex, Wright Morris for me.—Rebecca Norris Webb

To learn more about this book—including details about how to order it online—please follow this link.

On Storms, Fathers and Daughters

January 7, 2020

©Rebecca Norris Webb, Unafraid of Storms, 2019, Rush County, Indiana, from the work-in-progress, Night Calls.

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.”—Louisa May Alcott, from the book, Little Women.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about fathers and daughters, while working on the book dummy for Night Calls—about my kind and supportive 99-year-old country doctor father—a photo-text book in which all the text pieces are addressed to him, in the spirit of an extended conversation or series of epistolary prose poems. Recently I saw Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women. In that darkened Cape Cod movie theater, I was transported back to my childhood, remembering the feel of my older sister’s worn, hand-me-down copy—with its olive cover and drawing of the four March sisters. I was eight, around the time Dad quietly took me aside and said, “Becky, you can be anything you want to be.” Jo March was the first woman writer I’d ever come across, and a window of possibility opened. After watching Gerwig’s Little Women, I reread the New York Times obituary of Louisa May Alcott, who died in 1888. Growing up in Concord, Massachusetts., Alcott, besides being an Abolitionist and early feminist, was one of the few women Transcendentalists, an idealistic philosophical and social movement that counted Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne, and her father, Amos Bronson Alcott, among its ranks.

The lives of Amos Bronson and Louisa May were deeply intertwined—sometimes bewilderingly so. She was born on her father’s birthday, November 29, and, sadly, died of a stroke within 40 hours of his death. A more complicated picture of their relationship comes into focus in the twinned biography, Eden’s Outcasts by John Matteson, which in 2008 won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography. (Matteson said his own daughter’s fascination with the Alcotts inspired him to write the book.) The Alcott father-daughter relationship was loving, but far from easy. Her father was an idealist and a dreamer, time and again sending the family into financial ruin (they moved some 25 times in Louisa’s childhood, often just steps ahead of the creditors). Louisa—with her seemingly tireless work ethic and creative drive (she taught herself to write ambidextrously, so she could write continuously for hours)—was by far the more productive and pragmatic of the pair, eventually supporting the family for years by having the business savvy to retain the copyright of Little Women, a perennial best seller. Ultimately, they both became 19th century luminaries. But would Louisa have become the writer she was without the freedom to roam the library of Emerson—a close friend of her father’s—or without the burden of poverty to overcome? Could it be that sometimes inspiration is as complicated as love?

In my relationship with my father, he’s long been the pragmatic one (he told me he’d once dreamed of being a poet or an explorer, that is, before he turned 17, and his father died of lung cancer). Is my father’s groundedness partly why I could become the daydreamer and bookmaker that I am today? That said, I know I’m very much my father’s daughter in at least two ways. First, we share a deep love of landscape—first the rolling countryside of rural Indiana, then the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota. Like him, I also have a passion for looking closely, both at the natural world as well as its inhabitants, but looking at both from a compassionate distance. For in our darkest times, doesn’t someone among us have to feel for a pulse? Doesn’t someone among us have to feel for the words?—Rebecca Norris Webb, January 2020.