As I am preparing emotionally and mentally to be on press tomorrow, I can’t help but think of the metaphor of childbirth with regards to bringing a new book into the world. Perhaps it’s because I come from a long line of doctors –– my father is fifth generation doctor, my younger sister, sixth generation — but I don’t see myself as the mother, but as the midwife or the doctor, attending to the work, helping to deliver the work into the world, Perhaps that’s also because this new book, as personal as it is for me, isn’t me. It’s wiser than I am. It’s more than I am. It’s more important than I am.
My task these next few days on press –– along with the book’s designer and Radius”s creative director, David Chickey, and Alex, who helped me sequence the photographs –– will be to try to deliver the work into the world, and to deliver it alive, as the poet Ezra Pound once said about poetry. Isn’t that always the task: To keep enough of the flaws and the contradictions and the cracks and the complexity and the tensions in a book, which are a book’s life’s blood? Or perhaps I just like the irony of using the metaphor of childbirth in a book that deals with death…––Rebecca Norris Webb