Maria Pisano, Memory Press

Plainsboro, New Jersey

Vita Defuncta

Vita Defuncta is a response to the poem Patterns by Amy Lowell. The poem contrasts the loss of a loved one in war with nature. In the book, language and symbolic representations are intertwined, reflecting the loss, and masculine and feminine aspects of the poem. By the end of the book, the male symbol is a pool of blood. Once opened, one views the perfectly manicured pattern of a white flower-like form, which encases the text. Enclosed in a slip case, a black casket for the book within. The images and text were letterpress printed at LaNana Creek Press by Charles Jones and Terry Goggans. The paper is Arches and Japan Yatsuo, the font Bauer Bodoni. Designed and bound by the artist in an edition of twenty-fi ve. 28 x 33 x 2.5 centimeters. Created 2005.

Maria G. Pisano publishes her limited edition books under the Memory Press imprint. Her works are in numerous private and public collections including the Library of Congress, the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, The Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Stanford University, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, the New York Public Library, the University of Alberta and many more. Some of the works can be seen on the Book Arts Web at In 2005 she was an artist in residence at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas, and the year before she did a residency at Lafayette College in PA. She has published a number of articles in Tabaellae Ansatae and Dog Eared Magazine. She teaches all aspects of the book arts, papermaking, printing, bookbinding and conservation. She has taught at Rutgers University Library School, Mason Gross and at the RCIPP, the Center for Book Arts in New York, Oklahoma Arts Institute, and more. She has over the years been continually involved in curating and mounting exhibits. In 2005, she curated the book arts exhibit, “The Elements: Creative Energy” at the Hunterdon Museum of Art, in Clinton, New Jersey.