In my hometown of Saginaw, Michigan, decades of poverty and the decline of the automotive business are creating an urban blight that is heartbreaking. Lost factory jobs lead to lost homes as families struggle to survive. These homes become bank property then gang territory, then arson targets before finally succumbing to city bulldozers.In this artist book, photographs of burned out, boarded-up, homes—once proud family homes—are paired with Laura’s original poetry about a once-vibrant neighborhood and the decay of the American dream.
Urban Decay presents 30 photographs, all taken on one cold morning, in one small neighborhood—an area about seven blocks by three blocks. Two poems, introductory text and a map of the burned out houses accompany the photographs. Plywood covers on the post-and-screw binding reference the plywood-covered windows of these forlorn homes. Stained Tyvek flyleaves, flame-burned page fore edges, and branded cover title.
Second Edition: The deluxe edition of this book (shown in photos with wood cover) is sold out. This version is a self-published Print on Demand (POD) paperback edition.
One of the poems featured in Urban Decay:
There, on the porch of the pink one,
the sun shines through the stained glass,
red like a ruby.
There, on the porch of the brown one,
a baseball left behind as they
rush into night, mascara-smeared faces
dripping like soft fruit in a juicer.
No more crayons, no more trains,
no more baby cribs. It’s all gone.
Gone. The soul of these houses
as they burn, smoke pouring from
the windows and doors.
Gone. Soon. The doors and windows
and pipes and siding, all stripped,
all sold. Gone.
How much more can we stand?
How much longer can these empty shells stand?
How can you stand to just drive by
when the future of your factory town is gone.
|Press Name/Publisher||Simply Books, Ltd.|
|Artist's Nationality||American (b. Saginaw, Michigan)|
|Place of Publication||Portland, Oregon|
|Book Bound By||Lulu.com|
|Printing/ Reproduction Process||Digital Print on Demand (Copies currently in stock in gallery inventory.)|
|Image/ Illustration Process||Photography|
|Book Structure/ Binding Method||Perfect Bound Paperback|
|Number of Pages||36|
|Dimensions (WxH) or (WxHxD)||9 x 7 inches|
|Edition Size||Open Edition|
|Signed and Numbered?||No|