Walking into Edmands Park was an escape for me. I was working at a small nonprofit located at Boston College’s Newton Campus researching and writing grants. On occasion I needed to rise from the computer and walk around to collect my thoughts, free my brain from jargon, and so on. I’m not the most adventurous person – really! – but when I start walking I sometimes get lost in the motion. Luckily my job was free form enough, so long as I met deliverables and deadlines, that it was okay if my legs kept me going past the stone walls of the campus and into the neighboring woods. It became ritual and coincided with my deepening exploration of photography. At times it seemed a magical place, strangely isolated, though it was adjacent to an active college campus. I’m not sure how many of the students knew what beauty lay around them. Over time, I would collect photos from across the seasons. I couldn’t wait to make my way into the woods after a heavy rain or snowfall to see how the landscape had been transformed.
Eventually I compiled those images and paired them with a few words about my experiences in Edmands Park into a book and published it independently. I shared the book with friends but I didn’t really know what else to do at the time. Anulfo Baez of The Evolving Critic suggested I check out the Indie Photobook Library (iPL) founded by Larissa LeClair. Her library featured the work of emerging and established photographers who were self-publishing their work. I did reach out to Ms. LeClair and she did indeed accept my submission of In Edmands Park for her library.
Five years later her library collection has been placed at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. In a recent press release she stated that while the iPL is now closed to submissions, she “will continue to advocate on behalf of self-publishers from around the world by directly consulting with libraries and museums on their acquisitions.” I am thankful for that early support and recognition of my work and honored to now have one of my books figuratively if not literally sitting on a library shelf at Yale University.
Sources & Additional Reading
iPL collection adds to Beinecke’s strengths in photobooks and modern trends in self-publishing – http://news.yale.edu/2016/11/16/ipl-collection-adds-beinecke-s-strengths-photobooks-and-modern-trends-self-publishing
See more images here: http://www.newtonconservators.org/art_staples.htm