This year’s annual roundup of recently published books by and about Pratt Institute alumni showcases the new worlds Pratt graduates are building across fields and mediums. Discover their work in this range of volumes, from deep dives into design and visual journeys around the world to personal histories, poetic explorations, and literary escapes for all ages.
Chrome Valley (Liveright)
Mahogany L. Browne, MFA Writing ’16
The latest poetry collection from Lincoln Center’s inaugural poet-in-residence, Mahogany L. Browne, boldly dives “deep into the experience of Black girlhood and womanhood in America, with Browne reflecting on everything from her own maternal lineage to the yearning-laden pleasure of young friendship to the true meaning of inherited trauma and the power that it can hold to shape our lives” (Emma Specter, Vogue). Available at wwnorton.com.
Chronicle Psychiatrist Telephone (Poetica Publishing)
Brittany Coffman, BFA Writing ’22
The debut poetry chapbook by Brittany Coffman, winner of Pratt Institute’s 2022 BFA Thesis Prize, is a formally restless and wide-ranging collection, as surreal as it is grounded in the personal. The author asserts her book is “for people who have anxiety, but also for people who don’t . . . it’s for everyone, because some will feel that familiar ache of thoughts that run too fast and others will swallow lovely weird imagery as [it appears.]” Available at poeticapublishing.com.
BOOK by They Might Be Giants
John Flansburgh, BFA Fine Arts (Printmaking) ’84, and John Linnell
Photographs by Fine Arts alumnus Brian Karlsson
An artbook by the acclaimed alt-rock band They Might Be Giants, which pairs lyrics from its sibling record with original photography from fellow Pratt alum Brian Karlsson. Available at tmbgshop.com.
Laura’s Desires (Belladonna*)
Laura Henriksen, BFA Writing ’12, Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing
In this chapbook-length excerpt from Laura Henriksen’s eponymous debut poetry collection (forthcoming in 2024 from Nightboat Books), the author’s ludic voice captures “encounters between the speaker and lovers, friends, strangers, art, and the natural world” (Stella-Ann Harris, Air/Light). Available at belladonnaseries.org.
Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller: The Man Who Created Nancy (Abrams, August 2023)
Bill Griffith, Graphic Design ’64
This biography-cum-graphic-novel from the illustrator of the Zippy the Pinhead comic strip remembers the man behind the internationally beloved Nancy funnies, Ernie Bushmiller. In sharing Bushmiller’s story, the graphic novel simultaneously plots the history of the comic strip as a form and explores the fine details of what makes a strip “work.” Available at abramsbooks.com.
Rational Simplicity: Rudolph de Harak Graphic Designer (Thames & Hudson)
Richard Poulin, BID ’77
The first monograph about Rudolph de Harak, who served as an adjunct professor of communications design at Pratt circa the ’60s and ’70s, explores this visionary designer’s radically simple approach to design principles. Available at thamesandhudson.com.
Race, War, and the Cinematic Myth of America: Dust That Never Settles (Rowman & Littlefield)
Eric Trenkamp, MA Media Studies ’20, Assistant Chair of Film/Video
Initially written as a monograph and selected for the 2022 Pratt Research Open House, Eric Trenkamp’s Race, War, and the Cinematic Myth of America: Dust That Never Settles traces the lineage of American cinema, from the earliest silent Westerns to the new wave of contemporary superhero films, and analyzes how the myth of white supremacy is reinforced and reinvented throughout film history. Available at rowman.com.
Art and Design Fundamentals (Oxford University Press)
Steven Bleicher, BFA Fine Arts ’77; MFA Fine Arts ’79
Cutting-edge technologies and a focus on conceptual thinking animate this foundational art and design text by artist and professor Steven Bleicher. Each chapter “gives students an assignment on the topic covered, shows examples of student work, and includes covered vocabulary definitions” (Anita H. Stewart, Jacksonville State University). Available at global.oup.com.
Metalsmith Society’s Guide to Jewelry Making (Page Street Publishing)
Corkie Bolton, BFA Fine Arts (Jewelry) ’07
Corkie Bolton, founder of The Metalsmith Society—a community that has over 200K followers on social media—brings her experience as a teacher to this up-to-date compendium on the craft of metalsmithing and jewelry making. The book promises to offer “clear instructions [and] helpful projects that demonstrate what is possible and encouragement along the way” (Tim McCreight, author of Complete Metalsmith). Learn more at metalsmithsociety.com.
The Place of the Mosque: Genealogies of Space, Knowledge and Power (Rowman & Littlefield)
Akel Ismail Kahera, BArch ’77
The latest theoretical text by architecture and urbanism professor Akel Ismail Kahera takes on the history of mosques through the lens of Foucault, serving as Kahera’s third book devoted to the subject of this sacred and historically rich architecture. Learn more at rowman.com.
Searching for a Voice
Henry Sanoff, AIA, BArch ’57; MArch ’62
Henry Sanoff—distinguished scholar and Professor Emeritus of Architecture at North Carolina State University—has applied his practical and pertinent methodologies on architecture over the last five decades in his academic and professional practices. Sanoff combines these years of experience into an oral history turned autobiography, taking the reader through the challenges he’s overcome, and how they’ve informed his outlook on life and architecture.
Destiny of a War Veteran (Gotham Books)
Selahattin Bucak, MArch ’80
Published under the pen name Sal Atlantis Phoenix, this recently reprinted debut novel explores the trials and tribulations of a Vietnam veteran, from his time in the battlefield to the aftermath back home.
Bridge of Lies (Open Road Media)
Gregory S. Dinallo, BID ’62
The New York Times notable author’s newest installment of the tales of Nikolai Katkov, Bridge of Lies, follows the Russian journalist’s discovery of a plot to destroy the Capitol, plunging him into a world of cyberterrorism experts and undercover operatives. Available at openroadmedia.com.
Six Endings and Some Beginnings (Ordeas Press)
Irene Lee, MFA Writing ’20, and Rachel TonThat
Largely inspired by ancient myths, Six Endings and Some Beginnings is the second limited-edition handmade artist book by the publishing project Oreades Press, a collaboration between photographer Irene Lee and conceptual artist Rachel TonThat. The book combines three stories by each author, features their original visual art, and deploys ancient folklore to explore the climate crisis. Learn more about the 42 book run at oreadespress.com.
Fashion Portfolio: Create, Curate, Innovate (Laurence King Publishing)
Michelle Nahum-Albright, BFA Communications Design ’75, and Tamara Albu
A practical guide for the visual learner, Michelle Nahum-Albright and Tamara Albu’s book takes up-and-coming designers through the ins and outs of creating their own brands while elucidating how powerful storytelling can function as a pivotal sales tool. Available at us.laurenceking.com.
The Photographer’s Green Book Vol. 1 (PGB)
Sydney Ellison, BFA Photography ’22, Jay Simple, and Anita N. Bateman
Edited during Sydney Ellison’s time as a senior at Pratt, while she worked as a founding member of the Photographer’s Green Book (PGB) collective, this inaugural publication from the PGB team entered its second print run last year. It features interviews and essays that explore themes of history, community, and process in photography. The collection also highlights a particular focus on liberatory politics and the gaze of the photographer in the 21st century. Learn more at photogreenbook.com.
The Heart Is a Sandwich (Mack Books)
Jason Fulford, BFA Communications Design ‘96
Conceptualized as a collection of short stories, the latest photobook from Jason Fulford collects a decade’s worth of photographs taken in Italy and arranges them into narrative sequences. Paired with original text by the photographer, The Heart Is a Sandwich reveals how, “just as sequencing images is a process for thinking . . . stories flow altogether in a way that exceeds any logical reading, or attempt at decoding.” (Camilla Marrese, PhMuseum). Available at mackbooks.co.uk.
20 Years of Calendars: Street Scenes and People (Visual Profile Books)
Michael Gerbino, BFA Communications Design ’82, Professor Emeritus of Undergraduate Communications Design
This collection of annual calendars created by Michael Gerbino showcases 20 years of his incisive street photography. Featuring annotations from the photographer himself, Gerbino takes the reader from New York City to the Dominican Republic to Europe and back. Throughout the journey, Gerbino offers us glimpses into his creative process, and describes how he was able to make his private journey and photography practice reach a wide audience. Learn more about the book at visualprofilebooks.com.
Traces (Noonbit Publishing)
Sook Jin Jo, MFA Fine Arts ’91
Published in Seoul, this photobook by the Korean born, New York based multidisciplinary artist Sook Jin Jo lucidly documents “disappearing buildings—including warehouses, factories, hospitals and homes—[that] were taken over from 2001 to 2014 in America, Germany, Turkey, India, Brazil, China, and Korea.”
Last Day in Lagos (Fourthwall Books/CARA)
Marilyn Nance, BFA Communications Design ’76
A photobook tracing the photographer Marilyn Nance’s time in Lagos, Nigeria, for the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (aka FESTAC) in 1977. A notable peek into her time as a chronicler of the African diaspora, the work “is saturated in human connection; each photograph stirs a memory. And even across the distance of space and time, the world depicted in these pages thrums with closeness, or a need for it” (Caleb Azumah Nelson, The New York Times). Learn more at fourthwallbooks.com.
Paris Provence Knockers Knobs
Alan Rado, BFA ’74
This playful and elegant photobook documenting the photographer Alan Rado’s 10-day trip through Paris and Provence focuses on the country’s large and meticulously crafted door knockers. With no two knockers looking exactly alike, the book is a tour of a rarely discussed gem of French exterior design.
The Book of Ladders: 100 Contemporary Artworks (Adeline de Monseignat and Paul Carey-Kent)
Yasunari Izaki, MFA Fine Arts ’14, contributor
A artwork by Yasunari Izaki comprises part of this collection of artworks about ladders, which features works by such leading contemporary artists as Ai Weiwei, Marina Abromović, Joseph Beuys, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Learn more at ymlp.com.
The Art & Story of Song of the North and The Seven Trials of Rostam (Kingorama)
Hamid Rahmanian, MA Computer Animation ’94
These two works elegantly relay stories from the Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), an epic poem written by the Iranian poet Ferdowsi in the 10th century. The Art & Story of Song of the North peeks behind the curtain at Rahmanian’s shadowplay covering an ancient love story, while The Seven Trials of Rostam takes the form of a pop-up book to illuminate the tales of a young Iranian hero’s battles with the White Demon. Learn more at kingorama.com.
Animal Haiku Rhymes, Animal Haiku Rhymes Too, More Animal Haiku Rhymes, and Floral Haiku Rhymes
Cynthia Maris Dantzic, MFA Art Education ’63, with Virginia Hoyt Cantarella, illustrator
Senior Professor Emerita of Visual Arts at Long Island University Cynthia Maris Dantzic has collaborated with the illustrator Virginia Hoyt Cantarella to create four children’s books of poetry. The artist states that she hopes for children to trace over the collections’ cursive handwriting to begin learning their own unique cursive handwriting, bridging the literary and the visual arts.
Friends Beyond Measure: A Story Told with Infographics (HarperKids)
Lalena Fisher, MFA Fine Arts ’97
Serving as a primer that introduces children to the form of the infographic, Lalena Fisher takes an important means of communicating statistics and social issues and transforms it into “a uniquely told story that will delight all readers” (School Library Journal, starred review). Available at harpercollins.com.
Zombie Phone Kids (Boys Town Press) and Grandma’s Farm (Astra Publishing)
Michael Garland, BFA ’74
As a tenured practitioner of the form, Michael Garland has produced two new children’s books that advocate for the importance of natural experiences. Zombie Phone Kids serves as a cautionary tale about excessive phone use in young people, while Grandma’s Farm looks into the pastoral lifestyle once common in older generations. A follow-up to Grandpa’s Tractor, the book is “a warm tale of passing the love of the family farm from one generation to the next” (Kirkus Reviews). Learn more at boystownpress.org and astrapublishinghouse.com.
Zilot & Other Important Rhymes (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, October 2023)
Erin Odenkirk, BA Critical and Visual Studies ’23, illustrator, with Bob Odenkirk, author
A collaboration between Erin Odenkirk and her father, actor Bob Odenkirk, reveals the inventive potential of language she and her siblings found while writing poems as children. Erin brings these playful poems to life through vibrant illustrations in the tradition of Shel Silverstein. Learn more at hachettebookgroup.com.
Fitting In (Sky Pony Press)
John Olson and Haruka Aoki, MFA Communications Design ’12
A touching debut children’s book by two Pratt alumni that explores what it means to fit into a world of circles when you are a square. Learn more at fittinginbook.com.
City of Speed (Battle Dragons #2) and City of Secrets (Battle Dragons #3) (Scholastic)
Alex London, MSLIS ’10
The second and third installment of the Battle Dragons trilogy, in which the perils and triumphs of young dragon rider Abel are packed with “more than enough mayhem, mischief, and awesome aerial exploits to send young dracophiles soaring and roaring” (Kirkus Reviews). Learn more at scholastic.com.
Pocket Bible III (Forever Magazine)
Anika Jade Levy, BFA Writing ’17, with Madeline Cash and Tyler Bainbridge, editors Designed by Natalia Ruiz, BFA Photography ’19
A collaboration between the editors of independent literary journal Forever Magazine and the influencer newsletter Perfectly Imperfect, Pocket Bible III collects the New Year’s resolutions of more than 30 contemporary creatives into a book, from starting a meditation practice to seeing “bigfoot in real life.” Available at forevermag.net.
Roger Clay Palmer (KMEC Books)
Todd Bradway, BFA Painting ’98, and Karen Marta, editors
Prolific artist and editor Todd Bradway has helped to bring together the works of Roger Clay Palmer, an artist with a distinctive style honed over his over 50-year-long career. The collection features 60 paintings by Palmer, with a focus on his recent work, as well as an essay by David Norr exploring the artist’’s gritty, sardonic, and natural oeuvre. Available at artbook.com.
Coding, Shaping, Making (Routledge/Taylor and Francis)
Haresh Lalvani, MS Architecture ’72, Professor of Undergraduate Architecture
This new, illustrated volume brings together decades of Haresh Lalvani’s pioneering experiments in form and form making, inspired by natural phenomena that generate form and speculating a future in which matter, encoded with shape information, shapes itself. Available at routledge.com.
Tides and Transgressions (Rizzoli Electa)
Duke Riley, MFA Fine Arts ’06
In the first definitive collection of multimedia artist Duke Riley’s illustrious career, readers are offered an “overview of more than 20 years of Riley’s art and interventions that will draw new viewers and offer existing fans the chance to stop and look more closely . . . The art here is political, beautiful, and darkly funny” (Lisa Peet, Library Journal). Available at rizzoliusa.com.
Obstacle Illusion, with introduction by A. M. Homes, texts by Michael Duncan and Ed Leffingwell, and interview by Linda Yablonsky (Gregory R. Miller & Co., July 2023)
Rob Wynne, BFA Fine Arts ’70
Obstacle Illusion is the first major artbook covering the half-century long career of the multimedia artist Rob Wynne, who is lauded for being “a conceptual artist with deep, tangled roots in literature, painting, sculpture, drawing, embroidery, and glass-making” (Barbara A. MacAdam, ArtNews). Learn more at artbook.com.