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Production Narrative


Printed on Rives BFK by Joe Elliot at Soho Letterpress then handpainted by Susan Bee. Bound in cloth over boards by Daniel E. Kelm and staff at the Wide Awake Garage. Signed in penciil by Charles Bernstein and Susan Bee.

Critical Analysis


Design Features

typographic: Typographic treatment varies for each verse. Most are set in 18 point or larger, which contributes to the picture-book look.

imagery: Found, appropriated imagery, illustrations from children's books and tabloids, pulp and sensational literature, to which watercolor has been applied.

graphical: The layouts are bold, organized by strong frames, striking visual elements, and high contrast printing. White space is abundant in many spreads, and well-structured to support the images and text blocks.

openings: The pages are continuous across the gutter, heat-fused at the outer edge, and so most of the layouts treat the opening as a continous space. The folds do cross lines of type and break images.

turnings: The turnings create graphical surprise, since each spread has its own look, but they are not articulated as turnings that address the tensions of break and continuity, rather, they function as a sequence of spaces.

development: This is a sequential, rather than developmental, work.

sequence: The book is organized as a series of independent spaces.

textual: Doggerel verse, parodic, funny, edgy, with many childhood themes, but not exclusively quoting nursery rhymes.

structure: The Daniel Kelm binding is strong, heat-fused, and clean so that the book feels like a solid block, the bleeds off the pages are well-cut, and the whole solid book works efficiently.

conceptual: Rather in the livre d'artiste trdition, as a work of fine art finely made.

intratextual: Much play between images and texts.

scultpural features:

temporal features:

other features:

Critical Discussion

A funny smart book that uses the best of Bernstein's wit and Bee's appropriative collage in a book whose sheer unpredictability makes it amusing.

Detailed Analysis
General Comments


Little Orphan Anagram


Steve Clay

type: initiating

publisher Granary Books

Susan Bee

type: initiating


Charles Bernstein

type: other


Steve Clay

type: initiating

publisher Granary Books

Susan Bee

type: initiating


Charles Bernstein

type: other


Joe Elliot

type: other


location: Soho Letterpress

Daniel E. Kelm

type: other


location: Wide Awake Garage

Publication Information

edition type: editioned

publisher: Granary Books

place: New York, NY

publication: 1997-00-00

edition size: 35 copies


horizontal: 8.5 inches closed

vertical: 11 inches closed

depth: 0.9 inches closed

Production Information

production means:
letterpress (local)

binding: mashine sewn (local)

bookBlock: paper

watercolor (local)
ink (local)

other materials:


general description:

format: book object (AAT)

cover: The work's cover is covered in green cloth with a black image comprised of swirls, stairs, a pointing finger and children printed on the top.

color: yes Brightly colored handpainted images appear throughout the work.



pagination: unpaginated 40

numbered?: numbered

signed?: signed


Little Orphan Anagram was printed on Rives BFK by Joe Elliot at Soho Letterpress and then painted by the artist. The bindings are by Daniel E. Kelm at the Wide Awake Garage. copyright 1997 by Susan Bee and Charles Berstein. 35 copies were made: 10 lettered (A-J) are hors commerce, 25 were numbered (1-25) are for sale.

Exhibition Information

exhibition history:

reception history: