Blending words, folk art

Sam Williams will present a program on his new book, “By This Christmas Moon,” at the Blount County Public library on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Brad Spires

Sam Williams will present a program on his new book, “By This Christmas Moon,” at the Blount County Public library on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

It doesn’t do the book justice to say merely that it is “a work of art” because not only is it beautifully illustrated in fraktur folk art, it is also made of hand-crafted materials by Rosenberry Books, a North Carolina publishing company.

“By This Christmas Moon” is a compilation of poems written by local author and teacher Sam Williams and illustrated with fraktur art, each picture something like a tiny, intricate quilt painted on paper with a brush, by Diane Katz. Even at first glance, the book is unlike any other on the shelves at the Blount County Public Library.

To see the book evokes the sensation of viewing a hand-crafted object. In fact, the book is, in reality, just that-a handmade publication, called “book in hand” edition. With a cover of handmade paper created from Thai mulberry leaves and inner text pages printed in the United States of 60 percent recycled materials, the book is a unique treasure.

As the reader initiates the delight of savoring words on pages, the poetic stories acquire a three-dimensional aspect because of the individualized artwork that accompanies each poem and each page.

To meet the author, see more copies of the book and have opportunity to purchase them, the public is invited to a program presented by the author at the Blount County Public Library at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Well-known to local school children as teacher in the Maryville, Blount County and Anderson County schools, Williams, now retired, says he is indebted to John Rice Irwin, then-superintendent of Anderson County schools, for hiring him to teach fifth and sixth graders at his first teaching position at Blowing Springs Elementary School at Clinton.

Free and open to the public, the program is to be at the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville.

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