|Alan Govenar is a writer, folklorist, photographer, and filmmaker. He is president of Documentary Arts. Govenar has a B.A. with distinction in American Folklore from Ohio State University, an M.A. in Folklore and Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in Arts and Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Sitting Shiva in Gare du Nord
Poems by Alan Govenar
Dallas, Texas: Alan Govenar, 2011. Edition of 30.
8.5 x 6.25"; 23 pages. Printed on Hahnemühle paper. Split accordion book. Laid in cloth covered four flap case. Design assistance by Katy Parker.
One side of the split accordion has a poem about the death of Govenar's mother, the other side a poem about his father's death.
Alan Govenar, colophon: "I started the poems in this book during the last days of each of my parents' lives and finished them a week after their deaths.
"I made the cover and frontispiece photographs in Paris on June 24, 2010, remembering the day I wrote my father's obituary waiting for a train at Gare du Nord and realizing at that moment I was still mourning my mother."
Charlotte Govenar (March 6, 1922 - January 17, 1993)
When you fell off the chair
we heard nothing
driving to Love Field
shopping for groceries
that we never knew
you'd never eat
The foreshadowing of death
has no memory
other than the body
Joseph Govenar (December 20, 1921 - October 24, 2004)
On the night I left for Paris
you gave to me a kiss
and I wasn't even there
as you slumped over
after dinner in your chair
a massive heart attack
consuming you in an instant
unknown to me alone
in an airplane
thousands of miles away
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Daddy Double Do Love You
The Music of John T. Samples
By Alan Govenar
Dallas, Texas: Alan Govenar, 2002. Edition of 25.
10 x 9"; 18 pages. 8 black-and-white printed photos tipped in with four corner photo mounts. Post binding with two screws. Exterior quarter-bound in black linen with guitar pick clasp closure and image of John T. Samples on cover. A 45 rpm record slips into a pocket on the back pastedown.
Alan Govenar colophon: "The original edition of this book was published by Documentary Arts for the Blue Moon Fold Festival at the Tyler Museum of Art on October 16, 1993. Mr. Samples was honored at this festival for his contributions to the cultural community of East Texas. He died on January 13, 1998, three days after his 100th birthday.
"I recorded and photographed Mr. Samples at his home in Liberty, Texas, and produced a 45 rpm record to accompany the book.
"The book was originally designed and printed by Amos Kennedy, an African American artist whom I met in Chicago. He was drawn to this story because of his family roots in East Texas. This new edition was developed with the assistance of Daniel S. Dunnam & Kelli Anderson, and was completed in the summer of 2002."
Documentary Arts: "Since boyhood, Mr. Samples had dreamed of recording his own record. This book tells his story and ends by revealing a 45rpm record in a sleeve on the back page.
"The record, Daddy Double Do Love You, contains 7 songs: 'Beautiful Lady in Blue,' 'Daddy Double Do Love You,' 'God Be with You,' 'Till We Meet Again,' 'Hen Cackle,' 'Nobody's Business,' and 'Listen to the Mockingbird.'"
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