Most of my life, I've been a writer. Of plays, in particular. They've been produced in small theaters here and there — New York, London, New Orleans and elsewhere. How did I come to write a book of illustrated fables in verse? I suppose the simplest and most honest answer is the delight I get from small animals wearing clothes. This curious delight is more wide spread than you might think. Not long ago, in the French Quarter, where I've lived for more than 30 years, someone started up a new Mardi Gras parade called "Barkus". People dress their dogs in costumes. It was an immediate hit and has grown into a major Carnival event. The fables were, in a sense, my love letter to the French Quarter. The animals, flowers and insects are almost all Quarter denizens and they appear in their natural habitat: a frog in his courtyard lily pond, a rat in the stone riprap on the levee and a roach in the kitchen of a restaurant. Gradually, I enlarged the scope of the fables to include far-off lands and exotic animals. But I've kept the title FRENCH QUARTER FABLES, since the majority takes place there and all were written there and are, no doubt, influenced by its singular, suggestive atmosphere. — Dalt Wonk

In 2012, Luna Press published a hardcover limited edition of the complete FRENCH QUARTER FABLES. The edition was 300 signed and numbered copies. It quickly sold out. Naturally, as author and illustrator, I was delighted. FRENCH QUARTER FABLES, Volume One, contains half the fables (18) reproduced with full color illustrations. It is less expensive than the hardcover original, but with the same high quality reproduction on excellent paper. FRENCH QUARTER FABLES, Volume Two, with the remaining fables will follow shortly.

Inspired by the costume designs of New Orleans' century-old Mardi Gras traditions, The Riddles of Existence is a kind of modern reinvention of Tarot Cards. But these cards are not for predicting the future. They are for having fun now.

The Riddles of Existence are an oversized deck of fifty cards, each with a full-colored figure wearing a costume. Beneath the illustration, there is a riddle in verse. The costume is the answer, or hint, to the riddle. This is the game. The illustrations and the verse provide great pleasure, above and beyond, the game. There is also a card with the answers to The Riddles of Existence for those who are stumped.

As author/illustrator Dalt Wonk writes: "A costume is a sort of visual riddle. Especially in New Orleans, where the imagination runs wild. 'What are you supposed to be?' you often ask a masquer in the street. Once I found myself confronted by a Dueña, the Pope and the Whore of Babylon (all three of the male sex)!"

Written and illustrated by Dalt Wonk

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LUNA Press is proud to present Inventing Reality, an anthology highlighting the work of twenty-seven contemporary New Orleans photographers. The collection, curated by D. Eric Bookhardt, presents a vision that is both subjective and representative of a broad spectrum of techniques, providing an overview into the creative renaissance that is taking place in the city today. "In photography, this city and the surrounding region have long been a spawning grounds for visionary or magic realist imagery dating to Clarence John Laughlin's surrealist works of the 1930s," writes Bookhardt. "Today a coterie of younger emerging artists, often reflecting alternative socio-cultural milieus, have - in concert with their more established peers - expanded this visionary vocabulary." Bookhardt's insightful essay details the rich history of photographic arts in New Orleans, and his individual introductions to each photographer's series provide context for the works of 2013 Guggenheim Fellow Deborah Luster, David Halliday, Josephine Sacabo, and Louviere+Vanessa, among other established and emerging artists. The array of photographic practices used by the artists ranges from wet-plate collodions, orotones, photogravures, x-rays, and silver gelatins, to modern digital processes. The resulting anthology is a lyrical insight into personal visions, dazzling in their variety of approaches. As Russell Lord notes in the book's foreword: "It is a story about identity, tension, perception and the psychic mystery of photography in New Orleans."

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LUNA PRESS is pleased to present Nocturnes, an elaborately designed book which harmonizes a series of stunning black- and-white photographs by Josephine Sacabo with a series of eloquent poems by her husband, Dalt Wonk. The book consists of Wonk's poems printed on vellum, serving as a portal to the related, mysterious photographs of Josephine Sacabo. Luna Press books are art directed by Jacqueline Miró, Sacabo's long time collaborator. Of the book, Jill Connor writes,

"True meaning only exists deep down in the observer's reservoir of nostalgia, the place where we all want to go swim at night, an unpredictable dreamscape where figures and objects pose as symbols of one's experience. The rhythmic juxtaposition between word and image is like a tango — complimentary partners creating a new, unique excitement."

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From the Author's Preface:
"The French Quarter, as many of you probably know, is the historic center of New Orleans. I landed here (in a freighter, no less) after ten years of wandering, mostly in Europe. I was charmed by the place and have become an "adopted native". The first series of fables was, in a sense, my love letter to the French Quarter. The animals, flowers and insects are almost all Quarter denizens and they appear in their natural habitat: a frog in his courtyard lily pond, a rat in the stone rip-rap on the Mississippi River levee and a roach in the kitchen of a restaurant. Gradually, I enlarged the geographic scope of the fables to include far-off lands like the Yukon and exotic animals like Hippos. But I've kept the title French Quarter Fables, since the majority take place there and, in any case, all of them were written there and are no doubt influenced by its singular, suggestive atmosphere.
The characters in a fable — those odd, polymorphous beings like love-sick frogs and penny-pinching Afghans —are not just disguised human beings. The animal part of their nature is also real. That duality, that link in thegreat chain of being, is, I think, one of the hidden depths of the fable."

— Dalt Wonk, New Orleans, May 2012

Limited Edition SOLD OUT
A catalogue of Josephine Sacabo's retrospective exhibition at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Hardbound in embossed linen with sixty-eight images, an introduction by John Stevenson, and notes on the portfolios by Josephine Sacabo.

"…To be sure, each component does stand on its own; a distinct, titled, portfolio of images. Each was preceded by a year or more of silence: artist at work. Then, all of a piece, the body of work appears fully formed. There is one characteristic in common: each portfolio crystalizes around a particular poem, or just a wisp of a poem, that somehow became caught up in Sacabo's imagination. The epiphany of the exhibition, this collection of a life's work so far, is that these portfolios are not isolated islands. They are components — cantos — of a single extended work."

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