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On March 5, 2007, a car bomb exploded on al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad, an area of booksellers that is the literary heart of the city. The bomb killed 30 people and wounded others. In response, a group of U.S. printers and artists formed the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition. The coalition honors the dead as well as the role of literature in preserving culture and forming the conscience of a people. The coalition's work is housed at the Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts at Florida Atlantic University. This particular broadside or poster, by Frank Riccio, an illustrator, and Garrett Queen, who typeset and printed the work on letterpress, was produced at the Virginia Arts of the Book Center. It features a text from Akiba ben Joseph, one of the great scholars and founders of rabbinic Judaism.


—Lil Copan

 

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