Download Full Text (754 KB)
Dimensions: 30 inches wide, 36 inches tall
Inkjet on matte paper, printed on both sides
Artist's narrative: Letter 85 provides Paul Laurence Dunbar’s negative viewpoint on his successes. Although we are unsure who he is writing to, he writes of his accomplishments from early childhood to the present and calls it all uneventful. He starts off by mentioning how he was only published at age 14 and quickly calls it positive trash. He continues to discuss how he was widely loved in high school and was the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, but he wrote the paper a month late every time. After high school, he began work as an elevator operator. There he wrote his first book, which he notes only sold well within his town. Dunbar seems to be fine talking about his achievements but cannot help to add in negative comments about himself and his work when he is so blatantly talented. This negative viewpoint he casts on himself is metaphorically depicted with the extreme modulation of the typeface Freight by Joshua Darden and is accompanied by the typeface Ingra by Ermin Mededovic.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, Black history, Dayton history, typography, poetry, Ohio history
Art and Design | Graphic Design
Schultz, Hannah, "The Uneventful Life" (2023). Life in Letters: A Typographic Poster Exhibition Featuring Paul Laurence Dunbar. 11.