I first met the artist and designer Elaine Lustig Cohen through the website dedicated to her former husband, the legendary designer Alvin Lustig. Back in 2006, I had been asked to get in touch with the estate regarding his jacket designs for New Directions: we were hoping to replace intermediate designs on some of our books with the original Lustigs. I was an editorial assistant at the time; New Directions was still going through a generational change. Emails were considered unofficial. One senior editor told me to type a letter, “preferably with a typewriter.” Another told me to call. But I had neither an address nor an number. So I emailed the webmaster of the Alvin Lustig site and hoped for the best. Elaine herself answered my inquiry—it was the first contact she had had with New Directions since its founder James Laughlin passed away in 1997.
BOMBLOG: Elaine Lustig Cohen by Michael Barron
Perhaps it is wrong to speak of oneself while writing of another, but I truly wonder if I would have become as I am without her. Would I have carried myself with the same swagger, or faced adversity with such feminine resolve, without Albertine as my guide? Would my young poems have possessed such a biting tongue without Astragal as my guidebook?
Patti Smith on Albertine Sarrazin’s Astragal. - Slate Magazine