Joni Mitchell hand-drawn book for friends in 1971 set to be published

Morning Glory on the Vine combines lyrics, poems and paintings by the singer-songwriter

Joni Mitchell put together Morning Glory on the Vine in 1971, the year her album Blue topped charts around the world. File Photograph: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Getty

Joni Mitchell put together Morning Glory on the Vine in 1971, the year her album Blue topped charts around the world. File Photograph: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Getty

 

A rare book of lyrics, poems and illustrations that Joni Mitchell created for her closest friends more than 40 years ago is to be commercially published for the first time this autumn.

The Canadian musician put together Morning Glory on the Vine in 1971, the year her album Blue topped charts around the world. Collecting lyrics, poems and more than 30 of her paintings, just 100 copies were hand-produced in Los Angeles for her friends. “Existing copies of this labour of love have rarely been seen in the past half-century,” according to the singer’s website.

But now publishers Canongate in the UK, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the US, will release facsimile editions on 22 October, complete with a new introduction from Mitchell and additional paintings.

‘Simply no one like her’ … cover art for Morning Glory on the Vine. Photograph: Canongate
‘Simply no one like her’ … cover art for Morning Glory on the Vine. Photograph: Canongate

The book features handwritten lyrics and poems, along with watercolour paintings depicting “a superb array of landscapes, still lifes, portraits of friends, self-portraits, innovative abstractions, and more”. The publication is part of celebrations of Mitchell’s 75th birthday year, which have also included a tribute album and concert.

Francis Bickmore, who acquired the book for Canongate, described it as a celebration of her talents as lyricist, poet and artist. “Joni Mitchell’s influence on popular culture is peerless. There is simply no one like her,” he said. “Her fearless pursuit of honesty and art, her gift for storytelling and her incalculably beautiful melodies and voice – all of these have been inspirations and companions to me, and to so many others, for decades.”

Last year, Canongate released Leonard Cohen’s final collection of poetry, The Flame, which went on to become a New York Times bestseller. –Guardian

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