what the critics say

“Hail, Judith Sloan and Warren Lehrer, for making a new art worthy of the new America that is quietly and not so quietly being born again out of the lives and imaginations of its newest immigrants. They combine the art of storytelling, the book, the visual, and the sound of voices, to create a true Whitmanesque vista of our infant century.”
Andrei Codrescu poet, novelist, journalist, public radio commentator, editor
Exquisite Corpse

“In Warren Lehrer’s books… words take on thought’s very form, bringing sensory experience to the reader as directly as ink on paper can allow… [Once] considered too far ahead of his time… Now the times are beginning to catch up to him.”
The New York Times Book Review Julie Lasky

“In Yo Miss!, Judith Sloan’s art and teaching cross-pollinate. She performs with musical collaborators, re-enacts and riffs on her experiences teaching teenagers from myriad worlds: refugee camps, struggling neighborhoods, prisons. It is a performance about performances, a story containing many stories.” The New York Times Anne Barnard

“In Warren Lehrer’s extraordinary books, full of typographic innovation, he seeks to trap thought, sound and speech in time and space on the printed page. The result is theater… The reader (viewer/listener) experiences the pathos within the mundane aspects of everyday life… reality, fantasy, along with art and literature, travel parallel but inseparable roads.” Print Magazine Phillip Meggs

“Lehrer pioneered what might be best termed “typographic performance” in his 1984 book/play French Fries, today considered by historians one of the lynchpins of the deconstructionist era… Sloan, his wife, is an actor and audio artist/documentarian who has performed on stage and for public radio. Together they have produced this multimedia book which explores the difficult and joyful relationships, intersections and dislocations, between a remarkable group of ethnically diverse immigrants who have settled various lower middle and middle class neighborhoods in Queens, New York. While [Crossing the BLVD] can be viewed as an astute urban sociological study (Margaret Mead meets Jane Jacobs), more importantly it highlights the richness (as well as a little darkness) of a poly-cultural critical mass representing the sights and sounds, customs and mores of ‘new’ New York. It is eloquent, poignant, and smartly designed… an entirely satisfying piece of design and authorship. Eye Magazine Steve Heller

Judith Sloan’s compelling solo show, Yo Miss!, is grounded in her experience teaching drama to underprivileged New York City high school and college students. This deeply felt and richly entertaining show frames its earthy soulfulness in high-concept theater with ease. In a whizzing-by hour-and-a-half Sloan plays an assortment of students of many nationalities, immigrant teenagers and incarcerated youth with the simplest of adjustments–a headscarf, an accent–then fortifies the scene with crowds of recorded characters whose voices she mixes live onstage, operating several MIDI controllers with her fingers and feet. As artfully composed and intelligently framed as it is emotionally gutsy…It is a fully realized piece of inventive theater that packs a punch – and a lesson.” BlogCritics Jon Sobel

“In A Life In Books, author and graphic design visionary Warren Lehrer crafts a vivid kaleidoscopic odyssey that frames one man’s life through not one, but one hundred different books and book jackets. In this quirky, yet unmistakably modern evocation of the illuminated manuscript, Lehrer’s book reminds us that we are what we do. And, for that matter, what we publish.” Jessica Helfand writer, designer, educator, founding editor Design Observer

“Lehrer’s typographic experiments anticipated new directions in 1990s graphic design. Books such as French Fries [1984] challenge readers to explore the act of reading; to break with the usual linear pattern, vary the pace, look back on earlier passages, or skip ahead… With his Portrait Series published in 1995… he showed how ‘visual literature’ could be used to engage broader audiences… Lehrer’s books evoke the subjective experience of their subjects with great particularity and vividness, suggesting the possibility of a new literary genre that makes full use of design’s rhetorical dimension.” No More Rules: Postmodern Design Rick Poynor

“Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan are traditional oral historians in practice and radical artists transforming the field through their innovative approach to presentation. Their latest collaborative work is a vibrant and inspiring collection of stories from immigrants… For people who have so often been otherized, stereotyped, and misrepresented, Crossing the BLVD is an exercise in authenticity. Each of the stories — more like lyric poetry than narrative — is accompanied by beautiful portraits of the subjects laid out in an unusual graphic style of Lehrer’s invention… The graphic style and approach to portraiture are revolutionary for the field and the sheer volume and range of the subjects covered, rare. Visionary!” The Oral History Review Courtney Martin

“Lehrer’s defiance of rules and established traditions has led him to new and adventurous modes of typographic expression and communication… His intriguing books are studies in human dialogue and the poetics of communication… Translating the spoken word into the visual word is not new. It is rooted in several historical experiments and Lehrer has ingeniously extended earlier efforts by exploring the most subtle nuances of the genre.” American Typography Today: 24 American Typographic Designers Rob Carter

“Lehrer’s acclaimed and influential 1984 book French Fries broke the grid—and possibly the crystal goblet—creating a work in which the design was not mere accessory to story but an integral mode of its performance. In A Life In Books, he continues to make design a constitutive element… A Life In Books challenges readers to rethink the relations of the novel to the image, and of the whole book to our contemporary world.” Eye Magazine David Banash

 “Judith Sloan wickedly skewers stereotypes… screws up her face with Lily Tomlin-esque elasticity. Plus, Sloan’s a good juggler!” The Village Voice Evelyn McDonnell

“[Warren Lehrer is] one of the most imaginative and ambitious book artists of our time.” Richard Kostelantetz American Book Review

“Warren Lehrer has built a career collapsing the boundaries that most of us take for granted. Blazing a new path, A Life In Books proves that motion design and literature (among other things) need not be strangers….” Motionographer Justin Cone

“Judith Sloan challenges U.S. Foreign Policy, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, homophobia, and a host of other issues throughout an amazingly varied series of character-driven monologues.” MS Magazine

 “One of only a handful of makers of the past few decades who have consistently created longer form works claimed by the canon-makers as part of the fledgling field that is sometimes called Artists’ Books… Warren Lehrer’s new ‘illuminated novel’ is hilarious… thrilling… genre-crossing… Mobley’s 101 books form a kind of history of public intellectualism, resonant with people like Buckminster Fuller, William Gaddis and the Oulipo movement.” Afterimage Tate Shaw

WINNER 2004 Brendan Gill Prize
“A celebratory chronicle of the immigrant experience in New York, Crossing the BLVD is a Whitmanesque book that reveals a staggering array of humanity… [It] chronicles life in Gotham in both its despair and boundless promise. The first-person narratives are drawn from audio-taped interviews, while the book’s ever-changing graphics and typefaces mirror the rich pastiche of religion, language and tradition that coexists in the borough… chosen for its ability to convey the inspired resiliency of the myriad communities that contribute to the city’s dynamism.” The Municipal Art Society of NY.

WINNER 2003 Innovative Use of Archives Award
“The Archivist Round Table recognizes Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan for their remarkable book and audio CD, Crossing the BLVD… A stunning book structured to portray multiple perspectives. We honor Crossing the BLVD for exploding the paradigms of oral history and reinterpreting them for our multimedia century… for its boldness and creativity as it charts a lasting record of this vibrant, diverse community in New York City—the new Ellis Island.” Archivist Round Table of Metropolitan NY

WINNER 2016 Center for Book Arts Honoree
“We honor Warren Lehrer, innovator and boundary breaker, for his unique marriage of writing and typography…  for extending the often rarified field of book arts to the broader worlds of contemporary design, art and literature…”

WINNER 2014 IPPY Outstanding Book of the Year Award
“A stunningly unique take on the novel that unabashedly explores the relationship between the narrator and reader, as well as the fragile and often blurry line that distinguishes truth and fiction. Lehrer has upended the modern novel form and its narrative limitations, creating a rich and engaging story through visual literature… A Life In Books is mind-blowing… reality bending… a laugh riot and a visual feast.” Independent Publisher

Selected Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of the Year, 2003
“New York’s undersung borough of Queens, home to the new Ellis Island (the airports), may be the most diverse county in the country today, and documentarians Lehrer and Sloan have innovatively brought it to life… Crossing the BLVD is poetic, arresting, vividly printed mosaic.”

Selected Best Books/CDs of Independent Culture – The Utne Reader, 2004
Crossing the BLVD is a one-of-a kind amazingly designed book… portraits of immigrant Americans, images of their belongings, maps, and innovative typography combine to bring these lives up off the page…”

“In Lehrer’s ingenious, one-of-a-kind novel, A Life In Books, we see all the covers of all 101 books written by his narrator over the last several decades… A tour-de-force!”
Studio 360 Kurt Andersen Public Radio International

 “A meticulously illustrated chronicle… Lehrer’s 101 cover designs for Mobley’s books are pitch perfect. And like the best film title sequences, which establish moods or introduce plotlines, these fictional covers are vehicles by which Lehrer illuminates Mobley’s tale of success and failure… In A Life In Books, Lehrer has created a parallel art world” The Atlantic Steven Heller

Yo Miss! is immersive, resonant theater. Communication, cultural destabilization, history and commonality, are dramatized, raising questions, offering response… For over twenty years, this petite, steely woman has been an explorer of experience and psyche, an excavator of souls whose stories she turns into art. Judith Sloan is an extraordinary audacious artist.” Woman Around Town Alix Cohen

 “Lehrer’s books defy conventional notions of writing and bookmaking… Collectively, the subjects of The Portrait Series, make up a riveting group of eccentrics… Their stories echo in your mind long after the sound of them has ceased…” The Chronicle of Higher Education Zoe Ingalls

“Lehrer creates a rich soundscape in the reader’s imagination… correlating the rhythm of language to the way the mind works… His books explore the rich dissonance of sound and life surrounding each of us… challenging the line between life and art…” Afterimage Nancy Soloman

 “Mercurial, mesmerizing, meaningful and entertaining, YO MISS is a one-person whirlwind of characters—— challenging preconceptions while reminding us of our common humanity. Judith Sloan’s work is inspiring and not to be missed.” Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul and Mary)

“Unlike so many contemporary graphic stylists, Lehrer begins from a deep engagement with content he has created himself.” Frieze Magazine Rick Poynor

Crossing the BLVD boldly carries the tradition of oral history into the 21st Century… electrifying collage of voices, faces, and spirits, capturing the true elasticity and inclusiveness of American culture.” Eve Ensler author, oral historian, performer The Vagina Monologues 

“In A Life In Books, Warren Lehrer has written a profound commentary on this nausea-inducing unique moment in the grand transition from Silly Mind to Machine Mind. Amusingly and smartly enough, he may have helped transition ‘the last great American novel’ to the first ‘great illustrated novel’ which is how novels started. A Life In Books is brilliant, beautiful, delicious for eyes and mind.” Andrei Codrescu poet, novelist, journalist, public radio commentator, editor Exquisite Corpse

“In the new typographical and geographical adventure Crossing the BLVD… immigrants from all over the world tell their harrowing, thrilling, inspiring stories… Collected in this gripping new book, filled with photos and maps and portraits. The text jumps and continually changes clothes and sizes… because that’s how people talk. Especially when their tales are worth hearing.” New Haven Advocate Paul Bass

Crossing the BLVD brims over with the energy, heart and spirit that went into creating this important work. A fitting tribute to the world it so lovingly documents.” Dave Isay documentary public radio artist, Story Corp founder, recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship

A Life In Books is a book-lover’s fictional treat of books that never were… Ultimately, this extraordinary book is about how the sadness of life is transformed into art. It is about survival, and how life requires constant adjustment, constant compromise, and the will to find the funny line at which you won’t compromise… As Whitman said, ‘I contain multitudes,’ and Bleu Mobley contains 101 books. Wonderful!” Bookworm Michael Silverblatt, KCRW

A Life In Books is a masterpiece of visual storytelling, boldly integrating illustration and typography into its engaging story.”  Largehearted Boy David Gutowski

A Life In Books is a tour de force of graphic design, illustration and writing.” Huffington Post Ken Carbone

“A blend of writing and design which extends to performance art… A Life in Books is a typographical and design tour de force.” Print Magazine Ellen Shapiro

 “Immigrant life in Queens, as told in the intimate, rich, comic, ironic and sad stories so often seen but not heard in America’s big cities… Archie Bunker doesn’t live here anymore — not in the Queens of Crossing the Blvd. The first-person narratives are engaging… The stories are so different, and yet many of the immigrants’ lives are so similar… What links them all is the desperation and desire that brought them here. As one immigrant says in Crossing the BLVD, ‘America can do without you, but you can’t do without America’.” The Washington Post Lynne Duke

 “Crossing the BLVD is a powerful social record… Most of the subjects live in Queens, but their stories resonate far beyond the borders of this multicultural New York borough. What often gets lost in the national debate on immigration is the human dimension, an understanding of the lives of those people who give up everything to come here. Crossing the BLVD lets them tell their stories… Extraordinary… a living work of art.” The New York Times Benjamin Genocchio

“With first-person accounts from 79 immigrants in Queens, the 400-page book [Crossing the BLVD] is an offbeat ethnic tour of one of the country’s most ethnically diverse counties. It does not point out trendy kebab palaces or obscure taco stands, but rather tells riveting stories about a new wave of immigrants to America… ” The New York Times Corey Kilgannon

Crossing the BLVD is a whirlwind tour and love poem of what has often been called the most racially and ethnically diverse county in America. In the tradition of the playwright Anna Deavere Smith, Ms. Sloan performs Crossing the BLVD adopting the personae (and respectfully mimicking the accents) of the varied immigrants whose stories are in the book…” The New York Times City Room Blog Sewell Chan

“This stunningly innovative book goes beyond pathos and into the kaleidoscope of experience that defines real immigrant life, in all of its complexity… In Crossing the BLVD, the words of New York’s immigrants soar, in print and in sound as well. Besides crafting a book, the authors have collaborated with composer Scott Johnson to produce a CD that jangles interviewees’ speech with music often played or sung by the immigrants themselves. The result is a bricolage of foreign accents, world melodies and flinty comment. It all sounds and reads like echoing subway stations and big newsstands where you don’t know all the languages but wish you did. Crossing the BLVD lets you listen and browse and understand.” City Limits Debbie Nathan

Crossing the BLVD collects the searing first-person stories of 79 Queens residents, recent immigrants from everywhere. Each profile is a collage of text and image, and the pages of this book frequently incorporate two or three narratives plus notes and bold photographs of the participants, their streetscapes, and iconic artifacts. The effect is dazzling but organic and appropriate; documentary artists Lehrer and Sloan have produced a collective oral history as vibrant as a live event. Strongly recommended for public and academic collections.” Library Journal Janet Ingraham Dwyer

Crossing the BLVD is a paradigmatic American studies text. It is an innovatively designed, beautiful, moving, funny, stimulating, horrifying, and illuminating book. The stories that Lehrer and Sloan have collected of migrants who came to the United States after the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act… remain tangibly alive in your memory… More than a book for American studies scholars or students, it is a pleasure to read — a book to be read for the sheer enjoyment of it.” American Quarterly Kirsten Swinth

Crossing the BLVD… has an immediacy and rich depth to it, reflecting the diversity of the most ethnically varied county in the country… Unlike other volumes about ethnic New York: It is not a guidebook to neighborhoods nor a sourcebook for ethnic shops and restaurants; rather, its focus is on immigrants’ lives… Designed by Lehrer, the book’s distinctive layout—with color photographs, visual artifacts and blocks of text in different sizes and typefaces, conveying different voices — has the feeling of an open conversation.” Jewish Week Sandee Brawarsky

“Judith Sloan is a welcome voice crying in the contemporary wilderness of political correctness. On-the-money satire seasoned with tolerance and joie de vivre.” Theater Week

“…Without a discernible grid, the typography [in French Fries] flows freely across the pages, intersperced with images and marks evoking the ambiance and mood of the situation. Except for the work of the French designer Robert Massin, I had never seen an approach to typography quite like this before… Somewhere between seeing the books of Edward Rusha and Warren Lehrer’s French Fries, I discovered that my options as a graphic designer had expanded by tenfold.” Emigre Magazine Rudy Vanderlans

“Lehrer is a 21st century oral history, new journalism mastermind. Studs Terkel in cyberspace. More visceral than most biographies, The Portrait Series is an extraordinary set of books.” City In Exile Matthew Finch

“An Oracle of the 21st Century Book… French Fries is one of the most fascinating books I have ever seen or read… The pages throb with energy and graphic vitality… French Fries proves that the book can be a movie, an existential feast, and a pastiche of literature and art…” AIGA Journal Phillip Meggs

A Tattle Tale is an important show, incredible research, very touching, often humorous. The story of a feisty woman, a wonderful play of social commitment and passion.” Democracy NOW Amy Goodman

“In a Herculean, intermissionless opus, Judith Sloan delivers a provocative dramatization of a whistle-blower’s attempts to expose police brutality and political corruption in Mississippi.” New York Law Journal

A Tattle Tale is a true and fascinating story about a cop breaking ranks against police brutality. Judith Sloan plays Gibbs as a friendly down-home gal who is a mix of bawdy, naive, street smart and funny..” New York Newsday

“Deputy Andrea Gibbs dared to break through the monkey order known as ‘the blue wall of silence’ by speaking out against the chronic brutal treatment of inmates in Mississippi prisons. A Tattle Tale brings to life her saga in Judith Sloan’s infectious solo performance. Co-written by Warren Lehrer in a folksy idiom that invites the audience to ‘come raid my refrigerator anytime,’ Sloan’s portrait reveals the unusual courage of a garden-variety conscience.” The Village Voice Charles McNulty

The visual identity and relations of elements in Warren Lehrer’s books are unmistakably his… Meaning moves forward and outward like soundwaves in a musical piece. His polysemiotic narratives offer the reader numerous possible readings by the nature of their internal formal presentations, as well as thematic interweaving of themes, characters, and points of view…” The Century of Artists’ Books Johanna Drucker

 “Warren Lehrer’s A Life in Books provides a profound reflection on narrative and the boundaries of truth and fiction, as well as on writing and the status of the book as a medium. It broadens the scope of authorship through expressive typography, as well as textually, through a very fluid, readable and witty writing style encompassing many genres, discourses, and invented genre.” Image [&] Narrative Kristof Van Gansen

“Life is a post-modern neo-fascist garbage dump and Sloan’s Denial of the Fittest determinedly rakes through the detritus. It is a highly articulate show… Judith Sloan is funny, intimate, sexy and very frightening…” The Stage Thom Dibdin (London)

Denial of the Fittest — A world view that sees comedy and tragedy as two bones of the same skeleton in the closet. Superb!” The Scotsman Sara O’Sullivan (London)

“Lehrer is adept at representing our multicultural society, which for him means not a sociological construct but the lives and struggles of real people. Like Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, and Ben Katchor, Lehrer participates in the search for fresh and innovative ways to show, as well as tell, his many stories. Astonishing.” The Brooklyn Rail Robert Berlind

“Warren Lehrer’s invented bibliography (A Life In Books) is a brilliant, ambitious, and compelling novel… A bold work of the imagination… I truly hope this audacious novel gets the attention it so richly deserves.” Fine Books & Collections Nicholas Basbanes (author of On Paper and A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books)

1001 Voices: a Symphony for a New America is a sprawling, mammoth multimedia work for orchestra, ethnic instruments, actors, visual projections, and a 190-piece choir. It celebrates the mix of languages and cultures found in Queens, and examines our changing ideas of migration and home… The mix of storytelling, music, and visuals unfolds poetically, and appeals to the diverse, sophisticated and hip audiences orchestras are trying to reach today.” Soundcheck, WNYC John Schaefer

“Animating the fight against globalization, Lehrer’s innovative video uses kinetic typography to illustrate the need to preserve local cultures.” Salon Michael Dooley

“Funny and sad, topical and biting… Exquisite comic timing, and best of all, Sloan can make you see your world in a slightly different way. And that’s what theater is supposed to do.” The Indianapolis Star Marion Gamel

“I’ve been working with refugees and immigrants as a cultural producer for twenty years, and Crossing the BLVD is simply the best project/book representing the real life experiences of immigrants in the new America.” James Bau Graves Director, Center for Cultural Exchange, author Cultural Democracy: the Arts, Community & the Public Purpose

“In listening to what people have to say, Judith Sloan captures the essence of their lives…She is one part Studs Terkel, one part Lily Tomlin, two-parts originality.” The Herald, Bloomington

“An ingenious first novel filled with over 100 provocative titles all written by Lehrer’s protagonist author who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and work, fictions and realities.” The New York Times Close Up Sam Roberts

“A book of stunning originality, tremendous visual flair and cinematic depth, Crossing the BLVD will forever change the way we think about our cities, our communities, our neighborhoods, our neighbors, and ultimately, our own backyards.” Alan Berliner filmmaker & media artist

“In the era of cookie-cutter books and rubber-stamped stories, Warren Lehrer’s A Life In Books is fresh, original, idiosyncratic, beautiful, and important.” Rabih Alameddine novelist and painter, author of Koolaids, The Perv, Hakawati, and I, the Divine

“An extraordinary attempt to document signs of migratory life, Crossing the BLVD undertakes the impossible task of telling the story of modern-day Queens while providing a window into the geopolitical and cultural history of the post-colonial world. It succeeds because it focuses on 79 powerful individual stories that deserve telling… This important, innovative book counters a prevailing trend toward oversimplification of American demographics and cultural history.” The Next American City Anika Singh

“A therapy of self in an era of hard-boiled reality. Sloan’s monologues demonstrate the capacity of words to bear their own freakish existence in colour and comedy. Ever accessible, a committed and persistent humorist who uses pathos as a mojo stick to make us laugh and think.” The List Edinburgh Ronan O’Connell

A Life In Books is a literary multimedia satirical romp through the last half century of publishing with all its conceits and marketing tricks from ‘Outsourcing Grandma’ to toilet paper poems and a childrens books on capital punishment ‘How Bad People Go Bye Bye.’ Wonderful!” 2013 Best Books Edgy Lit

“Unlike many books of oral stories which fall flat on the printed page, Brother Blue: a narrative portrait is so alive, so vibrant, that at times I was sure I was hearing the voice of this remarkable storyteller/philosopher… Absolutely Delightful!” The Bloomsbury Review Shanta Nurullah

“With The Portrait Series, Lehrer continues his pioneering work in ‘visual literature’ in which the look of the words on the page is as important as the words themselves.” Philadelphia City Paper David Warner

French Fries (1984) anticipates many of the design techniques later made possible by computer technology…. This high watermark in the preparation of art for offset printing pales in comparison to its design… The spatial syntax of this remarkable tour de force is complex, uninhibited, and unconstrained by the norms of page design.” Phillip Meggs/R.Craig Miller U.S. Design 1975-2000 American Craft Museum catalogue

“In the early 1980s, Warren Lehrer designed and set the text of a play he had co-written with Dennis Bernstein. The title of the play is French Fries, and its setting is a fast-food joint. The printed text is less a script than a typographic performance, full of drama, full of action, and every bit as garish as the setting may deserve—extending the tradition of typographic theater dating back to Russian printer and playwright Ilya Zdanevich’s 1923 typographic performance of his play Lidantyu Faram.” A Short History of the Printed Word Robert Bringhurst, Warren Chappell

 “[In] Crossing the BLVD, Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan tell of refugees fleeing distant wars and repression, undocumented laborers, asylum-seekers caught in mandatory detention, school teachers…They are new Americans, tossed together as neighbors, classmates, co-workers, enemies and friends. [Crossing] is about struggle and hope and transformation.” New York Newsday Donald Myers

“Warren Lehrer is witty, ingenious, sly, serious, a graphic wizard and literary innovator. His crazily ambitious illuminated novel uses art and artifice to test our assumptions about how life is supposed to be in modern America… So much more than a book, A Life In Books is an experience.” The Vision Thing Dan Bailes

“Behind the drab storefronts and nondescript homes that define the borough, Sloan and Lehrer discover a soulful place teaming with immigrants from Mexico to Australia whose stories unfold in a kaleidoscope of color…” CNN

“In A Life In Books, Lehrer has kneaded together a memoir, interviews that he ‘conducted’ with his (faux) author protagonist, and a retrospective survey of the author’s 101 books, into one of the most exciting (auto-)biographical novels in recent years… In A Life In Books he has created and developed a total literary life, embedding book covers, select page interiors, reviews and letters—into the text, with unbelievable care.” András Váradi Élet és Irodalom (weekly Hungarian literary and political magazine)

Featured as a “Global Hit” “An incredible and moving story… Sloan and Lehrer spent three years talking to immigrants and refugees in Queens, traveling the world, in a sense, while never leaving their backyard… a place where new immigrants from every corner of the globe come to start their lives in America. The result is a unique multi-media project. Oral History with a twist!” The World, PRI/BBC Marco Werman

“The tastiest book this season and for seasons to come, French Fries, Warren Lehrer’s latest tour de force is a remarkable accomplishment. Each page becomes theater and you are the voyeur…” Judith Hoffberg High Performance Magazine

“The immigrant experience in New York is one of the most important stories in the city right now, and Lehrer and Sloan have made it their beat. What’s amazing about them is they’ve been working with these people a long time. It’s not that they spend a few hours with these immigrants eliciting quotes. It’s clear that they know them as people, as complex individuals. That’s the way it should be done.” Dean Olsher Executive Producer, PRI’s The Next Big Thing

“I have never seen a book like this. [Crossing the BLVD is] a remarkably beautiful, lovingly put together example of bottom-up journalism.” Amy Goodman Anchor and Executive Producer Democracy Now!

“I’ve been interviewing authors and doing books for 24 years, and I can tell you Crossing the BLVD is one of the best books I’ve ever read! It’s so innovative, so rich, so fabulous. The book is beautifully designed. It’s like a work of performance art. Thank you, thank you, thank you [Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan] for putting this book into the world and giving a voice to these people. ” The Faith Middleton Show Faith Middleton Connecticut Public Radio

“A fascinating book about new immigrants in America. Filled with vivid descriptions and very human stories of remarkable and extraordinary people. Crossing the BLVD is a whole post-graduate education in so many different cultures and world events. Not only does it show that these are real human beings with real needs and conflicts.. but they are people who play an integral role in the American economy and in American society… The BLVD is a metaphor for making it in America. Great to see, when a publisher gets it right!” KQED Michael Krasney

“Lehrer/Sloan’s fascinating book offers unique insights into the rich and combustible cauldron of cultures and ethnicities in the most diverse corner of America — the Borough of Queens, New York. Crossing reveals the impact of changes in immigration law through the oral histories of asylum seekers caught in mandatory detention, refugees fleeing war and persecution, and those pushed out of their countries struggling to re-create their lives. The significance of this extraordinary volume is that, ready or not, it provides a glimpse of the new America which is emerging.” Ron Daniels Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights

 “Each book in The Portrait Series is a vibrant visual and narrative biography of an eccentric, prismatic and resilient personality… Riveting! Lehrer defies categorization.” Gannet Newspapers Linda Kaplan Wagner

 Crossing the BLVD brings alive the most polyglot place on the planet. One moment I am in the tiny one-bedroom of Bhutanese exiles, the next in the taxi of a philosopher-poet from Bombay, then with Renata the table tennis champ from the Czech National Team. An outstanding book on the new New York!” John Kuo Wei Tchen, historian, NYU/Museum of Chinese in the Americas, author The Yellow Peril

“A new album that uses real-life stories as a starting point for meaningful music: Crossing the BLVD by Warren Lehrer, Judith Sloan and Scott Johnson is a rich, varied listening experience, a demonstration of the way you can explore the world without leaving home. BLVD emphasises the rhythmic musicality of everyday speech… you hear laughter, sorrow and many moving tales of hardship, flight, splintered families and the difficulties of assimilation… Extravagantly artful, complex, and exhilarating… The book is a turbo-driven eye-witness guide with riveting first-person testimonies.” The Guardian John L Walters

Crossing the BLVD is a book, a CD, a website, a photography exhibit, a series of radio programs, and a live reading performance by the project creators, Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan. The book and CD is more evocative and provocative than any instructional video I’ve seen and far less expensive. It serves as a model for what you could do in your community, organization or institution.” Managing Diversity Magazine Harris Sussman

Crossing the BLVD is a montage of colorful photos and astonishing first-person narratives of people who hail from every imaginable point on the globe… Their stories are spellbinding and the art is captivating. Although not an “art book,” BLVD is a work of art — a unique contribution to both art and literature… The book has special interest to those of us in health care because recent immigrants bring special problems to medical practice… (How often is a question about torture part of our Review of Systems?) A book like BLVD can help us meet the needs of this special population by using both creativity and compassion.” The Permanente Journal Dr. Eric Schuman

French Fries’ active and colorful pages are a triumph…. How much of what is audible can be made visible? This book asks and shows us how to push our habitual limits… and stretch our literacy.” Fine Print Betsy Davids

“The arrival of the first set of Warren Lehrer’s Portrait Series is something of an event… echoes of Henry Miller… vivid evocations of family life and history. Absolutely defining and unmistakable.” JAB (Journal of Artists’ Books) Paul Zelevansky

 “One of the most engaging photography shows to visit Rochester in years… Both book and exhibition are an innovative patchwork of photo portraits, startling life histories and flamboyant layouts… From 1999 to 2002, they [Lehrer and Sloan] toured a world in miniature exploring their own borough’s housing projects, schools and community centers. They found political refugees who survived torture, a Nigerian prophetess ordered by God to visit America, and a philosophical Hindu driver who made his taxi a sacred space — among other remarkable stories.” Democrat and Chronicle Stuart Low

“[Crossing the BLVD is] a multi-media installation of photography, text, and sounds is an exemplary exhibition that combines [Cindy] Shermanesque New York street-smarts with the compassionate, humanist universalism of an Andre Kertez or David Seymour… The experience is more akin to watching a movie, because the narratives take time to unfold, and there is an inherent drama in the real life personal accounts… Crossing the BLVD offers an object lesson in the new aesthetic—how it looks, how it generates its meanings—as well as a window on the lives of people who, mostly unnoticed by the rest of us, are steadily enlarging the concept of what it means to be an American.” The Baltimore Sun Glenn McNatt

“The [Crossing the BLVD] exhibit is full of stories of heartbreak and hope, told by immigrants in their own words through text and audio, accompanied by bold, color portraits taken by Lehrer… When you cross the BLVD, you’ll meet men who left their families behind for their beliefs and lawyers who now deliver food. You’ll hear prayer and song, words and wisdom. You’ll see an Egyptian man who spent seven years turning his restaurant into a mosaic-encrusted work of art. You’ll meet a woman from Tajikistan so renowned for her dancing that her image was woven into tapestries, printed on posters and glazed on ceramic urns and plates. She now runs a dance studio that can only be accessed through a subway station… An unbelievable journey…” Bangor Daily News Kristen Andresen

Crossing the BLVD is spectacular in its commitment to documenting the artists’ exploration of their own neighborhood… with exquisitely detailed portraits of the people who live around them… The experience of wandering through this exhibit was astonishingly rich. Of the highest technical quality, it can also be so intimate it almost has a smell. The artistic expertise displayed in the deft oral-history gathering, the jewel-like photography and the immaculate sound work can lead directly to a tender familiarity with each of the people wrapped in the heart of this work… One imagines that Queens is now full of celebrities thanks to Lehrer and Sloan.” commmunityarts.net Linda Frye Burnham

 “The indefatigable hero of Warren Lehrer’s hilarious tour de force, has created 101 books of all shapes, subjects, and genres. Mobley is as complex and idiosyncratic as the range of books he has made, and Lehrer’s extraordinary design reflects his hero’s colorful complexity.” JAB (Journal of Book Arts)

“Perhaps the biggest leap came (in my life as a book collector) when attracted by a four line description in a catalogue, I ordered a copy of Dennis Bernstein’s and Warren Lehrer’s FRENCH FRIES)… Never had I seen a book like it, nor have I since… Each page is a riot of homespun wisdom and raucous exchanges, overlapping life’s daily events… FRENCH FRIES has also been my wisest investment, as I have watched the book increase tenfold in value…” Bookworks Rose M. Glennon

“In Lehrer’s and Sloan’s Crossing the BLVD, the role of oral narratives defy the caricature of migrant ethnicity perpetuated in popular culture… Lehrer and Sloan juxtapose the lived complexity of the New York neighborhood of Queens: the ways in which various (new and old) immigrant communities coexist, and how they encounter the “mainstream” and vice versa… The IntraNation Project Mita Banerjee, PhD, Emily Carr Institute

 “An entertaining and provocative work that combines text and graphic art in a fascinating way. Page after page you encounter cover designs invented by Lehrer, along with text that uses at least 60 different typefaces. You can read Lehrer’s book in different ways—I kept going back and forth between the stories within the stories of Bleu Mobley’s work and his confessional. Marvelous!” The Hindu (one of India’s largest daily newspapers) Pradeep Sebastian

 “The Search For IT and Other Pronouns is a brilliant, fantastic work. Absolutely riveting!” KPFA Charles Amirkhanian

Crossing the BLVD is a love poem to our diversity. Celebrated emblems of hard work and innovation, anthropological artists’ Lehrer and Sloan compiled these stories from across the globe right here on Queens BLVD and by extension, through the rest of the city. The stories are so compelling, it brings tears to your eyes at points. You will hear yourself somewhere, sooner or later in here.” Wake Up Call, WBAI Robert Knight

Versations is one of the most brilliantly conceived and executed books of the past decade…” Pharos Mathew Jennett

 Versations resounds, echoes, and repeats in loud and soft — You almost cannot ever be the same once you’ve touched, felt and sensed this book… It touches, it should be touched.”  Umbrella Judith Hoffberg