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Buttonhook Press 2022 Pamphlet Series

Haiku by Adjei Agyei-Baah
Fine Art Photography by Jerome Berglund

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High Fashion
Poetry and Art: A Collaboration

Copyright © 2022 by BUTTONHOOK PRESS
An imprint of OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L)

All rights reserved equally on behalf of OJAL Art Incorporated, O:JA&L/BHP, Adjei Agyei-Baah, and Jerome Berglund.

No part of this pamphlet may be reproduced by any means without the expressed written permission of the publisher, writer, and photographer.
OJAL Art Incorporated, publishing since 2017 as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprint Buttonhook Press, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation registered in California.

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About the writer:
Adjei Agyei-Baah is the author of Afriku (Red Moon Press, 2016), Ghana,21 Haiku (Mamba Africa Press, 2017), Piece of My Fart (2018), Finding the Other Door (2021), Scaring Crow, a chapbook of haiku (Buttonhook Press, 2022), and Mamelon a Mamelon (Edition Unicite, 2021). His coedited/co-authored books include The Awakened One: Buddha-Themed-Haiku From Around The World (Poetry Chaikhana,2021) and Trio of Windows (JUNPA,2018). Adjei is the primary author of the four Haikupedia articles about African haiku. He is the co-founder of Africa Haiku Network and The Mamba (Africa’s premiere haiku journal). He teaches English and Literature at the University of Ghana’s School of Continuing and Distance Education and is currently pursuing his PhD studies at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.

About the Photographer:
Jerome Berglund graduated from the cinema-television production program  at the University of Southern California and has much of his career working in television and photography. His work has been featured in many prominent journals and has graced the cover of Pacific Review. Berglund’s pictures have further been published and awarded in local papers. In 2019 he staged an exhibition in the Twin Cities area, which included a months-long residency at a local community center. A selection of his black-and-white fine art photographs was showcased at the Pause Gallery in New York, and a selection of his fashion photography is currently on display at the BG Gallery in Santa Monica, California.

About the images:
These poems within do not describe the photos with which they are paired and are in no way meant to besmirch, malign, or scandalize the wonderful talent whose images I am elated to share with you here.

World renowned haiku poet Adjei Agyei-Baah suggested this project as an opportunity to exhibit some of my favorite fine art fashion photographs from a portfolio of work encompassing nearly two decades of amateur dabbling.

Agyei-Baah provided his provocative, tempestuous verses as a jumping off point, challenging me to search my archives for striking images which might complement, vibe to, contrast, or in different ways interestingly pair with his fascinating poetic material.

But rest assured and please let no reader be confused or misguided into thinking the bridesmaid, bosom, navel, cleavage, prostitute, aged model, kiss, and other risqué content referenced in the text bears any literal or historical relation to those posing or to their photographer. I assure you all copy was written by an extraordinary scholar, teacher, and icon in Ghana, who had not set eyes on my photos and who has no knowledge of details regarding my shooting process.

These stills were all taken in test shoots—“time for print” collaborations as they are called in the industry.  In lieu of compensation for my time in the field, equipment use, and post-production work, I received permission to utilize the resulting images [as have the models, who were furnished with copies for marketing and other (hopefully) revenue generating applications] for whatever promotional or commercial purposes I desired, as is the standard boilerplate way those things work.

Most of these shots were taken five to fifteen years ago, and the subjects are almost entirely persons I met fleetingly in passing once for an hour or so. I have lost their contact information and with a few exceptions, I can’t recall their names, but of the pictures we made together I’m exceedingly proud, and per written and verbal agreements there should be no issue with likenesses, reproduction, and responsible usage here.

But again Agyei-Baah’s poems and my photographs bear no direct relation to each other and are juxtaposed here respectfully, with great appreciation to the talent, classiness, and sterling characters of the generous persons whom you’ll see were so stupendously photogenic that we managed to catch lightning in a bottle for a few ephemeral frames once upon a time.

I’ve probably done a hundred mock fashion-themed sessions of this variety to practice camerawork, lighting, or retouching, to gain proficiency with new equipment, and just to improve my overall photographic chops.

Out of all those images, these are ten of the best snaps I’ve managed.


Jerome Berglund

OJAL Art Incorporated, publishing since 2017 as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprint Buttonhook Press, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporationsupporting writers and artists worldwide.

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