"In Hard Ground, [Michael] O'Brien joins with renowned singer-songwriter Tom Waits, described by the New York Times as "the poet of outcasts," to create a portrait of homelessness that impels us to look into the eyes of people who live "on the hard ground" and recognize our common humanity.
For Waits, who has spent decades writing about outsiders, this subject is familiar territory. Combining their formidable talents in photography and poetry, O'Brien and Waits have crafted a work in the spirit of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, in which James Agee's text and Walker Evans's photographs were "coequal, mutually independent, and fully collaborative" elements. Letting words and images communicate on their own terms, rather than merely illustrate each other, Hard Ground transcends documentary and presents independent, yet powerfully complementary views of the trials of homelessness and the resilience of people who survive on the streets."
UPDATE (Nov. 24): The Guardian and NME have both picked up on this news via Twentyfourbit.com, which nicely refers to my blog).
ANTI- talks about 'the haunting and impassioned poetry of Tom Waits' and also mentions Michael O'Brien's is the photographer who shot the Glitter and Doom Livealbum cover.
And the University of Texas Press has put some info - including a couple of pictures - about the book on line as well. They have also confirmed the book will be published in March 2011. Their site puts the price at $40 for the hard cover edition (184 pages), but with a 33% website discount it will only put you back $26.80 (which is roughly the same as the $26.40 Amazon charges).