Odds & Ends

Printery Book Arts Lab Residency

In December 2020, I completed a residency at the Printery Book Arts Lab (housed by Central Print). Here’s a brief description of my project (this is also printed on the sleeve):

The Brut is a 16,069-line mythical history of England translated and revised from Latin and French nearly one thousand years ago by someone named Layamon. There are two surviving handwritten copies of the Brut poem–one severely damaged by fire. Like most stories, the Brut is highly unstable and there is no true original. In this edition, two scenes from Frederic Madden’s 1847 transcriptions of the manuscripts appear alongside a modern translation. A lot can happen in 16,096 lines. There is room for recurrence–for a hero to become a scather and to be scathed in return. These fragments reveal the poem’s echoing violence and the moral complexity of King Arthur.

RECTO: Arthur and his knights hear report of a brutal killer. Shortly after, they dismember him.

VERSO: Arthur dreams about the violent end of his reign. Most of his dreams come true.

I created a modern translation of these sections of the poem and then printed them on a Vandercook press. The following images are sort of like a time-lapse of my project:

The Printery Book Arts Lab
The 1847 transcriptions & translations of the two Layamon’s Brut manuscripts.
14 pt Cloister Black typeface
Setting type.
Proofing prints.
Setting up for the final prints.
Vandercook Press
Nearly final prints.
Final print (front and back visible) with embroidered illustration.
Embroidery detail.
Final assembled project.

Metrolines poem

Due to the snow flurries in St. Louis this morning, I rode the bus (#70) instead of my bike and finally saw my poem!

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news & updates



Meekling Press is raising money for their next year or so of book releases (including mine, Household Tales). Please preorder books or just send them some $$ so that they can keep doing what they do: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/meekling-press-2019-2020-season–2/#/



Marika Josephson and I are working on our Small Letters Press site and will have our most recent collaborative project up for sale soon.

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We’ve created two anthologies of writing by women:

From well-known authors whose greater body of work or poetry have disappeared, to women who were prolific in their day but are virtually unknown today, to those whose work simply never became part of the literary canon. These first two thematic collections gather poetry and short prose from half a dozen writers from the nineteenth century and earlier, whose work when seen together creates a rich dialogue of ideas. 



Also, I was interviewed a couple of times over the summer by St. Louis Magazine about the St. Louis Small Press Expo:

Speaking of which, around 1,200 attended the St. Louis Small Press Expo this year – thanks to everyone who made it possible!



 

Bracken Anthology release

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Bracken has released its first print anthology (including a short piece of fiction that I wrote and illustrated). The strange cloud formations on the night of the release party were perfectly suited to the journal’s magical realism.

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letterpress printing at the St. Louis Public Library

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My tiny portable press is on loan to the St. Louis Public Library’s Central Library for a hands-on activity I helped develop for their current exhibit, Print to Pixels: How Words Changed the World (on display through June 2nd).

Library patrons can print their own ex libris bookplates using polymer letterpress plates created by Boxcar Press (based on original metal plates designed by Jacob Elshin). Thanks to the librarians for being more than willing to learn how to use the press and make space/time for this activity – and to my dad for finding the Elshin plates in the first place.

small books

Below are book versions of some of my previously published writing…


Here’s an illustrated, hand-printed/sewn edition of “Anchor”.  A slightly different version of this creative nonfiction piece appeared in Pacifica Literary Review.  Rebecca Elliot of Meekling Press did an amazing job of printing these books on her 100+ year old letterpress.

 

 

 


And here’s a book version (printed on cardstock, with hand sewn bindings) of an illustrated short fiction piece that originally appeared in Bracken: