Odds & Ends

St. Louis Small Press Expo – 2019

Just came across this video from the 2019 Saint Louis Small Press Expo (I was an organizer)–the last one that ran before the pandemic–and I’m hoping that the festival can return to its former glory soon:

the Fierce Bad Rabbit

While unpacking my art supplies after moving earlier this summer, I came across these sketches I drew after the Fierce Bad Rabbit died in winter 2021. R.I.P. little baddit.

He was named after Beatrix Potter’s “The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit.”

first try at cloth covers

I was looking through my art supplies (or should I say scrap heap?) and decided that I had just enough materials to do an experiment in building a cloth-covered blank book. It’s a bit wonky…but I learned things? (the inside image is part of a collage of mushroom photos I made a few years back that was the right size for this page)

celestial navigation at the North House Folk School

A quick shoutout to the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN. They’re a nonprofit that supports traditional crafts and skills and I was able to take their celestial navigation course earlier this month with the help of a scholarship. I just found the photo of me (above) in their new winter course catalog (I’m holding a sextant to practice taking sights of the sun). And here are some pictures of Lake Superior from near the North House:

small letters press

Small Letters Press (a collaboration with Marika Josephson) is finally up and running, including an online shop for our projects. Marika’s “The Aromatic Wild Herbs and Spices of the Midwest” has already sold out its first edition of 250–but we’re considering a second run and will stay in touch.

What is Small Letters Press?

Small Letters Press is an independent publisher of literary writing, curated, edited, and assembled by hand by Rachel Linn and Marika Josephson. Our projects are carefully designed to amplify meaning through the formal qualities of the work: illustrations, book layout and construction, or the printing process. Each work is a small world unto itself, an intimate message from the author to the reader.

We publish innovative short poems and prose, as well as philosophical and cultural commentary. We are not currently accepting submissions.

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.