2014 Fine Press Trailers!

2014 promises to be an exciting year for collectors of books from todays fine press publishers. Much is in the works, as you will see below! As always, I encourage you to keep an eye on the great work these presses (and others) do in keeping alive the art and craft of finely published books and to support them, whenever possible, by purchasing their work! All of the below, and any updated fine press news on 2014 as it comes in, will be added to Books and Vines News, so it will be useful for you to check out the News page every so often.

{Ed. Note: Any presses that are not represented here, if you have 2014 and beyond plans you would like me to highlight, please contact me.}

Arion Press

The publishing year is starting to come into focus, and is very exciting. As the 100th book from the press, Arion will be publishing Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman, hand-set, the text of the 1855 first edition, introduced by the always fantastic Helen Vendler. Those who collect fine press works know that one of the all-time great American fine press works is the Edwin & Robert Grabhorn edition of Leaves of Grass, printed in 1930 for Random House. As many of you may know, Andrew Hoyem formed Grabhorn-Hoyem in partnership with Robert Grabhorn in 1966, the surviving half of the Grabhorn Press. After Grabhorn’s death in 1973, Hoyem reformed the company as the Arion Press. There is no more apropos work than Leaves of Grass for Mr. Hoyem to choose for his 100th publication, both as a nod to the pinnacle of the Grabhorn’s achievement and in recognition of the great work Arion itself has long accomplished.

A huge congratulations to Mr. Hoyem and all at Arion Press. 100 publications is an amazing accomplishment in this day and age, especially at the quality level and influence level that Arion Press maintains. Arion Press itself will celebrate the 100 mark with a 2014 publication of a Bibliography of the first one hundred publications of Arion Press. This will surely be a must have edition for all Arion Press collectors, as well as those with interest in the history of fine press books in America. I am greatly looking forward to it!

Also planned for 2014 is a collection of poetry by Pulitzer Prize winner Jorie Graham with prints by Julian Lethbridge. This will also be edited by Helen Vendler. This will be another instance of Arion opening my eyes to a poet and work that I have not been exposed to before. Ms. Graham is certainly very well accomplished (she was the first woman to be appointed as Boylston Professor at Harvard, replacing the great Seamus Heaney; she served as chancellor of the Academy of American Poets; and, as mentioned, is a Pulitzer Prize winner).  Mr. Lethbridge’s art has been widely exhibited throughout the United States and Europe and can be found in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), The Tate Gallery (London), The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago), and The National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.). I am looking forward to this work, a modern poet and a modern artist, nicely matched.

In 2015, Arion Press will be publishing Lulu, Frank Wedekind‘s expressionistic drama, the basis for Alban Berg‘s libretto for the opera, with prints by William Kentridge.

Barbarian Press

Barbarian Press is currently working on Endgrain Editions 4: Simon Brett — an Engraver’s Progress. This will be arranged in seven thematic sections comprising more than 120 engravings, all printed from the wood, and seven are double page openings. A frontispiece has been commissioned, of which a numbered and signed print in a separate portfolio will accompany each of the deluxe copies.  Mr. Brett is also designing a pattern block for the binding papers. In addition to the engravings, there will be an introduction by the artist, a publisher’s forward, a note on the printing, a chronological catalogue of all Simon Brett’s engravings from 1961 to 2013, and a bibliographical checklist of books, articles, and reviews by Simon Brett and about him, including catalogues associated with exhibitions. This will be a small folio of approximately 250 pages, with a page size of 10.5″ x 13.5″.  The types will be Joanna & Joanna italic, with Fry’s Ornamented for display, on Zerkall Cream for the text, and Zerkall White Smooth for the engravings.  There will be 100 copies of a regular state, bound in quarter cloth with patterned paper over boards; and a deluxe made up of 50 copies in quarter leather with patterned paper and slipcased with a portfolio containing a signed and numbered proof of the commissioned frontispiece.

Later in the year, the Press will publish The Ingoldsby Legends: A Gallimaufry.  This includes eight poems from R.H. Barham‘s Ingoldsby Legends, illustrated with eight unpublished Victorian wood engravings by the Dalziel brothers. The book will also include an afterword discussing Barham and The Ingoldsby Legends, with a note on Victorian trade engraving. The book will be a broad quarto of approximately 160 pages, with a page size of 7.5″ x 9″. The types will be Poliphilus and Blado, some some original Victorian initials “judiciously salted in.” The paper will be mould-made Heine, with the engravings printed on Zerkall Cream Smooth and tipped in. A regular version will be quarter bound in cloth with patterned paper over boards; and a deluxe in quarter leather with a patterned paper, slipcased with a portfolio containing proofs of all eight of the pictorial blocks, plus the titling block, which is too large to be used in the book.

Beyond Ingoldsby, comes Bordering on the Sublime: Ornamental Typography at the Curwen Press. This will see a printing of  100 two color borders Barbarian Press purchased from the Curwen Press as it was disbanding, with texts by David Jury on Curwen’s place in the typographical milieu of Europe between the wars and Crispin Elsted on the history of the press, its style, and its trademark use of borders and ornaments. There will be an index to the ornaments in each border, a bibliography of books on type ornaments, and related appendices.  It will be illustrated with photographs. Folio size. Hand-set in 16 point Bembo and Fairbanks. Lastly, The Splendour of a Morning, from C.P. Cavafy, which includes 37 poems translated by David Smulders, with engravings by Peter Lazarov. More information as it becomes available.

In early planning stages, likely for 2015/2016/2017 are Eric Bergman: Canadian Wood Engraver & Woodcut Printmaker which will include nearly 100 images with more than a dozen color woodcuts; Selected Poems of Molly Holden; and Ovid‘s Metamorphoses, folio in two volumes, using the 1567 Elizabethan translation by Arthur Golding, lavishly illustrated with wood engravings by Peter Lazarov.

It is well worth mentioning that Crispin and Jan Elsted have been asked to be the printers in residence at the Gaspereau Press Wayzgoose in Wolfville, Nova Scotia this coming fall (October 25, 2014). They are greatly looking forward to that!

Deep Wood Press

Coming very soon, The Mad Angler Poems. The expanded classic poems by Michael Delp, 12 new poems are added to make 25 great works in this collection with an introduction by Jack Driscoll. Illustrated with wood engravings by Chad Pastotnik. This will be followed by A Collection of Short Stories by Oscar Wilde. The focus will be on classic tales of love and sacrifice. There will be 4 short stories included in this collection. Illustrated with intaglio prints by Chad Pastotnik. After that, look for Michigan Trout Stamps. Once upon a time beautiful little portraits and scenes were submitted by artists to be then juried and selected as the official stamp one was issued for trout and salmon licences in Michigan. Sadly, that practice was ended in favor of a printed out piece of plastic as a side note on our “all species” licences now. Never fear, in cooperation with the State of Michigan Archives these little works of art will seek a new audience in the pages of this new book. They will also be available by the State Archives as beverage coasters and greeting cards. The essay is in hand and composition has begun and Mr. Pastotnik has been in contact with many of the latter year winners of the competition.

Recently released is Saturnalia, by H.P. Lovecraft, regarding a holiday for the Feast of Saturn in ancient Rome which traditionally begins around December 15th. This is beautiful bit of verse suitable for the holidays or any time of year and a very nice example of Howard Phillip Lovecraft’s early poetry. Handset in 14pt Freehand type with Menu Shaded on the title page and printed on Hahnemühle Schiller paper from Germany. Original collagraph image and border design by Chad Pastotnik. Pamphlet stitched with 450gsm (heavy) Twinrocker Micah Rose covers, a heavy Arches Black spine, printed washi eastern pattern flyleaves and silver foil stamped title on the cover. 6 pages, 4 3/4 x 5 1/2 inches. Signed by Chad Pastotnik.

Also recently available is The Path, by Sigrid Christiansen, with four multi color linoleum cuts by Chad Pastotnik. “A lovely tune found in the Michigan north woods around a camp fire which begged to become a book.” The text is hand set ATF Freehand type with Lydian Bold titling and is printed on Hahnemühle Schiller paper with an inteleaf of Japanese Lace Leaf paper. The book is sewn on straps of Iowa PC4G and bound into custom made Paperworks Studio “Dark Roast” paper. The book includes a “download card” from cdbaby so that you can enjoy the story audibly as well with a new special recording of The Path performed by Sigrid. There are an additional 3 books printed on some vintage Fabriano Umbria cream stock which will become presentation binding. Fifteen books are reserved for a deluxe edition. The books center spread features a 6 color linoleum cut and the title page sports a 4 color cut. Edition of 100 books, signed and numbered by the author and Chad Pastotnik, 16 pages, 6 1/8 x 5 7/8″.

Also, look for news soon on a new letterpress literary journal that Mr. Pastitnik will be driving. It will be biannual with an overall nature motif; also each issue will have a theme with the first issue centered around “creation stories”. There are some literary heavy hitters already on board — soon to be announced and an editing staff is in place. It will be letterpress printed and include original artwork from wood engravings and linocuts. It will be open to all writing – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and short stories that might work in a serialized format.

Fleece Press, The

Simon Lawrence has two substantial books coming along. The first, Sensuous Lines, A Catalogue Raisonne of the intaglio prints of John Buckland Wright, by his son Christopher, which is 296 pages long with over 400 images, due April. It has a most stunning binding employing a marbled paper of extreme skill! Very soon after this, Mr. Lawrence will release Edward Walters, wood engraver and printer, a bibliography by John Gray, with reminiscences of him as father and schoolmaster by Tom Walters and Richard Russell. The book is letterpress with over 50 engravings printed from the wood, with a large number of other reproduced works in colour. Due April-May. See here for more information on both books. Note that all of the ‘C’ copies of Sensuous Lines are fully subscribed now, so hurry up!

Foolscap Press

I am particularly excited about upcoming works from Foolscap Press, since I love classics especially when masterfully designed, which Foolscap will certainly accomplish. Lawrence Van Velzer and Peggy Gotthold are working on The Fisherman and the Demon from the Arabian Nights. This book will have a panorama of drawings which will have color added by pochoir and sketches that artist Brian Bowes is working on now. The binding hasn’t been worked out yet, but will be! This will be followed by Thomas More‘s Utopia, printed on hand-made paper. The binding has been designed and the ‘special contents’ are currently being planned. More information as it becomes available.

Hand & Eye Letterpress

The Press just published Fugitive Lyrics, a new book or poems inspired by the Mapp & Lucia books of E.F. Benson, interpreted and illustrated by Ian Beck. Those interested should contact Phil Abel here.  Look for a review in the coming months on Books and Vines.

Incline Press

Graham Moss has a busy year ahead, as always! Look for Randall Davies: Books of Nonsense coming reasonably early in the year. This reprints all the limericks with their ancient wood cuts from the three editions, and starts with a newly written introduction by Dr Paul W Nash of the Bodleian Library, Oxford. In it he gives the details of the editions and and account of  the author and of Philip Sainsbury, printer and publisher under the Cayme Press imprint, one of the more important minor private presses of the pre-1929 private press movement. The prospectus is available on request, and of course the pre-publication discount will be available until publication, probably mid-March so plenty time to request a copy by post.

Randall Davies will be followed by Layers of Concord. This is a new text by Carole George. She bought a plot of land in Virginia, overgrown and almost completely surrounded by a meandering stream, cleared it of undergrowth and created a landscape garden based on classical French design. The introduction is by Reuben M. Rainey, former chair of the Department of Landscape Studies at the University of Virginia; the frontispiece map of the garden has been drawn by Abigail Rorer who has also cut a cartouche to head each of the ten chapters. This will be Incline’s first book to be illustrated with photographs, taken by Eduardo Galliani and to be printed by Adrian Lack of the Senecio Press. It is a large book, about 15 by 10 inches, which will be printed on Magnani paper with 16pt Centaur type in an edition of 200 copies. It will be hand bound, slip-cased, and covered with a special marbled paper commissioned from Jemma Lewis.

When in Doubt, Wash is a book on the naming of cats by David Blamires, who has written two books previously for Incline Press, The Books of Jonah which is out of print, and last years celebration of the Brothers Grimm. When in Doubt, Wash is illustrated with six full-page wood engravings by Chris Daunt, each showing a distinctive breed of cat. This rounds up Incline’s series of books of cat poems, and will include a few of the poems of named cats that are referred to in the text.

This will be followed by A Bread-and Cheese Bookseller, as dictated by James Weatherley, a Manchester used-book dealer of the first half of the nineteenth century. Previously unpublished, the manuscript, probably dictated to his daughter as he was barely literate, is an amazing view of the difficulties of life at the low end of the book trade in a time when little was recorded by the participants. The nature of the text provides a few challenges – there is no punctuation in the manuscript, merely longer spaces where Weatherley drew breath, and as he dictated the story in strict chronological order so years replace pagination, both on the page and in the index. It will be printed in two colours, illustrated on each facing page with a pictorial reference from the facing text using pictures that have either not been published before or not been seen since their first publication. The introduction is by Terry Wyke OBE of Manchester Metropolitan University, and Dr Michael Powell, Librarian of Chetham’s Library where the original manuscript is held.

Graham Moss is also planning a number of smaller books that ought to come out this year as well – a sharp story told around the work of a printing-shop in the 1950s, that delightful time when provincial letterpress book printing reached its apogee, written and illustrated with cuts by John R Smith; and a learned text by Professor Laura Moretti on the earliest Japanese chapbook which was printed totally from wood cuts. The Incline Press edition will include a hand-coloured facsimile, each page overlaid with an English translation printed on tissue so it can be seen and read as intended. Some of these may slip into 2015, which in understandable when we see how much Mr. Moss is working on!

Nawakum Press

Nawakum Press has some exciting works planned for the next couple years. In 2014, look for LOOM, a poetical exploration by poet and hand press printer Alan Loney with sixteen wood engravings by artist Richard Wagener, whose companion piece Sierra Nevada Suite was just published by The Book Club of California. The edition will debut at the Codex Australia Book Fair in Melbourne in March 2014. For 2015 the Press is at work on Part One of Hermann Hesse’s novella Siddhartha. The edition will be in artists’ book format, taking inspiration from Buddhist palm leaf prayer books.  Berkeley artist Keith Cranmer will be creating chine colle etchings for the edition.

Old School Press, The

Newly published and available from the Press are:

The Colours of Rome, written and illustrated by John Sutcliffe. To illustrate the essay John made several trips to Rome, returning finally with twenty sheets of colours copied directly from the buildings themselves. His carefully chosen selection is designed to demonstrate the diversity of the palette and also to draw together two very different strands of tradition that have created the appearance of the streets of Rome today. Each of the twenty colours is illustrated with a large painted patch applied directly onto its own sheet of Magnani wove using water-based paints. These sheets are loose in a wallet within the cased sleeve that holds the book, thus making it possible for the reader to explore the colours in different combinations just as they appear in Rome. A swatch card of chips of the twenty colours is also included in the wallet. The text is printed in 14pt Dante on a large page of Magnani hand-made laid paper, with headings printed from wood-letter. The book is bound in full cloth and is protected by the sleeve inside which the wallet of paint patches is attached. In addition to the standard edition of ninety-nine copies there are twenty-five de luxe copies that take the form of a solander box containing, as well as the standard edition book, bottled samples of nine of the most important pigments, mostly earths, in powdered form. The Book is about 12.75 inches by 9.25 inches.

Stockholm Reflections, with images by Leslie Gerry. The eleven images occupy a landscape sheet 370mm tall by 560mm wide (that’s about 14.5 inches by 22 inches) and they are compiled as a concertina-fold book, with a further illustration on the title page and two more on the front and back covers of the book. Mr. Gerry’s illustrations are very much his personal response to the beauty of the place, to the colour and vibrancy imparted by the boats, the buildings, the sky and the water. To accompany the images we have printed extracts from travel books from as early as 1720. Putting letterpress text together with giclée digital images is becoming “quite a habit”  at The Old School Press. Martyn Ould remarks that the two techniques are unrivalled for quality and he has no doubt that Caxton would have preferred giclée to woodcuts if he could have! So once again, expect clean letterpress from freshly-cast type combined with brilliantly rendered colour in a novel binding. he text occupies an eight-page section printed by letterpress on a pale-blue hand-made paper from the Velké Losiny mill in the Czech Republic. The choice of typeface is also new departure for The Old School Press: Eric Gill’s Joanna in the 14pt size, with headings in variations of Gill Sans. The book’s binding is quarter-cloth with the further illustrations by Leslie on the boards and it is presented in a solander box bound in a dark blue-grey cloth.

The Press is working on a major production for its next release, that being Printing at the University Press, Oxford, 1660-1780.  This will be a four-volume work, each volume to be published separately. Volume I will cover three key resources of the Press (in particular the Learned Press) and their development: the premises they occupied and how they were used, the management organisation that ran the Press, and the paper it used and its sources. Volume II will cover the type it used and its sources. Each of these resources will be dealt with chronologically in order to show the changes that occurred and why, as well as providing the foundations for the third volume. Volume III will cover the processes of the Learned Press, detailing how a book progressed from its author, via compositor, corrector, press-crew, and rolling-press man to the Warehouse ready for sale. Volume IV will break entirely new ground with its coverage of the workings of the Bible Press towards the end of the period through a statistical analysis of the weekly accounts; such an analysis has only been possible for a handful of other presses, and I believe this will be the first for one such as Oxford’s Bible Press which printed hundreds of thousands of Bibles and prayer books each year.

Each of the four volumes will have tipped-in reproductions of manuscripts from Oxford University Press archives, Oxford University archives, and the Bodleian Library, all published for the first time. The edition will be 200 standard copies (including ten sets of sheets for binders) and there will be a de luxeedition of fifty copies which will come bound in quarter leather in a slipcase with additional material: with volume I there will be a volume of hitherto unpublished correspondence from the London paper dealers to the Press in the 1670s, with volume II a portfolio of leaves from books printed across the period, and with volume III an extended essay on the business planning done by Fell’s partner Thomas Yate at the time that they set up their press in 1671-2. The separate volumes will of course be printed letterpress, in Monotype Van Dijck on Mohawk Superfine.

Peter Koch Printers

The Press will be participating in CODEX Australia events in Melbourne and CODEX Mexico events in Puebla on the subjects of the 16th Century proto-American typographic heritage of Mexico and the art of the book in contemporary Latin America.

The Press is kept busy arranging CODEX V, their fifth International Book Fair and Symposium to be held in Berkeley in February 2015. The Symposium will consist of keynote lectures by author Alberto Manguel and curator Roberto Trujillo, Head of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries. Artists presenting include Ines von Ketelhodt of Germany, Carolee Campbell and Ken Botnick of the United States, and Sam Winston of the United Kingdom.

Paris, “a wickedly amusing alphabet book” by Christopher Carroll is now available, as is Small Elegies by W.S. Merwin illustrated by Peter Koch, and 2137 Tanger Soccoletters from Paul Bowles to the painter Ira Yeager.

The Press is currently planning several books, the first titled Cassanova in Venice a collaboration between Venetian poet Franco Ferarri and Montana artist Sandra dal Poggetto; and Liber Ignis, an artist book in 3 volumes by Peter Koch on the subject of fire inspired by the destructive powers of the imagination and the industrialization of the American West.

Robert LoMascoloThe Press of

Mr. LoMascolo has begun work setting type for “The Buller-Podington Compact,” a relatively short story by Frank Stockton originally published in 1897. It will be letterpress printed from metal type and include some topographic ornaments and wood engravings. Hopefully it will be available toward the end of the year.

Mr. LoMascolo’s original children’s story “Squirrel’s Sunflower” is now also available again in a new letterpress printed edition. The text is letterpress printed from hand-set metal type and accompanied by digitally printed images. They are all hand-bound in letterpress printed, hand-painted, paste paper covers.

He is planning to exhibit at this year’s Oak Knoll Fest international book fair in New Castle Delaware, which is October 3-5.

Russell Maret

Mr. Maret’s new book, Interstices & Intersections or, An Autodidact Comprehends a Cube will be finished in March. Take a look here at this major new work. Note that he will be giving the Clark Quarterly Lecture on March 4th at 4pm about this book. The title of the lecture is Comprehending a Cube: Eighteen Months of Living with Euclid. Also, an exhibit about the making of Interstices & Intersections will open at the Museum of Printing History in Houston on June 26.

Mr. Maret will also be publishing a bibliography of his work to celebrate 25 years of printing. Look for that later this year, probably in autumn.

Shanty Bay Press

Shanty Bay Press has a couple projects in the works. The first consists of a large pochoir triptych of Walter Bachinski’s take on the Birth of Venus. The sheet is about 15 by 22 inches. He is currently about half way through the pochoir. Accompanying will be a small book with 5 poems on the subject by various poets. The poems will be:

Each poem will have a complex pochoir initial. This is tracking to be available in early 2015.

The second project will be Daphnis and Chloe by Longus. Mr. Bachinski is just starting to work out the illustrations. The drawings could easily take a year or more, so this will likely be released sometime in 2016.

Whittington Press, The

Posters from Whittington, 1996-2012 is available from the Press. Of the 150 posters printed during that time period, a number were chosen to show off a great variety of typefaces on an equally esoteric variety of papers from England (some over a century old), France, Italy, Czechslovakia, Germany, Japan and Korea. They include illustrations from linocuts, wood-engravings, and in the special copies, pochoir, among a dazzling array of the Press’ extensive collection of founts. Also included in the collection are posters by Tom Mayo and Patrick Randle, which will add a more radical note to our normal, more predictable, fare. An article describing the background and development of the Press’ posters appeared in Parenthesis 20 (Spring 2011). Set in 22-point Caslon and printed on a heavyweight Zerkall mould-made paper. Various levels of deluxe-ness provide different numbers of posters and different types of bindings.

There are a number of publications in the works, please check out here for the entire list. A couple I am particularly interested in (though all look outstanding) include:

Venice, by John Craig, includes 35 of Mr. Craig’s wood engravings. A scintillating series of double-page spreads will lead the reader through the lesser known by-ways of Venice, the narrow passages, hidden squares and waterways that often elude the casual visitor, seen through an acute architectural eye. The typographical treatment of the book will be from Mr. Craig also, so that the engravings and type harmonise as a single unit on each double-page spread. Set in 13-point Bodoni and printed on Zerkall mould-made paper with about 35 wood-engravings, and some linocuts. Various levels of deluxe-ness provide different types of bindings and options for portfolios of the prints.

Pages from Presses II, by David Butcher, follows up on the amazing 2006 Pages From Presses I, which included a history and original leaves from the Kelmscott, Ashendene, Doves (including a vellum leaf in the special copies), Vale, Eragny and Essex House Presses. Pages from Presses II will take the story up to the Second World War and beyond, and include David’s accounts of the Golden Cockerel, Gregynog, Nonesuch, Shakespeare Head, Haslewood, Cresset and, interestingly, the Curwen Press. Once again it will be accompanied by original leaves from each Press, mounted on generously sized guards so that each side is readily accessible. These will demonstrate the varying typographical styles of the presses and show the typefaces, illustrations, decorative elements and papers they used. The original leaves chosen include some of the major works from the presses, such as the Golden Cockerel Canterbury Tales engraved by Eric Gill. The book will be a handsome volume, printed on Czech Losin hand-made paper, set in 14-point Walbaum. The leather editions contain additional and more elaborate specimen leaves, and the full-leather edition has a separate portfolio of additional leaves. The buckram, Roma hand-made and marbled paper, and leather used for the bindings, will all be in green to complement the red used for the earlier volume, which was sold out on publication.

2 thoughts on “2014 Fine Press Trailers!

  1. Your tireless work on behalf of these intrepid private presses and Books and Vines readers is greatly appreciated. It is impossible to read your post and not find several books of great interest, books which will eventually find their way into my collection (sooner rather than later, I might add). The 2014 offerings from the Arion Press are of particular interest and their celebratory edition (their 100th publication) of the original edition of Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ and their Bibliography are ‘no-brainers’ , i.e., automatic purchases.

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