Venus Poems, Arthur Rimbaud, Rainer Maria Rilke & Tiberianus, Shanty Bay Press (2016)

The Roman goddess Venus is one of the most represented figures in all of Western art and literature. Adapted from the Greek Aphrodite, Venus’s realm includes love and desire, beauty, sexuality, charm, prosperity and good fortune. Along with these feminine qualities (described here as “essential to the generation and balance of life“), her role in Roman society as the patron of daily non-sacrificial wine, due to its seductive power, makes her the … Continue reading Venus Poems, Arthur Rimbaud, Rainer Maria Rilke & Tiberianus, Shanty Bay Press (2016)

It’s the Holidays — Support the Private and Fine Press Eco-System!

{Ed. Note: This is an annual article encouraging all Books and Vines readers to keep private and fine press publishers and re-sellers in mind this holiday season to be your source for unique, classy and meaningful gifts. The article has been updated with current information and the latest news from private and fine press publishers. Please pass this link on to everyone you know, the more that … Continue reading It’s the Holidays — Support the Private and Fine Press Eco-System!

The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, by Rainer Maria Rilke, Printed at the Stamperia Valdonega for the Limited Editions Club (1987)

The Bohemian-Austrian writer Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) remains one of the more popular and influential writers of the twentieth century. Rilke used impressionistic and expressionistic techniques, both of which influenced his writing towards a modernistic style that was to be imitated and expanded upon by a subsequent generation of writers. Greek mythological figures often exist is his work, but classical themes are typically replaced with those that began permeating the arts in the early … Continue reading The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, by Rainer Maria Rilke, Printed at the Stamperia Valdonega for the Limited Editions Club (1987)

The Seasons: Four Bagatelles, Barbarian Press (2013)

The Seasons: Four Bagatelles to Pass the Time of Year was envisoined by Crispin and Jen Elsted of Barbarian Press as “a small project for the press when two or three larger projects were still in preparation and some way from being ready to start, we set out to collect four little anthologies of favourite poems about the four seasons.” I was excited to get this set of four pamphlets, … Continue reading The Seasons: Four Bagatelles, Barbarian Press (2013)

‘The Lay of the Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke’ by Rainer Maria Rilke, Arion Press, 1983

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) is one of the twentieth century’s greatest poets, and probably the greatest German poet since Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Rilke bridged the gap between traditional and modernist periods, with his move towards, and focus on, difficulty of belief, anxiety about the condition of man, and the inevitable solitude of life. Figures from Greek Mythology are often represented in his works (see his Sonnets to … Continue reading ‘The Lay of the Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke’ by Rainer Maria Rilke, Arion Press, 1983

My Sister Life, by Boris Pasternak, Limited Editions Club

Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) is one of the greatest Russian writers in history. His work titled My Sister Life, written in 1917 and first published in 1921, substantially revolutionized the course of Russian poetry, and remains one of the most influential Russian anthologies ever written.  Besides My Sister Life, Pasternak’s translation of the works of Shakespeare remains very popular in Russia and he is also known for translations … Continue reading My Sister Life, by Boris Pasternak, Limited Editions Club

The Sonnets to Orpheus, by Rainer Maria Rilke, Limited Editions Club

Among what I consider the three most stunning books from my recent visit to Jeanne Shiff of the Limited Editions Club (LEC) is their 1997 edition of The Sonnets to Orpheus, by Rainer Maria Rilke.  Like the recently reviewed Sight and Touch, this LEC is simply at the pinnacle when it comes to the design and crafting of fine press books. Everything from the look and feel … Continue reading The Sonnets to Orpheus, by Rainer Maria Rilke, Limited Editions Club