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Books Are My Utopia

Books Are My Utopia

[Heavenly Monkey] William Rueter & Claudia Cohen. Vancouver, British Columbia:: Heavenly Monkey Editions,, 2020.. Edition of 36. 20 leaves, approx. 5.25 x 7.5 inches. Sheets sewn into a folded handmade paper structure with gilt-stamped title label on the cover. Numbered. Signed by Rueter. Bound and boxed by Claudia Cohen. Heavenly Monkey: "Eighteen aphorisms on the theme of books by Will Rueter, proprietor of The Aliquando Press with a long avocation for calligraphy. The project was conceived as an opportunity to collaborate across the 2,000 miles that separate our studios. " Similar in concept and execution to HM's An Alphabetic Accumulation, Will selected, designed and wrote out each aphorism to fill a (recto) page. These originals were then used to create polymer plates, for printing. Some elements - words and/or ornamentation - were omitted, and Will then added these to each sheet, thus every sheet includes some original calligraphic embellishment by him. The authors quoted in the collection are, in order of appearance, Helen Keller; Bohuslav Martinu; Stefan Zweig; (anonymous); George Santayana; William Morris; Martin Luther; Richard Rodriguez; Paul Auster; T.J. Cobden-Sanderson; Raul Mario Rosarivo; Rabbi Nachman; Joseph Conrad; Herman Koch; John Ruskin; William Blake; Francesco Petrarcca; and Tertullianus. Because Will shares HM's fondness for paper, a variety of hand- and mouldmades were used in the collection. Three of the aphorisms are fold-out sheets which were printed by Will at his studio in Ontario (the rest of the book being printed at HM with the handpress).
How to Speak to Birds.

How to Speak to Birds.

Simmons, Rachel. Penland, North Carolina:: Rachel Simmons,, 2018.. Varies with background used. 6" x 4.75"; 8 pages. Letterpress printed. Covers cyanotype on paper. Produced in January 2018 at Penland School of Craft, Winter Residency. Numbered. Rachel Simmons: "How to Speak to Birds is a letterpress chapbook I created at Penland's Winter Residency Program, in which I adapted text from a 1940's publication which introduced birdwatching as a hobby to 'young & old, outdoors-lovers & shut-ins.' Through my adaptation of the text in historical fonts and with engraved illustrations, I am encouraging viewers to relate to nature by considering the physical act of attempting to 'speak' to birds in their own language. This work distills birdwatching down to the simple act of adopting an active awareness of one's environment, promoting the value of having a quiet mind which learns to listen before speaking. This work is part of the ongoing body of work, 'The Language of Watching'. "The Language of Watching is a multifaceted project began in July 2015 during my time as the Artist-in-Residence at Constellation Studios, an independent community print studio in Lincoln, Nebraska owned and operated by Karen Kunc. The project is informed by my research into the social/political ramifications of bird representations in field guides, the history and culture of birdwatching, and the relationships between birdwatchers and birds, and more broadly speaking, between humans and the natural environment. FLOCK, a socially engaged art project, has evolved since 2015 to include over 200 community participants across the US. In a socially engaged art project, the 'art' is considered to be the interactions between participant-viewers & the artist. In my practice, I often make imagery or objects with participants as a mean to facilitate a shared dialogue about our connections to nature.
Sprnigs Victory: Kore Comes Back.

Sprnigs Victory: Kore Comes Back.

Nettles, Bea. Urbana, Illinois:: Bea Nettles,, 2019.. Edition of 12. 4.5 x 11.5 x .25" closed, extends to 23.5"; 8 pages. Accordion structure. Digitally printed on Tyvek. Bound in cloth covered boards with pictorial paper title label on front cover. Laid in a cloth covered box with pictorial paper title on top cover. Colophon adhered to interior base. Signed and numbered by the artist. Bea Nettles: "During my travels to cemeteries, I have photographed over six thousand surnames that are parts of speech that I find on headstones. For sometimes obvious, but also curious reasons, people have been named for places, occupations, plants, animals, colors and personalities. Using these words I have created several books and card decks that investigate language, mythology, history, and some of life's major events. "The inspiration to write my version of the myth of Persephone (also known as Kore by the Greeks) occurred to me because I had already located the surnames of Demeter, her mother the goddess of grain, her uncle Neptune and the messenger god Hermes. Additional searches located other key characters including her father Jupiter (the Roman Zeus), and her husband and king of the underworld Hades. "What followed were months of thinking about my favorite season and this familiar myth. It is a compelling explanation for the return of spring every year and a story of a powerful mother/daughter bond. Corn, wheat, barley, oats all appear as do abundant birds. Winter is filled with wind storms, frost, sleet, ice and snow. "I am continuing to collect new and marvelously descriptive words!." Bruce Michelson, Professor Emeritus, Department of English, UIUC: "What it does is recover a deeper history and inherent strangeness of American names, forgotten contrails that connect us to places, trades, faiths, and other circumstances far back and far away. ....the names of the dead here become a kind of chorus, or voices in a cantata, in which another old and foggy story of death and life rises out of the mythology textbooks and recovers a power to mean and to haunt; and families in that chorus seem to merge into something like a people, or a vast tribe rolling down through time. … What I mean to say is that this really works, and that I value it.
Shall.

Shall.

[Black Rock Press] Jared Stanley. Reno, Nevada:: Black Rock Press,, 2019.. Edition of 50. 6.5 x 9"; 8 folds. Double sided accordion structure. Letterpress printed from photopolymer plates on Zerkell book vellum paper. Collaboratively designed by Jared Stanley and AB Gorham, in consultation with Inge Bruggeman. Sewn binding with stiff paper covered boards. In slip case with pocket on back board for colophon pamphlet. Signed by Stanley. Black Rock Press: "SHALL is an accordion bound artist book and poem made from rubbings of the Newlands Monument in Newlands Circle in Reno, Nevada. The book's author, Jared Stanley, is an assistant professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno." Double Scoop, Arts in Nevada "Scrambled words … ", Jose Glassberg on January 7, 2020: "Monuments are old stomping grounds for artists. Whether they are erected as straightforward commissions or co-opted to say something cheeky about authority, the practice of lending physical permanence to transitional power will always be a part of the artistic landscape as long as it is a part of the political one. 'Who is in charge here?' is a question we will never get tired of asking. "I must have passed by it [columned monument at the entrance of my neighborhood in honor of Francis Griffith Newlands, a former Nevada Senator]. a hundred times, but never gave it a second thought until a few months ago when Jared Stanley came out with Shall, his latest art/poetry book, whose subject is the Newlands object. "In it, Stanley scrambles the original text on the face of the monument-a riff of Isaiah 35-to rethink both the intended legacy of the senator (he helped create the U.S. Bureau of Land Reclamation, which brought industrial agriculture to the Western United States) and the actual legacy of the senator (he pioneered a model of racist land development that would eventually lead to the practice of red-lining in African American communities). "Stanley's re-ordered text (which he puts together in a series of bound paper rubbings) retains the cadence of religious command while perverting Newlands' version of domesticated wilderness to 'bewilderness forever.' Newlands' dream of greening the desert is replaced by an anarchic dream of the desert while 'shall' is stripped of its imperative and never replaced. Or maybe it's just reinstated with a lack of intention, a void where only uncertainty can stand next to words like 'forever.' "It seems fitting, too, that the disassembly of this monument is temporary-printed on paper instead of etched in stone.
Old frieNds In nebrAska

Old frieNds In nebrAska

[Triangular Press] Text created by Martin Dowling from Willa Cather's novel 'My Antonia'". Portland, Oregon:: Triangular Press,, 2019.. Edition of 15. 7.75 x 2.25 x 2" cloth covered box with paper titles on removable lid. Scroll laid in, on wooden dowell with band closure. Extends to approximately 5 feet. Text set in Linotype 12 pt. Calendonia 496 at Stumptown Printers, Portland, Oregon. Printed letterpress onto Kozo paper at Triangular Press. To display scroll anchor top edge with box. Information sheet included in interior slot of box. Designed, printed and bound by Barb Tetenbaum. Signed and numbered at Tetenbaum. Notes, "Old frieNds In nebrAska": "This text, a 'mesostic' of the introduction to Willa Cater's 'My Antonia', was created by Martin Dowling using directions devised by John Cage to create a kind of core sample of a given text. Mesostics start by taking the title of a text or the name of its author and arranging it vertically down the page. The first instance of a word in the text containing the first letter in the name/title is selected, followed by the next word containing the next letter in the name/title, and so on. The vertical text is repeated over and over again until the chosen text has run its course. Cage had other, more detailed instructions for mesostics, and these have been closely followed by Dowling. "This project was generated by the MesosticMachine, a program developed by Dowling which generates a first draft of these mesostic poems from any electronically formatted text. ... Willa Cather's novel is Dowling's first project using his MesosticMachine software."
UNCHARTED.

UNCHARTED.

[Virginia Center of the Book] Kristin Keimu Adolfson, Amy Arnold, Bonnie Bernstein, Addeane Caelleigh, Richard Cappuccio, David Chen, Laura Chessin, Lucas Czarnecki, Dean Dass, Janet Eden, Lyall Harris, Nancy Kober, Lana Lambert, Sarah Lawson, Georgia Mac Charlottesville:: Virginia Center of the Book,, 2019.. Edition of 50. 18 works on paper, blending traditional printwork, handwork, and digital printing, extending or contracting to 11 x 14" dimensions that fold readily into a cloth sewn map case with flaps and a clasp. Each print signed and numbered. Includes summary of each print with artist's statement and process information. Virginia Center of the Book: "How do we explore the most complex experiences? find a way to understand or believe in the midst of the unknowable? catch signs of clarity amid confusion or dissonance? can we leave a trail for others? These are the questions at the heart of 'UNCHARTED'. " Original call to artists for UNCHARTED: "A map that doesn't exist - an imaginary map - it can be a geographic map, a map of an idea, map of feelings or a new way to represent visually information that guides or describes the world. The map should not be anything that already exists (i.e. a map of a fictional book or tv show world). Your maps should *not* be data driven (i.e. a map reliant on hard data from the real world). We want to keep the original spirit of "imaginary" maps, and stretch our creativity. How can you creatively realize your intention? "Conceptual Guidelines for the Project - A map is a prosthetic device to 'help' us literally reconnect to reality, while simultaneously removing us from reality. Therefore there is a tension between reality and our representation of it. … "Creating a map is a way to try and understand and index the world. In a way, creating a map can be seen as making space/land/geography 'real'. However a map can never capture the real of an experience, of the environment, or space. So our map art should be our way of trying to 'map' the unmappable. How do you really 'map' a forest. What is the representation of a forest? Is it limited to the location of rocks and trees? What about the experiential nature of forest? How do you map that? "Thought experiment: If you had to create a map of a lemon, how would you do that? Would you focus on the texture? The experience of eating a lemon? How would you show that visually? Can you express tartness without showing a person's mouth pursed? Would you include the history of the lemon's life? What about its smell? "… how will your map convey a reality, what will that reality be, and yet, what happens when you try to pin something down? What do you lose? What is removed? What is a representation? What then, is your map?" Maps and artists included: Home by Addeane Caelleigh and Janet Eden; Doubt by David Chen and Georgia Mackenzie; Survival Map by Lyall Harris; Tattered Line by Lucas Czarnecki; Mapping the Margins by Michael Swanberg; Cloud Map by Dean Dass; Latitudes of Loss by Katie Towson; Dream Noir: Narratives & Escape Routes by Bonnie Bernstein; A Fragment of Paradise by Garrett Queen; Your intentions are here by Lana Lambert; Approximate Eden, sustenance by Amy Ransom Arnold; Charting the Great Reality by Kristin Keimu Adolfson; Time After Time by Laura Chessin; I am here / or here? By Richard Cappuccio; Bubbleburg by Nancy Kober; hiStoRymeMoRymeAndErOde by Kevin McFadden; Olfactometric Elevations for the Amateur Nasal Ranger by Sarah Lawson.
Descriptions of Literature by Gertrude Stein / Handwritten by Erica Van Horn.

Descriptions of Literature by Gertrude Stein / Handwritten by Erica Van Horn.

[Coracle] . Clonmel, Tipperary, Ireland:: Coracle,, 2019.. unstated. 5.5 x 6"; 144 pages. Casebound paper over boards. Erica Van Horn: "Her line length was not made by any particular decision. The length of her lines was determined by the width of her ruled notebook page. I did not worry about my line length being shorter than hers. I did not even think about it. Her sentences went from handwriting and later they were typeset and now they are handwritten again. This is just the way things sometimes happen. Writing someone else's list has been a joy. Handwriting these sentences by Stein has provided me with a glorious kind of escape. It is not my writing. It is her writing. I am not the author. I am the writer. But as I am writing her writing, it demands all of my attention not to change things to make them into my own. As I write one of her sentences in this list of descriptions, I decide that the sentence I am writing right then is my absolute favourite of these sentences and then when I am involved in another sentence and I have to write it again and again to get it written right, I decide that that sentence is my favourite in this list of sixty-six sentences. Having a favourite is just a small thing because I am immediately on to the next sentence and once again I must copy and consider and write as carefully as my poor stiffening hand will allow. This is an exercise in restraint but it is a freedom too. I love the physical and hypnotic movement of my pen on the page. I love writing by hand."
Portland/Living.

Portland/Living.

[Triangular Press] text excerpts by Jill Severn. Portland, Oregon:: Triangular Press,, 2018.. Edition of 20. Stencil images by Barb Tetenbaum. Techniques: pochoir, letterpress, typewriter. Type: Trump Medieval & American Typewriter. Paper: Kozo, Chinese ledger, Twinrocker. Signed and numbered by Tetenbaum. Barb Tetenbaum, Artist statement as supplied to UCB Environmental Design: "In recent years I've been noticing a growing homeless presence in Portland where I live. In 2017, the majority of homeless people hid in their sleeping places in small patches of woods or hedges by the side of the road. The homeless population has boomed in the past 12 months. It is rare to see a single hidden homeless sleeping site, but now there are large encampments in parks, under bridges, right on the city streets. My project evolved with this information." Barb Tetenbaum, notes: "I made to document the homeless sites on my commute to and from work. I used pochoir and letterpress to seduce people to look at this issue. The delicate paper puts the reader in a position of care as they turn the fragile paper. The two maps (with dates) of sites are in a 5 mile radius of my house." The texts for "Portland/Living" were gathered by Jill Severn from members of tent and temporary communities. Severn is a homeless advocate based in Olympia, Washington. While the maps refer to Portland, Oregon, the encampments could be anywhere in America. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted 10 December 1948 by the UN General Assembly contains this statement: " Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control." As stated in "Portland/Living", "'Homeless' is not a category of people; it is a circumstance people find themselves in." It could be anyone of us.
Blue Horse

Blue Horse

[Catbird (on the Yadkin) Press] Mariflo Stephens. Tobaccoville, North Carolina:: Catbird (on the Yadkin) Press,, 2019.. Edition of 46. 6 x 6"; 20 pages including free end pages. Hand typeset in Centaur and Bembo. Printed letterpress on Yatsou and Kitakata papers. Pamphlet binding. Bound in cover papers of St. Armand. Illustrated with woodcuts by Terry Schupbach-Gordon and Toby Gordon. Signed and numbered by the poet. Colophon: "This book is a collaboration of cousins made to celebrate the stories we tell, and how we tell them. ... One cousin wrote the poem, one cousin set the type, and two cousins cut the blocks." It is also dedicated to one cousin. MissouriReview.com: "Mariflo Stephens has read from her work on Oprah and the Oxygen network. Her fiction is included in 'Worlds in their Words: Contemporary American Women Writers' and her essays appear in 'The Barbie Chronicles: A Real Doll Turns Forty' and 'Strategies for Successful Writing'. Awarded two grants for fiction from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, she was the first place winner in the Sherwood Anderson Short Story Contest in 2008 and the second place winner in 2012. Her work has been published in 'The Washington Post', 'Iowa Woman', the 'Virginia Quarterly Review', 'The Walden Review', 'Catalyst: A Magazine for Social Change', and 'Zone 3', among other publications. Stephens received her B.S. degree in English from James Madison University in 1973 and her M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Virginia in 1989."