Spring at Arbora Warm Spring Greetings from St Brigid Press!

Hope this post finds you all well and enjoying the Beauty of the Season. In honor of April's designation as National Poetry Month, St Brigid Press has collaborated with Blue Ridge Mountain artist Nancy Maxson in the creation of "A Commonplace Book" journals. These lovely blank books are part of the tradition of personal notebooks that date back to the Renaissance -- providing a place to write down and remember the quotes, poems, recipes, insights, and inklings that we come across in our reading life. It's like creating a portable treasury of favorite literary pieces, something folks have done for centuries.

"A Commonplace Book" (gold cover with blue thread)

"A Commonplace Book" (green cover with gold thread)

The St Brigid Press editions of "A Commonplace Book" are hand-bound with fine papers and linen thread. Each book includes a hand-set, letterpressed cover and an introduction to the history and usage of commonplace books, 4 reproductions of Maxson's exquisite original watercolors, a colophon signed by the printer and the artist, and approximately 84 open pages. Book size: about 7 inches by 5 inches. Book colors: choice of gold cover with blue thread, or green cover with gold thread (interior pages are light cream). (Cover artwork may vary; all pieces will be watercolors by Maxson.) Available now in the St Brigid Press Store!

Setting the type for the Introduction in "A Commonplace Book"

Detail of the Introduction.

Below is an excerpt from the lovely introduction in "A Commonplace Book" --

From John Locke to Virginia Woolf to Lemony Snicket, folks have collected favored sayings, sonnets, recipes, and whatnot in handy companion books. Emerson encouraged people to "make their own Bible" of words that mattered to them, and Thomas Jefferson began his first Commonplace Book when he was fifteen years old. A Commonplace Book celebrates the lasting effect a piece of writing has on us, and is a way to remember and curate the wisdom, humor, and beauty we find in the world. May this little book help you honor the threads of your own life, show you what is important to you, and keep it all in one place!
~Nancy Maxson
   along the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
   April 2013

Hand-sewing the books with linen thread.

The hand-set text of the Introduction, printed on the 1909 Golding Pearl No. 3 treadle printing press.