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News from St Brigid Press!


News from St Brigid Press!

Greetings from the blustery Blue Ridge Mountains!

Though the warm sun is drizzled all over us today like honey, the empty trees and biting breeze signal winter’s steady approach, here in the Rockfish River Valley. At St Brigid Press, we’re also moving into a new season of work, hunkering down with several longer chapbook projects and a new series of prints. 

Speaking of books, we are thrilled to announce that Emily Hancock’s collection of haiku & carvings, Soundings, recently won a prestigious award at the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair in England. This volume, letterpress printed and hand-bound here at the Press, took home the Oxford Guild of Printers’ 2015 Prize for Best Fine Press Book under £50. 

We are very honored to receive this award. Hopefully some day we can travel to Oxford in person to attend this yearly gathering of fine printers and bookbinders — the oldest fair of its kind in the world.

Created in a limited edition of just 85 books, Soundings is nearly sold out. If you are interested in reserving a copy, please let us know. For more information and photographs, click HERE.

Our current stock of holiday cards and gift tags is likewise dwindling. See available items HERE.

In the meantime, peace and pace to you all!

With thanks,

St Brigid Press 



"Soundings" ~ a new book of haiku from St Brigid Press

Soundings with mountains We are pleased to announce the publication of Soundings, a new book of haiku by Emily Hancock. Inspired by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where Hancock makes her home, this lovely book collects over 30 of her poems and 3 original linoleum block prints.

The title page of Soundings, on cream-colored Rives paper, with banana-leaf decorative paper facing.

One of 33 haiku by Emily Hancock, collected here for the first time.

One of 3 three illustrations printed from original linoleum block carvings by the author.

Designed, hand-set, letterpress printed, and hand-sewn here at the Press in a limited edition of 85 books. Pre-order a copy HERE; books will be shipped on November 10th.

Each book is hand-sewn with linen thread.

Live text block fore edges.


If you are in the area, please join us for the official Book Launch Reception and Signing ~ this Friday, November 7th, at 5:30pm at Stone Soup Books (908 W. Main St., Waynesboro, Virginia).

With thanks, and all best!

St Brigid Press

The Challenge 15MP hand-cranked printing press that printed the haiku and linocuts.

Close-up of one of Hancock's haiku, set by hand with metal type, ready to be printed.

One of 3 illustrations printed from original linoleum block carvings by the author.

Hand-mixing the oil-based ink to get just the right shade of blue.

The Golding Pearl foot-treadled printing press, made in Massachusetts in 1909, and used to print the cover title of Soundings.

The colophon of Soundings, detailing the type and papers used in the production of the book.

Mira, the Shop Dog, says, "Printing a book is exhausting."



New Book Forthcoming from St Brigid Press

The season is bearing fruit here in the Blue Ridge mountains... Autumn Greetings, Friends!

We are pleased to announce a new book forthcoming from St Brigid Press in November:  Soundings, a collection of haiku by Emily Hancock, illustrated with three prints by the author.

Hancock has been published in various literary journals, including the Appalachian Journal and the Greensboro Review. This limited edition book will collect over thirty of her haiku, each a small meditation on being in nature and the nature of being, as well as three prints from her original block carvings.

Setting the poems by hand.

Carving images into linoleum blocks, which will then be printed.

All of the type is set by hand (in the historic Koch-Antiqua typeface), letterpress printed on beautiful Rives mould-made paper, and sewn with linen thread.

Beautiful Rives paper, mould-made in France.

SAVE THE DATE!!! The official Book Launch for Soundings will take place on Friday, November 7th, at 5:30pm at Stone Soup Books and Cafe (Waynesboro, Virginia). Hancock will give a short reading and sign copies of the book, which may be purchased at that time from Stone Soup. Light refreshments will be provided, with dinner available from the cafe. Hope to see you there!

If you are out-of-the-area, you can pre-order the book now ~ click HERE (direct link to our secure online store). Books will be mailed out on November 10th.

With thanks, and all best,

St Brigid Press

First proofs of the poems, hot off the press.



Summer News at the Press

The front yard at St Brigid Press, in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.

(Yes, we think it's so lovely here that we just camp in the front yard.)  ;-)

Warm greetings, Friends!

We are entering the high, hot summer here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia, and we've got many irons-in-the-fire at St Brigid Press. Our summer docket is jam-packed, and we wanted to give you a sneak peek at what's coming up ~

* We are in the early stages of the next broadside in our "Poetry in Translation" Series. (Learn more about this Series HERE.) Poet Jeff Schwaner will again be lending his translation skills to this project, rendering into English an 8th-century Chinese poem that will be a companion piece to "Sky Dream," the first production in the Series.

* Photographer James R. Plitt and the Press are teaming up to produce a limited-edition book that shares, in word and image, the beauty of Appalachian mountain creeks. Plitt's stunning color photography of the region will be paired with a moving original poem by Emily Hancock, letterpress printed and hand bound.

* Resident printer-poet Emily Hancock has three poems featured in the current issue of Appalachian Journal (Vol. 41, Nos. 1 & 2), published at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. For more information about that, click HERE. She is also at work finishing a small manuscript of haiku, which will be forthcoming from St Brigid Press in Fall 2014.

* If you missed the official air-time on June 6th, tune in to NPR-affiliate WMRA's interview with Emily Hancock HERE. It's a 9-minute piece produced by long-time NPR reporter and host Martha Woodroof, who speaks with Emily about St Brigid Press, bookbinding, letterpress printing, and poetry.

* Last but definitely not least, we are in the design and production phases of a host of new stationery items: cards, bookmarks, coasters, gift tags, postcards, and journals.

*WHEW!*  That's all for now ~ we'd better get back to work! We'll let you know as the above projects become available.

Until next time, all the best from the Press.


Twitter: @stbrigidpress   /   Facebook:

Mira, the Shop Dog, says, "Wake me when it's time for a break."



Coaster Contemplations

Schwaner Coasters Set

Hello dear Friends,

As the first real chilly weather arrives outside, we're workin' up a sweat inside the Shop ~ treadling our 1914 Chandler and Price printing press to bring you some contemplative coasters to slip under your glass of holiday cheer!

The back of the coasters, with the haiku series' title, author name, and colophon.

Poet Jeff Schwaner, author of three collections of poetry, has written a wonderful sequence of eight linked haiku entitled "Night Walk on Cape Cod." Originally published in his book, Vanishing Tracks, Schwaner recently approached St Brigid Press with the notion of letterpress printing the haiku as a set of coasters. Needless to say, we thought the idea brilliant, and set to work composing the lovely poems in metal type. Here's a taste of the depth and elegiac beauty of Schwaner's work:


Write about home she

said ~ many journeys later

I write about her


Schwaner Coasters Wine Glass Stem


Every walk

Is a walk with a stranger

Identity's tides


The first haiku in the set of eight.

Each haiku, a thoughtful little cosmos in itself, is thematically and emotionally linked with its seven companions, telling the heart's story of home, memory, and connection-through-time. All of which are fine musings to mull over a glass of wine, tea, hot chocolate, or spiced rum, and which are -- like a cup of coffee -- good to the last drop.

Each set of 8 haiku coasters (one for each poem) were designed, hand-set, and letterpress printed here in the Shop on extra-thick coaster stock. The coasters are durable, reusable, colorfast, and, when the final red wine stain at last obscures the poetry, fully recyclable and biodegradable. The top side, with haiku, are printed in dark green; the bottom side, with title, sequence number, author and printer names, is printed in deep blue. Limited edition. $16 per set-of-eight coasters.

To order from the St Brigid Press Store, click HERE.

Many thanks to Jeff Schwaner for a fun and meaningful collaboration. And all the best to each of you for a peaceful week,

St Brigid Press

Here's a video of the printing of the coasters, plus more photos of the process and the product:


Hand-mixing the deep green oil-based ink for the front (poem-side) of the coasters.

Each poem in the eight-coaster set, plus the back, is hand-set with metal type.

Letterpress printed on the foot-treadled Chandler and Price 10x15 NS printing press, which was made in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914.

Each poem is good to the last drop ;-)