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letterpress poetry

New Letterpress Chapbook by Arthur Sze

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New Letterpress Chapbook by Arthur Sze

Every line of poetry is a horizon. It opens worlds, near or far; it's a seam, a beckoning, an edge where everything intersects; a traversal.

Some poets are masters of horizon lines ~ the edges of light, loss, existence. One of those is Arthur Sze. His poetry has opened myriad new vistas for me, both as a reader and as a writer. His use of penetrating, layered, kaleidoscopic imagery shakes me awake, and I open to a vast, intricate world of simultaneous existences, events, emotions. Sze’s poems unfold new visions and meanings with each reading, and I discover something new about the cosmos and my life in it. 

I am deeply honored to work with Arthur Sze to create a new chapbook of his poems called Starlight Behind Daylight—a collection of twelve pieces that resonate singly and collectively, that engage us on the knife-edge of now. Grouped in three sections of four, these poems converse with each other and with us. They bring into focus the simultaneities, the shifting possibilities, of life on earth together. 


Arthur Sze Photo (Gander).jpg
Emily Hancock and I went back and forth discussing the poems that have been assembled in *Starlight Behind Daylight.* They consist of six poems from my latest book, *Sight Lines,* and six new poems that are in deep conversation with them. The process by which they came together was a true and exciting collaboration, and the ensuing poems move between snow and fire, darkness and light, emptiness and fruition.
— Arthur Sze

The limited edition chapbook will be hand-set in Centaur and Arrighi types, letterpress printed, and hand-sewn here at St Brigid Press. (Price TBA.) More information and photos will be forthcoming as the project progresses. To receive our email newsletter with updates, and/or to reserve a chapbook, please email us — info@stbrigidpress.net

Until next time, all best wishes to each of you as you traverse the horizons before you!

Emily

Emily Hancock
St Brigid Press
Afton, Virginia

The header image of the Cat’s Paw Nebula courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/IPAC (https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22567)

Photo of Arthur Sze by Forrest Gander.

Text by Emily Hancock and Arthur Sze.

Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

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Old Poems, New Forms

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Old Poems, New Forms

During some Spring Cleaning at the Press a few weeks ago, I rediscovered a sweet small project that had somehow gotten buried by other works-in-progress. 

“Overnight on Abiding-Integrity River”

an unfolding poem

Ancient Chinese poetry has long been an enjoyment of mine, particularly poems translated by David Hinton. And a favorite author that Hinton translates beautifully is the early T’ang Dynasty poet Meng Hao-jan (689-740 C.E.).

One of Meng’s crystalline four-line poems struck me as a lovely candidate for a miniature book. At 2-inches square and a half-inch thick, this unfolding journey is small in size but large in scope. Meng’s linked, sensory lines seemed to naturally suit themselves to a linked, tactile format.

I set the poem in metal type, printed it on my trusty foot-treadled Golding press, and cut-and-assembled the paper pieces by hand to form the book. It’s a very limited edition — just 21 books. $15 each.

If you'd like a little ancient new book of poetry, click here.

Many thanks,

St Brigid Press

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Wind Chimes

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Wind Chimes

On the heels of this week's snow and sleet, the wind has come howling in. Today at the Press we're feeding the woodstove, catching up on reading and writing, and going over proofs of Wind Intervals, the new chapbook of poetry by Jeff Schwaner.

What is the sound of a loosening of leaves
like forgetting hands just before they drop
to our sides?
— Jeff Schwaner, in the title poem "Wind Intervals"

One of our favorite poets, Jeff brings to his work a deeply engaging mixture of observation, introspection, and connection. We are honored to be publishing his next chapbook of seven poems, carefully selected and printed by Emily Hancock.

Recently, we invited Jeff to the Press to record some of his poems. Let these whet your whistle for the rest of the book!

Wind Intervals will be published in two formats, a Standard Edition and a Special Edition. We are currently taking pre-orders of both.

STANDARD EDITION

  • 150 numbered copies
  • hand-set in Bembo types (cast by the Bixler Letterfoundry in NY)
  • two original illustrations
  • letterpress printed on our 1909 Golding Pearl treadle press
  • Mohawk Superfine text paper
  • Hahnemühle Bugra covers
  • hand-bound at the Press
  • $24

SPECIAL EDITION

  • 35 signed and numbered copies
  • hand-set in Bembo types (cast by the Bixler Letterfoundry in NY)
  • two original illustrations
  • letterpress printed on our 1909 Golding Pearl treadle press
  • Revere Book mouldmade text paper
  • St Armand handmade covers
  • hand-bound at the Press
  • $35

To pre-order a copy, please email Emily Hancock at stbrigidpress@gmail.com, or fill out the form below.

Mark your calendars ~ the official book launch for Wind Intervals will be April 28th, at 7pm at Black Swan Books in Staunton, Virginia! (Pre-orders will ship that day.)

Thanks Friends, and hold onto your hats!

St Brigid Press

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"Wind Intervals" chapbook

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Printing With Plants

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Printing With Plants

Hi Friends of St Brigid Press!

We're rolling along in our production of our new chapbook, Reverie, which launches next Sunday the 20th at Black Swan Books (3pm to 5pm, if you're in the neighborhood!). At the moment, we are enjoying illustrating the pages with original nature prints from the grasses that grow in the meadow at the Press.

Here's a sneak peek at today's print process, working with the lovely little meadow flower, Pennsylvania Bittercress.

Just last week, our field began to bloom with the tiny white petals of Cardamine pensylvanica, Pennsylvania Bittercress. 

We decided the Bittercress would make a delightful accompaniment to the first poem in the book.

Next we hand-mixed a sweet spring green color, gently pressed the Bittercress into the ink, and carefully transferred the inked cutting to the page of poetry.

Lifting off the Bittercress, reveals its subtle image. Next up: clover and wild onion!


Thanks for joining us!

If you can't make it to the look launch on March 20th, but are interested in purchasing this limited edition book, please see HERE.

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Printing a Poem on the Handpress

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Printing a Poem on the Handpress

One of our chief passions here at the Press is traditional letterpress printing — using some of the techniques, equipment, and materials that have been used since Johannes Gutenberg and his team first developed moveable type and printing presses in Europe around 1450. 

We enjoy being a part of that long historical lineage, learning the skills and passing along the wonder of the printed word. Our latest project, a little chapbook of poems called “Reverie,” has given us the opportunity to produce a book entirely on the circa-1915 iron handpress, affectionally named “Ben” (for Ben Franklin, of course). 

Here is a series of photos that will walk you through the printing of one sheet of one poem for this one book. By the time we finish the edition, we will have enacted this same process about 1,260 times. Good thing we love what we do!

All best to all, 

St Brigid Press

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