Viewing entries tagged
letterpress poetry

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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News from St Brigid Press!

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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 

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