While living in Bolinas, poet and critic Bill Berkson produced Terrace Fence, a minimal, conceptual, yet intimate book of black and white photographs in an edition of ten or fewer. This seminal piece of conceptual photography doubling as a small-town protest gesture was reproduced in the summer of 2012 in an edition of 100. The text was printed letterpress and the photographs were reproduced from the original paste up and tipped in by hand. Each copy has been signed by the author. (2012)
The Far Flowered Shore (Japan 2006/ Japan 2010) are travel books but not diaries, and would certainly not be of any use to anyone looking to find one’s way around Japanese cities.
Both notebooks are made by Quaderno–soft, pliable, light-weight school exercise books with blank, unlined pages, made in Italy but available elsewhere (even, it turned out, in a Kyoto department store). I filled them as usual, on impulse, scribbling down and pasting in whatever seemed worth noting, and as you see, not always about Japan. A lot of the scrawls are due to trying to write while walking.The notes cover two trips to Japan that Connie Lewallen and I made in April 2006 and again in 2010: the first to Kyoto and Tokyo, with a day trip from Kyoto to Nara; and the second to Kyoto, the “museum island” of Naoshima and Osaka.
“Have good trip to the far flowered shore,” wrote Joanne Kyger on the eve of our second time out.
— Bill Berkson
The Far Flowered Shore notebooks were reproduced as full-color, hardcover, facsimiles by Cuneiform Press in 2013. The 2006 and 2010 notebooks are accompanied by a third volume containing a transcript of the text typeset in Bulmer. Housed in a slipcase produced by Craig Jenson at BookLab II, one hundred copies were produced, of which fifty are for sale exclusively from Cuneiform Press. (2013)
Each of the twenty-six signed copies in this variegated multiple edition is a unique print on Crane’s Lettra 100% cotton paper measuring eighteen by twelve inches. Shipped flat or rolled at your request, these prints are only available at the Marfa Book Company and direct from the press.
Sommer Browning sees things we don’t see, even if they’re right in front of us. That’s what distinguishes the great thinkers of our time! They look at the stars and they ask, “How is that I can see?” They look at the color of a flower and say, “How is that this is red?” Sommer Browning looks at a circle and sees a urethra. She sees a “view of my head from a second story walk-up.” She sees the abyss. And a pizza. Her humor is so unpretentious, so unique—yet outrageously minimalistic, that it achieves a kind of scientific greatness.
The Circle Book shows how even the most basic shape—a circle—can be transcended by the power of language. What’s happening when we look at a circle and see the body of Christ? Something hilariously mystical.
— Bianca Stone
Paperback. 208 pages.
Despite the fact that the field of artists’ books has grown steadily since the mid-sixties, the discourse has been largely under-theorized. Blurred Library: Essays on Artists’ Books, is a stunning collection of the most revered essays by Tate Shaw, the Director of Visual Studies Workshop. For years, Shaw’s contributions to the field of artists’ books as a theorist, artist, writer, historian, and teacher have been celebrated internationally, but have largely gone undocumented, until now. Shaw’s versatility as a scholar and artist allow him to take a holistic approach to his subject that is historical, conceptual, anecdotal, contemplative, and engaging. Blurred Library is an indispensible contribution to the field of artists’ books, essential reading for emerging and seasoned artists and scholars alike. Lavishly illustrated throughout by photographer Doug Manchee.
Tate Shaw is the Director of Visual Studies Workshop (VSW), Rochester, NY, a nonprofit organization supporting artists’ books, photography, and the media arts. He is also an Assistant Professor at The College at Brockport, SUNY where he directs the Master of Fine Arts program in Visual Studies at VSW. Shaw makes artists’ books, writes essays, organizes symposia on books, and is co-publisher of the small imprint Preacher’s Biscuit Books.
Paperback. 208 pages.
Ted Greenwald’s book of poems, Con Dot, was printed and designed by Kyle Schlesinger at the Cuneiform Press between 2013 & 2014. The book was typeset in Dax, designed by the experimental composer and typographer Hans Reichel, and printed on a Vandercook 4 letterpress. Each copy in the edition contains four variegated images. The paper is Crane’s Lettta. CJ Martin performed the binding in Colorado Springs. There are 26 copies, each lettered and signed by the author.
In Ted Greenwald’s poetry, tradition is never more than an extension of innovation, history never more than an engaggement with the present, and commonplace never more than a glimpse at something extraordinary. Building on New York’s remarkable history of painter and poet collaborations, this is striking art and text project features nearly thirty painting and poems by two seasoned artist.
The dimensions of the images are true to the original works of art. The fonts (Palatino and Michelangelo) were designed by Hermann Zapf. In the paperback edition, sparkling metallic covers were printed letterpress and the images and text were printed offset.
Hardcover copies were bound by hand and signed by the painter and poet. Printed on pure cotton rag paper in full color by Booksmart Studios.
Cloth Delux edition limited to 20. (2007)
Always a space for experimentation, the book has been a platform for innovative collaboration since its invention, and never more than in the modern era—when painters, poets, editors, typographers, and binders have each contributed to the production of works whose whole becomes something far more than its parts. The essays in this volume address some of the main threads of collaboration in American and French poetry and printing, where the livre d’artiste flirts with the artist’s book in imagining the page, the text, the codex as a vital scene of exchange. Each of these authors has been involved in this field in a professional and/or creative manner, and each speaks from experience with substantive authority.
— Johanna Drucker,
Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies, UCLA
The Art of Collaboration brings together the perspective and insight of a distinguished international community of poets, artists, publishers, scholars and curators, drawing from their rich diversity of experience to identify a useful framework for documenting and understanding the recent history and practice of the age-old tradition of collaborating with text and image. This collection is an invaluable tool whose very presence is a brilliant example of its subject.
— Steve Clay
The essays collected in this volume originate from a symposium that took place at the University of Caen, France, in March and April 2011, entitled ‘Collaboration and the Artist’s Book: a Transatlantic Perspective,’ one of the first in Europe to be organized for literary and cultural studies. The participants included American poets and artists who have produced significant work in the field (some since the sixties), together with American and French scholars, independent publishers of artists’ books, and library and museum curators.
Contributors include: Anca Cristofovici, Barbara Montefalcone, Antoine Cazé, Olivier Brossard, Michael Siebenbrodt, Vincent Katz, Bill Berkson, Susan Bee, Raphael Rubinstein, Gervais Jassaud, Pascal Poyet & Françoise Goria, Kyle Schlesinger, Antoine Coron, Constance Lewallen, Charles Bernstein & Richard Tuttle.
Edited by Anca Cristofovici & Barbara Montefalcone.
Hardcover. 198 pages. Full color throughout.
Threads, a series of talks devoted to the art of the book, includes poets, artists, and publishers. It explores and enriches relationships between various strands of book culture that are often approached in isolation: poetry and writing; visual and performing arts; collaboration; design; printing; independent publishing; literary history; critical theory; and material culture.
The premise for the series was very similar to the kind of interdisciplinary approach to the book that has interested us all along. A book is never more successful than the relationship between its parts; the philosophical and material connections between writing, art, design, typography, translation, and distribution is more significant than excellence in any isolated area.
The talks were originally recorded before a small studio audience, then made available to the public on PennSound, and are now collected here in written form for the first time.
Threads began in March 2009 and concluded in October 2012. There were twelve speakers: Alan Loney; Charles Alexander; Simon Cutts; Buzz Spector; Jerome Rothenberg; Cecilia Vicuna; Jen Bervin; Kathleen Walkup; Johanna Drucker; Keith Smith; Richard Minsky; and Emily McVarish.
Edited by Steve Clay and Kyle Schlesinger. A co-production with Granary Books.
Paperback. 194 pages. Full color throughout.
On average, 120,000 vehicles drive over the Brooklyn Bridge every day. What if each displayed a poem that could be read by the 4,000 pedestrians and 2,600 bicyclists that cross the bridge as well? Bumpers suggests that an alternative medium has the power to bring poetry to the streets. Bumpers is a collection of twelve genuine crack-‘n-peel bumper stickers designed and printed letterpress by Kyle Schlesinger with the assistance of Hannah King in two or three colors each. Contributors commissioned to compose poems specifically for this project are David Abel, Bill Berkson, Johanna Drucker, Craig Dworkin, Michael Gizzi, Michael Gottlieb, Ted Greenwald, Dorothea Lasky, Hoa Nguyen, Tom Raworth, Kit Robinson, and Carolee Schneemann.
Spirit Photography: A Fireside Book of Gurus (1973) by Michael Myers and Holbrook Teter is arguably the greatest book produced by Zephyrus Image. Spirit Photography is essential reading for anyone interested in photography, conceptual art, artists’ books, and the unique cultural climate of the Bay Area in the ’70s. This facsimile was printed letterpress and is faithful to the original in every way, right down to the errata slip. (2012)