Just moments ago I sent off the (I hope) final text edits and layout for In the Penal Colony to translator Breon Mitchell and artist Dellas Henke. Lucky for all of you we are perfectionists and because of that this new manuscript from Breon has undergone nine (I think) revisions in the past six months. I must say I’ve had too much fun doing this — for an otherwise usually grueling process it’s been fun sparring with my collaborators from anything from syntax to making calls on typographic “house style.”
Here is Dellas’s sixth etching for the book,”Entitled” to be used as the frontispiece.
All of the intaglio prints have been pulled and are awaiting another dampening for the text run. All but three more sets….
— We’ve decided to print an additional three special copies on some old Barcham Green “Windhover” stock saved by Dellas while he was working with Kim Merker and the Windhover Press during his graduate student days at the University of Iowa in the ’70s. I will contribute some lovely old stock Fabriano sheets from the ’40s for fly leaves or doublures. Some three discriminating individuals or institutions will enjoy these lovely folios of crisp sheets hand pulled by an iconic craftsman and paper mill and impressed with our impressions of this interesting little story.
UPDATE: The manuscript is finished! To the press soon!
I’ve not been idle while waiting for manuscript revisions. Progress has been made on my other Kafka project, The Hunter Gracchus, with completion of the last engraving and mezzotint intaglio work and adapting the other plates to the new size format. I’ll post some pictures of layout revisions soon.
Also, James Dissette and I have not neglected our Mad Parrot Press venture! We’ve brought Marc Castelli back on board to illustrate our new production of EM Forster ‘s The Machine Stops. Marc has worked with us in the past on our books under the Chester River Press imprint for both Heart of Darkness and The Chesapeake Voyages of Captain John Smith as well as other ephemeral projects. However, we’ve run into a snag with the Forster estate at the moment but hope to work it out to all of our benefit in the very near future. I’ll keep you posted of course as I’m always timely with my blog….
Looking toward fall:
I’ll once again be at the 16th annual Kerrytown Bookfest in Ann Arbor, Michigan peddling my books and demonstrating intaglio printing as I have for the past 16 years.
I’ll also be at Oak Knoll Fest XX in New Castle, Delaware on October 5-7th. Please join me and 40 other fine presses from around the world as we convene for this very special 20th anniversary gathering at Oak Knoll where the Fine Press Book Association was born.
All books convey a message through printed word and image. The fine press book is not just a vessel for an idea, but a message in and of itself. When the careful combination of paper, typography, printing, and binding accentuate the ideas contained within in a distinctive and artistic way, then the book as an object takes on special importance. How this evolving practice is viewed by artisans, collectors, institutions, and dealers is what Oak Knoll Fest is all about.
This will be the last book with the Chester River Press imprint. For 10 years I have shared this imprint with James Dissette in a venture which started out with two other partners centered out of Chestertown, Maryland and together we brought you The Chesapeake Voyages of Captain John Smith and Heart of Darkness as well a a few other private works. The two other partners are long gone now and James continues to use Chester River for his other non-fine press work so we felt a change was in order. Our new imprint is Mad Parrot Press and you are going to like it! An announcement of intentions will soon be forthcoming.
Just a month ago Oak Knoll Fest XIX was a wonderful event once again tempered by the untimely passing of one of the great bookmen of modern times, Bob Fleck – founder of Oak Knoll Books, just a week before the exhibit. Many glasses were raised and fond remembrances given to Bob and some of our other absent fellow travelers in the fine book world. My thanks to the institutions and private collectors that made journeying to New Castle once again enjoyable, enlightening and, thankfully, profitable.
On a personal note, some may have noticed the lack of books flowing out of Deep Wood Press the last couple of years. That will be changing very soon. This is actually how I make my living so it’s very important to me too — and necessary! A long separation and divorce has finally concluded, child custody and keeping my shop intact was my primary concern and I’m happy to report success on those fronts. Now I have an actual schedule once again and will use that time accordingly finishing Kafka which is due out this winter. More to follow soon from Deep Wood Press and Mad Parrot Press from the likes of Forster, Grahame, some regional poets & writers and my own rambling musings.
Please stay tuned.