Category Archives: Book Design

Publications: Wind Intervals

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I’m excited to announce that St Brigid Press will be publishing a beautiful letterpress edition of a selection of my poems, Wind Intervals, in late April — just in time for National Poetry Month.

The book will be hand-set in Bembo type, printed on a beautiful and rugged 1909 Golding Pearl treadle press on the other side of Afton Mountain at St Brigid’s not-entirely-top-secret headquarters, guarded by trees, a gregarious dog and stunning mountain views.

There will be a Standard Edition, hand-bound at the Press and limited to 150 numbered copies ($24), and a Special Edition, limited to 35 numbered and signed copies, printed on Revere Book mouldmade text paper and hand-bound with St Armand handmade covers ($35).

You can hear me read two of the poems from the book here on the St Brigid Press site.

The book’s publication date is April 28, 2017. We’ll gather at Black Swan for a book launch and reading. If you pre-order with St Brigid and cannot make the trek to Staunton, I’ll gladly sign copies at the launch before they are shipped.

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As you can imagine, creating a letterpress book involves considerable work, including setting each letter (and space!) by hand in metal type. On a Golding press, the type is actually suspended type-side down for printing (which somehow seems right for my poetry!) after being locked tightly into place by wooden blocks and metal quoins.

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I will keep you updated as work on Wind Intervals proceeds! Check out the St Brigid Press site for more information on the book, additional photos of the book creation process, and to hear two of the poems.

Full Moon Social Anthology 1 [#fullmoonsocial2014]

Seriously nearly-full moon not taking any nonsense--join the FullMoonSocial2014 on Wednesday.

The idea was simple–let’s all gaze at the moon together, wherever we are, and share our words and images. Let’s have a full moon social event that the Ancients would understand and appreciate.

On October 8, 2014 WordPress and Twitter sparkled with poems, prose fragments, and photos from an assortment of creative folk using the hashtag #fullmoonsocial2014. It was a fun night to moon-gaze — and to refresh our searches on that tag to see what new poem or photo had popped up.

As much as I could, and with the permission of the authors, I have gathered this work into a humble anthology, available in PDF format. While designed like a traditional book, and without the website-inspired underlining, the websites or Twitter handles of each contributors are live links which will take you directly to their sites to find out more about the author and her/his work. The Contents pages are likewise linked to the book as well.

Please feel free to download it here, as a keepsake and a thank-you from me for joining in, to write, contribute, and to read. Any typos or other issues are mine, and please do not hesitate in letting me know if some adjustment needs to be made.

Likewise, if you’re an author or artist or photographer who contributed to the Full Moon Social but you don’t see your work here, let me know and I’ll add it in.

And if anyone’s interested in doing it again…

#FullMoonSocial2014 Anthology, Free and Coming Soon

I’m putting together our first Full Moon Social anthology, based on the posts to the #fullmoonsocial2014 event on October 8th.

The anthology will be FREE and available as both a PDF and epub. Each page contains a poem and a link to the author’s website or Twitter page. Where a contributor is only known by their WordPress or Twitter handle, I used that in place of an author name. It will be a nice way to honor the hours we spent together writing under the moon.

To be on the safe side, I’m asking any contributors to the event to email me at jeffrey.schwaner@gmail.com to confirm that you give permission to being included in this free commemorative ebook.  This will also help me if in my collection efforts I have missed some of the poems or photos posted by you.

By Friday I will be finalizing the anthology based on the permissions I’ve received. It has been fun to revisit these poems as I’ve been placing them in the (admittedly very basic) book design, and I look forward to sharing them once again in a more book-ish format.

Translation talk at Black Swan Books

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I will be checking out this rather cool topic in my rather cool and little city this weekend. Angela Carter and Stan Galloway are area poets whose work I have enjoyed hearing in person.

Printer extraordinaire Emily Hancock of St Brigid Press will also be bringing copies of the mini-broadside of my translation of Li Ho’s “Sky Dream” for the event. I will not be selling this myself and I’m not sure if Emily has it for sale yet on her site, but you can always write her if you’re interested in seeing more. The poem is printed on very thin Unryu paper backed by grey Magnani Pescia paper, in Bembo typeface. The matting creates the shape of the moon which of course our poet Li would not bother to name in his brilliant and strange piece of verse, and will I think be available in a variety of night-sky-ish colors.

I believe St Brigid Press will also be issuing this poem’s companion translation of Li Po’s work, as well as a few other translations of classical Chinese verse. And of course as I attend this event I’ll be taking with me my time-travelling version of Mei Yao-ch’en, the great 11th century poet with whom I have spent so much time these last few months…

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2014 Broadside Series: “Drop Everything” (first proofs)

Some shots of first proof off the press. (All photos below were taken by Emily Hancock of St Brigid Press, as she was doing first proofs.) This is on the bamboo paper.

DE_title proofAnd here’s a look at the entire shape of the broadside…

DE_first proof on bamboo2We’re still deciding what the best paper might be.  Emily ran some proofs on other stock and we’re going to go over them with our magnifying glasses and every nerve of our fingertips to see which looks and feels the best. The typeface is 18 pt Centaur, so the paper has to take the ink from a decent size letter while holding to the fine points and handling ligatures.

DE_proof on four papersOf course, it’s impossible to tell the fine differences in these examples without holding them and eyeballing them first-hand. What the heck good is this internet thing anyway if you still have to hoof it over a mountain to see your proofs? (Though there’s always offering free coffee to your printer to get her to come over the mountain to you…)

More later this weekend…

 

2014 Broadside Series: “Drop Everything”

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Work has begun in earnest on a broadside of my prose poem “Drop Everything” over at St Brigid Press in Afton, Virginia. Resident print guru Emily Hancock sent me the photo above after setting the poem and getting it set up on the press for proofing. Tomorrow we should see some first proofs of the work. Some details on the broadside:

The poem is set in Centaur,  a crisp and classic typeface suitable for both prose and poetry. It also has strong flavor notes of caramel, charcoal and cherry, with a smooth finish that pairs it well with both fish and fowl…wait, I’m getting carried away here.

The poem is part of a larger project entitled The Drift, which somewhat aimlessly uses as its model one of the first anthologies of great classical Chinese poetry, Poems of The Masters, originally compiled in the 13th century and consisting of some of the great poems written in the 7th-13th centuries. This project will pair several hundred short poems,  based on regulated verse of the T’ang and Sung dynasties (which I have been posting on this blog since December of last year) with prose poems dealing with the same subject matter in a very different form.

There are quite a few wrinkles to this large project’s design, and more on said wrinkles much later, but all this is to say that when designing the broadside for “Drop Everything” Emily and I took into account the influence of classic Chinese poetry on the overall project– and also the method of transmission of those poems back over a thousand years ago. This includes printing the poem on a high quality bamboo paper stock in a strong vertical format (probably around 12 x 18 inches).

We haven’t yet decided on the number of this edition, or the price. It will most likely be offered as part of a series of broadsides to be released over the coming year. Still working out all those details, but incredibly happy to be working with Emily again (St Brigid Press printed the haiku coaster set available on the Books page) and excited to share with you images of the first proofs as they come off the press later this week…

You can find the poem “Drop Everything” on the Brand New Stuff page above.

More soon…

GOAT’S ANSWERING MACHINE [45]

GOAT’S ANSWERING MACHINE

If you ever call, there is always
this: the grumble or tremble in
your voice is mine. I have gone
out to something, am not available

now. As a rule, I am never home.
I do the goose dance, i do the
state of the art. This is my
answer then, my message. Listen:

the hill is full of rocks
the wood is green with beasts

The last poem from the sequence GOAT lies down on Broadway. For more info see here.