Tag Archives: letterpress

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”



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…

The last word on the GOAT poems, by A.R. Ammons


For those who’ve followed the adventures of my old friend Goat over the last few weeks as I’ve posted them, many thanks.

For anyone interested in the entire collection, I’ll put together a PDF of this work and have it on this site for download before the New Year. There is still a print version of the book available through Amazon with black and white versions of Tom Williams’s great linocut art,  but no copies of the original letterpress are available (at least not that I know of!)

Finally, for the last word on this sequence, I’ll hand it off to National Book Award winning poet A.R. Ammons, who wrote this about the Goat poems:

“A sequence in which the imagination is marvelously free to leap, convert, disjoint, dispose re-dispose as the moment prompts, but a sequence in which restraint, compression, intention, craft are all alive and conscious in a fine discipline. The rambunctious is made sadly tame, sulled, schooled in ‘Goat’s Style is Cramped’  so naturally and with such apparent ease and one is so caught up in the poem itself that one has to break away to become aware of how flawlessly the poem’s made. I like these poems very much and consider them a rare achievement. Though energetic and almost dismissively swift, they startle one with sharp loneliness, compassion, loss. I’m afraid I cannot find anything wrong with them.”

On to new stuff! Happy holidays to all.



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.



Goat watches the sky bruise
with approaching day. He is old,
he can hardly walk. One day

Troll lifts him, carries him
to the city and drops him in
the middle of Broadway. Traffic

stops for miles. Goat is constantly
mumbling something. Someone in a car
gets out and shoots him. Goat is dead.

Goat is never dead.


from GOAT lies down on Broadway. For more info see here.




On the train, Goat sits
on Chicken Little. At first
he is unaware, but then Troll

ties up its beak with masking
tape. The sky stops falling.

Goat decides never to speak

Goat scares the conductor
with his bloody teeth.

It’s only chicken blood, says Troll.

from GOAT lies down on Broadway. For more info see here.
Lino-block art by Tom Williams.



Troll tells Goat that the sky
is scheduled to fall today:
he read it in the Post.

It starts: Goat kicks back clouds

while Troll keeps the blue above
by force of sheer ugliness.
All over, people carry umbrellas.

They think it is only raining.

When they can do no more, they find
a subway entrance, catch a train.


from GOAT lies down on Broadway. For more info see here.



Goat sees Troll at MOMA.
They eat the contents
of the room they are in,
then head for the library.

Later, they break up a
softball game: Troll eats
third base, Goat kicks

the umpire out of the game,
offers to sub, having read

the rules. “It’s only reasonable,”
he reminds Troll.

from GOAT lies down on Broadway. For more info see here.



Goat hears that she is doing well.
He goes to the field at night,
luminous, and picks roots and

He leaves them by the shepherd
boy’s door. He knows what to do
with them.

Goat receives a thank you note.
He almost dies.


from GOAT lies down on Broadway. For more info see here.



Maureen is stung by a bee
heading to her wading pool
in her backyard. Her dad
locates the hive in a nearby

He tries a spray but
the bees buzz about, so
everyone goes inside. Next
morning, the hive is trampled,
the bush uprooted, the yard
full of rocks.

from GOAT lies down on Broadway. For more info see here.