Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Correction, Bowery

Okay, so I was wrong Schwartz and Roffé did not read at The Bowery last night, it was a book release party only. Mr. Schwartz has a new book out from Chax press and a chapbook from Ugly Duckling and Ms. Roffé has a new book out from Shearsman. They will both read with Erin Moure at McNally Robinson Bookstore on Thursday, May 1st @ 7 pm.

The party was a big blast from the past for me, it being hosted by an Evergreen College class. I counted four kids from my poetry program, which was pretty teeny tiny. They're all living in New York, kicking serious publishing tukas and poeting too. The new crop of Evergreen students looks very promising, good kids, I think.

Anna Maschovakis and Matvei Yankelevich of Ugly Duckling Presse were there with their GORGEOUS chapbook by Mr. Schwartz. Both Anna and Matvei will read at the Bowery next Tuesday, April 29th at 5pm.

Ugly Duckling Presse!

I stopped by UDP on Monday and had the pleasure of folding, awling and sewing some of the chapbooks with Matvei and Michael McCanne. Matvei and Michael designed the gorgeous, did I mention gorgeous? chapbook all in-house.

Let me just say that walking into the UDP workshop brought on a sense of immediate euphoria. Maybe it was just the thick combined smells of ink and cigarette smoke that met me at the door which always conjures raving bohemian associations for me, but I don't think so. UDP is housed in a big building that they share with several other presses and creative studios out in Brooklyn near the Gowannis Canal. Ahhh...(I sighed) this is what small press publishing looks like. Yes. This feels good, real and immediate. The presence of charming men didn't hurt either. Soon I was bone folding with the best of them, comparing Bay Area and NY poetry scenes and singing the praises of dear, dear SPD champs Brent Cunningham and Neil Alger. All in all, UDP is rocking its own socks and mine, and those of many others by any measure. That day, Monday was the awards ceremony for Aram Saroyan who won the William Carlos Williams award. UDP recently published his Complete Minimal Poems and Matvei was on his way to the ceremony when I left. Hooray for Small Press Literature and hooray for UDP. I was a fan before, from afar but now I'm a...uh....huge fan.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Last night I taught a binding workshop at the Mills studio. It was very small, which I thought was actually preferable, because instead of going through "now this hole, now this hole," I learned a new sewing from a Keith Smith book along with them--I showed them how to follow the diagrams and sewing patterns. It was great...we made a 3 signature weave.

And so regarding Sara's question regarding books on making books:


There are 3 of 4 of these books, and I've used the 1, 2, & 3 Signature Sewings (above) and the Exposed Spine sewings to teach myself various things. I learned coptics, greeks, caterpillars this way. And I'm pretty much ready to tackle any sewing at this point!! Bring it on!

Because that's the thing about bookbinding. It's far more intimidating than it is difficult.

(Sara, you can do it!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


thinking a lot about maya deren, meshes of an afternoon, non narrative. visual fragments then reacting as if were sentences. am trying to make more picture streams (cool is also carrying around my tiny digital camera in my hand then sound comes out, blue marble.)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

postcards, recycling

lately i've been revisiting my old messy, cut-and-paste, zine-style days - somehow i just don't feel a need to get slicker or be "bound." and since i don't make editions and i'm broke, it works for me.

right now i'm making postcards -- a series -- each one with a story fragment/section on the back. sending them off one-a-day to a friend, who will ultimately put them into his ("the reader's") preferred order.

the postcards are all different sizes, depending on the length of the text, and each also features an image, usually just a bad home-printer color printout of photos also by me.

ideas addressed in this project fluctuate around: sequencing; fragmentation; the use of public utilities in art (usps); fluidity of story (anti-arc of fiction); images that don't "illustrate" text but rather pair with it; analogue/tactile relationships with words, images, "the page."

materials used are minimal and recycled and free-- scraps of cardboard, electrical tape, glue, sharpees, whatever's lying around the house. right now i'm even working without a glue stick, as mine ran out last week and i haven't restocked.

i'm thinking/wondering about/how to ultimately bind all the cards (24 total, plus title page et al) together. but that would cement an order, which i'm not sure i want to do.


[i like this project, too, because it makes me make something every day. even if i just spend five minutes taping together some paper and cardboard, it's daily and it's using my hands (not a keyboard, ahem).]

front (about 8x6 inches, this one):


close up:

Saturday, April 12, 2008

but what about book making?

or, how did you learn what materials to get in the first place? like, yer basic 'how to make a book' type thing? want to resist urge to take a class and try teaching myself how....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ny central

I've been buying paper from NY Central for a while; their online catalog is huge. Paper Source is ok. I bought a great bone fold there, though. I concur re: Talas - I've bought all my book-makin' supplies from there, and so far, so good. There's also Colophon in Washington. I get my threads from there.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

TALAS for NYC book makers

For bookmaking tools, visit TALAS at 20 West 20th Street and They have bone folders, binding thread, awls, and all that (though for paper, you're better off visiting Jam Paper on 3rd Avenue). The customer service is spotty, but it's a NYC institution, and you'll leave equipped to soldier on, as I did on my Cheer-Up Book of Wounded Soldiers (plug:


book making books?

also does anyone have any good recommendations for books about making books, that are easy to follow? 

Sunday, April 6, 2008


this is a re/source for publishers and book makers interested in and learning how to disseminate language materials. post! join this conversation&let's talk about it!

i co-publish, with cristiana baik, :::press gang::: and run the pretty panicks press, a small press related to rock and roll music.

we (:::press gang:::) encounter a lot of questions regarding funding//non-profit versus for-profit status, and a lot of questions re: the internet and digital media for publishing purposes...but we also like to talk to other publishers in general about book making and the concept of publishing!

how and what are you doing?