SELECTED ARTIST’S BOOKS FROM LITTORAL PRESS
Just out from Longship Press: Penumbra, a book of poems by Lisa Rappoport, with a cover painting by longtime collaborator Claribel Cone. From Troy Jollimore’s blurb: “There are pleasures in these pages, quiet surprises, shimmering surfaces, the constant reality of grief, the continuing possibility, no matter how unlikely it may seem at any given moment, of sudden joy.” $16.95.
Nautilus (2001) is designed, written, printed letterpress, and assembled by Lisa Rappoport. Within a wooden box painted by one of several artists (Andrew Larkin painted the boxes pictured), a nautilus shell nests on a bed of moss. From the mouth of the shell a poem about the nautilus emerges on a narrow, 25″-long scroll. Types: handset Centaur and Arrighi. Paper: Fabriano Roma light green. Printed in darkest sea green. Edition of 21, of which each is unique. Size of box: from about 3.5″x5″x7″ to 5″x6″x9″. Nautilus is in the collections of the University of Tulsa, the Marriott Library at the University of Utah, Texas Tech at Lubbock, San Jose State University and the Wallace Library at Wheaton College. $275.00. Two copies remain.
Knot Undone (2001) is a möebius loop with a repeating brief poem. Black and red ink on grey or white BFK Rives, Bernhard Gothic type. Endless edition. $15.00.
Heart Assortment (February 2002) consists of nine poems housed in an altered and/or altared found red velvet Valentine candy box. Each poem is printed letterpress in a different font, in nine shades of red and purple, on Somerset Velvet radiant white paper. Printing, design, writing, and scavenging of hearts by Lisa Rappoport. Each poem is on a 7″x4.5″ page; hearts vary in size. Edition of fourteen. $140.00. Two copies remain.
Un-Lazy Slug (July 2002) is a statement by Eileen Callahan, found in my e-mail inbox, about the beauty of slugs. Printed letterpress in wandering Greeting Monotone, handset, on Frankfurt cream paper, 2.5″x18.5″. Edition of 96. $15.00.
the devolution of western civilization (a flipbook) (December 2002) flips through both images and words, from enticement to dissolution. Handset Goudy Oldstyle & Handtooled on Rives heavy-weight (buff) or Fabriano Tiziano (white), with textured dark red covers, in an edition of 50. 1 5/8″x4 5/8″. Collected by the University of Washington and the Atlanta College of Art. $15.00.
A Flame in the Heart (December 2002) is a 25-page accordion book exploring the territory where love and hate commingle. Poetry and prose by 17 writers. Edited by Lisa Rappoport. Johannot paper, handset Garamond type, black and blood-red ink; title page drawing by Bobbe Besold. Covers of Thai Unryu reversible (red and black). Each volume has unique pastepaper liners. Edition of 125. 11″ x 7″ folded/18 feet long unfolded. In addition to the regular edition priced at $275.00, there are two copies signed by 16 of the 17 contributors to the anthology (alas, not Frida Kahlo) remain, available at $500.00. In the collections of the Rockefeller Library at Brown University, the Bancroft Library, the San Francisco Main Library, the Marriott Library at the University of Utah, U.C. San Diego and the University of Texas.
A Morally Pusillanimous Cad, or The Cage of Misdirected Longing (March 2004): In a bamboo birdcage seven artificial birds perch on branches. Each has a wired ribbon in its beak, printed letterpress with a short phrase. Edition of three (of which two are hors de commerce), each unique. $325.00.
Catalog Shopping: Precepts for Enhanced Living (April 2004) joins images, largely printers’ cuts from the fifties, to quotes from “a certain cheesy yet alluring circular perused all too frequently by Lisa ‘not a slave to fashion’ Rappoport” [from the colophon]. Printed in handset Glamour Lite and Brush on Hahnemühle Ingres Antique in coral and turquoise inks. Covers of soft teal or pale green Canson Mi Teintes; flyleaf paper incorporates bits of newspaper text. 5.5″x4″. Edition of 80. $39.95 in fine stores everywhere. Collected by University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; the Marriott Library at the University of Utah; Long Island University, New York; and the University of Washington.
Tomorrow: A Perpetual Calendar (September 2004) quotes five lines from “Macbeth” (To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,/Creeps in this petty pace …) on a möebius loop. Folio Antique paper, handset Greeting Monotone, Huxley Vertical, De Vinne, and Garamond italic and roman types in blood red and pale lavender. Edition of 50, $20.00.
Nevermore (December 2005): In an aquarium a raven stands on a mirrored river with black feather banks. An eight-foot-long wired ribbon, printed letterpress with a quote from W.G. Sebald about the nature of time, twines among branches. Edition of three, each unique. $325.00.
Not Fade Away (January 2006): Three pink erasers, printed on both sides with a single word alluding to extinction (extirpate, erode, etc.). Presented in a clear plastic cylinder, surrounded by a sheet of Johannot lightweight which is printed without ink (as are the erasers) with the title, in descending type sizes, and a colophon, all in Bernhard Gothic. Edition of 32. $20.00.
A Dada Diary (November 2006) is an accordion fold book with various doings of the dadaists, presented with somewhat irrational accompanying printer’s dingbats. Acid green and eggplant ink on Frankfurt paper; Bernhard Gothic & Crayonette types. Edition of 100. $35.00.
Mrs. Yesbut Goes to Town (January 2007) is a collaboration between Littoral Press and Yvonne Tsang’s Epistolary Press. Periwinkle blue covers enclose a pocketed accordion fold book of nine pages. Each page has a vintage printer’s cut printed in periwinkle onto the pocket; inside each pocket is a removable card with unjust quotes from our universal past: “If you don’t understand, I can’t explain it to you”; “Would you like to share that with the rest of the class?” and seven more. Park Avenue throughout, with Bernhard Gothic Light for the back cover colophon. Covers printed in black. Edition of 100; 3.25″ square. Text paper is Johannot Light. $75.00.
Trash Talk (September 2007) has 32 derogatory words for men and women, 16 per gender, printed on four coasters in 16 fonts and two ink colors (turquoise and deep pink). Each coaster has a letter printed onto the front in wood type in light green. Three of the coasters have a retro image printed onto the back in brown ink; the fourth has the colophon, also in brown. 85 sets; $20 per set.
Le Rayon Vert/The Green Flash (December 2007) excerpts dialogue from the eponymous book (by Jules Verne) and film (by Eric Rohmer) in French and English, and is liberally illustrated with vintage dingbats. The size is 4″ square. 24 pages printed in Edenic green and chocolate brown on Johannot lightweight, with celadon Magnani Arturo covers and a flash of green translucent vellum. Flyleaves of vintage Japanese persimmon-dyed paper. Cover image by Andrew Larkin. Conceived & printed by Bushra Azzouz and Lisa Rappoport. The fonts are Centaur and Arrighi. Edition of 99. $135.
Burning Daylight (December 2007) is a letterpress/offset hybrid production. Lisa Rappoport designed this full-length book of poems by Stephen Kessler, and printed the covers letterpress; Logos Graphics did the offset printing of the text; binding was done by Roswell Bindery. Edition of 400. Available from Littoral Press for $20.
Miscreant (August 2009) is an (ant)hology of eight poems about ants. The pamphlet-stitch book is 6″x4″, with Hahnemühle Bugra Bütten Archive text paper and covers of Moulin de Pombié Moucheté Granite. The poems are printed in Optima from photopolymer plates, with titling and colophon in handset Greeting Monotone. No ants were harmed in the making of this book. Edition of 77. $115.
The Short Goodbye (2011): In a dark alley, Philip Marlowe runs into concrete poetry… Each sentence in this short found book was borrowed from Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye; quotes about coffee, whiskey, guns, lips, eyes, sex, and gimlets have been formatted into thematic typographic shapes. Sixteen pages; 12”x8”. The frontispiece and special edition photographs were shot by the auteur. Speaking of shooting, the front covers were plugged with a 9mm pistol. Eight ink colors; two to three bullet holes per book. Edition of 53. $350. Nos. One through Seven are housed in a louvered wooden box, with an additional photograph visible behind the louvers. [This special edition has sold out.] Collected by Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Hunt Memorial Library, Artist Book Collection; Stanford University Green Library; Lilly Library at the University of Indiana; Bancroft Library; et al. Recipient of the Alastair Johnston Fine Press Award (2011) and honorable mention in the Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design (2012).
The War Works Hard (2012) is a poem by Iraqi-America poet Dunya Mikhail presented as an 11-page accordion fold artist’s book. The English text, translated by Elizabeth Winslow, is on one side; the Arabic text has its own cover, opening from right to left, and occupies the other side of the pages. Both sides contain drawings made for the book by John Paisley. Edition of 55. 4” square. Printed from handset Bernhard Gothic with Legend titling (for the English), and from photopolymer plates (for the Arabic), on Rives de Lin or Folio Antique paper. Red Fabriano covers and black Hahnemühle Bugra Bütten endpapers. Text printed in black ink, illustrations in grey. Three copies have been donated to the Mutanabbi Street Coalition. Ten per cent of the sales price of the remaining copies goes to Doctors Without Borders for their humanitarian relief work. $185.
Zane Grey and Me (2015) juxtaposes excerpts from the 1917 novel, Wildfire, with autobiographical responses, obliquely addressing the roles of both romance and romance novels in modern life. Printed damp in purple ink on eight colors of St. Armand paper, and bound in leather with exposed longstitch. The tops of the pages are cut into canyon and mesa outlines. Mr. Grey’s text is set in Farmers Old Style, via monotype composition from M & H Type; Ms. Rappoport’s text is handset Centaur. 8.25” x 10.75”; 32 pages. The edition is 47. Illustrated profusely with vintage dingbats, as well as a frontispiece drawing by Andrew Larkin. Anatomical heart drawn by Bobbe Besold. This book grew out of my childhood in New Jersey and my years working with horses in Europe and New Mexico. The underlying question is, how does reading romanticized versions of the American West affect an impressionable horse lover? The colors and sculpted shapes of the pages, along with the horizontal layout, evoke the horizons and landscape of the Southwest. The cowhide cover, with its silver concho closure, brings to mind journals kept by pioneers. The two columns of text on each page, one from Zane Grey’s novel and one from the author’s life, reveal the tension between fiction and reality, past and present. $750.
Ten Thousand Voices (2013), by Rick Kempa, designed at Littoral Press: poems of the Grand Canyon and other wild places, as well as what is both wild and familiar within ourselves. $16. See a review at http://www.rattle.com/poetry/2013/07/ten-thousand-voices-by-rick-kempa