30 August 2013

Poem-children leaving the nest

As the new school year is starting up and all of the college students have returned to campus, it is time to start submitting some poems again. I slacked off quite a bit this summer in the writing department, but I still have a series of five unpublished poems from Imago that can be sent out to find lit mag-homes before the chapbook comes out next year. I also have two final sections of the "Atomic Age" poems to place somewhere. So I've sent some poem-bundles off to the following lit mags:
  1. Bone Bouquet
  2. The Collagist
  3. Sixth Finch 
  4. Sundog Lit 
  5. Yemassee 
Wish me luck!

24 August 2013

Letterpress meets iPad

During our nights in Black Mountain, North Carolina, where we didn't have internet access, Emma got out her iPad and we played around with a fun app called Letter M Press. A letterpress-printing app? Why not! You've also heard of the USB typewriter adaptation for laptops, right? How fun.

Anyway, here's one of the creations we made together on one of those evenings with Letter M Press:

I plan to print this using actual letterpress sometime soon. And, of course, I'll need to print it on the Lit House's Vandercook. It's only appropriate.

15 August 2013

Book Festival Type-in!

Annie and I are prepping for our second type-in and letter-writing social! After the surprising success of our first event, the Chestertown Book Festival invited us to be a part of the 2013 festivities.

On Saturday, September 21, Thread Lock Press and Scribbling Glue will be hosting a type-in and letter-writing social from 10:00AM-noon in a room just off the main Book Makers and Writers Exhibition Hall at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 101 N. Cross Street. 

Here's our brand-new mission statement:
This type-in and letter-writing social is a creative collaboration between Thread Lock Press, typewriter-enthusiast and letterpress printer, and Scribbling Glue, letter-writing champion and envelope-pusher. They are out to reintroduce people to old techniques for creating new and improbable connections.
After two solid hours of typing and mail art, we will scurry over to the main Exhibition Hall to man our exhibitor table for the rest of the afternoon. I will be bringing some of my typewriter and letterpress items from my Etsy shop for display and sale. It's only about a month away now, so mark your calendars, guys!

11 August 2013

August is for adventuring

Last week I drove nine hours down to the Great Smoky Mountain city of Asheville, North Carolina with my poet-printer-bookbinder friend Emma and her boyfriend Nick. We stayed in a little town called Black Mountain and took day-trips into the city (which was only about 15 minutes away). We chose Asheville for the mountains and the letterpress printing and the book arts; and we were not disappointed.

Day One: 
Downtown Asheville
  1. Breakfast was plate-sized, inch-thick sweet potato pancakes covered in pecans and maple syrup with a dollop of peach butter at the Tupelo Honey Cafe
  2. Then we wandered on to the Blue Spiral 1 gallery, where we particularly went to see a printmaking exhibit by Jessica C. White of Heroes & Criminals Press (and co-founder of Ladies of Letterpress) called "The Adventures of Prudence and Patience." We, of course, discovered much more as we walked around the gallery.
  3. We were still full of pancake in the afternoon, so instead of lunch, we decided to head to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge for some sweet snacks. My favorite was the Earl Grey truffle from their Tea & Herb Collection. Chocolate and bergamot ganache? Yes please!
  4. Our favorite bookstore was, by far, Malaprop's Bookstore and Cafe. The atmosphere inside was clean and welcoming and vibrant. And I was beyond impressed with their front-and-center poetry shelves featuring some of my favorite small presses, particularly Ugly Duckling Presse and Milkweed Editions. I also picked up a collection of short stories there by local Asheville author Nathan Ballingrud. I found myself compulsively consuming story after story in his book North American Lake Monsters from Small Beer Press--dark, supernatural, and so so savagely human.
  5. The Spice and Tea Exchange had a delicious and fragrant selection of teas and flavored sugars and captivating spices. I picked up some of their Blueberry Black Tea and I can't wait to try it. 
  6. Finally, we stumbled upon The Local Taco for our dinner that night. Amazing! Great service and atmosphere and such delicious and creative taco choices. 

Day Two: 
Penland School of Crafts
On our second day, we decided to go for a bit of drive to visit the Penland School of Crafts about an hour north of Asheville. Emma hopes to take a class here next summer, so we thought, why not get a look at it? Penland is a beautiful place full of very talented (and skilled) artists of many crafts: letterpress printing, papermaking and bookbinding, ceramics, drawing, ironsmithing, woodworking, glass, photography, textiles. Although it felt a bit like a summer camp, it is a place of learning for serious craftsmen/craftswomen and artists set against the lush backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains. We got to explore the gallery and grounds during our visit, including the now-unoccupied studios full of all of the impressive equipment that the Penland students got to use everyday in their classes.

Day Three: 
River Arts District, Asheville
  1. Once we got our bearings in the winding (less walkable) River Arts District in West Asheville, we visited the letterpress printing studio of Innerer Klang, where we talked letterpress with printer Mark Olson as his C&P 10x15 whirred in front of him.
  2. Our visit to Asheville Bookworks was definitely the highlight of the day though. We got a tour of their fabulous letterpress printing and book arts facilities. So many presses, even a paper-making studio, and screen-printing and photopolymer plate-making equipment. Oh, the studio envy! They were also advertising a series of events called Vandercooked Poetry Nights that I absolutely fell in love with. These nights would include a special printing session of a broadside of the featured poet's work on one of the Vandercook proof presses, followed by a reading from the poet. It really is amazing how often poetry and printing intersect. I begged one of the event posters off of them to frame and hang in my house. I just love it!
  3. Although they were closed, Emma and I peeked in the large windows of the 7 Ton Collective studio and shop. They are a group of printers, each running their own press ventures but sharing a roof. 7 Ton Collective is comprised of Quill & Arrow Press, ANNAND, and Tiny Story Factory. 
  4. For the rest of the afternoon, we returned to Downtown Asheville to revisit two favorites: French Broad Chocolate Lounge and Malaprop's Bookstore. But in our walking, we stumbled upon this wonderful boutique of local handmade, upcycled, and vintage goods: Garage 34. It was essentially a brick-and-mortar Asheville Etsy market. There were so many lovely items that I was tempted to splurge on, but in the end, I settled on a beautiful studded leather cuff bracelet.
  5. For dinner that evening, we headed back to the River Arts District to the White Duck Taco Shop. I had a lamb gyro taco with tzatziki sauce. In case it wasn't quite clear before, Asheville really does tacos exceptionally well.

We covered a lot of letterpress and book arts ground during our short time in Asheville. We definitely had a dorky vacation, which is to say we really had such a good time. 

All the same, it is great to be back home now with my crazy dog and snuggly cats.

02 August 2013

Dancing girls love typewriters too

Another title from dancing girl press
Further proof that my first chapbook found the perfect press. The newest dancing girl press project: an anthology of textual & visual creative works dedicated to the typewritten word called [carriage return]

I'm hoping to write a new poem or two over the next month or so to submit to this fabulous adventure in typewriter ephemera and poetry. I can't wait to see how this book project develops.

Tom Hanks is one of my favorite people.