I collected an unholy tonnage of rocks during the pandemic and piled them in the basement. Then they started talking to me. We’ll see how this goes.
My Grandfather’s Dictionary
I was bewitched by the gorgeous engravings in an old Webster’s and badly needed a mental break from my job. That’s the basic story behind Aard-vark to Axolotl.
Twenty years, 25 issues. From 1985 to 2005, our hand-sized, prodigiously analog magazine drew power and beauty from brevity. Get in touch if you want one.
Oat City Press
Summer 1995: the Vandercook series #317 letterpress arrives in Riverside from Woonsocket on a flatbed truck. Over the next ten years, we print books, broadsides, cards, covers for Paragraph, and an assortment of indescribable folding ephemera. Our press left us the same way it came, on a flatbed, this one commandeered by Gardner LePoer of the Museum of Printing in Haverhill. Now, if the tide comes up any farther than usual, we have nothing left to throw a rope around.
Some featured Oat City Press publications:
Josh Russell. Winter on Fifth Avenue, New York.
Evoking Alfred Stieglitz’s famous 1893 photograph of wintry Manhattan, this 20-page chapbook is printed in two colors (text in burgundy, original drawings in black). Karen Donovan, the illustrator, hand-stenciled the cover, title page, and two foldout pages in blue, red, yellow, and orange. The type is Monotype Bembo. The paper is Nideggen, with Canson Mi-Teintes burgundy cover. Single gathering, hand-stitched and glued into a wraparound soft cover measuring 5×9 inches. An edition of 50, numbered and signed by the author.
Dara Wier. Fly on the Wall.
A 20-page chapbook of a single poem, measuring 4¾”×5¼”. Printed in an edition of 50, each book numbered and signed by the author. Printed in black and red ink with hand stenciling on each page in yellow. Line drawings throughout by Karen Donovan. The paper is Somerset book, with Fabriano Ingres yellow cover. Single gathering, hand-stitched, and glued into a wraparound soft cover.
Walker Rumble. Odd Devices: A Catalog of Typesetting Machines.
Commentaries on antecedents to the “automatic” lettercasters that transformed printing after 1890, the best known of which was Mergenthaler’s Linotype. Reproductions of period engravings accompany each commentary. A set of 12 broadsides in a handsome handmade container. Limited edition of 45 sets. Each broadside measures 6×15 and is printed in two colors. Hand-set in 14-point Monotype Bembo 270 with Garamond italic titling and is printed on a Vandercook 317 letterpress. The paper is Domestic Etching.