29 January, 2010

A few dates . . .

For those eager book buyers who like to see and handle books before adding them to their shelves, here are some occasions during the year when you have the opportunity to enjoy displays - not just of The Old Stile Press books - but those from other presses too.

During the Bath Literature Festival the Gallery in Chapel Row, Bath will be showing artists’ books from some of the members of the Fine Press Book Association:
13 February - 2 March

Then later in the year:
3,4,5 June we shall be showing downstairs at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair 2010 at Olympia. Here we are in the company of many major booksellers who have for sale treasures from the whole tradition of private presses. It is good to be surrounded by examples of the fine printing and imagery which inspired us to use those skills for contemporary book making.

23-26 September are the dates for the second London Art Book Fair at the Whitechapel Gallery - this is the Fair which has succeeded Marcus Campbell’s fairs at the ICA. We exhibited at the first show last year - and here we are in the company of all sorts of contemporary artist’s books from the unique copy to small editions by an individual alongside major trade publishers who specialise in books about art and artists. We enjoy displaying what we do and finding so many who are unaware of the output of presses working with old traditions to create new and exciting books with contemporary artists and writers.

2-3 October will see the Oak Knoll Fest 2010 in New Castle, Delaware, USA - we have still to decide upon that.

A few people have said that they ‘look forward to seeing us’ at the Watercolours & Works on Paper Fair - this year to be at the Science Museum in London (3-7 February). Sadly, however, this new venue does not have sufficient space to include the group of presses showing their work - so we won’t be able to see you there.

19 January, 2010

Congratulations to Philip Gross

I would like to lie and say that this was a photograph I took this very morning to catch the moment when the poet was told that he had won the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry for 2009 but, apart from fear of my nose growing long, the scene of Summertime outside the window makes the idea not entirely convincing!

Rather, the photograph was taken at an earlier moment of rejoicing for us, namely when Philip Gross and Peter Reddick sat down together to sign the copies of The Abstract Garden which I had finished printing a short time before.

To remind our friends of this book, here is a photograph of the Titlepage and just one of the page openings each of which consists of a poem, a wood engraving and their careful position together on the page.

More can be found out about this this book (one of our greatest favourites, I have to say) by clicking on this link.

But the excitement of this day is, of course, is Philip's triumphant winning of the T.S.Eliot Prize for his book The Water Table, published by Bloodaxe.

The following is taken from a press release from The Poetry Society:-

The judges of this year’s Prize, Chair Simon Armitage, and fellow-poets Penelope Shuttle and Colette Bryce, reached their decision after months of deliberation and debate. The winner was chosen from a field of ten highly-regarded poets.

Simon Armitage said:

“A book of great clarity and concentration, continually themed but always lively and alert in its use of language. Gross takes us from Great Flood to subtly invoked concerns for our watery planet; this is a mature and determined book, dream-like in places, but dealing ultimately with real questions of human existence.”

14 January, 2010

I know I promised. . .

. . . but it seems to have taken over everybody's lives!

Just as the first lot of snow was showing slight signs of beginning to melt away, there was a grand encore (especially dramatic in this part of the world) which revealed this lot as morning broke yesterday and before the deer and the foxes and the badgers and all the multitude of birds had tramped all over it. Even I had to admit that it was was looking rather magical so out I went to capture a few shots.

All my life, I have had the reputation of being a grouchy old grump when it comes to snow. I have never really worked out why but it seems to addle my head. I suffer from disorientation that comes from a type of sensory deprivation and creative thought (or anything but the lowest level of mental activity, eg filing) is quite impossible for the duration.

Outside, as I write, there is quite a convincing sound of dripping so I am daring to hope that real life may be restored to me before too long and that I may be able to embark upon all the tasks that await the restoration of my faculties.

And I might even get back to blogging . . .