Monday, January 30, 2012

ground water by paul cultrera (1978)

ground water
Paul Cultrera
Fathom Press
Chicago, IL

There are a few small presses that interest me enough to collect and write about them often. One of those is the under-appreciated Fathom Press as run by Robie Liscomb. The work of Fathom is as good as any I have seen/held in my hands/put on my shelves. During an exchange with Robie I had last summer, he outlined in the broadest (vaguest) strokes a history of Fathom. He also was kind enough to entrust me with a wonderful packet of Fathom and related chapbooks from which I have been ever so slowly been drawing. ground water is the most recent nibble.

Coming in at the unusual dimensions of 10.5" X 6.75", this hand-sewn chapbook is a wonderful example of the work created by Robie Liscomb (with help by Paul Cultrera). Made during the Fall & Winter 1977-78 in Chicago, IL, this chapbook was printed on Rives papers. Fathom was linked to Pentagram Press, with Michael Tarachow and others. Their works appear on each other's imprint. More to come!

Friday, January 27, 2012

In you enjoy this blog, you might enjoy....

Mimeo Mimeo, the wonderful journal about the intersection of art books and the mimeograph revolution. Jed Birmingham and Kyle Schlesinger have done a marvelous job putting together the publication and the blog. It's a bit more academic than what I present, but it's in the same universe. Give it a whirl.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In Place & Out by Michael Tarachow

In Place & Out
Michael Tarachow
Pentagram Press
Markesan, Wisconsin
(c) 1982

Full disclosure : I am also the head of Plan B Press.

The reason I bring that up is that one can tell a good deal about the journeys of a small press by what's listed on the title page. In our case, that would include addresses in Leola, PA, Philadelphia, and Alexandria, VA.

Pentagram Press moved more frequently than many a Press. This beautifully crafted, hand-sewn chapbook was produced in the small town of Markesan, Wisconsin in early spring 1982. The poet & published Robie Liscomb gave me a bit of a "virtual tour" of the Press when we corresponded last summer, but it's fair to say that they produced books in nearly every location where they settled for any length of time. There are graphics between each poem, and these were expertly done by Vickie Burton. The copy I possess is #106 of 123 made. Signed by both poet and illustrator.

This is a bloody gorgeous chapbook. Hand-made paper, attention to detail throughout. Just amazing. Printed by someone named Rich Hopkins (who lived in Markesan, perhaps?) at his Hill & Dale Typefoundry. Quite the collector's item.