& now another week, another morning, and things settling back down a bit, at least for now.

This past weekend brought a tremendous amount of excitement. The trick is to see if it goes anywhere. At least I can say that I learned a lot, at least I can say that I sit here this morning with a renewed conviction. Regardless of how things go, there is always much work to be done, and it is in this quiet work that we will be realized.

I was very pleased and very excited to see this Printeresting post yesterday. It’s about the now forming Baltimore Print Studios, a community access print studio in Baltimore. The whole thing is being run by Kyle Van Horn, a printer and artist that I went to school with at MICA. Last time I was in Baltimore, this whole project was still in the early planning stages. Kyle had already amassed a fair amount of equipment, and had begun to think about a space and funding. It is hard for me to express how happy I am to see that it’s getting off the ground.

I know from personal experience the transformative, revelatory power of printing and bookmaking, and I know that once this studio opens up that same power will be broadly accessible to the Baltimore community. The boldness and generosity of the work that Kyle is doing will change that community for the better.

The image above shows posters that they are selling to help raise money. Buy some. Tell everyone you know to buy some. This project, this place, the activities that it will teach, and the welcome that it will extend, are absolutely critical to the continued vitality of the field and to the larger book arts and literary community. Many of us already know places and institutions like this that we are deeply committed to, that have played a positive role in the lives of so many people. Let’s do what we can to see that another such place opens its doors.



Pennsylvania bound. Everything hangs in the air.

Will return next week.



Many years ago, when I was 16 or 17, as I stood in front of the “Literature” shelf at the bookstore at the local mall, my friend Charles handed me a book to check out. I read the first page:

I am living at the Villa Borghese. There is not a crumb of dirt anywhere, nor a chair misplaced. We are all alone here and we are dead.
Last night Boris discovered that he was lousy. I had to shave his armpits and even then the itching did not stop. How can one get lousy in a beautiful place like this? But no matter. We might never have known each other so intimately, Boris and I, had it not been for the lice.
Boris has just given me a summary of his views. He is a weather prophet. The weather will continue bad, he says. There will be more calamities, more death, more despair. Not the slightest indication of a change anywhere. The cancer of time is eating us away. Our heroes have killed themselves, or are killing themselves. The hero, then, is not Time, but Timelessness. We must get in step, a lock step, toward the prison of death. There is no escape. The weather will not change.

It is now the fall of my second year in Paris. I was sent here for a reason I have not yet been able to fathom.
I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive. A year ago, six months ago, I thought that I was an artist. I no longer think about it, I am. Everything that was literature has fallen away from me. There are no more books to be written, thank God.

Everything changed. I knew immediately that I was holding and reading a kind of book like no other that I had read before. I bought the book, took it home, where it lived for a month or so, on the top of the stack of books on my floor. I had recently gotten back into reading. I didn’t read the new book immediately, because I was in the middle of On The Road, and that was supposed to be an important book. Everyday I looked at my new book. I opened it, read snippets, admired the cover. Somehow, even though I had really only read the first page, and had no idea what the actual book was like, I felt like I was connected to this object. Finally, I was able to read it.

The book was Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. An infamous book, and for good reason, but there’s a great deal more to it than all of the scandalous and/or offensive parts. And it did change my life. It’s helpful sometimes, necessary often, to remember the reading of that first page. To infuse this white morning, every morning, with the possibility of that first page. Waiting for everything to fall away.



Nothing like a long weekend to get some work done. 20 more runs down. Images of the “tagged” pages below, minus one that I couldn’t find. Will it ever come back? The detail shows the printing of the “opaque white” ink on the black paper (the covers). Letterpress/offset ink that is labeled as opaque is still very transparent at such thin layers. I am trying to take advantage of that fact with these covers, by using the white ink and black paper to make another kind of transparent gray.

The colors got a little weird on these. My apologies.