Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Precariat Press

It's been a good few years that I have been thinking of putting together a collection of my poetry and wondering how I should go about it. While self-publishing has, in contemporary times, always gotten a bad rap as "vanity", historically it was crucial to artistic survival: the Woolfs founded the Hogarth Press and printed Virginia's work, and earlier, across an ocean, Walt Whitman published his enduring work Leaves of Grass himself. Most recently I have been inspired by American writer, Jim Trainer, who vowed to publish a collection of his poetry annually for ten years (I have 2018 & 2019 collections, but I think he started in 2015). I was originally drawn to his writing through his monthly article, The Coarse Grind, and his own blog of personal journalism, Going for the Throat, before I discovered that he was a poet too. So, in good company I set about founding my own press. After sessions of brainstorming with my husband, artist James Hayes, a name for the press and an image for its logo were decided. James designed this logo in record time for me.


I had already decided that my first collection would be a chapbook, with the title and cover image based on the bon voyage card I made for my grandparents after first meeting them in 1967. I gave an explanation of what led to that meeting and images of the original card in my blog post last week. Here is the idea sketch for the cover. I will do a full drawing as it will be a lino block print. I was dithering about handpainting areas of colour, but it is most likely to be monochromatic. While I have use of a printing press, I plan to print the front and back covers as one page, also making a linocut of the logo, so colour has yet to be decided.


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