3 Nations Anthology, a collection of writings by Native American, Canadian, and New England writers. The anthology will be a conversation among writers of both prose and poetry.
Seeking works of short prose and poetry for this anthology which conveys what living here is like where 3 Nations exist close together; what we share and what keeps us apart. Send works that describe a life or an instant. Subject matter can be very broad, from borders and bridges, the water that flows around-under-through, the solid ground we stand on, the tides that alternately obscure and reveal, kinships, animosities, heritage, geography, dawn, dawn land, northern lights, moose meat stew, poutine, ployes, lobster, pollock, lumber, boat-building, pregnant cows, art, music, literature—anything that makes up life in this region where three nations share space, history, and the future. Read More…
Previously, this blog followed work in the Book Design and Publishing course I took at the University of Maine at Machias. This was the biggest project I worked on as an editor to date. It was a great project, bringing back to life a historic Maine book by Mary Agnes Tincker, a roman à clef novel of incidents in the life of Father John Bapst, who was tarred and feathered in Ellsworth Maine by a band of No-Nothings in 1854.
Since the book was finished other projects have occupied my time, including another issue of Off the Coast poetry journal. Right now, the fall issue is in process. With a quarterly journal the process is continuous. While poems pour in another issue is under production, while you read poems and make editorial selections, another issue is being marketed and sold. You pray the printer’s schedule matches dates when you will be at events. A couple of years ago we were disappointed to find an issue would be unavailable to take with us to the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. On our way out of town, the UPS truck flagged us down and there on the side of Route 1, that great road that stretches from just north of our house all the way to the Florida Keys, we transferred the boxes from the truck to the car and went happily on our way. Read More….
Taking the 5 books we chose from the previous week, we were to comment on the aesthetic and practical considerations of our choices. After writing a short piece about each of the five, we selected one as our overall choice.
I chose The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin. The book recounts the Great Blizzard of 1888, which swept across the Plains just as children were heading home from school. The morning of the storm had been unseasonably warm and many children did not wear coats, boots, hats, or mittens to school that day. This fine non-fiction book gives a wealth of background information and first hand accounts of this tragic event. The designer, along with the author, eases us into the story.
The design elements of this book are consistent on a micro and macro level. For the sample text, I used the opening chapter. The heading is in small caps. The chapter title, Deaprtures and Arrivals, is large and italicized; there is an urgency to the italics. To begin the chapter, there is an ornament where a drop cap would be placed. The angle of the ornament matches the path of the storm, pointing from northwest to southeast. The typeface is fairly heavy, serif, but also conveys a sense of space typical of the Great Plains. These ornaments, doubled, are also incorporated as section breaks.
The book, a trade paperback with an elaborate cutaway cover, is a very nice package. The Children’s Blizzard, though a rather grim slice of history, is a very attractive book with an evocative title. The design elements do not detract in any way and enhance the telling of the story. Read More…
This week we explored fonts and typefaces. We of coursed joked about using Comic Sans and Papyrus then got down to business. Prof. Bernie shared some pages from early printed manuscripts and the class began learning the history and vocabulary of type organized around the two main spacing elements, leading and kerning.
Our assignment this week was to pick 5 books and copy a double page spread with the beginning of a new chapter. We were to examine and comment on the effect of the type, ornaments, placement, and other items.
Picking five books proved to be agonizing. There are thousands of books in my home. Since grade school when I did my duty to keep Scholastic in business, I have been a collector (read that hoarder) of books. And a borrower of books as well. I also have a full deck of library cards, from every place I have lived and many places I have visited, because you never know, I might want to go back some day and visit my old friends waiting there on the shelves.
I also worked in a couple of bookstores, ostensibly for extra income, though in reality it turned out to be an easy way to maintain my habit. The bookseller’s discount puts expensive books within reach and the books you might pass up all of a sudden fit in your budget. And I wasn’t confined to what was on the shelves; I could always special order books, opening up a whole world of the written word, at my fingertips. I could own every book. Read More…