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manifest press

I had a portfolio review yesterday and I just took a bunch of sort of crappy pictures of all of my work from this year with my phone. I view all of these projects as failures to some degree, learning experiences that I feasibly would like to re-make in the future (some of them, at least). Calling them failures doesn’t mean I’m not proud of my work, or aspects of it, it just means that I don’t think any of them warrant inclusion into my professional portfolio. I learned so so much making them, though, and I know that there are people who want to see my stuff, so here we go, in the order in which I made them…

And the Chained Beast Stamps on the Beach
quarto pamphlet
4 5/8″ x 8 7/8″
letterpressed in Bernhard Modern, can’t remember on what!
edition of 20

This little book is of a poem I wrote from appropriating/manipulating lines from Virginia Woolf’s novel The Waves. A quarto means that it was printed all on one sheet, then folded into quarters and trimmed so as to allow the pages to turn. The pamphlet is bound with embroidery floss, and each book has a different pair of colors of floss. In making this I learned something about stanza spacing, notice how the stanzas feel like they’re too close together.

Rite Book
altered blank notebook
7″ x 9 7/8″
oil pastel and felt tip pen on notebook paper
unique work

This book was a documentation project. I wrote a letter to a different person every day for a month. I didn’t actually send any of them but one. I transcribed them into this notebook, cut out the extra pages, then redacted the text into a series of connected poems using a felt tip pen and oil pastels. The idea behind the pastels was that they would be thick and that the pages would rub off on each other as well as the reader. Sort of how different relationships with people rub up against one another. This book is kind of a mess and I love it.

Leak (collaboration with Nicky Tiso)
folding broadside
15 1/2″ x 23 1/2″
letterpressed in Futura and wood type on Canson drawing paper
edition of 20

This is the uncut/unfolded version of this piece. Nicky took language from BP’s press releases about the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico and wrote poetry with it. I then edited that poetry into this oil spill shape. When it’s cut out it has a blobby shape (you can kind of see that in the shape that the text makes on the flat piece) that folds up into a blue pentagon with a tiny bit of the black text peeking out. As one folds out the flaps the oil plumes out bigger. I only cut out one of them, and it’s in special collections in the library. I am waffling on cutting out the rest of them because I can’t decide if I think the folding really adds to the piece or not. I had a really hard time finding blue paper that was appropriate; they don’t really make many colors of print making paper. The Canson drawing paper offers no weight to this piece, it’s just too light. I think I might re-do this project on something more substantial. After working with French paper for the CWS broadside I think they might have something good to use. I learned how to make a rainbow roll doing this project, and I’m REALLY happy with the way the oil rainbow turned out.

naive melody (collaboration with Olympia, WA)
paperback codex
6 7/8″ x 8 3/16″
laser jet printed from digital pdfs created in InDesign and Photoshop
covers made from re-purposed Slightly West posters and printed from a linoleum carving
open edition (10 created thus far)

I cried a whole lot in front of a computer while I was making this book. The text is culled from my friends’ writings about Olympia and our friendship. The images are collages of scans of ephemera from my life in Olympia, small trinkets, friends’ artwork, a wonderful piece of moss, half of a tea-cup from The Bread Peddler, etc. The Slightly West posters were annoying me in my portfolio, (there are a bunch of different colors, those familiar with those posters will remember) and the linoleum block I carved from a sigil that Jed made out of the phrase “WE ARE SO BIG.” It also says “OLYMPIA,” is an abstraction of the physical shape of the town, and was tattooed over Kelly Norman’s and my hearts during my trip home last month. Hopefully more of my tribe will deface their bodies with it soon. At some point in the future I’m probably going to make a digital version of this book that can be continually added to.

The Weather (Contemporary Writers Series collaboration with Eileen Myles)
5 1/16″ x 28 6/8″
letterpressed in Typewriter, Futura, and wood type on French poptone
numbered and signed edition of 50

MAKING THIS WAS SO FUN! I GOT TO HANG OUT WITH EILEEN MYLES! There’s an old blog post I wrote about it here.

Discussion Poetry
10 7/16″ x 25 1/2″
letterpressed in Centaur and Eve on Rives heavyweight
edition of 12


Sources & Responses
coptic bound codex made of envelopes
4 1/8″ x 4 11/16″
letterpressed in Spectrum and Eve, can’t remember on what!
unique work

I made this book out of responses I wrote to four different works by women who I am in conversation with in my work. It explains itself on a card that you pull out of the first envelope. It took me a really long time to cut out all of those tiny little fragments that are contained in the rest of the envelopes. Killer on the wrists/fingers! The written responses face the envelopes full of fragments. I am really terrible at coptic binding; no one should ever look at the spine of this book.

To Build
folding structure
12 13/16″ x 12 7/8″ flat, approx. 6 2/8″ x 5 2/8″ constructed
letterpressed in Bembo, can’t remember on what!
edition of 5

This book was printed on two long strips and then glued together in a cross shape. As you read it you fold on the black scored lines and tuck tabs into slits to make a house with holes in it. I wanted the structure to be loose, which it is, but it’s not quite what I was going for. It was hard to find the perfect paper that would be sturdy and stand up straight, but not crack when it was folded multiple times. It was so hard in fact that I couldn’t find any! I had to make-do. The case of Bembo that I was setting from was REALLY trashed, but by the time I realized it I had set a large enough portion of the type that I didn’t want to start over. Time time time. LETTERPRESS IS FUCKING TEDIOUS. My favorite part of this project was making the little envelopes that hold the blind stamped instructions/colophon which reads “As you read valley fold the black lines and tuck tabs into slits to make a structure. This interactive reading experience was conceived, written, designed, typeset in Bembo & printed by Kate Robinson at Eucalyptus Press, February 2011”

Manifest Workshops
4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″
photocopied on plain ol’ copy paper
open edition (50 created thus far)

There are images of this project here. The zine contains instructions for Cristal Otero’s, Anna Wolfe-Pauly’s, and my Automatic Translation workshop, Tommy Purtle’s, Adrienne Wilson’s, and my Common Language workshop, and a list of suggestions for acts of guerilla poetry. At the end it asks the reader to not just enact these workshops but to make similar zines with either their own created workshop models or the ones I’ve given them. This is going to be an on-going thing, and eventually I’m going to make a companion book that documents the spread of these workshop zines over Oakland. I’m hoping that I can recruit people in other cities to do the same thing. I am really interested in the potential social function of book art.

Currently I’m working on a final edition of books for the end of the semester. I am finally really starting to feel comfortable in my voice as a book artist. They’re not finished yet, but I am pretty sure that this project will actually be something that I’m completely proud of that I can put in a professional portfolio. YAY!


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