Façades for Mark Rothko by Crispin Elsted

Façades for Mark Rothko by Crispin Elsted

It has been a year since I posted and it’s time to get back at it!  Fast-forwarding past the rest of producing the Great Wall of China to my most recent project, I’ll backpedal next time and finish the story about The Great Wall. Just in time for the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair in March, my latest book project was finished. It is the last of three books I started working on at the beginning of 2016. From the first time I heard Crispin Elsted read Façades for Mark Rothko I wanted to spend more time with the poem. It had not been published, but Crispin was kind enough to send a copy by mail. After reading it and musing on it, I asked if I could print it.  When he said yes, I panicked, wondering what had possessed me to ask –how I could possibly do the poem justice? Several years have passed since that moment of horror, and Crispin has kindly offered suggestions and provided encouragement along the way. The text was sent off to Michael and Winifred Bixler to be set in 14 point Van Dijck and the Zerkall paper was ordered from the UK. I sent two other texts off to Bixlers’ at the same time, and since they were in line to be printed first I had time to consider the poem and how to present it. Thinking of Rothko’s paintings, I wanted the book to have a quiet presence but not be imposing, to contain and present Crispin’s writing without being illustrative. Many ideas came to mind, but they all seemed too imitative or...

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