Maji Moto: Dispatches from a Drought by Courtney Fitzpatrick was the focus of a three-month-long exhibition in our foyer gallery. The 88 page, fine press book features forty color photographs, ten lyrical essays, and an introduction by Courtney along with a preface by leading field biologist Harry Greene and a foreword by Donna Haraway. More information, including how to order books or broadsides, can be found on the news page of the website, at this blogpost, and in the near future we will have a Maji Moto subpage within this books section.
Poplar Forest (Summer 2010) was the second collaboration with Virginia based photographer Rob McDonald who proves film-based photography (including the Holga camera) is a medium with evocative qualities and creates images with emotional resonance. There will soon be a Poplar Forest subpage for this intimate photographic portrait of Thomas Jefferson's home away from Monticello, and for which Rob also wrote an illuminating essay exploring the concept of solitute and retreat. Please visit Rob's website for details and order forms (or stop by one our open houses on the Third Friday of every month from 6-9pm to see the book in person).
I design books—fine press titles, trade editions in a variety of genres, children's books, novels for 'tweeners, digitally printed on-demand short runs, and genealogy/family history books—for other publishers (Eno Publishers, Sleepy Hollow Books, Oxford Press, Hub City Books) and individuals who crave the extra attention to detail and collaborative process that I provide. Please find examples in the portfolio section.
There is also an independent, fine press publishing arm to the studio. These books bear the H&B imprint and have won awards for both their design and content. These top-shelf titles—housed in special collections across the globe, including the rare-book rooms of the New York Public Library, the British Library, the Library of Paris, the Vatican, and the Penland School of Crafts Coffeehouse—are not mere fetishized objects for collectors and vitrine cases. These collaborations reside in the home libraries of thousands of readers, are shared between friends, are used in college literature programs, and are donated to municipal libraries for general reading.
Publishing the work of established writers (Allan Gurganus, John Lane), emerging poets and storytellers (Stephen Gibson, Courtney Fitzpatrick), accomplished visual artists (Ippy Patterson, MJ Sharp), and historians (Charles Millard); the press brings to light important and vibrant works that often fall through the widening fissures of today’s mainstream publishing culture.
These books have a physical and emotional presence to them—a body and a soul—because of the attention to detail, tactile materials, and hand processes often used to produce them. The form of the books reflect their content visually, creating intimate artifacts which slow the reader down, and turn the reading into a true aesthetic experience. These books are one small way to reawaken our senses and connecting us more strongly to a writer’s words. In the process they enrich our lives and remind us of a rewarding alternative to an increasingly abstracted and digital world.
Many titles use a variety of production strategies to push the concept of each book becoming a unique original artifact, rather than merely exisiting as a copy of a master plan. This includes different cover images or handmade cover papers, using techniques such as photo transfers and hand-dyeing or painting which inevitably have irregular differences from piece to piece, and alternate color schemes on the title pages throughout the edition.
H&B has a community supported literature program—you know, just like a CSA. Just email or phone if you would like to be placed on this subscribers list. There are no formal obligations; we merely send out an announcement about the books and give readers an opportunity to purchase books in advance with a 20% discount.