Collaboration and Dual Roles
"V" from "Sabbaths 2004," Wendell Berry, Larkspur Press, wood engraving by Wesley Bates
Larkspur Press has printed several of Wendell Berry’s works, including some of his “Sabbaths” poems. They are indicated by the year they were written, and each poem is given a Roman numeral as the title. The poem for this broadside was “V” in “Sabbaths 2004.” Printmaker Gray Zeitz finds it important to consult with the poet when designing the broadsides. Each illustration is drawn specially for the project, and he enjoys working with the same artists, such as Wesley Bates and Carolyn Whitesel. For this broadside Bates' illustration is placed in the middle of the poem, creating three uniform columns.
"Relationships," Richard Taylor, October Press, illustration by John Lackey
For poet Richard Taylor, “seeing one’s work in print is tremendously satisfying, a form of validation . . a sense of permanency.” Deborah Kessler of October Press feels the collaboration between writer and printer is crucial; “I love what I print. In turn, I want the poet to love the printed work before we share it with others.” For this reason Taylor enjoys working with Kessler, seeing the relationship as symbiotic. The illustration is by John Lackey of Homegrown Press in Lexington, Ky. Within this collaboration there is a mutual respect between poet and printer, which is apparent in the result.