top of page

The Re-Creation of a Poem through Letterpress

As a poet and editor, I think a lot about how poems work, alone and in a collection. And while I have copied down some of my favorite poems, trying to understand what makes them tick, I've never considered building them letter by letter. As I start to learn more about the letterpress printing process, I am enamored with how intimate an experience it is to set type. The re-creation of a poem through letterpress, word by word, line by line, paying close attention to punctuation, the relationship between negative space and what will be white space on the page, has to be one of the best ways to study and honor the work of the poet. What do you think?

We are close to unveiling Pittsburgh-based printmaker, Ryan Kaune's letterpress version of Ann Wilberton's poem, A Salt Marsh House (more on Ann and her poem soon!). There is still time to preorder your limited-edition print, the first in Lefty Blondie Press's Broadside Series!

For those of you, like me, who are new to letterpress and other printing techniques, you might appreciate some introduction. According to Print Center New York online glossary, letterpress is defined as, "A relief technique for printing movable type (though blocks with images may also be used). Metal, wood, or polymer forms of a standard height are set in place in the bed of a press. Since ink is transferred from the surface of the blocks by the application of pressure, letterpress prints are recognizable for their embossed printed forms."

The letterpress process is fascinating and below are pictures of Ryan's progress.


bottom of page