Archive for the Literature Category

Anniversary exhibition at CAM Raleigh through August 7

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Art, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Design, Event, Friends, Horse & Buggy Press project, Literature, Music, Politics/Philosophy, Publishing, Type High: Letterpress, Typography on July 23, 2016 by horseandbuggypress



It’s been a busy past few months, most notably with having a fantastic first stop to the traveling exhibition “20 Years of Horse & Buggy Press (and friends!), which debuted high above the banks of New Hope Creek at Cassilhaus during May. Cassilhaus, an amazingly beautiful home, gallery, and artist residency program designed and run by Frank Konhaus and architect Ellen Cassilly is one of the true gems of our area. They put on an amazingly rich and diverse set of exhibits and events at their place. I highly suggest getting on their mailing list.

The H&B anniversary exhibit is now up and running at CAM Raleigh (there are over 200 pieces in the show including all eighteen fine press books I’ve produced, some of which have the last few copies for sale) and there’s a series of talks (all free) with a bunch of the collaborators in the coming weeks.

Copious details on the exhibit and the events at our most recent two newsletters. (if you would like to be on the mailing list, just holler to me at  I send out 4–6 newsletters in a year.

July newsletter

May newsletter

Later this summer and continuing through the fall you will see a veritable explosion of blogposts profiling the bevy of book projects I’ve produced in the last few years and a few of the larger commissioned projects. I’m very excited about Journey, a 112 page book of photomontage by Catharine Carter which I just finished printing the covers for yesterday. The first 10 or 20 copies of the edition should be on hand at the Sunday, July 31 event at CAM Raleigh (see newsletters above more info). There will also be a giclee/lettepress broadside edition produced.



Roses: The Late French Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke

Posted in 21st century life, Art, Design, Horse & Buggy Press project, Literature, Publishing, Type High: Letterpress, Typography on November 27, 2013 by horseandbuggypress

The fifteenth title to be published under the Horse & Buggy Press imprint.

Roses: The Late French Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke

Translations, Introduction,  & Essay by David Need
Drawings by Clare Johnson

Roses is a 224 page interdisciplinary investigation into Rilke’s late work, written in French instead of his native German, and produced with the utmost attention to detail and quality in materials.

Poet and poetry scholar David Need has been working on these translations for many years. The book presents the original French poems alongside David’s translations to English, and each of the 27 poems in the Roses series is accompanied by a pen and ink drawing by Clare Johnson. An essay by David, a series of appendix poems, and elaborate endnotes offer additional perspectives into Rilke’s work.

The books are offset printed in two colors using high-end heavyweight paper with a tactile eggshell finish, and the covers are partially hand-printed on the letterpress with wraparound foredge flaps. Each book includes a custom printed bookmark and is numbered and hand-signed by the author.

Roses sells for only $30, despite all the high-end production touches.

UPDATE. April 2016. There are less than ten signed and numbered copies remaining from the first printing. These now sell for $60 (the second printing sells for the original $30 price, the second printing does not have hand-printed covers but does utilize the same  -high-end paper and binding)..

For more information or to order a copy, please see the Announcement & Order Form

some spreads below . . .


2-title spread

3-Intro spread

4-poem spread

5-Drawing spread

5-Essay spread

7-appendix poems spread

8-notes spread

Song of the Line review / Shop Independent Durham Week

Posted in 21st century life, Art, Horse & Buggy Press project, Literature, Publishing on November 27, 2012 by horseandbuggypress



Five years ago I published “Song of the Line.” This hardcover 112 page title features twenty years’ worth of poetry by Jack Gilbert, along with ten engravings created in response to a reading of these works by Jack’s friend and fellow Hillsboroughian Henryk Fantazos.

Our marketing department just unearthed a pretty great review of Song of the Line (from 2008). There is some great writing in this book, covering a variety of issues and emotions, and it has been fun to “rediscover” these gems through the reviewer’s eyes.

As part of Shop Independent Durham week, we will be open every day this week from 11am–2pm (Saturday 10am-2pm). Our come hither sale pitch is this: everyone who purchases this (or any other H&B book) will receive a free set of letterpress greeting cards.

More info about Song of the Line from our website. Please notice there is a downloadable pdf on this webpage which shares ten pages from the book.



Maji Moto: Dispatches from a Drought. A 2012 Horse & Buggy Press Production….

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Art, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Design, Durham, Event, Horse & Buggy Press project, Literature, Publishing, Type High: Letterpress on June 4, 2012 by horseandbuggypress

Maji Moto: Dispatches from a Drought


There are only 30 plus copies remaining as of May 2016 and less than ten copies of the deluxe edition.

Maji Moto: Dispatches from a Drought: Photographs and Lyrical Essays by Courtney Fitzpatrick was the fourteenth title published under the Horse & Buggy Press imprint. This fine press book and broadside collaboration was the centerpiece of a multi-media exhibit in our Upfront Gallery in 2012. This exhibit included books displayed on custom cherry wall-mounted bookstands, framed photographs, limited edition giclee/letterpress broadsides, and a large-scale environmental text installation in the storefront window.

Maji Moto: Dispatches from a Drought
Photographs and Lyrical Essays by Courtney Fitzpatrick
A Horse & Buggy Press Book

Courtney spent 17 months in the remote Amboseli basin of Kenya during 2009 and 2010. As Amboseli descended into, suffered from, and eventually emerged from the worst drought in living memory, her evocative writing and photographs became a personal record of a fragile ecosystem. The acts of writing and making photographs for Courtney— while in a region and a situation few people will ever experience—were both a process of discovery and a means for reflection.

from one of Courtney’s essays…

The sky keeps filling with clouds. A goose down comforter shields this piece of Earth from its sun and one fish-belly cloud hangs low and swollen.

We shiver.

How can these clouds not bring rain?

This drought is the worst that anyone can remember. It has draped the landscape in zebra pelts, laying them out like the watches of Salvador Dali. Stripes melt. Faces seep into the ground, baring a toothy grimace….

I collaborated with Courtney for over a year, shaping this content into a fine press book as well as limited edition broadsides created through an integration of giclee printing (color photograph) and letterpress printing (three colors of text content). The book and broadsides are exhibited alongside framed photographic prints from Maji Moto—a body of work that bears witness to the transformation of both a physical and psychological landscape. The stirring narrative, carried forth equally by words and images, is presented first and foremost through the engaging intimacy of a hand-bound book, a tactile artifact with enduring emotional resonance.

The large-format, 88 page limited edition book is a unique balance of images (over 40 in full color) and lyrical essays (10) that manages to be both a “document” of a rather unique place and time in a remote part of the world as well as a highly personal and poetic account. The book also includes an introduction by Courtney along with forewords by noted field biologists Harry Greene and Donna Haraway.

An excerpt from Harry Greene’s foreword…

“Those of us concerned with the fate of biodiversity are saddled with terrible dilemmas: As humans willy-nilly shape the future, we are bereft of consensus over just what to save and where to save it, let alone how to do so. In the face of shrinking habitats and climate change, with our population burgeoning and the extinction of many species inevitable, what are defensible benchmarks for conservation? And more philosophically, how can we yearn for untrammeled places yet bemoan our separation from nature? Not only are words like wilderness subject to debate, it’s as if within the last few million years, by gaining the capacity to contemplate our fate, we’ve pulled away from the natural world for which many of us profess such longing. Rather than providing direct answers to these tough questions, Maji Moto asks us to think longer and harder, inspired by the luminous prose and remarkable photographs of Courtney Fitzpatrick, a young woman who went to Kenya to study baboons . . .”

From Donna Haraway’s preface…

“Maji Moto draws wonder and terror in thimbleful after thimbleful from the hot springs at the Amboseli Baboon Research Project in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. The life-saving rains did not come the year Fitzpatrick came to mix her sweat, laughter, and tears with the breath of baboons, people, antelope, elephants, and many more. The laden clouds tantalized and withheld, day after day. The pictures show it; the lyrical words etch it into the flesh. The earth is warming; the suspects in this terran crime are flying overhead in thin metal jet shells that split the clouds, but they bring no rain.”

Select elements of the book, including the covers, were hand-printed on a Vandercook letterpress and heavyweight paper is used throughout the book including flyleaf endsheets. Each of the numbered 175 limited edition copies is signed by Courtney and includes a hand-printed bookmark, as well as a frameable, photographic print tucked into a translucent envelope inside the back cover. Below are a few spreads.

Four images from the book were used to create four different broadsides in limited editions ranging from 20 to 30 (depending on the image). Each broadside is 16 x 22 inches with one image and a text excerpt from the book.

Below is a glimpse at all four of the broadside designs.

I was especially happy with how dimensional and life-like the image reproductions came out through the archival giclee printing process, even while printing on toothy watercolor like paper—which then of course beautifully shows off the tactile, letterpress impression of the text excerpt…

Maji moto, and we are in hot water indeed. Glaciers are melting, the wells are running dry, and still there is the private weight and weather of our own days. Where is the aquifer that hydrates your solar plexus? I will pluck out the straws and cork the leaks. Let me lash hinged thimbles to your fingertips. Ten tiny buckets will swing like iron when you walk, heavy with the catch of your rain.

Anna Lena Phillips wrote a great article about the project in American Scientist magazine.

Chris Vitiello reviewed the book/project in the May 30, 2012 edition of The Independent Weekly.

There is a curated excerpt of work up on The Paris Review website.  If you aren’t in the Durham area, this is a good way to get a deeper glimpse into the content of the project. However, if you are in the Durham, North Carolina area I highly recommend you don’t take a peek, so that when you view the physical book for the first time it will be with “fresh” eyes.

An artist whose primary medium is science, Courtney completed her undergraduate degree in studio art at UNC-Chapel Hill and taught photography at New York’s Hetrick-Martin Institute before returning to her early interest in evolutionary biology. As a graduate student in biology, she received a Fulbright Fellowship to study sexual selection and primate reproductive biology in the wild. The scientific results of her collaboration with the Amboseli Baboon Research Project resulted in a Ph.D. from Duke University. Courtney lives in Durham and is originally from both Oregon and North Carolina.

The signed and numbered, limited edition book is for sale at $140. Broadsides are $120. As with all H&B products, there is a one week, money back guarantee. If you change your mind after receiving the goods, they can be returned for a full refund within one week.

The order form is linked below, but feel free to just call or email your order in as well. I’ll mail the goods to you with an invoice payable upon receipt. It’s that simple.
Maji Moto order form

Maji Moto announcement

FOYER GALLERY HOURS — While the Maji Moto exhibit has been broken down, the book is still on display. Visitors are welcome to sit and have a quiet moment with the book. Hours are Fridays 11 – 2, Saturdays 9 – Noon, and by appt. We also have an open studios event on the Friday of each month from 6 – 9 pm as part of Third Friday Durham.

H&B FINE PRESS LIBRARY — In an attempt to make the book—and spending slow reading time with Courtney’s work—as accessible as possible, I’ve decided to make copies of Maji Moto available on a one week loaner basis for those who wish to read it, but are unable to purchase this limited edition, fine press book. Contact me via email for details.

Thanks to Tim Schrand for making wall-mounted cherry bookshelves for displaying the books, to Craven Allen House of Frames for framing the broadsides and the photographs, and to Mitch Fisher of Fisher Signs and Graphics for installing the environmental text installation.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Art, Literature on February 7, 2012 by horseandbuggypress

I like things that can be both “old-fashioned and cutting edge at the same time.” I’m looking forward to when Miles is old enough to watch this.

I think the Vimeo link is higher res if you want to go full screen….

Chris Stern’s work lives on.

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Design, Friends, Literature, Type High: Letterpress, Typography on December 28, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

Chris Stern and Jules Remedios Faye were Stern & Faye Printers. Chris died in 2006 from cancer.

Great work reproduced here at the Stern & Faye website. The discerning reader will also notice that clearly their website was an inspiration point for the design of the Horse & Buggy Press website. Chris and Jules collaborated on some beautiful broadsides.

When I was a core student at Penland I discovered Chris’s work when I purchased States of Grace. I was intrigued because he seemed to be doing what I was trying to do… making beautiful book editions that are QUIETLY beautiful, tactilely engaging, and have great writing in them, and honor the private, intimate space of reading purposefully. These were books to be read and housed in bookshelves at homes, not ensconced in rare book libraries where the rarity is the books actually getting pulled out and read by anyone.

I wrote Chris a letter and we corresponded a few times (it sure is nice when people take the time to write back, share, and continue a dialogue; it makes the world seem like such a nicer, convivial place). Besides being an accomplished printer and an adventurous designer, Chris also was active in casting Monotype and working to preserve that craft (and helping out letterpress printers who were/are still interested in using metal type). I almost pulled the trigger on a book project a few years ago that I would have published myself — and Chris would have cast the type for — but it languishes to this day on the back burner due to a lack of funds. (there’s a fair bit of esteemed company —and interesting projects — crowding that back burner).

A few years ago we treated ourselves to a broadside Chris and Jules collaborated on when we were out in Seattle. (purchased at Wessel & Lieberman, a fantastic fine press bookstore) A detail of the broadside is pictured below.

Today I received an announcement about an initiative to start ” a working museum to preserve and continue the art and industry of the cast letterform.” The beginnings of this venture is Chris’s type foundry equipment. There is lots of information below at the link. This organization is a non-profit so any donations will result in a tax credit. Please consider contributing and/or spreading the word to folks that might be interested or do-gooders with the cash money to support important things that otherwise are going to die out.

Idea of a Working Museum

H&B sale — 20% of revenue will be donated to Urban Ministries of Durham

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Art, Event, Horse & Buggy Press project, Literature, Music, Type High: Letterpress on December 15, 2010 by horseandbuggypress


**sale concludes Weds from 2-5pm. stop on by.**
Also, feel free to call or email if you would like to make an appointment for an earlier time.

This Third Friday, during our open studios from 6-9pm, I will be donating 20% of all sales on Horse & Buggy Press items to Urban Ministries of Durham.

Products include $6 magazines and records, $10 letterpress card sets, $12 letterpress broadsides, $13-25 trade edition books, $10-$15 music CDs and documentary DVDs, $105 photoalbums, and $55-145 fine press limited book editions.

Again, the donation will be 20% of the sale, not 20% of the profit.

From the UMD website… “Urban Ministries plays a critical role in Durham’s continuum of care network as the primary point of entry to homelessness prevention, re-housing and emergency services for a large portion of the area’s homeless and poverty-stricken population.” Shelter. Beds. Warmth. A meal.

I will also be open — and the 20% donation sale continues — on Saturday from 10am-noon and on Wednesday the 22nd from 2-5pm (these hours coincide with the Durham Farmers Market).

Description of items follows (if the title is orange, please click on it for a link to more info and pictures; most likely there will be other items for sale as well including books I’ve worked on for other publishers such as Eno Publishers and Sleepy Hollow Books, and exhibition catalogues for The Gregg Museum of Art and Design and other museums).

All purpose Southern greeting cards.
Hand-printed letterpress, three different color schemes. 5 x 7 inches.
5 cards and envelopes per set

Mobile City issue 7.
Literary journal loosely centered around cycling.
Prose, poems, drawings, and photographs by nearly two dozen contributors.
Co-edited by James Kerns and Stephen Gibson (author of the H&B title City of Midnight Skies)
48 pages, 8.5 x 11 inch page size, full color.

Sound of Singles 7 inch.
Originally an extension of a conversation with his father, Gerald removes two Bob Seger tunes from the Classic Rock ghetto and reinterprets them in his own voice (and using some non rock’n’roll instruments including accordion, electric baritone, ukuleles, and a bowed dobro). This 7 inch also includes a CD single for the turntable challenged listener. Turn the Page is backed with Beautiful Loser.
The 7 inch is hand-printed with metallic silver, red, and black inks on chipboard. Limited Edition.

Song of the Line.
This 112 page hardcover book is an impressive collaboration between two friends and features over eighty of Jack’s poems—written over the last twenty years—as well as ten engravings Henryk completed in response to reading Jack’s work. Introduction by Annie Dillard. The book has a full color dustjacket, headbands, and printed endsheets. This book was offset printed on heavyweight eggshell finish text paper.
normally $30, just $25 for this sale

City of Midnight Skies
Poems, Prose, and Drawings by Stephen Gibson.
These poems and drawings were originally created in handmade sketchbooks I made Stephen over the years.
“Very true to his surrealist lineage, Gibson’s specialty is the city noir… we glimpse the human heart, still alive and wonderfully strange. I go back to these poems for their haunting physical clarity; for the way they withhold answers in honor of mystery; for how they are both intimate and impersonal—noir, original, mysterious and lovely.”—Tony Hoagland
64 pages, 8 by 11 inches, trade edition. (the hand-printed letterpress edition is out of print)

Durham Farmers Market Broadside.
This five color hand printed 13 x 20 inch poster was commissioned by DFM to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the market. It features a short history and evolution of the market, an engraving by Josef Beery, and a list of all farms/artisan food producers associated with the market in the first ten years. I picked this image because to me it nicely implied “harvest,” and just like a single ear of corn is comprised of many small kernels, so too a farmers market is made up of many little farms.
Each print is numbered. Take your print to Craven Allen and they will give you a special discount on matting/framing.

Limited edition fine press book featuring 22 photographs and a wonderful essay by Rob McDonald. Each book in the limited edition of 135 copies features an actual darkroom print tucked in the back. All text is letterpress printed by hand, the book is hand-sewn, signed and numbered by the artist, and ten different handmade paper covers and three different colored endsheets were used throughout the edition to push the concept of each book —just like each birdhouse photographed— being a unique original. For many years Rob has been exploring all over the Southeast investigating a sense of place, and what makes places unique. This series of birdhouses came out of the larger project. All photographs were made with a Holga camera and were individually printed by hand and hand-toned in a darkroom.

“Rob McDonald has focused his Southerner’s affinity for home, the handmade, and the unique qualities of individual places on the many birdhouses he has photographed. These images remind us that no two spots on this earth are the same, that every house comes with its own set of spirits, and that everybody needs a shade tree.”—DAVID WHARTON, Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi
64 pages, only a few copies remain.

Poplar Forest.
Another fine press collaboration with Rob McDonald. Rob photographed Poplar Forest, the retreat Thomas Jefferson built to get away from the crowds at Monticello and which has been recently restored. Again all text, including Rob’s terrific introduction exploring the concept of retreat, and Sam Witt’s poem which deftly intersperses some of Jefferson’s original letters written while at Poplar Forest, is letterpress printed and the images were originally made with a Holga camera. Each book is hand-bound, signed and numbered, and accompanied by a print tucked in the back.
32 pages, 6 by 9 inches, edition of 294.

In the Light From Stained Glass.
Poems on Growing up Catholic by Frank Ryan
Illustrations by Dave Wofford
These 33 poems cover a wide range of events and emotions over a rich life; from experiences during The Great Depression to Frank’s adventures and evolving roles as a growing child, student, father, and teacher; and his inner struggles and observations with Catholicism along the way — all the while reveling in the beauty and details of the natural world and surroundings. Six short biographical excerpts provide additional context to the poems.
The entire book is letterpress printed by hand in five colors and was one of the last projects I printed from metal type. You will see that the metal version of the Centaur typeface is far superior than the digital versions around today.
Handmade paper covers, five color title page, heavyweight Somerset text paper
This limited edition of 118 copies was thought to be out of print but I just found a few copies. Hand-bound.

Handmade Photoalbums.
Ever flip through a friend’s photoalbum and the cover keeps wanting to close on you while you try to flip through? That’s bunk. H&B albums are hand-sewn in a coptic stitch binding that is actually sewed into and through the cover so the book lies open perfectly flat — WITHOUT holding it down. Additionally, there is a one inch tab along the centerfold of each spread to compensate for the thickness of photos (or other mementos) that will be placed inside. This keeps the book from warping and becoming wonky after being filled up. The covers are adorned with hand-made, hand-dyed paper, they only look better with the inevitable marks and patina of age and use. We love iphoto and Flickr but really your favorite photos should be going in actual object you can touch and you are sure will be around to pass down to the next generation.
The two books pictured above are 9 by 13 inches, 42 pages
normally $125, only $105 (we also make custom albums and sketchbooks)

Blackbirds, Bottle Caps, & Broken Records
Documentary film about Bryant Holsenbeck’s artwork and philosophy behind her work. This fifteen minute short was filmed and edited by Margaret Morales. Produced by the The Resource Center for Women & Ministry in the South.
The DVD package is letterpress printed on sturdy chipboard stock, and there is an interior booklet with an essay by Bryant, who also signed each DVD package.

Last, we sell gift certificates (hand-printed of course) if you are interested.
$50 and $100 amounts. (the 20% donation applies on these as well).

If you wish to purchase something from out of town, just email or phone your order in. I’ll send an invoice out with the goods, you send me a check when it arrives. Simple. (Or I can do paypal if you prefer)

We hope everyone has a great holiday, whether you celebrate Christmas, the winter solstice, Festivus, or any of the many other ways we honor a special time of year. The important thing is to spread love and good cheer where and when you can. Buying stuff should not be the focus — but if you do purchase gifts for loved ones, please consider what and whom you support with your dollars. It really does make a difference.