Archive for the ‘Alcuin Society’ Category

Alcuin Society announces awards
for best books of 2012

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

In the Alcuin Society awards for best Canadian books of 2012, Parenthesis designer Andrew Steeves won two first and two second prizes for books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Current FPBA board member Jason Dewinitz won a second prize for limited edition books. Other limited edition book winners included Susan Colberg, Margaret Lock, Larry Thompson, Natasha Herman, and Holly Dean. The complete list of winners is here.

–Bob McCamant

Glenn Goluska, Book Designer and Typographer, 1947–2011

Saturday, August 13th, 2011


“You can lose a man like that by your own death, but not by his. So until then, let us rejoice in him.” — George Bernard Shaw

I have just learned from Parenthesis writer Chester Gryski that noted Canadian typographer and book designer Glenn Goluska has passed away. Glenn went into palliative care at the beginning of August, and earlier this week he married his partner Bernadette before a small group of friends and family.

Glenn was an accomplished and imaginative book designer, producing designs for Canada’s Coach House Press in the 1970s before designing catalogues for the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, and numerous jackets for McGill-Queens Press. He also published books under his own imprints imprimerie dromadaire and Night Shade Press.

Chester Gryski reminded me

Glenn was one of the founders in 1980 (along with Will Ruetter and Paul Labarge) of The Devil’s Artisan. (It is still being published but now by Tim Inkster and Porcupines Quill and edited by Don McLeod). He left The Devil’s Artisan about the time he moved to Montreal. He was also an occasional contibutor to the journal Fine Print (when it existed) and designed one of the covers.

(I would love to know which Fine Print cover Gelenn designed.) I expect more thorough notices to appear in the coming days so I will let those who knew him best describe Glenn’s life and work.

This spring, as I was putting Parenthesis 21 to bed, I was presented with an opportunity to run a gallery of a few of Glenn’s book and poster designs. As I pulled this illustrated article together, I knew Glenn was ill and I feared that the article would turn out to be an obituary of sorts, and so it turned out to be. I am sad that Glenn won’t see this feature appear in Parenthesis 21, which comes out next month, but I am very glad to be able to share his work with readers of Parenthesis.

As an added tribute, the entire issue is set in a brand new typeface called “Goluska,” designed by Glenn’s friend, Canadian type designer Rod MacDonald. This will be the first appearance of this font in print.

Andrew Steeves, publisher of Gaspereau Press (and designer of the North American issues of Parenthesis) visited Glenn Goluska this spring in Montreal and posted an account of his visit on the Gaspereau Press blog.

Photo: Glenn Goluska judging at the Alcuin Society ‘Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada’, 2007.

— Paul Razzell

Postscript: On August 15, Glenn’s friend and colleague, Andrew Steeves of Gaspereau Press, reflected on Glenn’s passing here.

Alcuin Society awards for best-looking limited-edition books of 2010

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

It’s always exciting to see the winners of the annual Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada — especially when FPBA members appear in the top of the list. This year, Crispin Elsted of Barbarian Press and Jason Dewinetz appear three times in the Limited Editions category. And Andrew Steeves of fine press/trade hybrid Gaspereau Press, who also designs the North American issues of Parenthesis, appears four times in various categories. Nice work, gentlemen!

Each year, the Alcuin Society gives award for the best book designs in the the following categories: childrens’, limited editions, pictorial, poetry, prose non-fiction, prose fiction, and reference; the jury changes from year to year. This time round, the entries were judged by Alan Brownoff, Dr. Shelley Gruendler, and CS Richardson. Here’s a few photos of the judges at work. This year there wee 37 winning titles from 217 entries, from 9 provinces and 96 publishers.

In the Limited Edition Category, the winners are:

First prize: CRISPIN ELSTED, designer of The Play of Pericles, Prince of Tyre … by William Shakespeare, edited with commentary by Crispin Elsted; illustrated by Simon Brett (Barbarian Press).

Second prize (tie): JASON DEWINETZ, designer of Alphabetum Romanum: the Letterforms of Felice Feliciano, c.1460 (Greenboathouse Press).

Second prize (tie): LINDA GUSTAFSON, designer of Words Have No Meaning, edited by Zengetsu Myokyo (Enpuku-ji Press).

Third prize (tie): RAPHAËL DAUDELIN, designer of L’Absent by Fernand Ouellette, illustrated by Christian Gardair (les éditions du passage).
Third prize (tie): JASON DEWINETZ, designer of Light & Char by Jake Kennedy (Greenboathouse Press).

The full list of award winners in all categories can be seen here.

— Paul Razzell

Canada’s 30 best-designed books: 2010 winners

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

On behalf of The Alcuin Society, this year’s judges (Marian Bantjes, Linda Gustafson, and Peter Koch) have selected 30 winning titles for the 28th annual Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. The books were chosen from 252 Canadian entries published in 2009, from 9 provinces and 108 publishers.

The Alcuin Award winning books will be exhibited internationally: in Germany, at the Frankfurt and Leipzig Book Fairs; in England, at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library and the Norwich University College of the Arts; and in Japan, at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, in conjunction with the Tokyo International Book Fair. The books will also be exhibited in 19 venues across Canada. They will compete in the international book design competition in Leipzig, Germany in February 2011.

This year’s winners are:

First prize: ROBERT CHAPLIN and SIAN PAIRAUDEAU, designers of Brussels Sprouts & Unicorns: a Book of Rhymes by Robert Chaplin (Robert Chaplin)
Second prize: ELISA GUTIÉRREZ, designer of The Kalevala: Tales of Magic and Adventure by Kirsti Mäkinen, translated by Kaarina Brooks (Simply Read Books)
Third prize: GRACE PARTRIDGE, designer of Ella’s Umbrellas by Jennifer Lloyd (Simply Read Books)
Honourable mentions: MICHAEL SOLOMON, designer both of Alego by Ningeokuluk Teevee (Groundwood Books) and of City Alphabet by Joanne Schwartz (Groundwood Books).

First prize: CHARLES MAYRS and DAVID CLIFFORD, designers of British Columbia: In Light and Dark by Charles Mayrs (Charles Mayrs)
Second prize: JARRETT MORRISON, designer of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (The Bowler Press)
Third prize: GABRIELLA SOLTI, designer of The Sensory Delights of Text by Gabriella Solti (Gabriella Solti)
Honourable mentions: JUDITH POIRIER, designer of Dialogue by Judith Poirier (Judith Poirier), and JASON DEWINETZ, designer of This (And That Was That) by JonArno Lawson (Greenboathouse Press).

First prize: STUDIO FEED, designers of Far East, Far Westby Benoit Aquin (les éditions du passage)
Second prize: ALAN BROWNOFF, designer of Emblems of Empire: Selections from the Mactaggart Art Collectionby John E. Vollmer & Jaqueline Simcox (The University of Alberta Press)

Third prize: SUSAN COLBERG, designer of Synergies 2009: Prints from the University of Alberta(Dept. of Art & Design, University of Alberta).

First prize: ANDREW STEEVES & ROBERT BRINGHURST, designers of Selected Poems by Robert Bringhurst (Gaspereau Press)
Second prize: ANDREW STEEVES, designer of Lean-to by Tonja Gunvaldsen Klaassen (Gaspereau Press)
Third prize: NICOLE LAFOND, designer of J’partirai by François Hébert (les éditions du passage).

First prize: ANDREW STEEVES, designer of The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud (Gaspereau Press)
Second prize: PETER COCKING, designer of Daniel O’Thunder by Ian Weir (Douglas & McIntyre).

First prize: ANDREW STEEVES, designer of The Marram Grass by Anne Simpson (Gaspereau Press)
Second prize: ROBERT BRINGHURST, designer of At the River’s Mouth by Daphne Marlatt (Institute for Coastal Research, Vancouver Island University)
Third prize: ANDREW STEEVES, designer of A Sound Like Water Dripping: In Search of the Boreal Owl by Soren Bondrup-Nielsen (Gaspereau Press)
Honourable mentions: ROBERTO DOSIL (cover) and M. PAGE (interior), designers both of The Story Behind the Book by Laura Millar (Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing (CCSP) Press) and Translators on Translating by Andrew Wilson (CCSP Press).

First prize: CS RICHARDSON, designer of The Bedside Book of Beasts by Graeme Gibson (Doubleday Canada)
Second prize: PETER COCKING, designer of The Men who Killed Me edited by Anne-Marie de Brouwer & Sandra Ka Hon Chu (Douglas & McIntyre)
Third prize (tie): NAOMI MACDOUGALL, designer of Six String Nation by Jowi Taylor (Douglas & McIntyre)
Third prize (tie): BOB BECK, designer of Comestible/Edible: l’aliment comme matériau/Food as Material by Diane Leclair Bisson (les éditions du passage).

First prize: SKIPP DESIGN, INC., designers of Living Proof: the Essential Data-Collection Guide for Indigenous Use-and-Occupancy Map Surveys by Terry N. Tobias (Ecotrust Canada/UBCIC)
Second prize: UNIFORM, designers of Connaître les droits de l’enfant by Bureau international des droits des enfants (IBCR) (Les éditions de la courte échelle)
Third prize: NAOMI MACDOUGALL, designer of Araxi: Seasonal Recipes from the Celebrated Whistler Restaurant by James Walt (Douglas & McIntyre).

The Alcuin Society ( is a Vancouver based non-profit society for the support and appreciation of fine books. In addition to the annual Book Design Competition, the Society publishes a journal, Amphora, and organizes lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and field visits on various aspects of the book.

For more information, please contact Leah Gordon, Alcuin Society Design Competition Committee Chair,, 604.732-5403.

Two free lectures by Peter Koch for Vancouver’s Alcuin Society

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

FPBA member Peter Koch will be in Vancouver as one of the judges of the Alcuin Society 2009 Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada competition, taking place on March 27th, 2010. In conjunction with the awards, Peter will present two lectures. The first will be  “Printing in the Shadow of Aldus,” an illustrated talk about Watermark, Joseph Brodsky’s lyrical essay about Venice, with photographs by Robert Morgan.

The book is a series of essays in memoir form by the poet and Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky. Peter is an artist, printer, writer, and publisher of fine editions and artist books, and the president of the Codex Foundation. Mr. Koch will be introduced by Robert Bringhurst.

Mr. Koch will show slides and talk about the grand adventure of printing Watermark in Venice in collaboration with an international cast of distinguished printers, artists, and artisans.

For those who can’t make it to Vancouver for this talk, you can read the fascinating story about the making of Watermark in Parenthesis 15 or on this website.

His second lecture will be “Fine Printing and the Imagination.” So book your calendars now. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Top: Peter Koch and Susan Filter recount their adventure publishing Joseph Brodsky’sWatermark in Parenthesis 15. Image copyright Peter Koch.

Middle: Joseph Brodsky and Robert Morgan in Venice.

Below: Barging presses down the Grand Canal in preparation for printing Watermark. Image copyright Sebastian Hartz.

— Paul Razzell

FPBA participating in the 2009 Alcuin Wazgoose

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009


The Fine Press Book Association will be participating in the 2009 Alcuin Wazgoose. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest and want to see the work of 18 presses, 4 book artists as well as demonstrations of bookbinding, the intaglio process, and silkscreening, mark October 24 on your calendar. Here’s more info from the Alcuin Society’s website:

This year’s Wayzgoose will take place on 24 October from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. This year’s festivities will include BC private presses, book artists and demonstrations including bookbinding, silkscreening and the intaglio process. The event is free.’

For more information, please contact Eric Swanick:

— Paul Razzell

Alcuin Society’s 27th Annual Book Design Awards

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

News about the Alcuin Society’s Annual awards for the best Canadian book designs:

‘The Alcuin Society and Emily Carr University would like to invite you to an Awards Ceremony, honouring the designers and publishers of the winners of The 27th Competition for Excellence in Book Design in Canada – 2008.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Gabriele Wilson, a New York-based graphic designer and member of the faculty at Parsons School of Design. After seven years as Senior Designer at Knopf Books, Gabriele now runs a small design studio and continues to work for numerous publishers worldwide designing jackets and illustrated books, as well as creating restaurant branding and music packaging. Her work has been featured in Communication Arts, The New York Times, Metropolis, Print, USA TODAY, By Its Cover: Modern American Book Design, New Vintage Type, Chip Kidd: Book One, and the AIGA 365 and 50 Books/50 Covers competitions. She is originally from Concord, Massachusetts.

Gabriele’s talk — Gabriele Wilson: Greatest Hits (and, um Misses) – will be introduced by the evening’s moderator, Peter Cocking, Creative Director of Vancouver-based Douglas & McIntyre, himself a winner of numerous Alcuin awards.

The event will be held at Emily Carr University, Room 301, on Thursday, October 1st at 7:00 pm. It is a free event, open to the public; everyone is encouraged to attend. The award-winning books will be on display.

During the day, there will be two related workshops. The first (from 10:30-12:30), an interactive seminar/discussion on book design, will be given by Gabriele Wilson and Peter Cocking. The second (from 1:30 to 3:30), by Celia King, will be a hands-on workshop in which participants will create a simply-bound book in hard covers, complete with dust jacket to pressed finish – discussion will explore type design, visual formats and concept presentation for publishing. Registration will be required for both workshops.

For further information, contact Leah Gordon at (604) 732-5403.’

— Paul Razzell

Judging the Alcuin Book Design Competition: Photoset on Flickr

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Last month, the Alcuin Society announced the winners of its 27th annual Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. The judges, Frank Newfeld, Alan Stein, and E.A. Hobart (Zab), selected 32 winning titles from 243 entries, 8 provinces, and 89 publishers. View a behind-the-scenes photoset here.