Archive for the ‘Parenthesis’ Category

Zoom in on Parenthesis 23!

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

FPBA members: I know you can’t wait to receive the latest issue of Parenthesis. Good news: it’ll be in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, have fun exploring the cover of the new issue, which shows detail of Friedrich Neugebauer’s An Art-historical Stroll through Vienna. Any Orson Wells fans out there? See if you can spot the ferris wheel that featured in Orson Wells’ film The Third Man.

— Paul Razzell

“Parenthesis” Announces New North American Editor

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Paul Razzell, outgoing North American editor of “Parenthesis.”

Dear FPBA Community,

I am pleased to announce that Parenthesis 23 will soon be in your mailbox. This issue is the seventh I have edited for the Fine Press Book Association, and it will be my last.

I am also pleased to announce that Bob McCamant will be taking over as North American Editor of Parenthesis – and this is something we can all be excited about. For those of you who don’t already know Bob, he has at various times been the FPBA’s North American Chairman and Treasurer; he’s currently President of the American Printing History Association, and for 35 years was the Vice-President of The Chicago Reader. Bob is the editor of Caxton Club’s monthly journal The Caxtonian, and since 1984, he has published many fine books at his Sherwin Beach Press. Add to these credentials his involvement with The Grolier Club, and you’ll share my excitement that the North American issues of Parenthesis will be in very good hands! I look forward to seeing Bob’s work on Parenthesis 25 (Fall 2013) – the journal’s silver issue!

Bob McCamant: new North American editor of “Parenthesis.”

Please send your article suggestions and other correspondence pertaining to the North American issues of Parenthesis to Bob McCamant at Sebastian Carter continues to be Parenthesis’s European Editor. Sebastian’s email is

Working with the Parenthesis contributors, the FPBA Board, copy editors, designers, printers, and others involved in making this outstanding international journal has been a great pleasure. Stepping away from Parenthesis will free up time to devote to my other passions – mainly composing music.

I look forward to reading about the books and people in the fine press community in future issues of Parenthesis.

All the very best,

Paul Razzell

UK FPBA members now receiving their copies of Parenthesis 22

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Good news! FPBA member Ian Knight from Printmonkey Press in Bristol is tweeting that Parenthesis 22 has landed in his mailbox. All UK members should have their copies soon and North American members’ copies will arrive in May.
— Paul Razzell

Have you had your apple today? How about your Sappho?

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

This afternoon I was looking at the many delicious ephemeral items that were included in the deluxe edition of Parenthesis 21 and thought I would share one with you: this is Richard Seibert’s ‘Sappho, 2’ broadside. (The broadsheet is too big for my scanner, so you don’t see the bottom half of the sheet, which shows a Sappho poem set in Matthew Carter’s Wilson (Greek types) en face with Seibert’s English translation set in Mark van Bronkhorst’s Verdigris type.) Such a handsome piece of work!


An apple a day is a fine thing — and so is a daily dose of Sappho. Here is Sappho by way of Richard Seibert:


Leave Crete and come to me in this

Holy cleft; find welcome

In this apple thicket, in this sacred

Hearth, in this mist of incense,


Where cool water trickles

Through apple boughs,

In this young place,

Shadowed by murmuring leaves,

Where trance reigns down,


In this stallion-feeding ground

Where spring flowers bloom

With gentle scent […


[  …  ]


& wholly here, you] …. [Love,

Drink gently from golden cups,

And feed on what the Gods eat.


Huge thanks to Richard Seibert for this translation and for his generous contribution to the deluxe edition of Parenthesis 21. The image is copyright 2011 by Fritz Springmeyer. Printed by Richard Seibert in an edition of 115 for the fall 2011 issue of Parenthesis.


— Paul Razzell


Looking for examples of marked-up proofs of a fine press book

Monday, January 23rd, 2012
Fine press people, collectors, librarians:

In each issue of Parenthesis we run a two-page spread called “Copy & Print” in which we show the marked-up proofs or designer’s sketches for the layout of a fine press book. (See the image below for an example.) “Copy & Print” is meant to be mostly visual — something readers can take in through pictures, and to see behind-the-scenes of a book in progress. I have always found it interesting to see how book designers work, how they annotate their proofs, and to compare a designer’s (or printer’s) preliminary plans with the finished work in order to see how the design evolved.

I want to line something up for P23 (our fall 2012 issue) and wondered if in your travels, you have ever come across a particularly interesting example of a marked-up proof that might be a good candidate for P23’s “Copy & Print”. It could be a contemporary example — or an older one. Think of the work of other bookmakers you know, items you’ve seen in libraries or special collections….
I’d be grateful for any leads! Please contact me at

Spread the word! Thanks!

— Paul Razzell

Advertising in Parenthesis 23

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Attention printers, publishers & book dealers! Those wishing to advertise in Parenthesis issue #23 should start thinking about reserving space now. The deadline for ad placement is the end of March and will include the popular drop-in ads. Drop-in letterpress ads are limited and are accepted on a first come, first serve basis so don’t miss out.

For more info contact Chip Schilling or go to our website.

— Paul Razzell

Parenthesis 21: The Massachusetts Issue now out

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Our special issue of Parenthesis devoted to fine printing and the book arts in Massachusetts is now out, and early responses from FPBA members are starting to roll in:

“Jaw-droppingly beautiful.”

“It is so far beyond my greatest imaginings that I am speechless. It takes the magazine to another level entirely.”

“A wonderfully rich and vibrant issue … it would be impossible to come away from it with the belief that the fine book is in decline.”

Here’s a list of the contents of the issue. All members should have their copies in their hands shortly. Not a member? Join now!

Special Feature:
Fine Printing and Book Arts in Massachusetts
My Studies at the Free Academy of Gehenna, Lance Hidy
The Society of Printers, Richard Zauft
Straighten Up and Dress Right, Barry Moser 
Abigail Rorer and Barry Moser, Simon Brett
Arno Werner, Leonard Baskin, Harold P. McGrath and the Tradition of Book Arts in Massachusetts, Barbara Blumenthal
To Heaven in a Hellbox with Art Larson, Michael Kuch
The Story of Daniel E. Kelm, Aprile Gallant 
David Bourbeau, Bibliotect (1942–2009), Jesse Rossa
The Private Press Activities of William Addison Dwiggins Part 1: ‘The White Elephant and The Fabulist, 1913–1921’, Bruce Kennett
The Sun Hill Press, Jesse Marsolais
Wild Carrot Letterpress, Bruce Chandler
A Field Guide to Book Arts Programs in New England, Katherine M. Ruffin
A Checklist of Fine Press Books Produced in Massachusetts and Published in 2010, Michael Russem

Beyond Massachusetts
Fine Printing in the Northeast Kingdom: The Stinehour Press, Elton Hall
Wolfgang Buchta, Russell Maret
Glenn Goluska, Chester Gryski
William B. Ewert, Publisher: A Passion for Writers and Writing, John Kristensen
David Wolfe and Scott Vile: Practicing the Black Art in Maine, Ian J. Kahn
MCBA × 25 = Space + Time, Betty Bright

How to Photograph Books, Annie Schlechter

Fine Printing’s Design Problem, Michael Russem
McDonald’s or Chez Panisse?, Jerry Kelly

Copy and Print
Barbarian Press’s The Play of Pericles

Book Reviews
Alphabetum Romanum: The Letterforms of Felice Feliciano c. 1460, Verona, Bruce Whiteman
The Artist & the Capitalist: William Morris and Richard Marsden, Fran Durako
Displaced, David Evans
French Renaissance Printing TypesAndrew Steeves
In the School of Baskin, Terrence Chouinard
Love, Graham Nash, David Evans
Papermaking at Hayle Mill, Beth Kanell
25 Years of Artists’ Books by Robin Price, Publisher, Crispin Elsted

Books Briefly Noted, Paul W. Nash


The FPBA wants YOU to contribute to the deluxe copies of Parenthesis 21

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Dear letterpress printers & FPBA colleagues,

I am writing on behalf of the North American chapter of the Fine Press Book Association to invite you to contribute an ephemeral piece to the special copies of Parenthesis 21, which will go to press this summer. The special copies are hard bound, and slipcased with a portfolio which includes pieces of ephemera from various presses and printers. We are asking this as a donation of time and materials, with the object of having your work shown to an audience who might otherwise not encounter it.

The ephemera can take almost any form you wish, but there are restrictions as to size. The finished piece should measure no more than 8 1/2 by 11 inches [215 by 275 mm], although of course it may be a larger sheet folded down to that size. We will need 115 copies of whatever piece you print for the deluxe membership editions and for a bundle exchange amongst contributors. Please note this is a portfolio exchange for contributors — you will not receive the bound edition.

For this issue we would especially like to receive submissions from Massachusetts printers and presses—but that does not preclude anyone else from participating.

So go ahead, throw some ink around, stretch your typographic legs! Color is not essential but is always welcome, as are illustrated pieces. This is your opportunity to print that little broadsheet, pamphlet, poem card, or whatever else you have had in the typographic corner of your mind for months or years. We only ask that you do not simply send a prospectus for a book you are printing, or which you have printed. This is not a forum for direct advertising, but an opportunity to show your style and to have some fun. In the process, you will greatly help Parenthesis and the Fine Press Book Association.

Some past contributors of printed ephemera to the North American deluxe edition include:

Arion Press, Aliquando Press, Cotton Socks Press, Barbarian Press, Gehenna Press, Full Moon Press, Incline Press, Leopard Studio Editions, Lock’s Press, Loveletter Press, Midnight Paper Sales, (m)Other Tongue Press, Passim Editions, Red Howler Press, Robin Price, Sherwin Beach Press, Walking Bird Press, Warwick Press, Whittington Press, and Yellow Barn Press, to name but a few.

If you are not a member of the FPBA already, that need not preclude your taking part, but please consider joining. The association is the only organization that is furthering the work of fine press printing and the book arts in both North America and the UK, andParenthesis, which appears twice a year, is the only forum in which books from presses such as yours are reviewed and advertised. To join the FPBA, go to:


1. If you wish to contribute something, please contact me (Mark McMurray) by e-mail to confirm. My address is

2. Your contribution must be received by July 15, 2011. Please send your work to:

Mark McMurray

Caliban Press

14 Jay Street

Canton, NY 13617 USA

3. Remember that the overall size of the finished piece must be 8 1/2 by 11 inches or less.

4. Please email me a short blurb about yourself and your submission, as we will include a cover sheet in the portfolio that will give some details about you.

We thank you very much for your consideration, and we hope you will be joining us in this project.

With all best bibliographic wishes,

Mark McMurray

Deluxe Ephemera Coordinator


Parenthesis turns 20! All members will receive their copy of P20 in the coming week!

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Here’s what’s inside:




Editorial and Chairman’s letter   2

Artists Books at the RA   Stephen Chambers 3

Literature of Liberation Charles Chadwyck-Healey 4

Circle Press   Sebastian Carter 12

A visit to Ron King   Dennis Hall 16

Karl-Erik Forsberg   Thorsten Sjolin 20

Sister Journals 2   25

Selling the Goods   Andrew Hoyem 26

Jonah Jones   David Townsend Jones 28

Fanfare ornaments   30

Type for The Times   Dave Farey 32

Posters at Whittington   John Randle 34

The Book of Sark   Chris Andrews 38

Copy and print   40


Bernard Roberts   John Randle 42

Peter Guy   John Miles 43

Anthony Rota   James Fergusson 44

Book reviews

A Being more Intense   Andy English 46

Enclosures Andrew Johnson 47

Dutch Art Nouveau   Jaap Schipper 48

Fanfrolico Press   Nicholas Jacobs 50

I Have Found a Song   Peter Raby 50

Plunging   Colin Martin 52

The Sycamore Press   Colin Franklin 54

Winter Light   Colin Martin 54

Poster Journeys   Alan Powers 56

A Dodo at Oxford   Paul W Nash 57

Books in brief   58

Books briefly noted   Paul W Nash 60

A book at bedtime   Swithin Crumb 63



Sunday, April 10th, 2011

If you are a press, or a supplier to presses, or a dealer in fine printing, why not place your ad in front of one of the most focused audiences there is for contemporary fine printing: Parenthesis: The Journal of the Fine Press Book Association.

The deadline for submitting your ad for the fall 2011 issue is April 30, 2011.


Ad rates



9.5625 x 7.3125 inches

$287 US


HALF PAGE: vertical

9.5625 x 3.5625 inches

$148 US


HALF PAGE: horizontal

4.6875 x 7.3125 inches

$148 US



4.6875 x 3.5625 inches

$82 US

*Ten percent discount for repeat ads!


Please contact Paul Razzell for more information: