I made a book! Actually, I made a couple of books, and several other people made more books as I taught them how.
The book was a little chapbook called Green Man Running, and the other people were my friend Anna and some of her students. Anna's been running an honours course in poetry and poetics this year, which sounds awesome enough by itself, but the students have been also writing their own poetry. Some of them had previously written poetry, but for some of them it was their first go.
Green Man Running has two poems from each of them. It was the fastest publishing process ever - Anna sent me the poems on Friday afternoon, I typeset them quite late on Friday night after mooching around on the couch watching some kind of rubbish television with Sean for most of the evening, sourced the paper on Saturday morning, printed them early on Saturday afternoon, and we folded and sewed them into books later in the afternoon, and were all done by afternoon tea time. This is result:
They were very excited to be in their first book, and a gorgeous book it is too, if I do say so myself. It was fun to make it, and I so much enjoyed hanging out with them and reminiscing about honours - it was my favourite academic year, even though it seriously fried my brain (though that was more at the end when I had to do five exams in less than two weeks).
There were two cover choices - cream paper or white, and they were all bound with a green hemp thread.
The thread colour doesn't come out so well in that photo.
Here's the tour of the book, from the beginning, middle to the end:
Inside cover, showing off the green cover card.
The contents page. Just like a real one.
It's still not that easy to tell that's green thread, is it? Or maybe it's just that my monitor is so crap. Anyway, it's a sort of forest-green colour.
It even had a contributor-notes section, which was particularly cool because they were written by other students, and tended to have a rather surreal tone.
There were some really great poems in there, and I hope to be able to share one or two as a future Tuesday poem. And I expect to see some of their names around in the future.
The easiness of making these books led me to make another wee book for a couple of work colleagues who left last week. In fact, I might make all of Seraph Press's books like this from now on - all I need is a good photocopier! Actually, from my previous experience, it can take a lot of time to make handmade books, but, then again, many hands makes light work and it's a fun thing to chat around a busy book-binding table.