Mark Twain’s Four Weeks in England

February 7, 2007

I was wandering by the new books shelves in my place of work when a particular book spine caught my eye, mainly because the combo of the author/editor name (Lathem) and the lettering made me wonder if it was a book designed by Dean Bornstein. Sure enough, the colophon indicated that indeed this was a new production by Dean and his Perpetua Press. I can’t find any details online, so I’ll provide what information I can glean from the book itself (and perhaps Dean will leave a comment on this post with other details).

Mark Twain’s Four Weeks in England 1907 …
edited by Edward Connery Lathem
Designed and typeset by Dean Bornstein at The Perpetua Press, Peacham, Vermont
for The Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford, CT
The typeface is Monotype Bulmer and the book was printed at Meridian Printing and bound at Acme Bookbinding. I’m not sure of the price, but it’s a fine looking book and everyone should get a copy.


Fine Press Appreciation Day at Kingdom Books

August 16, 2006

This Friday, August 18, from 2 until 8 pm, Kingdom Books in lovely Waterford, VT will be hosting a “Fine Press Appreciation Day.” The store will feature a number of Vermont- and New England-based printers and their work, including our good friend Dean Bornstein and his Perpetua Press, Greg Joly’s Bull Thistle Press, and featuring Bob Walp (Chester Creek Press). There’s a lot of good fun to be had, so do yourself a favor and take a nice trip up to the Northeast Kingdom – it’s lovely up there, you can chat with friendly printers, maybe find a cool stream to dip a toe into … who could resist?

Here are more details (provided by Beth Kanell, co-owner):

CHESTER CREEK PRESS: Bob Walp was studying at Vermont College, with Sarah Bowen of Peacham, Vermont, as his advisor in the senior year. She noted his interest in bookbinding, but at the time, he declined her offer to introduce him to nearby printer/designer Dean Bornstein. He headed instead to Alabama, where he studied book arts with Steve Miller (founder of Red Ozier Press, then of Red Hydra Press at the University of Alabama). In the broader program, he discovered an interest in all the book arts, and when someone offered him his own press, he became hooked. His first production was a 12-copy edition of eight poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay that he now calls “almost respectable.” Bob now uses two tabletop platen presses and a Vandercook proof press. He did eventually meet Dean Bornstein, who kindly gave him the necessary tips to move into more finished work. He attended the Paper and Book Intensive (PBI), and also stays in touch with fellow U of A student Daniel Urban, who apprenticed with Sam Hamill at Copper Canyon Press and is now working with Tuttle Press in Rutland, Vt. Bob just finished his MA and his thesis project, a cased volume of Jody Gladding’s poems, is here, with several other items.

PERPETUA PRESS: Dean Bornstein’s design work for the Stinehour Press in Lunenburg, Vt., from 1993 to 1997 led him into his own press work. A design and printing studio now occupies the small, neat barn at his Peacham, Vt., home. Some of his pieces are principally type (see the wondrous Eric Gill item); others, especially in conjunction with photographer Gregory Spaid, have led him into large-format black-and-white photo projects. Dean’s earlier background included work for Ron Gordon at Oliphant Press (NY); Ron in turn drew from experience at Joseph Blumenthal’s Spiral Press (NYC). Note that this connection too circles back to Vermont, as Blumenthal’s nephew, Chris Morrow, is the current owner of Northshire Books in Manchester, Vt.

LUCKY DOG PRESS: Lucy Swope’s luck in fine press came when she was “artist in residence” in poetry at a local high school, when she spotted a platen press seeking a new home. In 1993 she completed her first book, “The Story of I-Am-A-Dragon.” Rich with wood engravings and fantasy, it’s a story her son told her when he was 4 years old. (He’s now 35.) Lucy’s line of books features cats, dogs (lucky ones, of course!), even horses. Early items bear the Elizabeth Farm Press imprint; her move to West Fairlee led to Lucky Dog, a folk art imprint entirely hers.

BRIDGE PRESS: Brian D. Cohen learned engraving on the job as a teacher at the Putney School, and has collaborated with poet Chard deNiord in many of the broadsides and folios issued through his Westminster Station, Vt., press. The most recent offering of the press is a collaboration with his wife and is called The Bird Book; it includes 26 hand-tinted bird engravings, boards of bird’s-eye maple, and title crafted by book artist Julie Chen (Flying Fish Press).

BULL THISTLE PRESS: Political, passionate, precise, and perfectly wonderful to see and hold: These are the broadsides and very limited books from Greg Joly of Jamaica, Vt. Linked artistically and politically with Bob Arnold of Longhouse Press, Ed Rayher of Swamp Press, and Gary Metras of Adastra Press, Bull Thistle began in 1990 with a 600-pound New Champion foot-treadle cast iron platen press (c. 1895). Expect surprises.

We also have nice collections from Brooding Heron Press; Toothpaste Press; and of course The Stinehour Press and David R. Godine.

DIRECTIONS: From The Stinehour Press, turn right onto Route 2 west, and go 21 miles to East St. Johnsbury village. (Just before the village you pass Don’s Wayside Furniture on the right; as you enter the village, Rod’s Cars is on the right.) Take the only left in the village, across a small cement bridge. Bearing right, go directly uphill on East Village Road for half a mile; we are on your left, 283 East Village Road, a cinnamon-brown house with large BOOKS flag. Refreshments provided. We will remain open until at least 8 p.m., and until the last guest retires. (From downtown St. Johnsbury, we are 4.5 miles east on Rt. 2; take the right just after the post office, over the bridge)

For more info, contact:

Beth and Dave Kanell
Kingdom Books
283 East Village Road
Waterford VT 05819
802/748-5488 and KingdomBks@aol.com


Apologies to Dean Bornstein

May 4, 2006

Dean had let me know about a month ago that he was speaking at Dartmouth C0llege on May 4th (today!) and I completely forgot to post it. Sorry, Dean! 😦

For completists, here’s the info:

The Friends of the Dartmouth Library cordially invite you to attend the Fifteenth Stephen Harvard Lecture:

“Intelligent Design: The Perpetua Press”
by Dean Bornstein
Book Designer, Letterpress Printer, and Illustrator

Thursday, May 4, at 5:00 in the afternoon
Treasure Room, Baker-Berry Library

Reception to follow.


Eric Gill’s “On the Flying Scotsman”

January 5, 2006

Perpetua Press recently discovered a small cache of unbound sheets for its first book “On the Flying Scotsman” by Eric Gill. The numbered edition from 1993 is sold out, but there is now a lettered edition available for $50. I have a copy of the 1993 edition and it’s a lovely book; this re-issued edition is well worth adding to your collection.