BABEL Verlag, 1994
Designed by Kevin Perryman at BABEL Verlag and printed for him by Martino Mardersteig at Stamperia Valdonega.
Published in an edition of 385 copies, of which 300 are paper-wrappered copies, 80 are hardbound specials in half buckram over green boards, and 5 copies are deluxe hardbound specials in full oasis goatskin leather.
This handsome publication would merit entry here in any of its forms, from paper-wrappered standard to full leather deluxe. It just so happens that I have been fortunate enough to get hold of a copy of one of the full leather deluxe copies, which are easily the most aesthetically pleasing to have.
Initially, I was gifted a copy of the standard edition when I recently met up with its publisher, Kevin Perryman, for a day out in London. We decided to visit an antiquarian book fair despite my wish not to spend any money as I was somewhat low on funds. As I didn’t expect to get my hands on any beautiful editions that day I was extremely pleased when Kevin handed it over. I was to go home with some fine press after all! Kevin stated that he didn’t think it my usual poetic fare, but hoped I would like it anyway. After a brief scan of a couple of the poems, I was actually quite taken. Contrary to Kevin’s beliefs, this volume was likely to be very much to my liking, and was fully proved to be so with my first full read of it on the train journey home. There is a old rural feel to this collection that harks back to days all-but lost now. These generally deeply evocative, almost aching, meditations of a past way of life are just the kind of writing that moves me. This is a beautifully wrought collection, sadly the very last of the author, who died just before publication, and it deserves to be more widely read.
In addition to it being a wonderful read, it is also a handsome looking volume, set in Bodoni and printed on a decent all-rag Magnani paper by Martino Mardersteig at Stamperia Valdonega in Verona.
As copies are still available (and quite cheaply, in the case of the standards), I would humbly suggest giving it a try. I know poetry is a very personal thing, but I’d like to believe that I’m not alone in thinking this is a wonderfully written, handsome edition worthy of appearance on many a bookshelf.
Copies should still be available from the publisher here. I’m unsure whether the website has correct prices as they have recently gone up a little, but contacting the publisher via the email given should prove helpful if you have any queries.
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