Emily Hancock


St Brigid Press, 2014


Designed and printed by Emily Hancock at St Brigid Press, Afton, Virginia, USA.

Published in an edition of 85 copies.


I find myself most grateful to Miles Wigfield of the Reading Room Press for actively bringing Soundings to my attention at the 2015 Oxford Fine Press Book Fair (something along the lines of stopping me with an evangelically excited “have you seen this?” before thrusting a copy in my hands). It had just been given the Oxford Guild of Printers award for Best book costing £50 or less’ as judged by Wigfield in his capacity as Chairman of the Guild. I could easily see why and was very taken by it.

Needless to say, I ordered a copy. When it turned up I found it as marvellous as I had remembered. It was an instantly likeable item at the fair and now that I’ve had some time to appreciate it properly it certainly remains likeable, and then some!

The haiku, evocative of the Blue Ridge Mountains where St Brigid Press is based, are just beautiful. They paint such imagery that, whether native to the area, or living thousands of miles away, you get a real feel for the natural beauty of the area.

The book is also hugely enjoyable as an art object. With its interleaved pages of fibrous banana paper and handful of simple, single-colour linocuts, it is a wonderfully tactile pick-me-up for the senses. I love how you have to carefully go through the book to discover all the text and images, which are almost hidden in places by the banana paper. I wonder how many people missed the first haiku preceding the title page (at least during the first couple of samplings, anyway)?

Although a fairly new press with just a small number of publications to date, St Brigid Press is clearly one to keep an eye on, as the texts, materials, design and presswork I’ve seen are first rate.




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