The Art of Letterpress survives in this Digital Age

15 Dec

Cap letters

A Letterpress Shop Survives, Printing Poems in

the Era of YouTube

By Lawrence Biemiller

So to come upon a place like Naropa University, where poetry is written and read and listened to and discussed, is a delight. And then to get a tour of Naropa’s Harry Smith Print Shop, where verse is lovingly printed—with old metal type and antique presses, yet—well, it’s both Disneyland and Dollywood for dactyl addicts, an enchanted kingdom of fonts and figures. I could gladly have spent hours pulling out drawers of type (Caslon, Garamond, Perpetua, Valiant, Van Dijk), leafing through chapbooks and broadsides, poking among ornaments. Everywhere I looked something caught my eye—poems tacked to the walls, pica rulers, paper cutters, Celtic capitals.

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Did you know that Oberlin has a letterpress studio too? Check it out, 2nd Floor of Mudd Library!

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Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Uncategorized


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