Arion Press of San Francisco demonstrates in today's wonderful 13-minute short how it created with hand-set type, printed, and hand-bound its limited edition of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, its 100 publication. Speaking is Andrew Hoyem, publisher and designer. A labor of love, Leaves of Grass, which includes an introduction by Harvard professor Helen Vendler, is a remarkably beautiful hand-made book.
The video, described as a pilot for a full-length documentary about Arion Press, was filmed at Arion Press and M&H Type, which is the oldest and largest type foundry still existing in the United States.
Arion Press currently is producing poet Jorie Graham's What the End is For*; due out in November, the collection of poetry will be letterpress-printed. It will feature 16 color prints by painter Julian Lethbridge and an introduction by Helen Vendler, who is also responsible for the selection of poems. Also underway is production of Giuseppe di Lampedusa's 1958 novel The Leopard. Go to New and Forthcoming for additional information.
Tours are available at Arion Press. Its gallery space is open weekdays to the public.
* The title comes from that of Graham's poem of the same name in The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994 (HarperCollins, 1995).