April: National Poetry Month

I’ll continue to catch up on posting some earlier projects this month with one that occured in April. In honor of national poetry month, the Spring Leaf Press and Space Paste Press intellectual collaboration for April was a book of poetry. The binding could be traditional or creative but it had to center around poetry.

Using the resource that is the Project Gutenberg, I chose to bind William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience. These poems were originally illustrated by Blake, however, those original illustrations were left out of this book. This selection of poetry is comprised of two related groups of poems as is suggested by the title. Since the book has two parts, I thought a dos-a-dos binding would be a good way to present the juxtaposing ideas.

The title and author is stamped on the front and back cover in black foil. Each recto page has a small illustration that “grows” and “matures” as the viewer progresses through the poetry.

title page
page spread with illustration

This was the first time I tried the dos-a-dos structure, which led to a lot of new learning experiences.  Sitting back in the student’s chair (which I rarely leave these days), I had a lot of unknowns while I was assembling the cover, but there were even more things I didn’t consider while the text blocks were being edited. For example, I only included the title page for the Songs of Innocence portion of the book. I should have included two title pages (one for Innocence & one for Experience) or at least listed the poetry for each part of the book. There are a few more design issues I would like to work out, so maybe there will be another edition of Blake’s work. These projects are meant to be a chance to exercise the creative parts of our brains so the notion to rework the book is a good reaction.

Space Paste Press April Poetry Project

Past Spring Leaf Press Intellectual Collaboration Projects