Every time I set out with a new manuscript—heading for the precipice marked make a book—although I have the accumulated knowledge and abilities gained from the process of all the books that have come before, it feels like starting over from scratch. I have to remind myself of, or relearn, order-of-operations (where to cut first? Where to fold first?). I have to refamiliarize myself with the mathematics of Illustrator and my printer and the persnickety paper cutter. And this means trial and error, and frustration, a little panic (oh my god will this ever work?!), and, eventually, the satisfaction of seeing the book come together as I imagined.
How Absence was no different; in fact, it is an ideal case-study of this process. Everything that could go wrong in the printing process has gone wrong: printing errors and supply chain blockages, miscommunications and undelivered goods. Math errors. Misestimations. Last-minute changes.
This morning, I folded the first of the 140 covers (there are 120 + 20 marked e.a., for Rachel—édition d’artiste), and I trimmed the green endpapers and nested the textblock into them, and then these into the cover, and it was, suddenly, real. Here is How Absence, the latest book from our 2015 list. Rachel’s poems are mysterious and elegant, like dreams. The language moves through them with the sureness and care that has been a hallmark of Rachel’s writing since I first encountered it (more than ten years ago).
How Absence is also available as part of our limited-edition motherhood bundle, a collection of chapbooks which deal with motherhood, child(ren), and the interrelation of parenting and art-making. Of course, if you’d like to receive books like How Absence in your mailbox all year, you might consider one of our subscription options. Thank you for your support!