|The Art of the Book
Sixth Annual Exhibition of Handmade Books,
Altered Books and Book Related Works
|Ninja Press - Carolee Campbell
Ninja press was inaugurated in 1984 by Carolee Campbell who is its sole proprietor. While there was no specific literary agenda governing the selection of works to be published by the press at the outset, the abiding interest has been, in the main, contemporary poetry. The decision to embark on the path of bookmaking came from her extensive experience as a photographer working in the darkroom with both nineteenth and twentieth-century photographic processes. Turning photographic sequences into bound books ushered the way into bookbinding, followed by experimental book structures. Eventually, she expanded her work into letterpress printing, thereby opening the way into contemporary poetry – confronting it for the first time with a directness and penetration she had seldom experienced as a reader.
One of the primary goals set at the inception of the press was to strive toward the highest standards of excellence in craftsmanship and quality while attempting to find new approaches to the union between word, image, and book structure. That aspiration will continue to fuel the inspiration for future edition works as well as one-of-a-kind books
Some of the institutions which hold all or significant Ninja Press books are the British Library, Brown University, University of California (Los Angeles), University of California (San Diego), University of California (Santa Barbara), California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo), California State University (Northridge), Columbia University, Dartmouth College, University of Delaware, Getty Research Institute, University of Iowa, Lafayette College, Library of Congress, University of Nevada-Reno, Occidental College, University of Pennsylvania, University of San Francisco, San Francisco Public Library, Scripps College, Smith College, Stanford University, University of Utah, University of Vermont, University of Washington, Wellesley College, Western Michigan University, and University of Wisconsin, Madison.
The entire Ninja Press archive is held in the Davidson Library Special Collections Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Nathanial Tarn 2009
This set of splendidly rich & multifaceted poems is the second Ninja Press publication by this highly esteemed poet whom Eliot Weinberger has described as “– belonging to a secret lineage in modern poetry: the ecstatic erudites.” The text pages consist of 12 unbound folios opening to 14 x 18 inches. Each folio is painted by hand on both front & back using sumi ink & salt by Carolee Campbell, making every book unique. The poems are printed on and alongside the artwork.The type is hand set Van Dijck with Weiss Initials Series I for the display & printed letterpress on dampened Domestic Etching. The folios are held in a goat parchment cover. The book is protected by a hard-sided chemise wrapper covered in deep green Asahi Japanese silken cloth which, in turn, slips into a case covered in a natural-colored linen.
The Persephones was first published by Christopher’s Books in Santa Barbara, California in 1974. Much of the edition was subsequently destroyed by fire. The poems were significantly altered in 2007 by the poet for this Ninja Press edition.
The edition is comprised of 85 numbered copies, signed by both poet & artist, with an additional 10 lettered hors commerce. 14.25 inches by 9.25 inches. 48 pages.