Tag Archives: Julia Seko

in our own ink-drenched way

Today we’re talking about Julia Seko! (If you’ve encountered Julia in the print shop, you understand the exclamation point; she is a whirlwind of creative energy.) Julia is a book artist who teaches Letterpress at Naropa University, and she is one of FOUR printers featured in Bombay Gin 38.1.

In honor of Alice Notley’s residency at Naropa this week as our 2012 Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow, I give you this sneak preview of the broadside Julia’s class printed last fall, using Notley’s poem, Two of Swords.

peeking inside

As you can see, this is not your standard (flat and frame-able) broadside. At our first Monday night meeting in the shall-we-say warm Harry Smith print shop last August, Julia introduced the 7 of us– eager new printers– to Alice Notley’s poem.

The title comes from the two of swords tarot card, and if you’ve spent enough time at Naropa (with, for example: Bhanu Kapil or Selah Saterstrom) you know tarot cards are an art form of their own; some designer decks are intricately handcrafted. Our class brainstormed: how could we incorporate strong tarot card imagery into the piece, without being too literal?

We settled on using a tarot card shape with rounded edges, and we printed bold red X’s on the interior to symbolize crossed swords.

Two of Swords, inside detail

The X is mimicked on the cover of the piece by the diagonal lines of the title.

front, Alice Notley broadside

For about a month, we worked together as a class to decide on the paper, ink, alignment, and other design details– but the overall peek-a-boo format was Julia’s idea, and I’m glad we followed through with it. The finished product is certainly unique. And now you can have your own copy, signed by Alice Notley!

Two of Swords, detail

Jade and I will be selling this broadside at Alice Notley’s reading on Friday night, along with new copies of Bombay Gin. Our local poetry bookstore, Innisfree, will be there selling Notley’s books.

letterpress detail

Alice Notley at Naropa University:

Tuesday, February 21 @ 8:15 pm: Lecture, Shambhala Hall

Thursday, February 23 @ 3:15 pm: Poetry Chat, Performing Arts Center

Friday, February 24 @ 7:30 pm: Reading (and signing), Performing Arts Center

On your way to these nighttime events, be sure to look for our unofficial print shop mascot, Rocky, near the compost and recycling bins.

-Stephani Nola

Rocky supervises

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Threshold: Tenuous Proposition of

As has been the case for the last couple of years, this latest issue of Bombay Gin is thematic; yet this time around, that theme—“lunatic,” as the printer Wesley Tanner suggests in his interview—offers, posits, positions itself contingently. Threshold: a location with the tenuousness of proposition.

We chose to leave the threshold various, unstructured by classification or catalog but subject to its natural patterns:  four interviews—all conducted during the 2011 Summer Writing Program between Bombay Gin associate editors from the Jack Kerouac School and SWP writing and printing faculty—anchor the content. We have chosen to pair creative work—textual and visual—with the interviews and then to fill the matrix with the clay of individual pieces by some of our favorite writers. The section concludes with three poems and a lecture presented by Ana Božičević at the 2011 SWP and eventually available in the Naropa Audio Archives.  Then, as has been our custom, we end the issue with six book reviews, this time written exclusively by former and current JKS students.

It has been a pleasure to observe patterns form as if they operated within our design. That is, you will notice that some writers respond deliberately to the question of threshold, while for others the threshold is accidental—a silly word, “accidental,” because by tracking the presence of something, one, of course, engenders it.  Yet, these patterns strongly suggest a shared self-consciousness and anxiety about our unique moment in history, as if this moment is itself a threshold.

In early February, we will release Bombay Gin 38.1. Stay tuned for details regarding our release party. Until then, check out the writers who we will feature:

Vanessa Place
Lily Hoang
Dodie Bellamy
Ronaldo Wilson
Bhanu Kapil
DJ Spooky
Colin Frazer
Lara Durback
Julia Seko
Wesley Tanner
Christina Mengert
Erin  Morrill
Thurston Moore
Ana Božičević

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