The Hyphen is a Dagger: Poets and Printers in Collaboration
The Hyphen is a Dagger: Poets and Printers in Collaboration
With Pat Randle, Angie Butler and SJ Fowler
Date: Wednesday 22 November 2023
Location: St Bride Foundation and Online via Zoom
In-person times (GMT):
Talk starts: 7pm
Talk ends: 8.30pm
In-person tickets: £8.50, £11, £13
Online time (GMT): 7.00–8.30pm
Online tickets: £4.50, £6.50
Please note: you will be emailed the Zoom link for the talk at 6pm GMT on the day of the talk.
Celebrating the possibilities of collaboration between printers and poets, this special event sees the launch of a remarkable new limited edition publication – The Hyphen is a Dagger – from Nomad Letterpress and AB Press. Conceived, authored and printed by Pat Randle, Angie Butler, SJ Fowler, together, from the ground up, this work is a rare example of print and poetry working in symbiosis, rather than on commission or as illustration.
Following a performance to the mark the release, a moderated discussion will explore the unique process that led to the book’s conception and creation. In addition, five guest performers will open the night, all sharing work in kind.
About the book
A distinctive, eccentric, playful work of literature, The Hyphen is a Dagger is a product of a unique collaborative project between printers and poets – Angie Butler, Pat Randle and SJ Fowler. This publication was made with the letterpress process as both constraint and guide, using wood-letter from the stores of the legendary Whittington Press in the heart of the Cotswolds. Working to vocabularies and sorts available to hand, the poems were written by Fowler to be then edited, whilst being set, across a series of collaborative on- press sessions over 2022 and 2023. The poems themselves relate to the place of their making, centring around the real-life crusader Sir Richard de Croupes, whose tomb adjoins the press at St Bartholomew’s Church. Guillaume, the hero of the story, was the first recorded troubadour. The typefaces are from a unique collection sourced from the Cambridge University Press and date back to the golden age of letterpress printing. Most were manufactured by the Delittle Foundry in York and each face contained within this project is identified in the margin of the page. This publication is an outstanding example of what is possible when writers and printers work together with simultaneous purpose; unlocking the creative potential of contemporary prose within the confines of letterpress printing.
Angie Butler is an artist-printer and practice-led scholar with a particular interest in small publishing, artists’ books, and embodied research. She utilises the letterpress process and the book as collaborative spaces– to connect people and language through a haptic environment. Angie is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Print Research (CFPR) at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.
SJ Fowler is a writer, poet and performer who lives in London. His work aims to encapsulate an expansive understanding of what poetry and literature can be – exploring the textual, visual, asemic, concrete, sonic, collaborative, performative, improvised, curatorial - through 40 publications, 200 performances in over 40 countries, 4 large scale event programs, numerous commissions, collaborations and more. www.stevenjfowler.com
Pat Randle runs Nomad Letterpress from The Whittington Press. They specialise in printing books by letterpress and have a fully equipped Monotype department operated by Ellen Bills and Neil Winter. The metal type used in this publication was cast here.
We would like to thank Google and The Wynkyn de Worde Society Charitable Trust for their generosity in sponsoring this lecture.
Established in 1891 with a clear social and cultural purpose, St Bride Foundation is one of London’s hidden gems.
Housed in a beautiful Grade II listed Victorian building, St Bride Foundation was originally set up to serve the burgeoning print and publishing trade of nearby Fleet Street, and is now finding a new contemporary audience of designers, printmakers and typographers who come to enjoy a regular programme of design events and workshops.
Many thousands of books, printing-related periodicals and physical objects are at the heart of St Bride Library. Volumes on the history of printing, typography, newspaper design and paper-making jostle for space alongside one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of type specimens. The printed, written, carved and cast word may be found at St Bride in its myriad forms. Architectural lettering and examples of applied typography in many media, together with substantial collections of steel punches and casting matrices for metal types are also held in this eclectic collection. The Reading Room is open to visitors twice a month and on other days by appointment. Although we operate on a cost-neutral basis, it is necessary to charge for some of our services. Details are available by emailing the library team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St Bride retains many of its original features, including the baths, laundry, printing rooms and library. As part of the Foundation’s original mission to provide for the community, many of the building’s unique and characterful spaces are available to hire whether for meetings, weddings or classes.
St Bride also houses the popular Bridewell Theatre, and Bridewell Bar (once the laundry), and hosts a year-round programme of plays, comedy, music and exhibitions.
With some 65,000 visitors a year St Bride Foundation is a major London hub for the creative arts in London. We look forward to welcoming you soon.
St Bride Foundation, 14 Bride Ln, EC4Y 8EQ London
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