Sunday, April 12, 2009


New! from Bull Thistle Press
Greg Joly, printer & publisher

Bob Arnold's Hiking Down From A Hillside Sky, letterpress printed and published by Greg Joly at Bull Thistle Press in Jamaica, Vermont, has an interesting background.

To begin with, Greg drew from 35 years of Bob's poetry. What fascinated him was how the poems he wanted, all written simply with square lines, could in fact be printed backwards.

Bob showed Greg how this worked when they were reading together on New England roads, streets, bridges & byways, earning money for Katrina victims in New Orleans, and one of Bob's poems "Dogs In Snow" came up and Bob read it, and then as a lark he read it backwards. Greg perked up at that event. Bob shared how a letterpress printer and publisher, Michael Tarachow, once upon a time while setting the poem for Bob's book Habitat, revealed how the poem could work forwards and backwards. Maybe it is a quirk with letterpress hand-printers but they love this sort of thing. No surprise, Greg did too.

He went home that night and began to work over Bob's poems. When they were together the next week to do another reading, Greg arrived with a handful of papers all typed of Bob's poems from many books. He had arranged the poems as a backwards method. Bob put on the finishing touches.

Sure enough the poems were rebuilt nearly without missing a word, and there was a new sense and delivery and meaning to the poems. Not a different meaning — the subjects stayed intact — just a whole different song and sound and suspension on the page. Almost an immediate language experiment, dare we say? This is what Greg and Bob followed with, and over the next three years the book was formed. We don't think there is a selected poems out there quite like this one.


Hiking Down From A Hillside Sky
by Bob Arnold

Unsigned edition ~ $25
Signed ~ $32

Shipping & handling $3.50
International mailing, please inquire

Payable by credit card, Paypal or check
Available exclusively through Longhouse

Longhouse, Publishers & Booksellers
1604 River Road
Guilford, Vermont 05301

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