Jefferson County Historical Society
"In the 1970s and 80s a beautiful forgotten, small town on the Olympic
Peninsula, Port Townsend, Washington, was the sight of an unusual
literary blossoming. Writers, most of them young, had started migrating to
the area in the aftermath of the sixties. The Centrum Foundation's
Writers' Conference was established and Copper Canyon Press found a
home with them. Other small presses started soon after.
In 1984, only New York City received more National Endowment of the
Arts awards to literary presses than Port Townsend There was more than
one publisher for every 850 people of the population.
This is the story of seven of Port Townsend's presses, the people behind
them, and the magical time and place where they came into being."
A good friend I know and who knows me knew to send me a gift of this book for Christmas.
Merry Christmas! indeed, I sat down that evening and enjoyed myself thoroughly with an
easy going and beautifully networked community of small press publishers, many starting out cutting their printing teeth on the heavy iron works of letterpress.
These were splendid dreamers and the heart of publishing history that would have not proceeded without such dreamers.
Keep that in mind today if you are feeling down in the dumps in these times — find a letterpress, any press, and learn the hardwork and core of publishing the writings of someone you believe in.
It never gets old.
There are smashing photographs of poets, their elegant books, and conversations and reports with some of the trailblazers like Tree Swenson, Sam Hamill, Finn Wilcox, Pat Fitzgerald, Tim McNulty, Michael Daley, Mike O' Connor, Bill Porter, Steve Johnson, Rusty North, Gwen Head, Scott Walker.
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