Arion Lyre

108. The Little of our Earthly Trust, poetry by Elizabeth Bishop, selected and with an introduction by Helen Vendler, and with prints by John Newman.

The Little of our Earthly Trust, poetry by Elizabeth Bishop, selected and with an introduction by Helen Vendler and with twenty-four prints by John Newman, November 2016.

We are proud to announce an edition of the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop (1922 – 1979), selected and introduced by Helen Vendler, as the one hundred and eighth publication of Arion Press. In the years since Bishop’s death, her stature has grown remarkably, as Vendler tells us in an introduction that begins by lauding the innovations of early twentieth century poetry:

“Ezra Pound, with his command "Make it new!" encouraged his contemporaries to break with tradition, and many seemed to join him in the effort, not least his friend and fellow-expatriate Thomas Stearns Eliot. E.E. Cummings brought typographical play into whimsical and satiric lyrics, flouting conventions of erotic propriety, while Frost— although asserting a rootedness in New England—had to go to London to be published, and drew on Latin lyric for his stoicism and epigrammatic force. Marianne Moore's poems were unsettling amalgams of satire, fable, and sermon, unwilling to observe generic borders.

“After the rebellious exhilarations of those modern poets, it seemed that any subsequent collection of poets might be a disappointing one. To everyone's surprise, the next American constellation was no less brilliant: Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, John Ashbery. . . . Against such contemporaries, Elizabeth Bishop seemed decorous, "feminine", "modest", hardly dangerous. Living in Brazil, and publishing at intervals of several years, she was not visibly part of the American cluster of poets. Although she was always esteemed by her fellow-poets, it was only in her latter years that she was understood and prized by the wider public. Since her death in 1979, she has become the most popular poet of her generation, in part because of her plain- spoken language but also because of her candor and depth of feeling.”

This is a selection of thirty-nine poems considered her most important and most representative by Professor Vendler.

Read the full prospectus in PDF format.


THE ARTIST AND THE PRINTS

The sculptor John Newman has long been a reader of poetry and Elizabeth Bishop is one of his favorite poets. When he was a student at Oberlin College he thought he might become a poet. Instead he became a sculptor after serving, for academic credit, as a studio assistant to Sol LeWitt, then went on for an MFA at the Yale School of Art. His father was a theoretical linguist, which may account for his fluent writings and interviews showing him to be very expressive about his own art and matters of life that would engage a poet. When Andrew Hoyem invited John to make art for an Arion Press selection of poetry by Elizabeth Bishop, he responded enthusiastically and mentioned that one of his works is entitled with a line from a Bishop poem, “We’d rather have the iceberg than the ship, although it meant the end of travel”. He cites the jazz musician Ornette Coleman and the artists Mel Bochner, Barry Le Va, Dorothea Rockburne, Eva Hesse, and Richard Tuttle as influences.

Print by John Newman

For this Arion Press artist book, John Newman has made twenty-four drawings of small sculptures made between 1998 and 2016, with a twenty-fifth for the cover. Reversing the process in his early sketches for objects-never-to-be-made, he has now depicted forms he has already made, each from one point of view, as works of graphic art, flat on the page, in gouache, in black, gray, and white, on tan paper. These drawings have been transformed into relief prints and printed by letterpress from polymer plates on French mould-made paper. The titles and dates of creation of the sculptures are used as the titles for the prints, which appear on the facing page of poetry, below the running foot. The prints are arranged in chronological order and spaced at regular intervals throughout the poetry.

THE BOOK

The book has been designed by Andrew Hoyem and produced at Arion Press. The format is octavo, 9-7/8 by 6-7/8 inches, 192 pages. The type is English Garamond composed and cast in Monotype for the text and large sizes for display handset. The type and the 24 relief prints in three colors from polymer plates were printed by letterpress. The paper is Magnani wove, Italian mouldmade, for the text and Canson Mi-Teintes, French mouldmade, for the prints. The binding is Smyth-sewn, with headbands, in a three-piece cover: a gray goatskin spine with titling, black cloth sides, with an inset additional print on the front cover. All copies are signed by the artist.

THE EXTRA PRINT

The artist John Newman has made an extra print to accompany thirty copies of the book, entitled “North and South”, after the title of Elizabeth Bishop’s first book. It is a hand-colored linoleum block print, 24 by 18 inches, on Rives BFK cream paper. The linoleum block was editioned by letterpress in sanguine ink at Arion Press, and the hand- coloring was done by the artist in his studio in New York City.

Extra print by John Newman

THE ORIGINAL DRAWINGS

The twenty-five original drawings by John Newman for the relief prints are available for sale to those who purchase the book. These are gouache drawings in black, gray, and white, done in 2016 for this project. The drawings are on tan paper, 13 by 9-3/4 inches. The price for each drawing is $3,500, unframed, or $3,750 framed. The images can be viewed below.

THE EDITION AND ORDERING

The edition of the book is limited to 300 numbered copies for sale and 26 lettered copies for complimentary distribution. The price of the book is $1,200. The extra print is in an edition of thirty for sale, numbered 1/30 to 30/30, with five artist proofs, AP 1/5 to AP 5/5, and five publisher proofs, PP 1/5 to PP 5/5, signed by the artist. The price of the book with the extra print is $2,700. A portion of the edition is reserved for Arion Press subscribers, who commit to purchase the annual series at a 30% discount. Available.

Purchase the book securely online now:

Book (with option for extra print)

Reserve the book (optionally with extra print) and pay offline (checks preferred):

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Click on thumbnails below to view larger images of the prints in the book:

Print 1 Print 2 Print 3 Print 4 Print 5 Print 6 Print 7 Print 8 Print 9 Print 10 Print 11 Print 12 Print 13 Print 14 Print 15 Print 16 Print 17 Print 18 Print 19 Print 20 Print 21 Print 22 Print 23 Print 24

Go to title: 107. Pedro Páramo


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Edition:

The format is octavo, 9-7/8 by 6-7/8 inches, 192 pages. The type is English Garamond composed and cast in Monotype for the text and large sizes for display handset. The type and the 24 relief prints in three colors from polymer plates were printed by letterpress. The paper is Magnani wove, Italian mouldmade, for the text and Canson Mi-Teintes, French mouldmade, for the prints. The binding is Smyth-sewn, with headbands, in a three-piece cover: a gray goatskin spine with titling, black cloth sides, with an inset additional print on the front cover. All copies are signed by the artist.

The edition is limited to 300 numbered copies for sale. The price is $1200. Available.

The artist John Newman has made an extra print to accompany thirty copies of the book, entitled “North and South”, after the title of Elizabeth Bishop’s first book. It is a hand-colored linoleum block print, 24 by 18 inches, on Rives BFK cream paper. The linoleum block was editioned by letterpress in sanguine ink at Arion Press, and the hand- coloring was done by the artist in his studio in New York City. Edition of 30 copies for sale, numbered and signed. The price of the book with the extra print is $2,700.

For a 30% discount consider subscribing.

Purchase the book securely online now:

Book (with option for extra print)

Reserve the book and pay offline (checks preferred):

Reserve your copy


Read the full prospectus in PDF format.