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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Box of gratitudes no. 2: the designers

End-of-the-year thanks:
  • To the design team of Burt and Burt (new parents Mary-Frances Glover Burt and Jim Burt) for the immaculate design on A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage (Mercer University Press - The Ferrol Sams Award), which had such high production values that for the first time a just-published book of mine passed muster with my librarian mother (that means she thought it better made than books I've done with houses like Farrar, Straus & Giroux and David R. Godine;
  • To the generous Andrew Wakelin for working with artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins (and sometimes me) on the design for The Foliate Head and creating an exceptional book. All the design work was done outside of normal Stanza Press (UK) staff; while we had to rely on the base template for the poetry series, The Foliate Head is very much its own self. Thank you, Andrew, for giving your time, and to Pete Crowther for giving us that freedom.
  • To publisher Elizabeth Adams of Phoenicia Publishing (a small press based in Montreal), who did a marvelous job of balancing Hicks-Jenkins artwork with a long-poem text in sections for Thaliad. The decisions regarding placement of text, titles, or image on the page are thought-out and well-judged. An accomplished artist, writer, and designer, Beth wears a great many hats well in her work for Phoenicia. Thank you, Ms. Wonderful Hatter! All three books this year were exceptional in production.
  • And while we're on the subject of design and books that took up my time this year, what a wonderful choice of artist in Alexander Jansson for William Alexander's Goblin Secrets, winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. I enjoyed being on the judging panel and think we found a lovely book in all ways.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.