The first copy of The Moon’s Answer, hand-sewn on June 9, 2016.

I’m proud to announce a new limited edition, illustrated book from Egress Studio Press featuring a single love poem: The Moon’s Answer by Lana Ayers.

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The drawing table, with pen, nib, ink, and mess.

I decided to illustrate The Moon’s Answer so the the poem’s presentation would be on a darkened moonlit page. The double-page spreads were drawn with a nib on a dip pen, and one and a half bottles of waterproof India ink. After many hours of drawing the illustrations, this book is finally in production mode! I’ve been working on finishing up the double-page spread pen & ink illustrations for quite a while. So many interruptions(!), but the drawings are now completed, photographed, and reproduced in the layout. The book idea started out as being printed in black only, but as I began looking at what I could actually do with it, I decided to add a bit of color throughout. I don’t want to go into many details about the poem itself, except that it is a poem I enjoyed working with very much.

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Title page detail.

As many of you know, Lana Ayers is a poet, a fiction writer, a teacher, and a publisher, among other things, such as mathematician and lover of strange flavors of ice cream. She has supported the poetry community in Western Washington for over a decade, and has provided substantial encouragement for many individual writers.

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The illustrations are drawn so the tree-line runs from one page to the next, making an accordion-bound book possible.

The final book will be published in two limited-editions, both handmade. There will be one hundred copies in a square-spined soft cover, and a dozen hard covers. Some of the hard covers will be more art-book-like than others. Each copy of both the hard and soft covers will be signed by the poet, Lana Ayers, and the illustrator, Anita K. Boyle (me). Almost all of them will be offered for sale soon. I plan to have them ready to go out the door by the end of July.

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The center spread, hand-sewn.

The first to be published will be the soft cover edition, which will include handmade endpapers. The binding will be hand-sewn with linen threads. There will be a wrap-around cover. The handmade paper uses cotton linters, recycled papers from Egress Studio, and contains lavender fibers (from the plants at the south side of the studio). Naturally dyed with buttercups, the endpapers are a color that is suggestive of the yellow moon. The book size is nine inches tall and six and a half inches wide, and has thirty-two pages.

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The title page on the right, handmade paper on the left.

To finish all the hard covers may take a little longer than late July, but I’ll try my best. Some of them will use the same papers as the soft cover edition. But others from the hard cover edition might be made entirely of handmade papers. I say “might” because I need to make at least one book in order to see if it can be done. I’m planning, too, that some of the hard covers would use an accordion fold, so that the illustrations can be unfolded in such a way that the poem could run continuously in a straight line (or in a circle). I’ll attempt to get one of those ready by the beginning of June. Wish me luck! As soon as they are ready for sale, I’ll put them on my website, egressstudio.com, and make an announcement.

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The timer is there because I work in sixty minute increments, so I remember to stand up and move around.

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Please … Come Sit A While

Enjoy an Evening of Art and Nature
with artist Hannah Viano and poet Anita K. Boyle
Tuesday, April 17
in the Commons Gallery at Sammamish City Hall
and the Sammamish Library.

by Hannah Viano

· Come Look A While at 6:00pm … with artist Hannah Viano touring her exhibit in the Commons Gallery at Sammamish City Hall. Viano offers modern portrayals of locally inspired flora, and landscapes in her exhibition Come Sit A While.
· Come Immerse Yourself A While at 7:00pm … in conversation about nature found around us, extraordinary poetry by Anita K. Boyle and imagine yourself on a Sammamish Walks expedition all in the Sammamish Library. Boyle, author of What the Alder Told Me (MoonPath Press, 2011) will read selected poems.

And Judy Petersen, Sammamish Parks Commission, will share opportunities to come walk a while along the trails.

Notes from Anita K. Boyle:
I am very excited about joining papercut artist Hannah Viano for this event. I love to see the stark and delicate details of papercut art. This event at the gallery is an opportunity for us to hear from an excellent artist who shares her engagement with the natural world through the papercut artform.

by Hannah Viano

I’m looking forward to reading poems at the library as part of this art/poetry event because I’m intrigued with the connections between visual and language art. Knowing that I’m an organizer of a program called “The Poet As Art,” you can easily understand that I enjoy investigating the concepts shared between language and the visual often, including in my own artwork and poetry. The similarities between how an artist renders the world, and how a poet does, can be found in the themes and details they choose to use. How creative people put their works together—using cut paper, watercolor, oil paint, language, or other artistic medium—offers surprising comparisons and contrasts that can build on our understanding of the natural world, as well as each other.

by Hannah Viano

Hannah Viano’s Artist Statement:

In my life art has always been fit in around the edges. It has been a thick roll of paper held open by my bare feet in the sand, with seawater in a dixie cup and the tiny oval watercolors they sell for children. A life filled with boats and islands and oceans left only tidbits of space and time for inks and paper. I was a baby on a cat ketch from block island, and thirty years later had my own son on the water as well. In between I have taught, and rigged, and fished, and lounged, and done science experiments, and felt the lull of the waves on boats of all shapes and sizes from Ketchikan to Cape Horn. I haven’t gotten to art school yet. But, I have tried hard to learn the lessons of how to catch a memory, and save it for another day and another friend to see. Now a mother and sleeping on the land, I have a bit more time and space, and lots of desire to stay a sailor in my heart and in my hands. So I am pouring out those memories old and new .

In this exhibit I took inspiration from voyages and beachcombing done along the shorelines, where waves lap and lash out and leave everything new. To distill these impressions down I use an exacto knife and pieces of black paper. The act of carving out the pictures is a delicious and delicate process that gives itself perfectly to the flowing shapes of wood and water, the way faring a hull feels right in the hands, or a sweetly blossoming bowl on the potters wheel.

Please join Tuesday, April 17 for a journey into our natural and inner landscapes through the perspectives of the artist and poet.

The event is sponsored by the Sammamish Arts Commission, City of Sammamish,
4Culture, the Sammamish Parks Commission and the King County Sammamish Library

by Hannah Viano

For more information:

Hannah Viano – www.devilspursediary.com
Anita Boyle – egressstudiopress.com
Sammamish Walks – www.sammamishwalks.org

I’m very proud to announce that Egress Studio Press is publishing two more Pacific Northwest poets. Vashon Island poet Ann Spiers’ chapbook is titled What Rain Does. The other publication is Her Story of Fire by Bellingham poet Richard Widerkehr. Look for them in the next week or two.

As soon as I finish printing them, Jim Bertolino and I will score, fold, cut, and sew the books. It’s a fairly relaxing pastime. When the poets finally have copies in their hands, I’ll post more information about the poems, the poets, where to purchase the books, and what they look like.

These are the first Egress Studio Press poetry books to be created completely in the studio: from layout to printing to assembly. I’m pretty excited about that. For now, I have to get back to the last edits before Jim and I start constructing the books.

PoetryNight

Black cats are less likely to get adopted from an animal shelter than any other cat.


Monday, May 16 at 8:30pm until ten or later with an intermission following feature
Featured poet: Anita K. Boyle
8:00 to 8:30—Sign up to read your poems
Location: Amadeus Project, 1209 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, WA

Normally, Monday being a work night, I like to get enough sleep to be fairly awake next morning at 7 or so, after a good cup of coffee and a hot-hot shower. Then there’s PoetryNight, which begins after 8 on a Monday evening and continues until late, or at least past my bedtime, given the extra chores with the horse. But when Robert Huston invited me to feature at PoetryNight May 16, I agreed. PoetryNight features usually have a new book to read from, and that is the case with me—with my new book What the Alder Told Me. I’m pretty excited, and even intimidated by this poetry reading. Have you heard the poets there? The features are excellent, and so are the poets who read at the open mic. In fact, I’ve declined reading at the open mic almost every time I’ve been there because the poets are so good that I just want to hear them, and the sign-in sheet always fills up. I don’t remember when I went away disappointed. So this is an event worth going to, not because I’m featuring (though I’d be very happy to see you there), but because every Monday there is outstanding poetry read live on stage. The quality of the work, the poets and the audience exceeds expectations… by far. This is an invitation to come to PoetryNight May 16 to hear poems from my new book, and the great local and not-so-local poets who will share the mic with me.

Anita and I recently each received copies of Editing a Vapor Trail by Karen Bonaudi, published this year by Pudding House Publications in Columbus, Ohio. Karen lives in Moses Lake, and over the years has done a lot for poets and poetry in Washington. This 25-poem chapbook is the first opportunity I’ve had to read a complete collection of her poems, and I am smitten! This is a wonderful book, with carefully crafted, intelligent poems that all offer delicious passages and dazzling images. Some of them address pain and loss, others capture unforgettable moments, such as “Out by the woodpile sits a bird / with a song that sounds / like the closing of a door.” Anita and I brought our copies of Editing a Vapor Trail out to the pond, and took turns reading all the poems aloud to each other, inviting her words to brighten us “like sunlight on stones beneath the water.”

—James Bertolino

Jim and I have read many poetry books, magazines and single poems out at our Noon Road pond where the dark water and the reflections of trees and sky mingle with fallen leaves and water lilies. Sometimes the water moves like it’s alive, sometimes a fish jumps, a dragonfly hovers nearby, or a chorus of frogs starts up. There is no better place to read poetry. Karen Bonaudi’s chapbook fit exceptionally well with the pond’s environment. The title, Editing a Vapor Trail, is a great one, because the reader can get several meanings from it, and they’d all be true. Her poems are small contrail metaphors where the subject that once was obvious fades into something else less conspicuous, but just as present. Karen’s poems address revisions of memory, changes in history, alterations within the family and other subjects worth considering.

—Anita K. Boyle

November

The autumn the leaves
all blew away
we didn’t have to rake,
didn’t have to remember
the things we had told
each other in the dark,
for everything was clear.

—Karen Bonaudi
(from Editing a Vapor Trail)