Blue Moon Press ~ Connecticut
(Jim Lee)

Jim Lee: "I am a printmaker and letterpress book artist. My work in books is an outgrowth of my other work in prints and drawings. It is often related to folk lore and legend, history, the landscape, or poetry by various writers, all accompanied by my original images. These have been mostly woodcut in recent years, but can be whatever is most appropriate to the concept. I also illustrate books for other printers/presses on occasion. I teach printmaking and book arts at the Hartford Art School, West Hartford, CT."
A'tugwaqan: Three Mi'kmaq Indian Stories
By Ruth Holmes Whitehead
Glastonbury, Connecticut: Blue Moon Press, 2010. Edition of 100.

11 x 9"; 28 pages. Letterpress text with full-page color reduction woodcuts. Types: Garamond, Franklin Gothic Condensed, and Florentine Bold. Printed on Somerset Book with camel colored Hahnemühle Ingres fly and end sheets. Bound in Mohawk Superfine papers with cloth spine.

Jim Lee, Colophon: "This book first began as a reaction to time I spent on the island of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in 2003. As with most of my books, it was to serve as a summation of the work I was making about the landscape of that place and the various people who live there. But I became fascinated by the culture, lore, and history of the Mi'kmaq People as my research continued, until it became the sole subject of the book. Begun in 2005, it has taken four years to complete, much longer than anticipated in part due to old, worn out press rollers, various wrong turns and not quite getting all of those very important ducks absolutely in a row."

"To produce the twenty woodcut images, 45 separate plywood birch blocks were cut and printed, most in the reduction technique, with each major woodcut requiring around 14 press runs to complete."

Ruth Homes Whitehead is known as an authority on Mi'kmaq history. She is staff ethnologist and assistant curator in history at the Nova Scotia Museum, where she has worked since 1972. She has published numerous books and articles on the Mi'kmaq culture including documenting stories from their oral tradition.

The three Mi'kmaq stories in this book are "Kluskap," "Kluskap and His Relations," and "Ki'kwa'ju and Skusi'skwaq."


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The Immigrants
A poem Joe Napora
Images by Jim Lee
1992. Edition of 90.

5 x 9”; 12 pages. Text is letterpress printed from Jan Tschichold's Sabon with condensed Roman titling on Rives Heavyweight, Niddegen, and handmade Canterbury Rag papers. Images are printed from reduction woodcuts, collaged plates, an etched zinc plate and a photoengraving (the family portrait). Chapbook has one fold-out page and is pamphlet stitched into a decorated grey cover.

Napora has written a haunting and evocative poem inspired by a photograph of his immigrant father's family. Moreover, he draws parallels to Brueghel's famous painting of Icarus and to William Carlos Williams' poetic portrait based on the painting. Lee's five images, drawn from the family photograph, bring that portrait to full-feeling life. Together, Napora and Lee draw us closely in to those elements within the portrait that transmit the deeper story. More than a look at one man's family, this book portrays a way of looking into such a picture. It is a study in seeing.

A fine example of richness in simplicity.



Place of the Long River:
A Connecticut River Anthology

By Jim Lee
1995. Edition of 125.

7.75 x 13”; 44 pages. Letterpress Garamond Roman and Italic in a range of point sizes on Rives Heavyweight. Images were cut from birch-covered plywood with the addition of stencils on some. Sewn into blue cloth over board with inset woodcut print on the front cover.

The book began as a personal exploration of a great river and its history. Over the course of two years, the project grew to combine the words of eight writers living in the Connecticut River Valley—two from each state it graces—with visual images based on Lee's journey's along the length of the river. The work in the anthology is varied, including fairly short poems and a few longer ones, a long haiku sequence, and a four-page prose excerpt. About half are previously unpublished. Some are as intimate as a quiet cove; others are as expansive as a view of the river valley from a mountaintop. The river is the thread running through and binding these works together.

Twenty-one woodcut images include fifteen, multicolored reduction prints that create richly hued views of the river and surrounding landscape. Many are full-page bleed images, and one unfolds to a wide view of the valley. They trace the river's path from its source at the Canadian border to its mouth at the Long Island Sound. A woodcut map is printed on both the front and back endsheets. The front map is marked by numbers corresponding to "A List of Images & their Locations" on the facing page. The back map is lettered to indicate "The Homes of the Writers" whose names are listed on the facing page along with their signatures. Exceptionally handsome.

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long liver


Page last update: 03.09.18


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