Nawakum Press ~ California
(David Pascoe)

Share this page:
Nawakum Press: "Nawakum Press publishes short run limited editions of hand crafted books. We originate and manage the production of unique book projects combining compelling literature with original commissioned artwork. Books are letterpress printed and artisan bound in distinctive and archival materials.

"Nawakum Press takes its name from the Native American word nawakum, originating in the Pacific Northwest and meaning, 'gently flowing water'. The Press draws inspiration from literature and art suffused with the fluid, natural rhythms of our inner and outer landscapes. It strives to share these realms in a clear and refreshing manner, and with reverence."

Encheiresin Naturae.
Fifteen engravings by Barry Moser and a heroic crown of sonnets by Paul Muldoon.
Santa Rose, California: Nawakum Press, 2015. Edition of 50.

14 x 18.25; 76 pp. Edition of 50, 40 numbered copies for sale and 10 copies, lettered A to J, hors de commerce. The paper is mouldmade Zerkall and handmade Twinrocker. The binding is half leather with marbled paper over boards. In a drop spine box covered with scarlet Japanese cloth and featuring an embedded, hand-hammered and annealed copper plate. Three prints from the book are housed in a Saint-Armand handmade paper chemise.

Nawakum Press: "Encheiresin Naturae is a creative collaboration between Barry Moser, the renowned American artist, and Paul Muldoon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet. Moser's strikingly new abstract images, invented and engraved for this Nawakum Press edition, intimately consort with Muldoon's new and powerful, unpublished poems.

"Fifteen abstract relief engravings were invented and engraved by Moser in his studio in Hatfield, Massachusetts in 2014. They were inspired by the phrase encheiresin naturae taken from reading Goethe's Faust, referencing an alchemist's experiments in "manipulating nature." Muldoon was asked to respond to the images poetically, and he chose an advanced form of a crown of sonnets, known as a sonnet redoublé, or heroic crown of sonnets for his tour-de-force response. [A crown of sonnets is a sequence of sonnets on a single theme, each exploring one aspect of the theme, linked by repeating the final line of the preceding sonnet as the first line of the next. In an advanced form, the heroic crown of sonnets or sonnet redoublé, the final sonnet is made up of all the first lines of the preceding fourteen, in order.]

"In Encheiresin Naturae each of Muldoon's sonnets is paired opposite a Moser engraving, which has been printed directly from the block. These new non-representational images mark a major departure in the engraver's work. Moser was trained early on as an abstract painter in the halcyon days of the Abstract Expressionists, and these engravings are, in a manner, a return to beginnings. Poet John Ashbery has referred to Moser's work as 'never less than dazzling.' Jasper Johns refers to these images as 'terrific and surprising."

The edition is published in one boxed state.

Click image for more




Norfolk Isle & The Chola Widow
By Herman Melville
wood engravings by Rik Olson
introduction by John Bryant
Santa Rosa, California: Nawakum Press, 2011. Edition of 100.

9 x 11.5"; 38 pages. Letterpress printed directly from the blocks with fourteen wood engravings. Edition paper is mouldmade Rives Heavyweight, with Bugra endsheets, and a patterned paper cover designed by the artist. Cover paper is handmade. Set in Bembo, originally crafted by Francesco Griffo for Venetian publisher Aldus Manutius and later modified by Stanley Morison. Wood engravings by Rik Olson. Letterpress printed paper label affixed to the spine. Each copy is signed by the artist. Of the edition 10 copies are reserved for the press.

Standard (21 - 90): Bound in green patterned paper covered boards with black cloth spine. In cloth covered slipcase of black and green with paper title label on spine.

Deluxe (1- 20) (unavailable): Bound in green patterned paper covered boards with black leather spine. Housed in a drop spine box of green Japanese book cloth with goatskin cover label. Additional signed and numbered wood engravings of Herman Melville, printed by the artist in two colors, housed in a foil stamped paper chemise.

Prospectus: "Norfolk Isle and the Chola Widow first appeared in the May, 1854 issue of Putnam's Magazine, as the eighth of a ten-sketch work, set in the Galapagos Islands and titled The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles. It is the longest by far of the ten Encantadan sketches, and it is the work's climax and heart. It has been described as an ignored gem for its sparse narration, feminist focus, and complex position of faith.

"A cherished assumption among those who love Moby-Dick is that this masterwork is all that Melville wrote, or needed to write. When reminded that Melville also wrote smaller novels like Typee and the beggarly Israel Potter, or familiar tales like 'Bartelby' and 'Benito Cereno', - all quite different from the whaling book, and each a masterpiece of concision - readers who love the massive Moby-Dick will soon enough marvel that this writer of the sea also wrote shorter works, for the magazines, and in voices other than Ishmael's. Postwar readers, especially since the 1960s, have come to learn that this writer of America's greatest sea-epic could write quite impressively on a small scale.

"Norfolk Isle and The Chola Widow was published in 1854, some three years after Moby Dick, at a time when Melville continued to struggle with public acceptance of his writings. He was never to benefit much financially from his work, and it had been suggested at the time that he get back to writing based on his island adventures and not metaphysical inquiries. Melville sent one of the original drafts, from which the character Hunilla was later drawn, to his friend at the time Nathaniel Hawthorne, as he thought it might better suit his style. Hawthorne returned it soon after with little comment. He would later say of Melville, "He can neither believe, nor be comfortable in his unbelief; and he is too honest and courageous not to try to do one or the other."

$450 slipcased

Standard Slipcase
Click image for more






By Rachel L. Carson
Illustrated by Dugald Stermer
Introduction by Linda Lear
Afterword by Julia Whitty
Santa Rosa, California: Nawakum Press, 2010. Edition of 110.

9.5 x 13"; 30 pages. Illustrations (5 including the frontispiece) made by graphite and watercolor, then digitally reproduced and printed using archival inks by an Epson Stylus Pro 11880 on Hahnemühle Biblio paper. Text set in Granjon and Burgues Script typefaces then letterpress printed from photopolymer plates. Of the edition 10 are press copies, 20 deluxe, and 80 slipcased.

Slipcased: Bound in Cave Paper covers over archival boards. Quarter-bound with silver-stamped, black Italian book cloth. Housed in a slipcase with Italian book cloth over archival board. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Deluxe (out of print): Quarter-bound in blue goatskin and handmade papers over archival boards. Accompanied by one additional hand-colored Stermer print, numbered and signed by the artist, set in a paper chemise. Book and print housed in a clamshell box of blue Japanese book cloth over archival boards. Book gold stamped on the spine, numbered and signed by the artist.

Prospectus: "The September issue of The Atlantic Monthly for 1937 included an essay titled simply, Undersea, by R. L. Carson. Those who read it were uniformly impressed with its lyric quality and by the scientific understanding of its author. Later, the literary world would remember this essay as the unassuming debut of one of the greatest narrative writers and ecologists of the 20th century, Rachel Carson.

"... Although a scientist by training, Rachel loved to write, especially about the sea and coastline. It was from Undersea, her first work to reach national attention, that she later admitted, everything else followed.

"It was Carson's particular genius that she does not tell us what goes on undersea, rather she shows us – inviting us to join her as guide. Seeing through an underwater eye, each level of the sea is apprehended scientifically, yet with such wonder and delicate delight that the beauty and mystery of the underwater world she has discovered is fully accessible. Carson's goal was not mere identification of the sea's inhabitants, but the apprehension of the unity of life. Individual creatures come and go, but lives lived in water partake of the eternal."

Dugald Stermer, the artist, was Art Director of Ramparts from 1964-71, designed the official medals for the 1984 Olympic Games, illustrated a wildlife series for The Los Angeles Times, and has created editorial illustrations for publications that range from Esquire to Rolling Stone.

Linda Lear (Introduction) authored the prize-winning Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature and was the editor for Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson, an anthology of Carson's little known and unpublished writing.

Julia Whitty (Afterword) authored Deep Blue Home: An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean and The Fragile Edge, a book on coral reefs, winner of a PEN USA Literary Award, the John Burroughs Medal, and the Kiriyama Prize.

$425 Slipcased

Click image for more








Nawakum Press Out of Print Title:


The Book of Sand
El libro de arena

Text by Jorge Luis Borges
etchings by Thomas Wood
Santa Rosa, California: Nawakum Press, 2013. Edition of 30.

12.125 x 14.5 x 1.25"; 14 pages. Letterpress printed. Bilingual text. Laid in lidded box. Signed by Thomas Wood.

Nawakum Press: "In Spanish and in English, the text is letterpress printed on Curtis Holcomb Text and handmade Cave Paper from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Garamond types were cast by Michael and Winifred Bixler of Skanaeteles, New York. Copper relief etchings, mirroring the style noted in the story, are designed into the text and printed from the copper plates on blocks mounted type high. They are accompanied by two large copper etchings printed by the artist, recessed into boards covered with Japanese book cloth and with a Cave Paper overleaf.

"The peak roofed book, taking inspiration from the Biblioteca National, measures 11" x 13.5" and is housed in a covered box made from Cave Paper over boards. The cover label is letterpress printed on Cave Paper and inset with Japanese book cloth. The edition is numbered 1-24, with six lettered copies reserved for the Press. Each copy is signed by the artist. Designed in collaboration with Foolscap Press.

"'The Book of Sand' is a short story written by Jorge Luis Borges, first published in Spanish in 1975. It was from his last major collection of the same name. Borges was born in 1899 and began publishing his poetry and essays in surrealistic literary journals in the early twenties. He later went on to much critical acclaim, sharing the first Priz International with Samuel Beckett. Borges was named director of the National Library of Argentina (Biblioteca National) in 1955, and served for nearly twenty years while almost entirely blind. Soon after resigning his position he wrote his story of a retired librarian and a very unusual book."

Click image for more

the Indigo Bunting
15 Love Poems

By Robert Bly
foreword by Thomas R. Smith
wood engravings by Keith Cranmer
Santa Rosa, California: Nawakum Press, 2010. Edition of 100.

6.25 x 10.5"; 32 pages. Two-color wood engraving frontispiece by Keith Cranmer. Tipped on wood engraving on front board. Engravings printed letterpress on Hahnemühle Biblio paper. Walbaum typeface. Designed and letterpress printed by Norman Clayton of Classic Letterpress on a KSBAZ Heidelberg Cylinder. Signed on colophon by Bly.

Edition of 100: 80 standard; 20 deluxe. Standard copies case bound with burnt orange Cave Paper over boards and quarter bound in dark brown Italian book cloth with paper label on the spine. Housed in a slipcase of Italian book cloth. Deluxe copies (numbers 1 - 20) case bound with burnt orange Cave Paper over boards, and quarter bound in foil stamped dark brown leather. Housed in a drop spine box of Japanese book cloth and accompanied by a paper chemise containing a signed and numbered wood engraving of the Indigo Bunting used for the cover.

Prospectus: "Robert Bly is an American poet and the author of more than thirty books of poetry, including The Light Around the Body, which won the National Book Award. He has translated the works of such notable poets as Pablo Neruda, Hafez, Rainier Maria Rilke and Kabir, and is the author of numerous nonfiction books as well, most notably his bestselling Iron John exploring modern masculinity. It has been said that Bly has taken on many roles, among them groundbreaking poet, and remains one of the most hotly debated artists of the past half century. The psychologist Robert Moore has said that, when the cultural and intellectual history of our time is written, Robert Bly will be recognized as the catalyst for a sweeping cultural revolution.

"Bly, best known in the 1960s and 1970s for reflective poems of the
Midwestern landscape and caustic, historically-based surrealist poems indicting the Vietnam War and American culture in general, had thus far said relatively little regarding intimate human matters. His two major collections of the early Eighties changed all that, revealing aspects of his personality barely hinted at in his earlier work. The Man in the Black Coat Turns (1981), with its focus on masculine relationships, foreshadowed the men's work that would earn him public acclaim later in the decade. Bly's volume of love poems, Loving a Woman in Two Worlds, similarly sounded new notes of personal openness and vulnerability. Robert Bly's evolution as a poet has been defined by dynamic change in style and subject matter, often from book to book. Following the arc of that development constitutes one of the long-term pleasures of reading Bly. Even so, Bly's 1985 collection, Loving a Woman in Two Worlds, took many readers by surprise. It is from this book that the poems of the Indigo Bunting are drawn. Bly is first and foremost a lover. In this exquisite gleaning from that collection, Bly continues to delight readers with his clarity and warmth in poems unlike he or anyone else has written."

The poems in this volume have been selected from the collection Loving a Woman in Two Worlds published by Dial Press, 1985.

Standard Slipcase
Click image for more


Deluxe Box
Click image for more

In A Single Gesture
By Alan Loney
Santa Rosa, California: Nawakum Press, 2012. Edition of 30.

6.5 x 12"; 32 pages. Accordion structure. Designed by Jason Dewinetz of Greenboathouse Press (British Columbia). Text set on the computer in Brioso Pro. Letterpress printed calligraphic line by Californian Judy Detrick runs the length of the books. Patrick Reagh letterpress printed text and covers from polymer plates on a 28 inch Heidelberg Cylinder. Mould-made Somerset Book papers from St. Cuthberts Mill (England) and handmade Cave Paper (Minneapolis). Housed in clamshell box of Japanese silk bookcloth with inset paper title on spine and inset ceramic medallion with blue calligraphic line on front cover. Binding and box by John DeMerritt. Copies 1-6 are reserved for the press.

Nawakum Press, announcement: "In a Single Gesture [is] a new and unpublished work from celebrated New Zealand-born poet and fine press printer Alan Loney. The book is a sequence of twenty four poems manifesting as one, connected by a single line drawn by Judy Detrick through the entire sixteen foot length of the accordion style binding. Poetry of thoughtful feeling from the outset, as Loney himself describes it, the work draws inspiration from ancient Greek poets and philosophers. Each poem's first line has been selected from an original Greek text and translated by the poet. Expanding on the essence of these first lines, each poem then resonates with immediate personal relevance in a style both self reflective and circumspect, in a manner that is crisp, fragmented, erudite and uniquely Loney.

"Alan Loney has developed an international reputation as a poet, writer of prose and criticism, publisher, and as a fine printer. He is the 2011 Janet Frame Award for Poetry in Australia for lifetime achievement, and previously the 1976 New Zealand Book Award for poetry with his collection Dear Mondrian. Loney has printed over fifty books of his own work and the work of other poets. Poet Robert Creeley has stated that Alan Loney's work has always been at the cutting edge of world literature and that his mastery has become a resource for us all.

"The design of In A Single Gesture takes its cues from the text and is light, clean, and elegantly simple. The poems speak to the four elements: breath/wind/air, earth, fire, and water, and the emotions embodied therein. The lack of punctuation or capitalization in these poems speaks to an open-endedness, an ongoing linguistic line that is broken only by space and breath. The typeface employed is self-consciously 'written,' with a pronounced calligraphic gesture to it, partnered by the finely drawn calligraphic line running through the pages. The line rises up on occasion to a gestural flourish, with cues taken from the poem, and then continues fluently onward. The title of this edition is drawn from the poetry itself: 'it's all here, all at once, the whole in a single gesture'."


Click image for more







Poem by Alan Loney
Wood engravings by Richard Wagener
Santa Rosa, California: Nawakum Press, 2014. Edition of 46.

Published in two states: 16 deluxe and 30 slipcased.

Deluxe (out of print): 16 Copies. The binding is hand sewn on linen tapes and laced into a limp paper case made of Handmade PC4 Blue from Timothy Barrett at the University of Iowa Center for the Book. The book is housed in a Japanese cloth covered four-flap enclosure, secured by rare earth magnets. A paper chemise holds one of the 16 prints from the book, with no version containing the same print, another print designed for the deluxe edition, and creative process remarks from both the artist and poet. Each book is foil stamped on the spine, signed by the artist and poet, and lettered A-P.

Slipcased: 30 Copies. The binding is hand sewn on linen tapes and laced into a limp paper case made of Handmade PC4 Blue from Timothy Barrett at the University of Iowa Center for the Book. The book is housed in a Japanese cloth covered slipcase with a printed label on the spine. Each book is foil stamped on the spine, signed by the artist and poet, and numbered 1-30. .

Nawakum Press: "LOOMS provide blank canvases on which we have been weaving stories for over five thousand years. The loom’s basic structure has not changed over time; there has been no need. It is all utility, all grace. It connects the threads of our inner world with those of the natural world in countless and ever enduring forms.

"Artist Richard Wagener arrived one day at a simple question - how many threads does it take to make a weaving? He began to draw. Over the next several months he continued drawing on the surface of endgrain wood blocks, with a wood engraver’s burin as walking stick. From this journey have come sixteen extraordinary engravings, artwork which evokes the mystery and beauty of connection and disconnection, while honoring the elegant simplicity and frailty of the loom and all it represents.

"Alan Loney, long-time weaver of words, was asked to respond to this series of engravings in a way only a poet of his sensitivity could. He wrote poetry with all the sixteen images in mind, not as single images, but as an entire series. As both a poet and a printer he took into account the letterforms and how they related to each other. From his special attentiveness to these engravings has come a truly inspired poem, asking deep questions of connection and exploring “the thread of life itself.”

"Richard Wagener is a California printmaker and book artist specializing in wood engraving. His meticulously executed work is in the Special Collections departments of over seventy-five public and private institutional libraries. Richard has always been enamored of looms, and one day he arrived at a question—how many threads does it take to make a weaving? While completing his "Sierra Nevada Suite" for The Book Club of California, the artist started a series of drawings exploring threads on a loom. They were unlike anything he had done before. He then began to engrave.

"Alan Loney is a poet, writer on the nature of the book, and publisher. He is also a handpress printer, currently proprietor of Electio Editions in Melbourne, Australia. He has published over 50 books of his own work and that of other poets through his various Presses. Richard Wagener approached Alan one day with three engravings he had finished, exploring the beauty of connection and disconnection as seen in loom work and in life. He asked Alan if he would respond to these, and other engravings to come, with his poetry. He agreed and wrote a poem for what would eventually become a series of sixteen extraordinary engravings.

"From all of this has come
LOOM, cast in lead, printed from endgrain blocks, hand-bound, and printed letterpress by Patrick Reagh on hand-made paper."

Click image for more
link to the video about the making of the book











By Barry Lopez
Santa Rosa, California: Nawakum Press, 2013. Edition of 50.

9.5 x 12.5 x 1"; 108 pages of which 99 are numbered. Typeface: Nofret. Papers are Zerkall Book and Gampi Torinoko. Letterpress printed using a Vandercook Universal IV. Published in two states: slipcased (numbered) and deluxe (lettered).

Nawakum Press: "Deluxe (out of print): Fifteen copies are bound in a millimeter binding. The spine and fore edges are black Levant goatskin. The side panels are copper Asahi book cloth. On the spine, the title stamped in gold on a red leather onlay. The book and extra suite of all prints from the book are housed in a double-tray, drop-spine box. The front of the box features an accent of recessed Sycamore veneer and black leather. Identified by roman numerals, and signed on the colophon page by the author and artist. This is the deluxe edition. Of the fifteen deluxe copies, only twelve are available for purchase. They are identified by Roman numerals.

"Slipcased: Thirty-five copies, in a rounded and backed lap-case binding. The spine is rust Asahi book cloth and the sides are marbled papers commissioned from Pam Smith of Abiquiu, New Mexico. The book is housed in a slipcase, two tone black and rust Asahi book cloth and printed paper label on the closed side. Numbered 1-28 and signed on the colophon page by the author and artist. Of the thirty-five slipcased copies, twenty-eight are available for purchase.

"Barry Lopez, prize winning American author, essayist, and fiction writer, and Barry Moser, renowned American book designer, printmaker, and illustrator, both met each other at Moser's home in Hatfield, Massachusetts, in 2009. Moser had been a professor of Lopez's step-daughter at Smith College and her family was there for her graduation. Over dinner they ruminated on the possibility of collaborating on a book project together. Nawakum Press worked with both in 2011, and 2012, to bring about this fine press limited edition of Outside.

"Six short stories of Barry Lopez, taken from his Notes trilogy, written over a span of almost twenty years from 1976-1994, are accompanied by 'meditation' engravings by Barry Moser reflecting multifaceted aspects of the text. The engravings were printed directly from the blocks on Gampi Torinoko, a legendary handmade Japanese paper. Lopez has written an Afterword, and an Introduction has been included from James Perrin Warren of Washington and Lee University."

From the title page: "In the early 1950s, when people living in the Los Angeles Basin spoke of going away for the weekend, often east over the mountains to the Mojave Desert, they would say that they were going 'to go outside.'"

The six short stories: "Desert Notes"; "Twilight"; "The Search for the Heron"; "The Falls"; "Within Birds' Hearing"; and "Empira's Tapestry."

Slipcased version
Click image for more




Page last update: 11.07.16


Home | About Us | Contact Us | New Arrivals | Fine Press & Artists' Books | Broadsides | Miniature Books | Resource Books | Order/Inquiry

   Copyright © 2013 Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers, LLC. All rights reserved.