Ninja Press ~ California
(Carolee Campbell)

 
   
Art of the Book in California: Five Contemporary Presses: "From the outset, one of Ninja Press's primary mandate was to strive for the highest standards of excellence in craftsmanship and quality while attempting to find new approaches to the union between word, image, and book structure. That mission will continue to fuel the inspiration for future editions works, as well as one-of-a-kind books."
   
the sirens
By Alan Loney
Sherman Oaks, California: Ninja Press, 2011. Edition of 80 plus 8 lettered hors commerce.

10.5 x 5.25"; 28 pages. Signed by Alan Loney. Design, presswork, embellishment, and binding by Carolee Campbell whose photographs line both front and back boards.

Prospectus: "Hand set in Eve and Paramount printed on gampi torinoko, handmade by the late Masao Seki on Shikoku Island, Japan. The decorative device repeated throughout the text is embellished by hand with gold and silver pigments, as is the titling. Text is sewn through the black Asahi cloth spine with gray silk cord echoing the silver embellishments. The boards are covered in hanji, handmade at the Jang Ji Bang papermill in Gapyeong, Korea. No two sheets are alike in their coarsely stained beauty. The desiccated effect of the paper provides a counterpoint to the silken interior sheets, evoking the terrible beauty of the mythic Sirens, their song and their silence."

This Ninja Press publication consists of previously unpublished poems by Alan Loney, recipient of the 2011 Janet Frame Literary Trust Lifetime Achievement Award for poetry.

Carolee Campbell: "It has been a distinct pleasure to get to know the poet, Alan Loney, if only by e-mail and it is my honor to have published this distinguished poet, printer, and man of indefatigable curiosity, intelligence, and grace."
$450

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The Persephones
By Nathaniel Tarn
Sherman Oaks, California: Ninja Press, 2009. Edition of 85.

14.25 x 9.25"; 48 pages. Type is handset Van Dijck with Weiss Initial Series I for the display and printed on dampened Domestic Etching on a Vandercook Universal I flatbed proof press. The folios are laid in a goat parchment cover. The skins were processed by hand. The book is protected by a hard-sided chemise wrapper covered in a deep green Asahi Japanese silken cloth. A slipcase is covered in natural colored linen. Text pages consist of twelve unbound folios which open to 14 x 18". Each folio is painted by hand on both front and back using sumi ink and salt by the artist — making each book unique. The poems are printed on and alongside the artwork.

Prospectus: "The Persephones was first published by Christopher's Books in Santa Barbara, California in 1974. Much of the edition was subsequently destroyed by fire. The poems were significantly altered in 2007 by the poet for this Ninja Press edition."

The Page: An Interactive Exhibition of Artists’ Books, Otis College of Art and Design: "Working collaboratively, the poet himself, in 2007, altered the text specifically for this Ninja Press edition. Twelve ethereal folios have been hand-painted on both sides using sumi ink and salt by the artist and encased in supple goat parchment covers; the sensuality of these materials can only be experienced by the individual access of the reader. Campbell’s seasoned eye for typography interprets each Persephone with expert pacing, line breaks and movement across the page. In a truly modern version of the ‘livre d’artiste,’ Campbell’s seamless integration of type and image exemplifies the elegant union of writer and artist.”

Maureen Davidson, Book as Medium: Holding/Withholding Text at UCSC Sesnon Gallery: "The Persephones, a folio by Carolee Campbell of Ninja Press, is an awe-inspiring tour de force, its hand-set press on dampened Domestic Etching paper, the cover of each folio hand-painted on both sides using sumi ink and salt in a sheet that summons galaxies, preciously revealing exquisite pages of poetry by Nathanial Tarn."

Parenthesis 19, review: "Campbell's typographic treatment and book design are superb. Each of the poems rests on an open spread decorated with broad strokes of sumi ink and salt - an illustration technique that gives an earthy, primitive look to the pages. Each treatment is appropriate and unique to the poem."
$1,700


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Pruned Boughs
By Michael Hannon
Sherman Oaks, California: Ninja Press, 2008. Edition of 100.

4.5 x 10"; 15 pages. The type is hand-set Meridien with Weiss Initials Series III for the display, printed letterpress in three colors onto dampened Frankfurt. A simple decorative device used throughout, printed and hand-brushed with iridescent mica, is from a punch cut by Carolee Campbell, then struck into a matrix by Theo Rehak. The cover is a walnut-stained flax sheet handmade by Bridget O'Malley at Cave Paper. Design, paperwork, and binding by the artist with assistance from Karen Skove Chu in the bindery. There are 100 numbered and signed copies in the edition with an additional 12 lettered hors commerce. Signed by the poet.

Prospectus: "These previously unpublished poems is the third in a series of Ninja Press publications written by this generous and highly favored poet."

Ninja Press: "With its rich walnut covers and stark white text, this slender volume brings into sharp relief the somber prospect invoked by these poems."

Carolee Campbell: "Very pruned. Very chaste. Just the poems on the page."
$200


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The Intimate Stranger
By Breyten Breytenbach
Sherman Oaks, California: Ninja Press, 2007. Edition of 100.

13 x 7.5"; 40 pages. 100 numbered and signed copies with an additional 10 lettered hors commerce. The type is hand-set Samson and Libra printed letterpress on dampened flax paper handmade especially for this book by Bridget O’Malley at Cave Paper. A horoscope, as well as the multicolored signs and symbols seen throughout the text, are drawn by Carolee Campbell and printed from photopolymer plates. Additional symbols are applied by hand using pure earth pigments. The boards are covered in flax paper hand coated with a mixture of ochre pigment and fine volcanic pumice. A second inner cover holds the text and is sewn into the spine with a thin purple silk cord. An additional hardcover enclosure, handmade by Judi Conant, protects the book and echoes the theme of the artwork using an artful locking device. A separate chapbook containing a legend for the text-inspired signs and symbols completes the edition. It is printed letterpress in eight colors with three additional pigments applied by hand. It is printed on dampened Nideggen in Samson and Libra and is sewn with silk into a flax paper cover. The design, presswork and binding are by Carolee Campbell at Ninja Press with the assistance of Karen Skove Chu in the bindery.

In a language rich with streamlined ornament, Breyten Breytenbach charts the geography of the land while, on a shifting plane, he conjures the landscape of the human heart.

Each journey will be into the unknown but even so
routes are traced the way thoughts and dreams
become words and the words become tracks and
and the tracks turn to sand. Sand moving in a haze
over your vision will be footsteps—your own, those
of the ancestors, those of your companions. Birds
will remember you in the sky, their flight an arrow
in the soil. That’s how you read the paragraphs of
your life.

In this single, long prose poem, every paragraph has been given its own page or double-page spread. Each of the thirty-two pages is embellished with signs and symbols printed in multiple colors which have been inspired by the text.
$1,500


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XXIV Short Love Poems
By Bruce Whiteman
Sherman Oaks, California: Ninja Press, 2002. Edition of 135.

5" x 5", 38 pages. The book was designed, printed and bound by Campbell.

This is a collection of poems written on the occasion of the poet's 25th wedding anniversary and offered as a gift to his wife. Printed letterpress in four colors, the text paper is Japanese hangashi, the poems are augmented by three cyanotypes, a 19th century photographic process which are sensitized by hand and printed on Velke Losiny paper by the photographer Carolee Campbell. The accordion style binding uses a luminous golden past paper, hand painted by Claire Maziarczyk. Together these elements create the impression of a silken coverlet under which the poem lies.
$400 (Last Copy)


   

 
Ninja Press Out of Print Title:
• Burn Down the Zendo
• Emerson & Thoreau / Spirit & Matter
• The Real World of Manuel Cordova
 
   

Page last update: 05.29.13

 

   
  
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