Victor Hammer Fellowship position now open!

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The Wells Book Arts Center is pleased to begin accepting applications for the tenth Victor Hammer Fellowship in the Book Arts.

The fellowship is named for Victor Hammer, an Austrian printer, book designer, typographer and portrait artist, who fled Europe to come to Wells College in 1939. The Hammer Fellowship is a two-year book artist-in-residence program that was founded in 1998 designed to help emerging book artists establish their name in the field. The Hammer Fellow’s expertise and various activities enhance the educational mission of the Book Arts Center and Wells College and increase awareness of the book arts as a field of study and practice both at Wells and in the community at large.

The Book Arts Center teaches introductory courses in letterpress printing, hand bookbinding, calligraphy and various upper-level courses in binding and printing. In addition to courses taught in the academic year, the Book Arts Center offers two week-long series of workshops in the summer at Wells College.

The successful candidate for the Victor Hammer Fellowship in the Book Arts will hold the position for two years, Fall 2016 through Summer 2018. The position includes teaching two courses each semester, one of which will be Hand Bookbinding I. Duties include production of work for Wells College Press, maintenance of Printing, Bindery and Papermaking studios and assisting the director.  The fellowship includes an apprenticeship at the Press and Letterfoundry of Michael and Winifred Bixler in nearby Skaneateles and producing an independent body of work.

Applicants must have extensive experience in binding, letterpress printing and papermaking, experience teaching, and a MFA in Book Arts or a certificate in a related field. Applications should include a CV, 15 digital images of the candidate’s own work, 7 digital images of the candidate’s students’ work, a statement of teaching philosophy, and three letters of recommendation. Since the Fellow will assist in the design and production of poetry broadsides for the Creative Writing Program, as well as announcement posters for Book Arts events, images of any such work would be helpful to the search committee.

Applications are due by March 1, 2016, and are to be submitted as PDF files via an email to wellsjobs@wells.edu with Victor Hammer Fellow noted in the subject line.   Wells College actively seeks to diversify faculty and encourages candidates to apply who can further expand the program through multicultural approaches and is an equal opportunity employer.  No phone calls please.

Wells College Press 2016 Chapbook Contest Winner

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JR Tappenden photo by Juniper Tree Studio

Wells College Press is very pleased to announce that the Winner of its 2016 Chapbook Contest is JR Tappenden for her manuscript, Independent City. Her prize includes 20 copies of the letterpress-printed chapbook. She will also read at Wells College in Aurora, NY and receive a $500 honorarium plus room and board. In the tradition of the Wells College Press, her chapbook will be crafted obsessively, with hand-set title pages and hand-sewn bindings. It will be published in an edition of 100 signed and numbered copies.

This year’s runner-up is:
Miss Paper and the Sea by Emily Anderson

The finalists are:
Colloquy with St. Mary of Egypt by Derek Mong
Threaded Daughter/Threaded Child by Clare Paniccia
Vistas, Habitations by Will Cordeiro

There were more than 160 entries to this year’s competition, and, according to the judges, “the overall quality was exceptionally high.” Ultimately, Independent City stood out. The judges commented on “how each of these poems is rooted in an actual particular place or object, and how each unassumingly but authoritatively unfolds until it has conjured up the salient particulars of that place or that object.” They remarked on the writing’s “precision and depth, its quiet strength, power, and subtlety,” and summed up Independent City as a “really wonderful, powerful collection.”

JR Tappenden lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and is the founding editor of Architrave Press. She earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Missouri – St. Louis where she also served as the university’s first Poet Laureate. Her poems have appeared in The Baltimore Review, Flyway, Euphony, Ithaca Lit, and elsewhere. Jen is poetry editor for december magazine, and on the organizing teams for both the St. Louis Small Press Expo and the Natural Bridge Debut Writers Series. For more on Jen Tappenden, go to jrtappenden.com.

 

Wells Book Arts Summer Institute 2016

WellsSIlogoSunsetWe are very pleased to announce our 2016 Wells Book Arts Summer Institute. It will run for the last two weeks of July and each week features five courses to choose from. The combination of world-class intensive book arts courses and spectacular Finger Lakes scenery makes the Summer Institute a great way to spend a week or two learning and making new art. Online registration is now live! Space is limited and our instructor and course line-up is really stellar, so reserve your space early to avoid disappointment.

Holiday Card Printing Workshop and Sale

Stop by and print a letterpress Christmas or generic Seasonal Holiday card for Free. (Additional cards can be printed for only $1 a pop!) and/or shop at our pop-up shop for books, cards, posters, broadsides, and even the new Wells Book Arts Baseball Caps!

When: Friday, December 4th from 1pm-5pm
Where: Wells Book Arts Center in Morgan Hall
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Visiting Artist In Residence Jillian Bruschera from The Mobile Mill Sept 18-Oct 2nd

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Take Action Now! Come be a part of a hands on lecture and learn about the Book Arts In-Residence The Mobile Mill, a traveling paper-making studio on September 24th at 6pm in Stratton Hall at Wells College. Jillian Bruschera focuses her art practice on social change, community, and sustainability. After a short lecture you will be able to make your own sheet of handmade paper.

Jillian will be here for two weeks September 18th-October 2nd hosting pop up paper making workshops all over campus. If you are unable to attend her talk catch up with her on another day. Here is the schedule:

SEPTEMBER
19th Aurora Free Public Library 1-2:30pm
22nd Outside Dining Hall at Wells 11:30am-1:30pm
24th ‘The Mobile Mill: A Vehicle for Social Practice’ artist lecture by Jillian Bruschera, proprietor of The Mobile Mill, in Stratton 209 at 6pm
25th In front of Leach Dorm 9am-Noon
26th Aurora Farmer’s Market 9am-Noon
29th Near Stratton & Zabriske 9am-Noon

OCTOBER 1st
Gallery Opening in the String Room featuring: original posters from the Women’s Suffrage Movement, student-generated art & art-as-activism projects including The Mobile Mill by Jillian Bruschera, Lavender Menace by Angela Davis Fegan, & Seeds in Service by Melissa Potter and Maggie Puckett, 6-8pm This event also includes a round-table discussion with visiting artist Jillian Bruschera and faculty, 7pm

Admission is FREE
Stratton Hall Auditorium
Wells College
Aurora-On-Cayuga NY

The Mobile Mill is an automobile outfitted with portable machinery to enable “pop-up” hand papermaking production, moving the making experience to, well, anywhere.

With a focus on experiential learning and community outreach, The Mobile Mill is a space for physical, social, and artistic interaction — an alternative art-making space where new learners, practicing artists and potential collaborators can learn about paper and how to make paper. The Mobile Mill demonstrates ecological awareness through art education, which teaches participants how to repurpose waste.

At large, a studio-on-wheels has great potential to generate a type of interaction with community that considers a larger human ecology. As a moving-space able to interact between edges, The Mobile Mill considers art-making, in this case the making of handmade paper, as a way to engage in a variety of communities and dialogues.

A digital anthology of this project can be found at:
themobilemill.tumblr.com

The even is free and open to the public.
For more information, email bookartscenter@wells.edu

Announcing The Wells College Press 2016 Chapbook Competition

Wells College Press invites submissions to its annual Poetry Chapbook Contest. The deadline for the 2016 competition is November 30, 2015. The winner will be announced in January 2016.

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The author of the chosen manuscript will receive 20 copies of the letterpress printed, hand-sewn chapbook. The author will also be invited to read from her or his new chapbook at Wells College in the fall of 2016. The poet will receive a $500 honorarium + room and board for the reading.

We print editions of 100 signed and numbered copies. We craft every aspect of our chapbooks individually and obsessively: Prior chapbooks have included all type and ornament cast in metal at the Bixler Letterfoundry in Skaneatles specifically for those projects. Our books also feature hand-set title pages and hand-sewn bindings. The winning chapbook will continue this tradition of craftsmanship.

In honor of the gorgeous location of the Wells College Press, right on the shore of Cayuga Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region, the chapbook series focuses on poems with a strong sense of place. We understand place to be geographical, social, political, spiritual, etc.

Submission Guidelines:

  • 18-30 manuscript pages (with no more than one poem per page)
  • Individual poems may have been published in periodicals, but the collection as a whole must be unpublished. An acknowledgments page is optional (though it will be included in the final chapbook).
  • Co-authored manuscripts and translated manuscripts are welcome.
  • Close personal friends of the judges, as well as current or former students of the judges, are ineligible.
  • Multiple submissions are welcome, but each submission must be accompanied by a separate entry fee.
  • Please limit your identifying information to your cover letter; the manuscript itself must be anonymous, as the judging will be blind.

How to submit:

Online via Submittable: https://wellscollegepress.submittable.com/submit

Or mail hard copies to:
Chapbook Contest
Wells Book Arts Center
Wells College
170 Main Street
Aurora, New York 13026.

Make checks for $20 payable to Wells College, with “WCPress entry fee” on the memo line.
Include an SASE for notification of the results.
Optional: Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard for acknowledgment of receipt.

The final judges of the 2016 WCP Poetry Chapbook Contest are Bruce Bennett and Dan Rosenberg.

Bruce Bennett is the author of nine volumes of poetry and more than twenty-five poetry chapbooks. His New and Selected Poems, Navigating The Distances (Orchises Press), was chosen by Booklist as “One Of The Top Ten Poetry Books Of 1999.” He co-founded and served as an editor of Field: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics and Ploughshares, and was the Poetry Editor for Stone Canoe Issue #9. In 2012 he was awarded a Pushcart Prize. In 2014 he retired from Wells College, where he taught literature and creative writing and directed the Visiting Writers Series. He is now Emeritus Professor of English.

Dan Rosenberg is the author of The Crushing Organ (Dream Horse Press, 2012) and cadabra (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2015). He has also written two chapbooks, A Thread of Hands (Tilt Press, 2010) and Thigh’s Hollow (Omnidawn, forthcoming 2015), and he co-translated Miklavž Komelj’s Hippodrome (Zephyr Press, forthcoming 2015). His work has won the American Poetry Journal Book Prize and the Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Contest. Rosenberg earned an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a Ph.D. from The University of Georgia. He teaches literature and creative writing at Wells College and co-edits Transom.

E-mail with questions: bookartscenter@wells.edu

THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF SUSAN GARRETSON SWARTZBURG ‘60

According to her own account, Susie Garretson (as her friends knew her then) dreamed of a Book Arts Center at Wells while she was a still a student. I don’t know how familiar she was at that time with the work and reputation of Victor Hammer, who had left Wells in 1948, but I suspect she was well aware of Victor and perhaps (as so many have been) inspired by his example. Whatever its origin in fact and vision, Susan Garretson Swartzburg, Assistant Librarian for Collection Management and Preservation Specialist at Rutgers University, arrived at Wells, in company with Jane Webster Pearce ‘32, in the Fall of 1992 on a solemn mission. She was resolutely determined to do whatever was necessary to realize her dream.

That realization was not long in coming. In late 1992, Jane donated her entire fine arts bindery and bookbinding library to the college; she also arranged for an endowment to support a Binder-in-Residence. Robert Doherty, after informing Wells Librarian Jeri Vargo that he was eager to perpetuate his friend

Victor’s legacy at Wells, volunteered expertise, wide experience, and a wealth of materials.

The official Inauguration of the Wells Book Arts Center took place in April 1993, and Barbara E. Kretzmann, having been initially contacted by Susan, became the first Binder-in-Residence that Fall. In October 1993, the Book Arts Center sponsored its first symposium, “Honoring the Life and Work of Victor Hammer.” This highly-successful gathering was followed in the spring of 1995 by another equally successful symposium, “Bookbinding and the Book Arts.”

Susan Garretson Swartzburg was everywhere in evidence during this period, and throughout the formative years that followed, both as an essential member of the Book

Arts Center’s Advisory Board and as a resourceful agent and friend always available and eager to do whatever needed to be done. A tireless advocate for everything and everyone with any connection to the book arts at Wells, she lobbied, cajoled, argued, explained; networked endlessly, not just among classmates and Wells alumnae, but among her fellow book arts professionals. She donated funds and arranged for donations by others. She organized events, and arranged for speakers. She was unstoppable, unflappable, and imperturbable. Those who watched were in awe of her dedication, commitment, and inexhaustible energy; they even teased her about being “obsessed”!

Her untimely death at the age of 57 in October 1996, after having fallen ill on a summer trip with library colleagues to China, was a blow to the Book Arts Center from which it may never fully recover. One can only imagine what further contributions Susan might have made; what legions of new supporters, for example, she might have drawn to the Center if she could have sustained her promotional and other efforts on its behalf. Yet, she did live long enough to see the institution she somehow dreamed into being begin to flourish, and she would have been greatly gratified by its advances since that time.

The semi-annual Susan Garretson Swartzburg ‘60 Book Arts Lecture Series, founded by her in 1994 as a memorial to her father, bears her own name now as a grateful memorial to her from the Book Arts Center and Wells College. Still, only those who witnessed her unrelenting, inspired, indeed, heroic actions during those early years can have any adequate idea of the extent and scope of her contributions, any conception of the true legacy Susie left to the Wells College Book Arts Center, and therefore to all who continue to benefit from it.

Bruce Bennett
Director (1993-2002)
Wells College Book Arts Center

Written in 2002