About wellsbookartscenter

The Wells College Book Arts Center, established in 1993, provides a broad learning opportunity for Wells students and the Aurora community in the arts and crafts of the book.

Matter & Spirit—April 26, 2019

Matter & Spirit 2019
A Celebration of Poetry and Printing at Wells College
Friday, April 26, 2019, 1-4PM
Free & Open to the Public
Light refreshments provided

• 1:00-2:00 PM Readings in Sommer Center
• 1:00 PM – Book release and reading from the Advanced Poetry Writing class’s newly-published chapbook
• 1:30 PM -​ Broadside release and reading of the poem “Traveling with Spring” by Donn Vickers. Broadside produced by Wells College students who received the inaugural Wells Book Arts Broadside Award

• 2:00-4:00PM Open House in Morgan Hall​
– Open printing workshop with artist-in-residence Katherine Taylor from Nova Scotia.
– Papermaking demonstrations
– Wells College Press Pop-Up Shop with posters, books, cards and more!

2019 Chapbook Contest Winner

Wells College Press is very pleased to announce that the winner of our 2019 Chapbook Contest is James D’Agostinofor his manuscript, Play Attention. His prize includes 10 copies of the letterpress-printed chapbook. He will also read at Wells College in Aurora, NY and receive a $1,000 honorarium plus room and board. In the tradition of the Wells College Press, his chapbook will be crafted obsessively, with hand-set title pages and hand-sewn bindings. It will be published in an edition of 150 signed and numbered copies.

James D’Agostino is the author of Nude With Anything (New Issues Press), Slur Oeuvre, which won the Diagram/New Michigan Prize, and Weathermanic, winner of the CutBank Chapbook Contest. His poems have appeared in Conduit, Forklift Ohio, TriQuarterly, Denver Quarterly, Rattle (Poets Respond), Third Coast, and elsewhere. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa with his wife, the poet and book artist, Karen Carcia. 

This year’s finalists are:
The Clearing by Lisa Hiton
granulated sugar poured slow from a bucket onto snow by Rusty Morrison
Hart & Sword by Christopher Nelson
Litany of Flights by Laura Hogan
The Relentless Pursuit of Good Enough by James Ellenberger

This year’s semifinialists are:
Home and Other Centos by Trevor Ketner
Rain Shadow by William Cordeiro
Red Motel by Christopher Nelson
Siberian by Jill Osier
Speyerby Lisa Hiton

This year also marks the second Bennett Prize, given to a single outstanding poem from among the finalist manuscripts. The winner is “Hallucination with Four Fathers” by Christopher Nelson, which will appear in a limited-edition broadside in Fall 2019. This prize is named in honor of Bruce Bennett, Professor Emeritus of English and former Director of the Book Arts Center at Wells College.

The readers and final judge were overwhelmed by the beautiful range and ambition of submissions this year, as well as the sheer volume. Ultimately, James D’Agostino’s Play Attention won us over with its loving attention to the surface of language, its efforts at not just naming the world but experiencing it through language anew. One reader responded by praising its “incredible sharpness” and “the attention not just to sound play between words but to the connotations of the sounds of words themselves.” The contest judge, Dan Rosenberg, agreed, noting that within the gorgeous play of language in this manuscript he found “love and despair filtered through a palpable sky.” We are thrilled to be publishing this outstanding collection of poems.

Amos Kennedy at Wells!

Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. will be in residence on campus conducting a week-long series of events co-sponsored by The Wells Book Arts Center, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the String Room Gallery and the Wells College Scholar-In-Residence program.

Visual Noise features poster prints by acclaimed letterpress printer and book artist Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. Renowned for his bold use of typography and renegade letterpress technique, Kennedy has built a forceful, witty, and subversive creative practice centered on calling attention to past and present experiences of race, labor, art, and printing. While his work is widely exhibited and held in collections, he ensures access to his posters by selling them at affordable prices. Visual Noise will culminate with a “Cash & Carry” event, with all posters available for purchase.

All are welcome to join Kennedy at the following public events during his residency:

  • Open Printing Drop-In Session: April 15, 3:30-6:00 p.m. — Morgan Hall
  • Open Printing Drop-In Session: April 16, 3:30-6:00 p.m. — Morgan Hall
  • Tea Time with Amos: April 17, 3:00 PM — Zabriskie Hall, Room 306
  • Documentary Film Screening, Proceed and Be Bold: April 17, 7:00 p.m. — Stratton Hall Room 209
  • Artist Talk, Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothin‘: April 18, 6:00 p.m. — Stratton 209
  • Closing Reception and Cash & Carry, Visual Noise: April 19,  6:30—8:00 p.m. — String Room Gallery

My Funny Valentine

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Valentine card letterpress printing at Wells Book Arts Center is happening Friday Feb 8 2019 from 11am til 3pm. The cards shown are from previous years. This year will be all new designs and questionable puns. Print a card or two for free. We even have a surplus sale of last year’s cards for $1 each! Stop by and print!

(Write It!)

The Wells College Visiting Writers Series is pleased to welcome poet Kimiko Hahn for a public reading in celebration of her new chapbook, “(Write It!),” published by Wells College Press and now avaiable for sale! The reading will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in the Faculty Parlors lounge in the College’s Main Building. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Hahn will also conduct a master class, “The Sensationally Short Poem,” on Friday, Feb. 8 at 12:30 p.m., also in Main Building’s Faculty Parlors. This event is also free and open to the public.

Kimiko Hahn is the author of nine books of poems, including: “Brain Fever” (W.W. Norton, 2014) and “Toxic Flora” (WWN, 2010), both collections prompted by science; “The Narrow Road to the Interior” (WWN, 2006), a collection that takes its title from Basho’s famous poetic journal; “The Unbearable Heart” (Kaya, 1996), which received an American Book Award; and “Earshot” (Hanging Loose Press, 1992), which was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and an Association of Asian American Studies Literature Award. A new collection, “Foreign Bodies,” is forthcoming in 2020.

Hahn takes pleasure in the challenges of collaboration, most recently with Lauren Henkin’s photographic series. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/Voelcker Award, Shelley Memorial Prize and a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Hahn currently serves as president of the board at the Poetry Society of America and is a distinguished professor in the MFA program in creative writing and literary translation at Queens College, the City University of New York. Read more about her at kimikohahn.com.

About the Visiting Writers Series
The Visiting Writers series at Wells College presents several events each semester featuring authors who have distinguished themselves in poetry, fiction or nonfiction. These writers not only give public readings of their work—they also conduct writing workshops, participate in classes and discussions, and often hold individual conferences with interested student writers. The Visiting Writers Series is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. See more at http://wells.edu/visiting-writers.

Lantern – Second Edition

Annie Lighthart‘s Lantern won the 2017 Wells College Press Chapbook Contest. The first edition was printed entirely with metal type from the Bixler Letterfoundry at the Bixler Press and at Wells College Press. Includes a fontispiece wood engraving by Gaylord Schanilec. The first edition of 150 copies has sold out (an impressive feat for a “luxury” edition of poetry at $30 per copy) . The second edition is printed offset in an edition of 500 copies by Gaspereau Press, Nova Scotia for Wells College Press. Gaspereau Press is well-known in the Canadian literary publishing world and internationally as a trade publisher with fine press inclinations. We are very happy to make this affordable trade edition available for those who missed the first edition.

From editor Dan Rosenberg’s Foreword to Lantern:
“…what unites and distinguishes this work is a quiet wonder that poetry, real poetry happens: ‘And the human language, / I feel it everywhere in me, easy.’ That sentence goes on, insisting that the world can be met with awe and reverence.
And with this book in hand, it is right.”

Wells Book Arts Summer Institute 2019

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Time again to start thinking about basking in the warm sun and making things with your hands. July 14–27, 2019…come to Aurora, NY!

Each July, Wells Book Arts Center hosts the Wells Book Arts Summer Institute. This year, our 14th!, follows our biggest year ever with 6 courses to choose from for each of the 2 weeks. Join our all-star line-up of instructors and learn new techniques or hone existing skills in a variety or paper and printing arts.

Each week is filled with intensive, hands-on instruction and practice, but there is also time to relax and enjoy the spectacular sunsets over Cayuga Lake or swim or take things at your own pace. Of course there are people who want to work on their projects late into the evening, and we encourage that too! Class sizes are limited, so sign up early to secure your spot in one of these great courses.

                                 Week 1 — July 14–20
• Sarah Bryant – The Long Stitch: Form, Function, Experimentation
• Stephanie Carpenter – Letterpress Basics and More
• Kyle Holland – Creative Papermaking Processes: Positive & Negative Stenciling
• Rob LoMascolo – Polymer Printing on the Heidelberg
• Scott Moore – New Wood Type Production using historic methods & modern machines
• Joanne Price – Wood Engraving: Historic Letterpress Illustration

                                Week 2 — July 21–27
• Michael & Winnie Bixler – Monotype Type Casting
• Nancy Callahan – Book that Expand and Contract
Patrick Griffin – Digital Font Making: A Crash Course for the Ravers
• Radha Pandey – Japanese Paper-making and Natural Dyeing
Steve Pittelkow – Paper Marbling and Cartonnage: Beyond Square and Rectangle
• Brad Vetter – Lasers & Letterpress

Visit our Summer Institute webpage for full course descriptions and options

Annual Holiday Card Printing Workshop & Pop-Up Shop 2018

holiday2018On Friday December 7, 1-3pm and Saturday Dec 8, 1-3pm—Stop by Morgan Hall on Wells Campus in beautiful Aurora-On-Cayuga, NY 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 hand printed and blank books, letterpress greeting cards, limited edition posters, signed poetry broadsides, Wells College Press Logo Coffee Mugs! and even the new grey colored Wells Book Arts Baseball Caps. You can see a selection of some of the items we will have on hand at our online shop. All are welcome.

The Wells Book Arts Holiday Printing Workshop & Sale is part of the Christmas in Aurora event that runs throughout downtown Aurora on December 8, 2017. For more information on Christmas in Aurora, visit the Facebook Event Page

Wells College Press 2019 Chapbook Competition

Wells College Press invites submissions to its annual Poetry Chapbook Contest. The deadline for the competition is January 15, 2019. Contest closed.

Wells College Press is very pleased to announce that the winner of our 2019 Chapbook Contest is James D’Agostino for his manuscript, Play Attention

The author of the chosen manuscript will receive 10 copies of the letterpress printed, hand-sewn chapbook. The author will also be invited to read from their new chapbook at Wells College in the fall of 2019. The poet will receive a $1,000 honorarium + room and board for the reading.

We print editions of 150 signed and numbered copies. We craft every aspect of our chapbooks individually and obsessively: Prior chapbooks have included type and ornament cast in metal at the Bixler Letterfoundry in Skaneatles as well as wood engravings specifically commissioned for those projects. Our books also feature hand-set title pages and hand-sewn bindings. The winning chapbook will continue this tradition of craftsmanship.

Past winners include Janis Esch’s What Longing Is, Michael Jennings’ River Time, J.R. Tappenden’s Independent City, Annie Lighhart’s Lantern, and Bret Shepard’s Negative Compass

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 judge, as well as current or former students of the judge, 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:

Preferred: 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 Press, with “WCPress entry fee” on the memo line.

Include an email address OR a SASE for notification of the results.

Optional: Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard for acknowledgment of receipt.

The final judge of the 2018 WCP Poetry Chapbook Contest is Dan Rosenberg.

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, 2015), and he co-translated Miklavž Komelj’s Hippodrome (Zephyr Press, 2016). 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.

E-mail with questions: bookartscenter@wells.edu

Open Studio Printing Event— PRINT YOUR VOICE!

Vote.jpgWednesday October 10th, 2018 2pm-5pm

1st Floor of the Wells Book Arts Center (Morgan Hall)

Come by the Wells Book Arts Center for a poster-printing event and make your own poster to promote civic engagement! Print one of our pre-formatted posters, or set your own message in type and customize your voice.

Register to vote! The last day to register in New York is October 12, in order to participate in the General Election on November 6, 2018.

This event is part of the Wells Democracy & Leadership Series, co-sponsored by the Political Science program, Sullivan Center for Business and Entrepreneurship and the Office of Student Activities and Leadership. This series brings students together with local, regional, national and international leaders to learn about their leadership path, examine the characteristics of successful leaders and share ways to take a leadership role in our democracy.