ECOLOGY, ECONOMY, AND THE ENDURANCE OF PRINTING: Gaspereau Press, Printers & Publishers
Open to the Wells College Community and the general public
About Andrew Steeves
In 1997, Steeves established Gaspereau Press with Gary Dunfield and immersed himself in the book arts—reading, writing, editing, designing, typesetting, printing, binding, marketing, selling and talking about books. His unique publishing philosophy and integrated editorial-design-production process are as culturally enriching as the books they foster and have helped establish Gaspereau Press as one of the most respected literary publishers in Canada. The Canadian Booksellers’ Association three times named Gaspereau Press “Best Small Press of the Year,” and its publications have been shortlisted for or won every major Canadian literary award, including the Giller, the Griffin, the Charles Taylor Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award.As a typographer, Steeves has won 42 national book design awards from the Alcuin Society. He is the North American designer for the international fine printing journal Parenthesis and has work in the Queen’s collection at Windsor Castle. He is also a popular lecturer and essayist on the subject of printing and publishing, and is contributing editor to the journal The Devil’s Artisan. As an author, his most recent publication is Smoke Proofs: Essays on Literary Publishing, Printing and Typography (2014).Steeves lives with his family near Black River, NS, in an off-grid house he designed and constructed.About Gaspereau PressFounded in 1997 by Gary Dunfield & Andrew Steeves, Gaspereau Press is one of Canada’s most innovative and tenacious literary publishers. The award-winning press is known for the originality of its authors, the beauty of its books and the quality of its productions. It’s books—Smyth-sewn trade paperback, usually with letterpress-printed jackets—are produced in Gaspereau’s own printing works, located in the sleepy shiretown of Kentville, Nova Scotia. The press employs an unusual mixture of techniques & technologies in its book production, ranging from traditional letterpress printing using metal type or photopolymer plates to modern offset lithographic printing using customized digital type. Trade paperbacks are Smyth-sewn for strength and flexibility and often sport handprinted jackets on handmade paper. From editing, typesetting and production to sales and promotion, this hands-on approach carries through every aspect of a book’s creation, resulting in a process which is as culturally enriching as the texts it fosters.
No one values the care and attention that Gaspereau lavishes on its books more than its authors, and the press’s success is rooted in its ability to attract award-winning writers, such as Tim Bowling, Robert Bringhurst, George Elliott Clarke, Don McKay, Carmine Starnino, John Terpstra, Thomas Wharton & Jan Zwicky. Spanning from fiction and poetry to belles lettres, memoir and natural history, the list reflects Canada’s rich diversity of ideas and styles. Lofty ideals in no way detract from Gaspereau’s practicality, any more than the beauty of its books take away from their functionality. A publisher must live by its wits as well as its whims. Gaspereau Press has thrice been voted the Best Small Press Publisher’ in Canada by The Canadian Booksellers’ Association, most recently in 2010, an indication of its skill in bringing well-made, well-worth-reading books to market, proof that it’s still possible to produce books of quality and distinction on a human scale.
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