HM would go to Codex if only to see Ken Shure and all the very cool books he always has on display (Chevington Press, I'm looking at you). This year's reunion was particularly satisfying because we learned that Ken and his partner Liv Rockefeller are launching their own imprint, Two Ponds Press. It's no surprise that after Ken's long association with the Gehenna Press, TPP bears a familial resemblance both esthetically and philosophically. But, as Lisa Baskin herself had pointed out to Ken, there is no value in simply being a copy cat, and that is not the intention.
Two Ponds Press will recruit the talents of different artists, typographers and craftspeople for each project, the curating of teams no doubt being part of the appeal for Ken and Liv. And given their long and deep connections in the book arts community, they will be coming up with some very cool combinations. Their debut publication, Anthony Hecht's collection of poems Interior Skies, will feature typography by Russell Maret, printing by Art Larson, wood engravings by Abigail Rorer and a binding by none other than Gray Parrot.
At Codex Ken was handing out a broadside prospectus (set in Baskin's much-loved Centaur) that includes a brief description of the press's aims:
"Our mission is to forge a collaboration with writers, artists, photographers, designers, printers and bookbinders. Our list of forthcoming projects includes poetry, children's literature, photography, culinary arts and history. Original material presented in both traditional and modern formats will be our hallmark. We are rooted in the tradition of modern fine printing, but it is also our intention to use the newest technologies available to us; metal type, letterpress, polymer plates, photogravure, intaglio and relief printing and more will be utilized in the making of our books, portfolios and broadsides."
That bit about being a contemporary press founded on traditional models, and using "newest technologies available" particularly appeals to HM. The TPP Web site is still being constructed, but Ken can be contacted at gehenna [at] midcoast.com. Interior Skies is scheduled for publication this summer, in an edition of 75 copies.