The Biblio File Hosted by Nigel Beale
Twenty - forty minute interviews with accomplished authors, publishers, biblio people, conducted by an excitable bibliophile.

The Mount is a historic site and a cultural center inspired by the passions and achievements of Edith Wharton. Designed and built by  Wharton in 1902, the house embodies the principles outlined in her influential book, The Decoration of Houses (1897). The property includes three acres of formal gardens designed by Wharton, who was also an authority on European landscape design,  surrounded by extensive woodlands. Programming at The Mount reflects Wharton’s core interests in the literary arts, interior design and decoration, garden and landscape design, and the art of living. Annual exhibits explore themes from Wharton’s life and work. In the summer of 2010, The Mount launched Berkshire WordFest, a gathering of writers and readers staged in one of the most beautiful settings in the Berkshires.

I met recently with Kelsey Mullen, Education and Public Programs Coordinator at the Mount, to ask her why the Literary Tourist might want to venture into this neck of the woods.  

Direct download: The_Mount_130806_001.mp3
Category:Literary Destinations -- posted at: 8:05pm EDT

From 1959-1964,  McClelland and Stewart published a run of poetry books written by Irving Layton, designed by Frank Newfeld, edited by Claire Pratt, and often illustrated with photographs by Sam Tata. They turned out to be among Layton’s most famous and influential titles ( A Red Carpet for the Sun [1959], The Swinging Flesh [1961], Balls for a One-Armed Juggler [1963], and The Laughing Rooster [1964]).  

Cameron Anstee, proprietor of Apt 9 Press and a PhD student in the English Department at the University of Ottawa recently delivered a paper at the 2013 Canadian Literature Symposium. It examined the relationship between Layton,  Newfeld, and Jack McClelland  and positioned it as central to the formation both of a visible canon of Canadian Literature in the 1950s and 1960s, and of Layton’s particular public image. The paper  looked at  Layton’s complicated relationship  with the Canadian reading public and emerging Canadian literary establishments through a close reading  of the book objects. It also considered how Layton was ‘branded’ , the role that Frank Newfeld played in this, and  the poet's conflicted responses to Newfeld’s designs.

I met recently with Anstee  to discuss this fascinating topic. 

Direct download: Cameron_Anstee.mp3
Category:Book Designer -- posted at: 12:44pm EDT

This from the Yale University Library website: "William Reese '77 is an antiquarian bookseller living in New Haven, CT. His firm, William Reese Company, founded in 1975 when he was a sophomore, is one of the leading rare book dealers in the world, specializing in Americana, travels and voyages, and literature.  He has been active with the Yale Library for many years, funding a number of fellowships in the Beinecke Library. Bill served on the committee to raise funds for the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library and contributed, with his family, the Jackson Family Rare Book Room there, named in honor of his grandfather, John Day Jackson, Class of 1890, who gave Yale its first music library.

Bill has also given Yale major collections of 20th-century writers such as Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon, as well as books and manuscripts ranging from 18th-century Louisiana to the diary of an interned Japanese-American in World War II.  He has also curated four major exhibitions in the Beinecke Library, including their Columbian Quincentenary exhibition in 1992, and the show honoring Paul Mellon's bequest to the Beinecke Library in 2002, both commemorated with published catalogs. He has also funded Beinecke publications such as the recently published Alfred Stieglitz–Georgia O’Keefe correspondence, funded cataloguing initiatives in the Map Collection, and underwritten Yale staff members attending the Rare Book School.  Bill has also served on the committee to award the undergraduate book- collecting prize for thirty years.  Bill has worked with many book libraries throughout the country on issues of collection development, security, and fund-raising.  He serves on the Council of the American Antiquarian Society and the board of the Library of America."

Please listen to our conversation about book selling, book collecting, and cutting old pies in new ways here:

Direct download: Bill_Reese_Two_new_haven_mp3_final_130805_002.mp3
Category:Booksellers -- posted at: 10:54pm EDT

 

Shanty Bay Press was established in Shanty Bay, Ontario, in 1996 as a private press devoted to publishing livres d’artistes in which the texts and the illustrations accompanying them would have equal weight in the design of the books. The press is a partnership: the type-setting, presswork and binding are the work of Janis Butler, the illustrations are byWalter Bachinski, and the editorial, design and publishing decisions are shared. The press’s equipment includes a Vandercook SP20, Vandercook Universal 1, double crown Washington hand press (1836), an etching press, and a growing collection of type.

I visited the Press recently to talk with its proprietors, starting with Walter Bachinski.  We cover a lot of ground including personal history, the history of the press, fine press book illustration, design and composition, love of books and book collecting.  

Direct download: Walter_Bachinski_Shanty_Bay_Press.mp3
Category:Publisher's Histories -- posted at: 10:11am EDT


Photo: The Mighty Quill

Last week I attended the Kingston WritersFest and interviewed some great authors about 'place' and its relationship to their work. Here I talk with Thomas King about native myth, possibility in storytelling, his love of the Alberta Landscape - especially that which surrounds Lethbridge - and those novels of his which best capture the essence of this spectacular place.

Direct download: Thomas_King_final_130926_002.mp3
Category:Literary Destinations -- posted at: 1:58pm EDT

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