You never know where and when inspiration will strike. On a road trip during the design stage of the project, we took a wrong turn and stumbled across a railroad museum in Virginia that had this amazing, vintage wooden rail car.
The wood was so incredibly old, cracked and splintered, you knew it had stories to tell. The planks of its wooden sides inspired the colors and pattern of the paste paper we created for the book's cover. Even the paper the poems are printed on has a ribbed texture. Nothing screams "Boxcar!" like old wood. And metal maybe.
As another first for the book, we chose to produce the text by casting it as hot metal slugs on our Intertype C4 linecaster. To commemorate our foray into hot type, we designed and produced 12 small clamshell boxes. Each box would hold a copy of the book and the lead slug used to print the first line of one of the 12 poems. And to top it off, adhered inside the lid of the box was a digital print photo of the inspirational boxcar.
John Dorsey's poems are about memories and echoes of the past. In keeping with that idea, the title of each poem, which is simply its number in the sequence, is printed as a large, ghostly white figure underlying the words. Thanks, John, for letting Lead Graffiti test some letterpress and bookmaking hypotheses on your "train of thoughts."
John Dorsey is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Leaves of Ass (Unadorned Press, 2011), Street Maps for Lost Souls (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2012), and White Girl Problems: Poems & Stories (NightBallet Press, 2012). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He may be reached at email@example.com
BOOK : Boxcar Poems 1 - 12 by John Dorsey
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