Photo of cow

Wayzgoose — Back to the Basics, and Back to the Stick!

I’ve settled on a text for this year’s Grimsby Wayzgoose Anthology; it’s a contemporary and oft-told fable that can stand one more telling, I suppose — this time recounted in true curmudgeonly fashion by yours truly. The Bird, the Cow & the Cat ~ A Cautionary Fable for Cultural Bureaucrats, a tale inspired by the benign intervention of cows, is now in the works.

Photo of cow
Benign cow. (Photo by Tim)

One of my objectives in tackling this project is to finally learn how to fully justify the type I set. In my past attempts at setting prose, I would usually set the right margin ragged after a few failed attempts at full justified text.   So, I’m going back to basics, and I’ve hauled out the textbooks of the masters:  General Printing, by Glen U. Cleeton et al, (McKnight & McKnight: Bloomington, IL., 1963) and Printing Poetry: a workbook in typographic reification by Clifford Burke (Scarab Press: San Francisco, 1980).   So, after a few days of serious studying, I’m back at the press – and the two pages worth of text I had set went back into the stick to be properly re-set. While I thought I would feel frustrated at having to start again, I was surprised to see how well it went, once I understood the method.  Despite myself, I found the work peaceful and with the text fully justified, and relatively even in tone, I’m very satisfied with the progress so far.

Photo of hand-set type
Fully justified, finally!

For the design of the signature, I drew inspiration from regular and previous Wayzgoose contributors.   One of the greatest pleasures I’ve discovered while indexing the anthologies,  is the opportunity to study marvelous work and the evolution of a private press’s or artist’s body of work over time.  So far, I’ve indexed about 16 years’ worth of Wayzgeese, and am amazed at the variety, quality and beauty of the work appearing in them.   Progress on the indexing will decrease while I get cranking, but all for a worthy cause.


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