Thursday: Meryl and I both learned this the hard way, for our very separate current projects: polymer plates are expensive. That is, if you are not incredibly clever about using space, but this is how learning occurs. Hers: A series of stretched-out stanzas and layers of skin. Mine: an invitation to my daughter's first birthday celebration, slated for one chilly January weekend. My project has sprawling amounts of time.
Saturday: The book fair gets scrapped, and when I am driving to Minneapolis, I somehow think: The Red Coats are coming! The Red Coats are coming! Something about cavalry and charging and empowerment, but I think there's more fear in that battle cry than I meant to have. Meryl didn't have the best of mornings on a press that was feisty with plates that got crinkly and a less-than-positive encounter with the powers-that-be, which resulted in an earlier thai dinner, but! Maya got to bound around the basement of MCBA hooked to my front like a little kangaroo pup and watch as I caught prints. She proved herself an incredible companion and only got fussy at the end when She Wanted To Nap Dammit And Couldn't.
Sunday: I split shifts with Meryl's husband Shawn, the greatest of tattooists, and after some energizing chai tea, we took the long way back in (lockouts do that) and began finishing her run for the day. She's made it to the backs of pages now, which, to me, is phenomenal progress, and once the rollers were adjusted, she cranked out some fantastic prints and some of my favorite pages of the poem. I loved getting the words on my fingertips--my dermis soaking in her dermis--but one must constantly wash those grubby hands while printing on such fine paper.
We talked of plans--of our love of poetry as primary, and me, I think of letterpress and book arts as a way to honor the text in a deep and loving way--of her next steps after the show that opens November 4, and we did some chatting too, of goals for Midway and its future.
This week in my intro to book arts class, we start basic letterpress work, which I hope will revive memories of my Letterpress I experience. My own project hums in the background.