Iowa City Book Festival
Gary Frost wears sunglasses and smiles at the camera.

UI Center for the Book will be participating the second annual Iowa City Book Festival with demonstrations and tours.

On Saturday, July 17th the UICB will be in Gibson Square across from the UI Main Library. Stop by between 10-6 to print your own bookplate, have your name calligraphed, marble some paper, and sew a book.

On Sunday, July 18th the UICB studios in North Hall will be open from 1-4. Come by and see what the Center for the Book is all about.

More information

The Homestead Print Shop to run this summer
A photo of The Homestead Print Shop that shows various printmaking tools.

The Homestead Print Shop is a joint project of the Center for the Book and the Amana Heritage Society. We will be participating in a larger Saturday program of Amana heritage interpretation and we will also augment the Friday Farmers' Market newly relocated to Homestead.

The proposed dates for Homestead Print Shop operation are June 18/19, July 2/3, 9/10, 16/17, 23/24, 30/31, August 6/7, 13/14, 20/21 and September 3/4. Our sessions run from 10am to 4 pm.

Homestead is about 14 miles west of Iowa City. To volunteer contact Gary Frost

Vamp & Tramp Booksellers to visit Special Collections
An open book that has an illustration on the left page and writing and illustration on the right page.

Vamp & Tramp Booksellers, an artist book retailer, will be showing work at Special Collections in the Main Library. This is a great opportunity to see new work by book artists from across the country.

Bill and Vicky have also offered to have private interviews with any students interested in having Vamp & Tramp carry their work or have a critique. If you would like to make an appointment, please contact Julie Leonard by Monday, May 17th.

Introduction to Byzantine Binding Workshop with Anna Embree
A book bound using Byzantine Binding

Participants will be introduced to the main structural characteristics of Byzantine bookbinding through the construction of a model. The workshop will begin with a discussion of the unique features of Byzantine wooden board covers. This will be followed by board preparation and sewing of the text block using an unsupported link stitch. Pronounced raised end bands will be sewn along the board edges and into the text block. These books will be bound in full goatskin with braided leather clasps and will be decorated with blind tooling. Experience sewing a text block is required.

Anna Embree is an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama where she teaches bookbinding for the MFA in Book Arts Program in the School of Library and Information Sciences. Anna holds a Master of Arts degree in Textiles and Clothing from Iowa State University, a Graduate Certificate in Book Arts and Technologies from the University of Iowa Center for the Book, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art from the University of Iowa. In addition to these degree programs, Anna completed an apprenticeship in Rare Book Conservation at the University of Iowa Libraries.

$100 UI students; $115 non-students plus a $50.00 materials fee.

To register, contact Julie Leonard at or 319-351-4847

Space is limited to 10 participants.

Sponsored by the UI Center for the Book and the Book Arts Club

Artist Reception for Mary Hark
"Paper Travels in Ghana," a slide lecture by paper and fiber artist Mary Hark
A piece of art by Mary Hark that includes varying shades of blue and gray.
Spring UICB Final Project Exhibition and Reception
University of Iowa Center for the Book Final Project Exhibition poster

Featuring work from UICB students Suzette Blanchard, Anne Covell, Rebecca Troup and Heather F. Wetzel. Each student will be present to discuss their final projects and to celebrate their upcoming graduation from the UI Center for the book.

Refreshments will be served—all are welcome!

Spring UICB Open House
Spring University of Iowa Center for the Book Open House poster

Exhibits from UICB studio classes in calligraphy, papermaking, bookbinding, artist books, and letterpress printing will be on display.

Demonstrations will be ongoing throughout the afternoon.

Food and drink will be served—all are welcome!

"Margins and Magic," a talk with Seth Lerer
Painting titled "Children Writing in Books"

"Margins and Magic: Children Writing in Books, Medieval to Modern" a talk with Seth Lerer

Seth Lerer is the Dean of Arts & Sciences, Distinguished Professor of Literature, University of California, San Diego

Driftless Reveries: Work in Paper and Cloth by Mary Hark
A piece of art by Mary Hark that includes varying shades of blue and gray.

Born and educated in the Midwestern part of the United States, Mary Hark's most recent body of work is a consideration the landscape of South Central Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota. Produced during a period of transition, Hark reflected on the physical topography as well as the cultural and spiritual tenor of the place in which she has lived most of her life, while she made these new pieces.

The work is constructed primarily from handmade flax and linen papers, with linen cloth and other materials that carry a variety of surface qualities. These constructed paintings allow Hark to explore, among other things, the intrinsic properties of handmade paper. Absorbed color and highly textured surfaces can consider ideas that are dark and earthy, as well as luminous, airy and elegantly fragile. Hark's work considers the poetry in accidental marks, the tenderness of flaw, the transformative potential of attention and labor.

I find beauty in the accidental marks left on the materials we handle daily. I build these pieces by continually fixing the mistakes: cutting out, covering up and adding a new bit, until it feels complete and beautiful. With this accumulation of attention and labor, sometimes the worst mistake yields the most beautiful surface.

Mary Hark received an MA from the University of Iowa where she worked with Naomi Shedl and Tim Barrett before finishing her graduate work at the School of Art Institute of Chicago in Fiber and Material Studies. In 2006 she was awarded a Fulbright Senior Research Grant to Sub-Saharan Africa. Mary Hark is currently an Assistant Professor in Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is the proprietor of HARK! Handmade Paper Studio which specializes in producing small editions of high quality flax and linen paper for fine press as well unique paperworks that have been shown internationally.

Combat Paper Project: Open House
Combat Paper Project: two hands hold crumpled paper

The UICB is honored to host the Combat Paper Project for a residency from April 7 through April 16. Paper artist and U.S. vet of the Iraqi war Drew Cameron and papermaker and CPP artistic director Drew Matott offer free workshops for veterans interested in creating paper from their uniforms while engaging with fellow vets about their experiences. Veteran Jon Turner and UI NFW alumnus Emma Rainey will join CPP for a writing workshop with vets. Book arts projects will be created as well from the paper and writing workshops, in collaboration with UICB faculty and students. A public talk and presentation will be held Thursday, April 15. For more information about CPP, go here.

Thanks to our co-sponsors in Humanities Iowa, the National Endowment for the Humanites, Graphic Design (SAAH), English, International Programs, POROI, Photography (SAAH), Communication Studies, the School of Art and Art History, and Cinema and Comparative Literature.

Visiting Artist Donald Glaister to give slide tal
Book by Donald Glaister
Book by Donald Glaister


“Design Bookbinding: Where I Am and How I Got Here”

Donald Glaister is a book artist now living and working on Vashon Island, Washington, near Seattle. He began his bookbinding career after taking degrees in painting and sculpture from San Jose State College in California, and studying binding privately with Barbara Hiller in San Francisco and Pierre Aufschnieder and Roger Arnoult in Paris. His over thirty year professional career in design bookbinding has centered on the exploration, development and use of unexpected binding materials, visual humor and spontaneous visual expression, while working within the classical framework of the European binding form. Beginning in 2002, Don’s work expanded to include the design and production of editions of artist’s books which include painting, sculpture and poetry that Don has made.

Don has taught binding and design privately and as Professor of Book Arts at The University of Alabama. He is currently the Director of Fine Binding at the American Academy of Bookbinding in Telluride CO, where he teaches classes in bookbinding, design and related subjects.

Don's work appears in private and institutional collections throughout North America and Europe.

Don will also be teaching a workshop Saturday and Sunday, April 10 - 11 on full leather binding techniques.

International Edible Book Festival 2010
Tibetan Pothi Book by Kristin Baum

When was the last time you devoured a really good book? The UI Center for the Book along with New Pioneer Food Co-op invite you to join us in celebrating this event by creating a delicious book to share with your fellow literary and food enthusiasts.

Exhibition: Edible Books will be on display Thursday, April 1st (no joke!) in the North Lobby of the UI Main Library starting at 4pm.

Entry Rules: Entries must be edible and must have something to do with books as shapes and/or content. An entry fee of $5 goes to support the Book Arts Club.

Prizes Awarded: Best Book Structure, Most Creative Literary Reference, Judges' Choice and Peoples' Choice.

* The International Edible Book Festival is a yearly event held on April 1st throughout the world. This event unites bibliophiles, book artists, and food lovers to celebrate the ingestion of culture and its fulfilling nourishment. Participants create edible books that are exhibited, documented, and then consumed. Information and inspiration can be found on the Festival's home page at

David Levy to deliver 2010 Brownell Lecture in the History of the Book
Book cover of Scrolling Forward by David M. Levy

"Head, Hand, and Heart: What the Arts and Crafts Movement Can Teach Us About Living Sanely In an Age of Acceleration and Overload"

Professor at the University of Washington’s Information School, David Levy will visit the Center for the Book in the spring semester to give the annual Brownell lecture. Trained in computer sciences at Stanford, Levy was a researcher at Xerox/PARC and a practitioner of calligraphy and bookbinding before taking up the library sciences appointment at Washington. He is the author of Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age and his current work calls for an information environmentalism to parallel movements in climate control and environmental sustainability in the natural world.

Reception to follow.

Brian Baird to speak about Print on Demand technologies
Espresso Book Machine

Brian Baird, Vice President, Bridgeport National Bindery, on Monday, will give us an overview of print on demand operations from the factory floor including an early review of the PUR (new adhesive) technology. Learn how these technologies are impacting print publishers and libraries. Brian is also tracking the self-publishing industries such as LuLu, Amazon BookSurge and Lightning Source and has the latest on the photo book craze. Coffee and cookies will be served.

Book Studies Forum
Old books on a shelf

This forum will investigate the future of the print book in a context of its digital delivery. Wide redefinition is in progress in fields as diverse as neurology of reading, digital preservation, e-book marketing, and technology of print on demand. Discussion extends from standards and certification of print originals to blog rants on the death of the book, electronic format competitions and favorite reading devices. Over arching this dynamic is the canonic role of the physical book and its imprint on the future of cultural transmission.

A short introduction will be offered by Gary Frost which will include an outline of a proposed fall seminar on the future of the print book. Forum participants will be invited to survey issues and experience distinctive affordances of the paper and screen book.

Visual Poetry - A Workshop with Pamela Moore
Book by Paula Moore

Workshop Fee: $90.00 for UI Students/$110.00 for non-Students

To Register: or 319-351-4847

Poetry, by its very nature, invites us to integrate words into non-standard book formats. In this workshop we will focus on how to translate the verbal elements of poetry and prose into a visual language. Students will consider a variety of possibilities for housing short texts in informative or symbolic enclosures (or apertures).

We will begin by examining the books and images of two renowned Spanish visual poets and discuss the way they employ objects, imagery, text and photography to create powerful visual metaphors.

Students will expand their own interpretive sensibilities through the analysis of texts brought by class members. Through a series of practical exercises we will explore how to transform our symbolic vocabularies into the physical plane. Students will experiment with new approaches to interpreting texts, both philosophical and structural. This process will familiarize participants with a range of potential solutions to design challenges that will inform the content of their projects.

During the class each student will elaborate one final book, object, artists book, or prototype that includes the short text or poem that they have brought to class. These texts will be integrated (collaged, copied, rubbed, drawn, written, stamped, etc.) into the books made by students during the workshop.

A materials list and further details will be provided upon registration.

Slide lecture with book artist Pamela Moore
Book by Paula Moore

Pamela Moore first discovered the power of the visual book while taking classes with Judith Golden and Keith Smith. She later moved to Barcelona, where her exploration continued as she studied the arts of fine binding and book conservation at the Conservatorio de las Artes del Libro. By then firmly dedicated to the sculptural potential of the book form, she returned temporarily to the US for an apprenticeship at the J. Sobota Studio in Texas. She has been the recipient of an NEA grant, as well as an IAPN cultural exchange grant which took her exhibition “Imaginary Library” to Greece, France and Spain.

Moore has taught workshops in artist’s books and innovative bookbinding techniques for many years. She has experimented extensively with non-adhesive bindings and given classes in artist’s books, fine binding and in the field of conservation. She has lectured and taught in schools, private studios and institutions across Spain as well as in France, Greece and the Czech Republic.

UICB Students exhibit at RSVP
A display of UICB student work including various books

Opening Reception 5-8pm, Mar. 5

UICB student work will be exhibited at RSVP at the Gallery Walk and through the month of March.

UICB Open House
Open House, Fall 2009 poster

Exhibits from UICB studio classes in calligraphy, papermaking, bookbinding, artist books, and letterpress printing will be on display.

Papermaking and printing demonstrations will be ongoing throughout the afternoon.

Food and drink will be served—all are welcome!

Workshop with Jim Sherraden of Hatch Show Print
Quilted One Sheet with Deckle

We Bring the Blocks & You Bring the Talent Letterpress Printing

Two separate one-day workshops

Registration Fee: $80 (UI students), $95 (non-students)

In this one-day workshop, students will have the opportunity to handprint their own artwork from Hatch Show Print woodblocks. Jim is shipping “100 pounds of potato chips out of his Frito-Lay factory, and you will get to print under Jim’s supervision, instruction and wildly popular dry sense of humor.” Says Jim: “the value of the workshop is to play, to wash off the excellence one is encumbered with from doing digital design.”

Under Jim’s direction, no one will be allowed to think about what they are going to print for more than a few minutes. Blocks will be hand-inked and painted, then printed on the UICB’s 3 Vandercook SP-20 proof presses. No perfect registration or agonizing about color.

Paper and ink will be provided. Jim requests that each participant bring a t-shirt or two to print on as well.

Jim Sherraden: "Hatch Show Print: 130 Years of Letterpress"
Hatch Show Print poster

Co-sponsored by Communication Studies and the School of Art and Art History.

Jim Sherraden is Manager, Chief Designer and Archivist at Hatch Show Print, one of America's oldest surviving show poster and design shops. Since 1984 he has overseen its transition from a cultural survivor to a widely recognized graphic design icon and destination for letterpress enthusiasts. He is the co-writer of Hatch Show Print, The History of A Great American Poster Shop, published by Chronicle Books, now in its fifth edition. He is also the creator of one of a kind pieces of art called monoprints, based on the shops archive, which are collected by individuals and institutions worldwide. He is a frequent speaker and conducts letterpress workshops from coast to coast.

Hatch Show Print is a one-of-a-kind, extraordinary letterpress poster and design shop located in Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 1879, Hatch is still printing and designing over 600 jobs a year, using the original wood type found on countless posters advertising carnivals, circuses, and vaudeville and minstrel shows. The shop is historically best known for it's country music posters, and, since 1992, has operated as a non-profit division of the Country Music Hall of Fame(R) and Museum. Jim's presentation begins with the very first poster printed at Hatch before speeding through over one hundred years of hand-set graphic design. Not resting on its heritage, Hatch operates under the mantra of "preservation through production", and has probably done posters for many of your favorite contemporary entertainers. Recent Hatch Show Print customers include B.B. King, Neil Young, Coldplay, The Dead, and Alan Jackson. Design customers include The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Golf Digest, Anthropologie, Nike, Taylor Guitars and the neighbor's Bar Mitzvah. An exhibition of Hatch Show Print posters is currently enjoying its first year on the road with the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service (SITES) and will tour nationwide until 2012.

Peter Stallybrass, Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Professor: The Blank History of the Blank Book
An illustration depicting a medieval scribe

Peter Stallybrass, Annenberg Professor in the Humanities and Professor of English and of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania, is a renowned scholar of early modern culture, with a particularly alert eye to the history of printing, reading, knowledge, and cultural transformation. He directs the History of Material Texts seminar at Penn, a weekly gathering of book historians and visiting speakers that sets the terms for study in the field. As comfortable with Shakespeare as with Ben Franklin, his capacious intellect has overturned conventional thinking about literature and history. As reflected in his Ida Beam talks, his current interest is the material history of writing and the remarkable ways in which the printing revolution incited new uses of manuscript.

Peter Stallybrass, Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Professor: "Why We Need to Know How to Write"
An illustration depicting a medieval scribe

Peter Stallybrass, Annenberg Professor in the Humanities and Professor of English and of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania, is a renowned scholar of early modern culture, with a particularly alert eye to the history of printing, reading, knowledge, and cultural transformation. He directs the History of Material Texts seminar at Penn, a weekly gathering of book historians and visiting speakers that sets the terms for study in the field. As comfortable with Shakespeare as with Ben Franklin, his capacious intellect has overturned conventional thinking about literature and history. As reflected in his Ida Beam talks, his current interest is the material history of writing and the remarkable ways in which the printing revolution incited new uses of manuscript.

Ted Striphas, Indiana University, to discuss the politics of the Kindle in UICB co-sponsored event
A hand holding an Amazon kindle

Since its release in November 2007, the Amazon Kindle has emerged as a—and perhaps the—leading portable electronic reading device. Widely touted for its unique screen, capacious storage, and wireless content delivery, Kindle has prompted both enthusiasts and critics to wonder if it will eventually “outbook the book” (to quote Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos). This presentation will not settle the matter, nor will it attempt to. Instead, it will focus on Kindle’s two-way communications capabilities on the one hand, and on Amazon’s recent foray into data services on the other. Striphas’s argument is that however convenient a means Kindle may be for acquiring e-books and other types of digital content, the device nevertheless disposes reading to serve a host of inconvenient—indeed, illiberal—ends. Consequently, it underscores the growing importance of a new and fundamental right to counterbalance the illiberal tendencies that it embodies—what Richard Stallman and others have called a “right to read,” which would complement the existing right of free expression.

Brought to campus by the Communication Studies department, Ted Striphas is Assistant Professor and Director of Film & Media Studies in the Department of Communication & Culture, Indiana University. His book, The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control, was published in 2009 by Columbia University Press. He is the coeditor of the book Communication as…: Perspectives on Theory and of a special issue on intellectual property published by the journal Cultural Studies. 

Wearable Books and Movement: A workshop with Susan Share
A woman stands behind a wearable book

We will view the book as an extension of the body, and the body as inspiration for our visual work. Using bookbinding techniques (gluing, sewing, folding, cutting, hinging), invented techniques, and common and unusual materials, we will create wearable books, expanding structures, and environments. In addition, we will explore movement improvisation, body language, and the possibilities of performance to animate our work.

Registration Fees (includes materials)
$95.00 (UI Students)

To register, contact Julie Leonard at

A supplies list and further information will be provided upon registration. In case of cancellation, fees are non-refundable unless we are able to fill your spot.

2009 Mitchell Lecture in the Art of the Book with Susan Share
Book by Susan Share

Share will present slides and video of her magical handmade boxes and books whose colorful contents include expanding structures, animated objects, and percussive sounds. She will also demonstrate some of her performance objects and show recent ceramic tile work created for public art commissions.

Artist, performer and bookbinder Susan Joy Share combines a multitude of media derived from traditional bookbinding, sewing, painting, collage and sculpture. She has received artist fellowships from the Rasmuson Foundation in AK and was the 2007 Sally Bishop Fellow at the Center for Book Arts in NYC. Share had a solo exhibit at Anchorage Museum in 2006 and has shown throughout the US and in Ireland, England and Hungary. She worked in book conservation at the The Brooklyn Museum of Art, and has taught at Penland School of Crafts, NC, Center for Book Arts, NYC; Anderson Ranch Arts Center, CO; and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, ME. Share worked as an artist in New York City for 20 years and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1997.

Printing on the Platen Press with John Horn, Shooting Star Press
A C&P floor model platen press

Students will select a project suitable for printing on a platen press such as business cards, notecards or pads, envelopes, bookmarks, et cetera. All projects will be handset in metal type and printed in one color on paper of the student’s choosing. Basic typesetting, preparation and press operation will be covered and students will have the opportunity to print on two C&P floor model platen presses as well as Pilot and Kelsey table tops. Typesetting experience is helpful but not required.

John Horn began his printing career in high school at the age of 14 and now, 48 years later, he still has a passion for his craft. He has had vast and varied experience in many different printing plants and shops. In the mid-1980s he had the good fortune to retire and he began to collect presses and type and devote much of his time to studying printing history and technique. His collection currently includes well over one hundred letterpresses, hundreds of fonts of handset type, line-casting machines and matrices. John teaches at Penland School of Crafts and at his own shop, Shooting Star Press. He is married to Robyn Horn, a sculptor.

For more information contact Julie Leonard at

Gordon Hutner talk on Contemporary American Realism
The cover of Stories by Raymond Carver

Hutner is professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and founding editor of the journal American Literary History. He is author or editor of five books, on Hawthorne, American cultural criticism, Jewish American writing, and immigration, among other topics.

This talk is co-sponsored with the UI English Department.

Annual Midwest & Great Northern Printers' Fair
A printing press

For more information, visit their website here.

Proceed and Be Bold!: a documentary film on Amos Kennedy
Amos Kennedy stands in front of a wall of prints with his back to the camera

Proceed and Be Bold! is a documentary film that follows the life and work of internationally recognized letterpress printer Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., and his socially and politically charged works of art. The film probes Kennedy, his friends, family, and colleagues in an attempt to unravel the artist’s meaning. The result is a discussion on the monetary and intrinsic values of art, the goals of an artist, the workings of race and culture, and what “the American Dream” really means.

This film is an official selection of the Landlocked Film Festival. For more information on the festival click here.

Watch the Proceed and Be Bold! trailer here.

Special Collections, CLAS and the UICB join forces for a book collecting competition
A shelf displaying a book collection

These UI units are sponsoring prizes for student collections. Competitions are being held for best book collection, best other-than-book collection, and most creative and most creatively described collection. Details on the contest are here.