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Arts & Entertainment

Asheville BookWorks Inaugurates Broadside & Reading Series: Vandercooked Poetry Nights

Asheville BookWorks, a community resource for print and book arts, introduces Vandercooked Poetry Nights, a reading series that offers the public the opportunity to print letterpress broadsides at the series events. The first Vandercooked Poetry Night is Saturday, June 1, 2013. Printing begins at 7:00 p.m. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Asheville BookWorks will host three Vandercooked Poetry Nights per year. The events feature prominent poets. John Hoppenthaler will read on June 1, 2013. Holly Iglesias will read November 2, 2013. Vievee Francis will read February 1, 2014. A poem of the featured poet comprises the broadside printed at the event. The poets will be available to sign the broadsides at the events.

At Vandercooked Poetry Nights, everyone is invited to print a broadside on the Vandercook printing press. This open edition letterpress broadside is designed and handset in metal type in advance. Master printers will introduce the printing presses and organize the printing during the Vandercooked Poetry Nights events.

BookWorks founder and owner, Laurie Corral, said, “It’s exciting to see people interact with an historically important technology like the Vandercook printing press. Vandercooked Poetry Nights increases the public’s access to printing history, poetry, and art ownership.”

Frequent visitors to Vandercooked Poetry Nights will accumulate a complete portfolio of letterpress-printed broadsides. In addition to the open edition letterpress broadsides available at Vandercooked Poetry Nights events, BookWorks will offer a collectible annual portfolio of every print from the series. The handmade portfolio will include the poster advertising the series, as well as limited-edition versions of all the event broadsides.

Because the Vandercook printing press has become a rare object, Vandercooked Poetry Nights allow the public to interact with an important printing technology. More than 30,000 Vandercook presses were manufactured in Chicago between 1909 and 1976; however, today fewer than 2,000 remaining Vandercooks have been identified in a worldwide census. Easy to operate, Vandercook presses have been adopted by artists and writers to control their own publications and to produce handmade objects.

Johannes Gutenberg invented the moveable type printing press in approximately 1440. This printing method has been improved upon, but it remains the same in fundamental ways: paper is pressed to inked type to produce a printed object.

For more information about the upcoming events of Vandercooked Poetry Nights, please visit www.ashevillebookworks.com, or call (828) 255-8444.

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