Electio Editions ~ Australia
(Alan Loney)

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New Zealand Book Council: " Alan Loney is a poet and printer. He printed his first book, The Bare Remembrance, in 1971 and in 1975 set up Hawk Press to print his own and others’ poetry. From 1987 to 1991 he operated Black Light Press and he also worked as an editor and tutor while continuing to publish his poetry. In 1994 he became printer and co-director of the Holloway Press at the University of Auckland. Loney’s collections of poetry have won numerous awards and he has received a number of fellowships."
Alphabeta series  
Will there be words
By Alan Loney
Melbourne, Australia: Electio Editions, 2014. Edition of 26.

6 x 9.5"; 20 pages. Printed on damped Magnani handmade paper with Dante type. Pamphlet stitch bound with Cave handmade paper covers. In cloth-covered box by Barbara Schmelzer with titles in silver on the spine. Written, designed, printed and bound by the poet. Signed and numbered. Of the edition 22 copies are for sale.

Alan Loney: "Each page comes from a longer meditation on the flower paintings of Piet Mondrian who is better known for his abstract work. But the flower paintings are very beautiful, even tho he disregarded them, painting them only to make money in his often straitened circumstances - but they have long been an intense focus in my creative life, & I don't think this interest will fade in me."

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For David Mitchell 1940-2011
By Ross Brighton
Victoria, Australia: Electio Editions, 2014. Edition of 26.

240 x 150mm; 12 pages. Printed on Magnani handmade paper 130gsm, in Dante type with Gill Sans Light for display. Cave Paper handmade covers. Printed and sewn by Alan Loney. Laid in red paper covered clamshell box withe magnet closure. Numbered.

Alan Loney: "One of New Zealand's most interesting & innovative poets of the early 1970s, David Mitchell, died in 2011 - his 1970 book, Pipe Dreams in Ponsonby, was one of a small set of publications that changed the shape of poems and the conversation about them in New Zealand for the next three decades - Ross Brighton, a New Zealand poet of a later generation, has written a deeply felt & beautifully crafted poem, originally sub-titled 'On the occasion of the scattering of his ashes on Auckland Harbour', in honour of his predecessor, and it's my pleasure to present this poem.

"[The] cover ... of Cave handmade paper - the image is made up simply of brass rules, and printed using only a gloss varnish - so, depending on the angle of vision, the image will either look black or will shine with reflected light . .. the shifting hues are made by partially dipping the sheet into successive trays of color in a fairly random way - all sheets are therefore different, and the relation of the printed image to the shifting colors in the paper is always different from sheet to sheet."


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SOMA: guarding the body / poems from the fragments of /
the pre-Socratic philosophers / with typographic images

By Alan Loney
Victoria, Australia: Electio Editions, 2008. Edition of 30.

9.25 x 5.75" (230 x 140 mm); 48 pages. Handmade Magnani 160gsm paper dampened for printing on a Pratt-Albion handpress with Giovanni Mardersteig’s Dante types. The images are made from brass rules and other type decorations, with some handwork, especially with hand-wielded rollers, by the author. Binding and slipcases by Wolfgang Schaefer. Written, designed, printed & sewn by Alan Loney. Of the edition 26 of the 30 are lettered from A to Z and are for sale.

Alan Loney: "I first encountered the pre-Socratic philosophers in Kathleen Freeman’s translation in the early 1960s. Since then I have been an avid reader of these early tough and insightful texts, altho I have never completed a course in reading ancient Greek. Subsequent translations by Guy Davenport, Charles Kahn, Kirk & Raven, T M Robinson, David Gallop, Brooks Haxton and Robert Bringhurst, among others, have continued to enliven my senses of the possible in thoughtful feeling in my own poetic life of the mind. The poems here are derived from several different translations of the pre-Socratics, with additions, omissions, alterations and even downright distortions by the author. While none of my speculations should be attributed to the translating poets and scholars, I nevertheless dedicate this book to them, for most of us know little of the beginnings of secular thought in the West without their labor. An earlier version of the poem was written in 1990 and published in Missing Parts (Hazard Press 1992)."

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ZEPHYROS: the book untitled
By Alan Loney
Victoria, Australia: Electio Editions, 2007. Edition of 30 with 26 copies lettered A to Z for sale.

1445 x 230 mm; 48 pages. Paintings on Magnani mouldmade. Printings on Magnani mouldmade and Zerkall Nideggen mouldmade. Black, red, blue, and gold printing on Zerkall Nideggen mouldmade. Magnani sheets printed in black only. Types: Dante, Civilite, Libra, Franklin Gothic Greek, Open Kapitalen, Castellar. Bound in Cave handmade paper covered boards. In a red cloth-covered slipcase.

Prospectus: "The ancient Greek word Zephyros has a number of meanings: a warm wind as harbinger of spring in the Mediterranean, a light gauze shawl or shirt, a light infantryman, a butterfly, and of course the god of the west wind itself. This book plays on all these meanings, especially punning on the leaves of trees and the leaves of the book, thru a series of fragmentary texts on the nature of the book as an idea and as a reality, accompanied by five handpainted acrylic drawings. While the texts came first and Miriam Morris's drawings were responses to them, the typographical settings of the texts were often done in direct response to the drawings. The result is a variety of settings in various types and a group of colorful and lively original paintings, each keeping close to its own first version, but nevertheless each being also slightly different from the others.

"Zephyros is the 51st book by the printer, the 6th Electio edition, and the 2nd collaboration by Alan Loney & Miriam Morris."

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By Alan Loney
Australia: Electio Editions, 2005. Edition of 50.

7.5 x 10"; 27 pages. Printed with a Pratt-Albion handpress on Magnani damped handmade 160 gsm paper. Housed in a red cloth covered portfolio box.

This is the Loney's fiftieth limited edition book. In the introduction Loney discusses his printing career and the types used by his presses. He opened Hawk Press in 1975. Later there was Black Light Press and Holloway Press (with Peter Simpson at the University of Auckland). Since 2004 Electio Editions has been Loney's imprint.

This edition is a type specimen book with examples of the types in use by the press. Included is a new press mark for Electio Editions, designed by Deirdre Hassed. In addition to the specimens, there are illustrations throughout, some in color.



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The Alphabeta series is a set of books of poems, each of a set number of pages, that the printer has offered to various poets he wishes to print. Loney says that "the 'recipe' for the poems is quite restricted by the smallness of my bench-top Albion press, particularly in the length of the line that is available to the poet. "

Alan Loney, Blog, July 10, 2012: "for reasons of health, age, mortality, energy etc, I have closed the alphabeta series now, and will concentrate on printing my own work - it has been a hard decision, and I know in my own experience how disappointing for others this can be - the series got to number 3, and issued poems by Tony Green (New Zealand), Marion May Campbell (Australia), and Kyle Schlesinger (United States)."

if not in paint
Poetry by Marion May Campbell
with drawings by Miriam Morris
Melbourne, Australia: Electio Editions, 2011. Edition of 40.

6 x 10.25 x 1.125"; 24 unnumbered pages. Types: Dante and Libra. Printed onto damped BFK Rives 175 gsm paper on a Pratt-Albion handpress. Pen and acrylic ink drawings. Paper wraps with simple stab binding. Housed in a yellow clamshell box by Duncan Group, Melbourne. Designed, printed, and bound by Alan Loney.

Alan Loney, prospectus: "Electio Editions is delighted to present the second book in its alphabeta series. if not in paint traces not only a series of ecstatic moments, a kind of 'alongside' the occasion of writing, but exhibits its response to the commission of writing for Electio. Altho Marion May Campbell is better known as a novelist, the poetry in her recent book Fragments from a paper witch shows her as a poet of brilliance, sensitivity and skill.... For this book Miriam Morris contributes two original pen & acrylic drawings, each one unique in each copy."

The alphabeta series is a series of poetry books by friends of the printer. Each book will have eleven pages of poems and two images by either Miriam Morris or the printer.

Australian author (novels, short fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews) and feminist Marion May Campbell won the Western Austria Premier's Book Award in 1998 and has subsequently been twice short-listed for that prize and for the Canada-Australia prize.

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SOLD titles by Electio Editions:  

The Flowery Meadow
Victoria, Australia: Electio Editions, 2005. Edition of 26.

6 x 9"; 39 pages. Dante, Zapf Civilité and Open Kapitalen types printed onto damped Magnani mouldmade paper on a Pratt Albion handpress. Drawings reproduced from magnesium blocks supplied by Hitech All graphics and printed on the handpress. Bound quarter-leather with cloth covered sides and cloth slipcase made by Norbert Herold.

A bilingual presentation (English/Italian). Translation by Chris Wallace-Crabbe: “In translating this Canto…I determined early to treat it as a poem in itself.” Drawings by Bruno Leti: “I comment in lines, colors, and shapes. Those are the tools of my trade.”

Electio Editions: "Continuing the printer’s interest in bilingual texts and the classical literary tradition, the English and Italian texts are interleaved in two colors throughout.”

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Heart Sutra
By Alan Loney
Victoria, Australia: Electio Editions, 2009. Edition of 40.

9.75 x 6.4"; 28 unnumbered pages. Types: Giovanni Mardersteig's Dante and S H de Roos's Libra. Paper: 175gsm BFK Rives Heavyweight, damped for printing on a Pratt-Albion handpress. Images: made from brass rules on loan from the Otakou Press at the University of Otago in New Zealand, and a wood block held at the Press. Further handwork added after printing. Soft cover binding, pamphlet stitched. Housed in orange cloth covered clamshell box.

Alan Loney, introduction: "Heart Sutra follows on from my earlier book, Soma: guarding the body, in that a text from another and very old tradition has been retrieved as a contemporary text for a contemporary poet. I first read the Buddhist Heart Sutra in the translation and commentary of Edward Conze in the early 1960s, and the extraordinary challenge and depth of the text has continued to enlarge my sense of it over the intervening years. The present pared down version has been extracted and modified from a number of English versions variously derived from Tibetan, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese versions retrieved by Buddhist and other scholars from both the east and the west. For those who may be troubled by a secular reading/rendering of a religious text, the challenge for me has been to see if a religion-based text can be made to speak to anyone whatsoever without violence to its meaning, and yet stand as a positive mutation of the extra-curricular tradition of the philosophia perennis. I am nevertheless deeply grateful to the Buddhist monks and scholars who have for centuries preserved this most difficult, minimalist, and personally challenging account of whatever it is we might call 'reality.'"

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Jenson's Greek
By Alan Loney
Victoria, Australia: Electio Editions, 2014. Edition of 26.

205 x 155 mm; 48 pages. designed, printed & bound by Alan Loney. The hand-drawn Greek letters are by Deirdre Hassed, printed from magnesium blocks made by Hitech Allgraphics, Melbourne. Types are Dante, New Hellenic, and Open Kapitalen Greek, all printed on damped mould-made Magnani 200gsm paper on a Pratt-Albion handpress. Binding is sewn into Cave handmade paper covers done at the press, with boxes made by Duncan Packaging, Melbourne.

Alan Loney: "This work has its origins in an abandoned project, the publication of Nicolas Jenson’s Last Will & Testament. The book was to be illustrated with Jenson’s Greek letters, and otherwise the book was to be fairly straightforward. When I found that the Will was readily available online, I confess I lost energy for the project, even tho I had had the work typeset by Michael & Winifred Bixler and the magnesium blocks made from Deirdre Hassed’s large redrawings of six of Jenson’s Greek letterforms. Meantime, the material has sat unquietly in the printery until a new work has slowly formed in my mind & coalesced into the present work. The 'poems' on pages 19, 29 & 39 are made from words & phrases of Jenson’s Will using the translation of Pierce Butler, published by the Ludlow Typograph Company of Chicago in 1928. The quotation used in Jenson’s Greek is from Noctes Atticae by Aulus Gellius, printed by Jenson in Venice in 1472, and its translation into English is done by 'the present writer', with some reference to the translation by John C Rolfe in the Loeb Classical Library edition of Gellius, 1927."

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By Kyle Schlesinger
with typographic prints by Alan Loney
Victoria, Australia: Electio Editions, 2012. Edition of 35.

5.75 x 10 x 1.25"; 24 pages. Types: Umbra; DeVinne Outline; Eusebius Dante. Printed on dampened Magnani 160gsm wove handmade paper with a Pratt Albion hand press. Sewn into Cave handmade 'Cloudy Sky' paper. Housed in a cloth-covered box with magnet closure. Numbered and signed by Loney and Schlesinger.

This is the third book in the alphabeta series and the last in the series. Two typographic prints accompany the poetry.

Alan Loney: "The third book in the alphabeta series, Picture Day is a sharp line poem that flits in and out of narrative, disrupting and continuing lines of words as 'things' and words as parts of stories that never quite get told. One's reading then speeds up and slows down as different modes of address emerge in irregular rhythms throughout the work - 'It was love alright / fool with radio / San Diego waves / Wouldn't iota in the / Aftershave sparks' - the poem is cool, witty, yet yields much more on closer reading.

"Kyle Schlesinger writes and lectures on typography and artists' books. His recent books of poems include:
Commonplace (2011); What You Will (2012), and Seeing Things (2012). Poems and Pictures: A Renaissance in the Art of the Book was published in 2010 by the Center of the Book Arts in conjunction with a traveling exhibition. He is proprietor of Cuneiform Press and Assistant Professor of Communication Design at UHV, where he co-directs the Graduate Program in Publishing."

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Red Square
the next word

By Alan Loney
Victoria, Australia: Electio Editions, 2012. Edition of 45.

6 x 9.75"; 28 pages plus free end pages. Letterpress printed with Dante & wood types printed in red, blue, yellow, and gold. Printed on vintage Barcham Green India Office or Ruscombe India Office paper. Bound with Ruscombe paper over boards. Designed, printed, and bound by Alan Loney. In slipcase. Signed and numbered. Of the edition of 45, 40 are for sale.

Alan Loney: "This book derives from putting two small obsessions together and seeing what happens. The first is with the typographical wonder of Hendrik Werkman, 1882 - 1945, and his remarkable periodical 'The Next call', printed in nine issues from 1923 to 1926. Each issue was 8 pages long, in approximately 40 copies, and designed & printed entirely from the materials of his print shop in Groningen, Holland (see H N Werkman by Alsoton W Purvis, Yale University Press, 2004). My second obsession is the imaginary exhibition outlined by Arthur C Danto in his now famous book The transfiguration of the commonplace (Harvard University Press 1981) where he poses a thorny set of intellectual problems around the question of the wording one attaches to paintings. Simply, Danto's exhibition was a series of red rectangles, all looking the same, but all painted by different artists, and each with a different title. This apparently simple proposition created for Danto one of the knottiest philosophical speculations in contemporary criticism. My book is designed to honor both these men, the material printer who said 'I produce designs during the courses of printing', and the intellectual who wrote 'I am speaking as a philosopher, construing the gesture as a philosophical act'. The pages of the 'exhibition' appear on the rectos only. The texts on the versos are constructed solely from all the Dutch words that in their spelling are also English words in Werkman's texts thru out the nine issues of 'The next call."

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Page last update: 02.05.19

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