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Hot Tomato Press ~ Minnesota
(Erica Spitzer Rasmussen)

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Hot Tomato Press: “Erica Spitzer Rasmussen is an artist who creates handmade paper garments and small editions of hand-bound books. She received her BFA and MFA at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis), which included coursework in Mexico and Greece. Her current work explores family stories and issues of identity.”

Hot Tomato
By Erica Spitzer Rasmussen
[Saint Paul, Minnesota]: Hot Tomato Press, 2023. Open Edition.

3 1/4"w x 1 3/4"h x 3 1/4"d. Mixed media with handmade paper (cotton, acrylics, book rings, gelatin size, and ink). Linocut printed, punched and strung.

Erica Spitzer Rasmussen: "When I was little, my father told me that eating tomatoes would make me ‘big, strong and hairy-chested.’ When you're young, of course, it's difficult to separate truth from fiction. I believed my father and stopped eating tomatoes. My brother, who heard the same tall tale around the dinner table, continued to eat tomatoes and you should see how hairy he turned out. ‘Hot Tomatoes’ are representations of the ever-present ominous fruit from my childhood that animated the theater of my mind. They function as picture books and as sculptural objects.”

Hot Tomato book
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Tomato Poem
By Erica Spitzer Rasmussen
Saint Paul, Minnesota: Hot Tomato Press, 2021. Edition of 100.

1 x 1 3/8”; 28 pages including pastedowns. Miniature. Double sided accordion. Mixed media with handmade paper (cotton, human hair, gelatin size, shellac, and sundried tomatoes. Inkjet printed. Numbered.

A poem by Erica Spitzer Rasmussen given life between boards of sun dried tomatoes. Each word given its own miniature page.

Tomatoes   tomatoes   tomatoes    Result in hairy chests    Hair may be fine    on you sir    But not on my budding breasts


Tomato poem
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Poetry by Lea Graham
[Saint Paul, Minnesota]: Hot Tomato Press, 2020. Edition of 20.

4.5 x 13 x .75 "; 32 pages. Letterpress printed on Rives Heavyweight paper. Font for text is Georgia. Handmade cover paper of cotton, Aardvark dyes, dictionary pages and gelatin size. End sheets of Nepalese Lokta. Coptic stitch binding. Edited by Mark Spitzer. Graphic design by Bryan Starry. Printing assistance from Laura Brown. Book design and publication by Erica Spitzer Rasmussen. Numbered.

Hot Tomato Press: "Where can a single word lead us? In this book of poems, titles are used like quirky dictionary entries that lead readers to archaisms, tragic histories, omni-present popular culture, observations of the natural world and elegy. We find Salman Rushdie and Donald Trump at a Crosby, Stills and Nash concert; a visit to a former detention center in Argentina's Dirty War ends up in 80s pop songs and bilingual jokes. The pervasiveness of violence and pain is threaded throughout the poems, but so is wonder and joy.

"Lea Graham is the author of 'From the Hotel Vernon' (Salmon Press, 2019) and 'Hough & Helix & Where & Here & You, You, You' (No Tell Books, 2011) and three chapbooks: 'Spell to Spell' (above/ground Press, 2018), 'This End of the World: Notes to Robert Kroetsch '(Apt. 9 Press, 2016) and 'Calendar Girls' (above/ground Press, 2006). She is the editor of the forthcoming anthology of critical essays 'From the Word to the Place: The Work of Michael Anania' (MadHat Press, 2021). Her poems, translations, reviews and articles have been published in numerous journals and anthologies. She is an associate professor of English at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY."

Pegasus Literary, review of “Murmurations”: “The poems in Lea Graham’s newest book, Murmurations, bloom with an immense enthusiasm and an amusing quality. The titles are used like quirky dictionary entries that lead readers to remarkable imagery, tragic histories, omni-present popular culture, observations of the natural world and elegy. The book is dedicated to the poet’s young niece, who was lost to cancer in 2019. Graham has written her poems close to nature and its creatures.

“ Lea Graham’s ‘Murmurations’; a limited edition/ fine arts book, hand-bound by the artist, Erica Spitzer Rasmussen; connects readers to nature, historical facts and affairs, and present culture. The fusion of the natural world with present culture and historical affairs is flawless." (Full review on Pegasus Literary web site)

Murmurations book
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Page last update: 09.05.2023


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