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SpeakEasy Press ~ Virginia
(Frank Brannon)

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Frank Brannon

Frank Brannon: "When I think of myself as a community artist, I think about the ability of a person to make art to support or transform a community, and combined with visual arts, I expect my artwork to be a catalyst for change using a visual approach."

Brannon has an M.F.A. from the Book Arts Program at the University of Alabama.



The Altamaha Delta
11 ponderings
By Frank Brannon
Dillsboro, North Carolina: SpeakEasy Press, 2015. Edition of 60.

3.25 x .25 x 4.5"; 16 pages. Printed on Curtis Rag paper with photopolymer plate images. Printed with Caslon types. Bound in paper-covered boards. Numbered.

SpeakEasy Press: "The Altamaha Delta is a limited edition letterpress miniature book printed during a 2015 summer residency in Darien, Georgia, at Ashantilly Press. The eleven brief ponderings by book artist Frank Brannon note history and current observations of the Altamaha River delta area of coastal Georgia.

"The text was printed as a 'fast book' with the text written, typeset and printed in five days. … Ashantilly, the print shop of the late fine letterpress printer Bill Haynes, provided a Vandercook Universal 1 proof press and Caslon type for the project."

The Altamaha Delta book
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The Paste Papers of Louise Lawrence Foster
By Cathleen A. Baker
Whittier, North Carolina: SpeakEasy Press, 2009. Edition of 82.

9.125 x 6"; 54 pages. Printed on a Vandercook SP-20 proof press using 14 pt Dante types. Handmade paper, letterpress printing, and binding by Frank Brannon.

Standard edition of 72: 1-50 with handmade cotton rag paper; 51-72 on Arches Text Wove paper. Bound in quarter-cloth case binding with paste paper covers.

Deluxe edition of 10: Printed on handmade cotton rag paper. Bound in quarter-leather .

SpeakEasy Press: "Limited edition letterpress sample book presenting and describing 14 examples of the paste papers of artist L. L. Foster. Author and paper conservator, Dr. Baker provides an introduction to the history of paste papers and descriptions of the method of production for the included samples."

Cathleen Baker: "The techniques, materials, and equipment Larry Lou employs to make her paste papers are rooted in tradition, and yet her techniques are flexible, making adjustments when necessary. [This book] covers the materials and tools she uses in her workshop, followed by a technical description of each of the specimens.

"The fourteen specimens tipped into this book, as well as the cover papers, are examples of both her interpretations of historical patterns and a few of her many experiments."

$315 Standard, Arches Text Wove paper.
$345 Standard, handmade cotton rag paper
$415 Deluxe
The Paste Papers of Louise Lawrence Foster book
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Eye Think A Lot About Potatoes: They Make Me Quite Round

By Frank Brannon
Asheville, North Carolina: SpeakEasy Press, 2008. Edition of 90.

3 x 2.5"; 20 pages including two fold out pages. Letterpress printed on handmade papers with 11 point Garamond type and photopolymer illustrations.

Eleven vignettes featuring the potato — personal anecdotes, cravings, seasonings, varieties.



Eye Think A Lot About Potatoes: They Make Me Quite Round book
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Alone Together
By Naila Marilyn Alim
2005. Edition of 74.

Naila's life is much a microcosm of the late twentieth century. Integration, the Vietnam War and the role of women and African Americans in U.S. culture are all a part of Naila's life and poetry. The quiet manner in which Naila writes belies the intense nature of her work. Her poetry often focuses upon one's personal struggles in dealing with events much larger than the individual.

Naila Marilyn Alim was raised in Orangeburg, South Carolina, the daughter of public school teachers. Naila attended Spelman College, Smith College and completed her education at the University of Massachusetts. She has spent her professional life as an educator.

Alone Together is a collection of 19 poems spanning 30 years. The limited edition of 50 was letterpress-printed on handmade cotton rag paper in Dante type, with two pochoir illustrations [38pp, 13.5 x 22 cm]. The binding is a quarter-cloth case using silk cloth and cotton rag and includes silkscreened endsheets. All work done by SpeakEasy Press.
$115 ( AP)





Alone Together book
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Alone Together book


Egg Show
By David Kopaska-Merkel
2005. Edition of 55.

5.8 x 8.25" 12 pages including title wraps. Printed on handmade cotton rag and retted flax paper with 10pt Dante type. Bound in simple soft wrapper of translucent abaca. Illustration by Frank Brannon.

Collection of seven poems of which six are published here for the first time.

A couple of scantily clad yolks wobbled alarmingly
along a high wire no bigger than a thread,
then dove from the top of a tall ladder
into a tin cup hardly bigger than a thimble,
the Ringmaster egging them on all the while ...

And of course Humpty Dumpty,
no fool he, didn't mess around with
any brick walls, but jumped over a smoking
       frying pan of hot bacon


Egg Show book
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By Maurice Manning
2002. Edition of 100.

14 x 17.5cm, 60 pages. SIGNED by Manning on the title page. Printed on handmade retted flax and cotton rag paper. Nine original illustrations by John Smith. Hand-set Bembo type. Handbound in limp gray paper. Six hundred sheets of retted flax and cotton rag paper were hand made to produce an edition of one hundred copies.

A selection of 39 poems of Manning's work which evolved from the poet's interest in the intersection between the natural and the human world.

Fables book
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Fables book


Sold and Out of Print titles by Frank Brannon:  

Cherokee Phoenix: Advent of a Newspaper
The Print Shop of the Cherokee Nation
1828-1834, with a Chronology
By Frank Brannon
2005. Edition of 74

4 x 6.5"; 105 pages. Letterpress printed on handmade cotton paper using 11-point Garamond types. Handbound, modeled after the binding style of three circa 1830 quarter-cloth books published in Kentucky and Ohio. Muslin spine with handmade paper covered boards. Includes full size reproductions of the hand impressions of excavated New Echota type. (Six copies of the edition, specially bound in red quarter-leather, contained hand impressions of type found at New Echota. These special copies sold out immediately.) With Notes, Chronology, and Bibliography.

This important work is the first history of the Cherokee Phoenix, the newspaper of the Cherokee Nation, printed from 1828 to 1834 in New Echota, Georgia, the last capital of the Cherokee. It pays special attention to the type, printing press, and the paper used during the life of the Phoenix. The first issue was published February 21, 1828, using the eighty-five character Cherokee syllabary completed by Sequoyah just seven years earlier.

Research, writing, printing, papermaking, and binding by Frank Brannon. (Much of it while he was earning an MFA in Book Arts at the University of Alabama.)

Cherokee Phoenix: Advent of a Newspaper book
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Elegy for Ira H.
[Exit from Appalachia]
By Forrest Johnson
Dillsboro, North Carolina: SpeakEasy Press, 2014. Edition of 10.

Sculptural book: 8.5 x 9.5 x 7.5"; 5 looped pages. Letterpress printed on handmade cotton rag paper with 11 pt. Garamond type. Bound at top edge of looped pages. Signed and numbered.

Frank Brannon: "A collaborative with a Kentucky poet, an excerpt of a much longer poem he wrote about leaving Appalachia. The book is engineered to be set on its 'pages' for a period of time (e.g. short-term presentation), and then on its side for storage. Part of this project was the whole idea of 'safety' of the words and the packaging of them. "

The Book As Art in Appalachia, 2015 conference: "Forrest Johnson will present 'An Elegy for Ira H./ Exit from Appalachia' a letterpress printed sculpture that is a collaboration between the poet and book artist, Frank Brannon, both of whom, although a generation apart, grew up along the eastern border of Tennessee and Kentucky. While recognizable as a 'book,' this piece does not follow the normal conventions of book format. Rather, it could be interpreted that the form evolved from intimacy with the text, the subject of the text, and knowledge of each other as artists. The shape reflects both the poem’s invocation of water and also each artist’s departures from ideas about the Appalachian region, those held by people within and those held by people outside it. The poems, selected from an unpublished manuscript
'Elegy for Ira H./Exit from Appalachia,' explore ideas of regional memory, landscape, ancestry and problems of representation. The 'pages' and binding are of handmade cotton rag paper using traditional hand papermaking techniques. Both artists set the metal printing type for the poems, printed the text, and bound the work, allowing for the rare opportunity, especially for a poet, to handle a project from first draft to final printed product.

"Forrest Johnson is a fifth generation native of rural southeastern Kentucky. For college, he moved to Asheville, North Carolina, where he earned two degrees studying literature and also the outdoors. He continued his studies in New England earning his MA in English Language and Literature from Boston College in 2008. Currently, he paints and writes, and also teaches writing at a small private school near Asheville.

"Frank Brannon, a native of Tennessee, currently lives near Dillsboro, North Carolina. He is a graduate of the M.F.A. in the Book Arts Program at the University of Alabama and is proprietor of SpeakEasy Press."


Elegy for Ira H book
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Page last update: 06.23.2024

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