Lot 25 of 175:
Blackbird Press edition of B. H. Fairchild's Beauty  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$450
$500 - $800


Fairchild, B.H.

Upland, CA

Blackbird Press



Illustrated with linoleum cuts by Anna Alquitela, letterpress printed and hand-bound with stainless steel “hinges” and aluminum-wrapped covers, housed in a gray cloth clamshell box with a gray paper band. Signed limited fine press edition. 

A narrative poem from Fairchild’s third poetry collection “The Art of the Lathe.” Fairchild (1942 -) is an award-winning American poet and former college professor. 

The Art of the Lathe, winner of the 1997 Beatrice Hawley Award (Alice James Books, 1998), brought Fairchild's work to national prominence, garnering him a large number of awards and fellowships including the William Carlos Williams Award. The book ultimately gave him international prominence, as The Way Weiser Press in England published the U.K. edition of the book. The Los Angeles Times wrote that "The Art of the Lathe by has become a contemporary classic—a passionate example of the plain style, so finely crafted and perfectly pitched...workhorse narratives suffused with tenderness and elegiac music."

For her fine press edition, The Blackbird Press’ Jean Gillingwators said she knew from the initial reading that her book edition would have metal covers, reminiscent of the corrugated-metal buildings that often house machine shops. However, her endeavor became a three-year ordeal when the metal hinges she planned to use were no longer available and had to be handcrafted by herself and her assistant. “The 2,200 parts arrived, drilled and cut perfectly, ready to use. We bought some miniature equipment, and Anna cut all the other tubing and wire into thousands of bitty pieces…Binding Beauty became a thousand-day undertaking, and with each hurdle, I felt a close connection to Fairchild’s machine-shop laborers. And the Blackbird Press hinge structures echo the title of the poem–they are beautiful.”

Donated by Jean Gillingwators, Upland, CA.

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