Poets as Publishers & Publishing as Artistic Practice II

Own the Meas of Production Kennedy

Print by Amos Paul Kennedy

On View through May 6th, 2018

April is National Poetry Month, but in the Reading Room, poetry reigns every day. Whether it’s coupled with photography, is a visual narrative without words, a handmade chapbook by an artist or poet, or a suite of poems published by a notable small or micro press, each and every day, these works can be found and enjoyed here.

When I’m not featuring the work of a guest artist, I install various books from my personal collection. Some are available to purchase, some are out of print and rare. Yet they’re all available to be enjoyed on site.

I especially love independent, small, micro and artist-made projects because they fall outside the commercial world and fly below the radar of gatekeepers who attempt to control language and ideas. Sometimes these little books become known and notable on their own and gatekeepers discover them after the fact. It’s satisfying when that happens.

Publishing as artistic practice is growing as a primary means of expression for many artists, writers, graphic designers and printmakers. The choice to produce a book of one’s own or on behalf of others as a micro press is a somewhat radical act in this time. This activity shouldn’t be considered a “vanity press” or project, (a term that should go the way of “spinster”) but regarded as an expressive vehicle and communicative object that’s passed along physically- in person, by mail, or left on a table in a coffee shop or other public place. Indeed, distribution is a challenge, but it’s overcome by social media and relational practices. For the both the maker and the reader, handling is a crucial part of the experience. These books can be hard to locate, but if you search, you’ll find them. I have, and offer them to the public in the reading room.

These installations are curated, but my acquisitions criteria is catholic. I have an open mind and an open heart. I don’t know who’s going to walk into my reading room on any given day, but I like to think I have something to offer them. Come in, pick up a book published by poets and artists and read. Take your time. No glass, no gloves, no hurry is the practice here. All year long. Happy National Poetry Month 2018!


Some featured selections from this installment of Poets as Publishers & Publishing as Artistic Practice


Two little books by James Prez


What to Want Scott Zieher

What to Want by Scott Zieher  Ampersand Editions


Egyptian Sonnets John Yau

Egyptian Sonnets by John Yau, Rain Taxi


Poets as Publishers 2 books

Burning Deck, DoubleCross Press, Peppercannister, Un-Gyve and OHM Editions


The End Part One MC Hyland

The End, Part One by MC Hyland, Magic Helicopter Press


Poets as Publishers 2 upper shelves

Books by Nobrow Press, Julia Borissova and Juana Requena







Old Bones and Broken Stones

Works on Paper by Greg Slick
On view from March 9, 2018 – April 8, 2018
Opening Saturday, March 10, 6-9 pm
Winter Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday 1-7 pm


Brutalithic Sequence G. Slick

In observance of St. Patrick’s Day in the month of March, and as a celebration of the significance of poetry and place in Ireland’s cultural heritage, No. 3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works is pleased to present a solo exhibition of work on paper by Greg Slick, featuring a selection of 8 works from his ongoing series entitled Brutalithic Sequence. The series got its start during an artist’s residency at the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in Ithaca, NY in the summer of 2017.

Brutalithic Sequence marks a crossroads of art, archaeology, and modernist architecture. By exploring the idea of monumentalism in both Brutalist buildings and Neolithic structures, this series endeavors to link our experience of buildings of authority with prehistoric heritage sites (in Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, and Wales) and our cultural roots in the distant past. This body of work combines several media—ink drawing, acrylic photo transfer, and gouache—to create multiple layers of imagery, textures, and meaning. The use of monochrome acknowledges the conventions of archaeological drawing and the severe palette of Brutalist buildings.

You can read more about Greg and his work here: http://www.gregslickart.com/

To accompany this exhibit will be a performance by Greg, with a poetry reading of Seamus Heaney’s Bog Poems by Beacon poet Sean Monagle, and traditional Irish music by the Wild Irish Roses, on Saturday, March 31st. The event is free, but with limited seating; RSVP required. Contact photobookworks@gmail for details.

Also on view in the Reading Room, are selections from the Traffic Street Press Irish Poetry Series, edited by Dr. Thomas Dillon Redshaw and produced by Paulette Myers-Rich in collaboration with the Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. Included are rare signed editions by contemporaries and colleagues of Seamus Heaney; poets Dennis O’Driscoll, John Montague, Greg Delanty, Thomas Kinsella, Eavan Boland, and Thomas McCarthy.

A profile of this series is presented here on the Boston College website:



Poets as Publishers & Publishing as Artistic Practice

On view from February 2 – March 4, 2018
Winter Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday 1-7 pm.
Bolted Book

The Bolted Book facsimile (Depero Futurista, 1927/2017)


Recently installed in No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works are books produced by poet-run and independent presses intent on making certain books and works present in the world no matter what the gatekeepers say. They’re simply out to share the words and work of those they admire in order to generate conversation and readership. And they’ve done it well. The work spans from 1971 to the present. Presses represented are Atlas Press’ Printed Head series, Toothpaste Press, The Spirit That Moves Us Press, Coffee House Press, The Codex Foundation, Double Cross Press, Traffic Street Press, Greying Ghost Press, Magic Helicopter Press and broadsides from the Hungry Midnight series.

Also on view is a facsimile copy of the Bolted Book (Depero Futurista, 1927) recently produced by Designers & Books as a Kickstarter project completed in 2017. These works are often hard to find, but you can read them here- any or all, by simply visiting the Reading Room. Also on hand are some reference works and essays about independent publishers past and present, including the new anthology The Ultimate Actualist Convention, A Detailed View of Iowa City Actualism in the 1970’s & 1980’s and Its Migration to the San Francisco Bay Area. Edited by actual Actualists Morty Sklar, Cinda Kornblum and Dave Morice, there are also a few of their early literary journals on hand.

Mechanical Word Codex

Codex Foundation series

Greying Ghost Press 3 Titles

Greying Ghost Chapbook

PBW Poetry Wall 2


Happy New Year

No. 3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works is taking a Holiday Break and will re-open on Friday, January 5, 2018 from 1-7 pm. The current exhibit WINTER will continue through January 28. Thanks for visiting in 2017 and watch for new programs, exhibits and titles in 2018!



No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works Dec 2017 2nd Sat



prints and photographs
by Paulette Myers-Rich



Minnesota Center for Book Arts Annual
Fine Press Book Art Publication
Opening December 9, 2017 through January 28, 2018


I am a recent transplant to Beacon, New York in the Hudson Valley, from St. Paul, Minnesota on the upper Mississippi River. For decades, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts in Minneapolis was my studio/classroom/community and home away from home. I began as a papermaking intern at MCBA in 1985 and was present when the first annual Winter Book was produced in 1988. The Winter Book publication is “the embodiment of MCBA’s artistic vision to preserve and promote both the traditional crafts of bookmaking- hand papermaking, letterpress printing, printmaking and hand bookbinding, as well as the contemporary exploration of the book as art.” This has become my artistic vision as well.

The Winter Book production involves many hands: artists, designers, papermakers, printers, bookbinders and community volunteers join in producing a handmade, limited edition artist’s book featuring poetry or prose by a Minnesota author or editor. I learned how to set type by hand and do letterpress bookwork as a Winter Book intern under the guidance of master printer Gaylord Schanilec and stayed on to strengthen my skills working on many other Winter Book projects, eventually serving as master printer on two titles with interns of my own to teach. I came full circle as a letterpress printer and book artist through this publication.

“The artistry and hand craftsmanship of each Winter Book makes it an avidly collected series, included in museum and rare book library collections across the country and around the world.” (MCBA)

I have collected these books since 1990 and will share them with visitors this December through January 2018, in the Reading Room here at Photo Book Works.

Also on view are images from my project Winter River, Black Ice, a multi-year study of ice patterns as seen from the High Bridge in St. Paul, on the Upper Mississippi River. These observations of the frozen Mississippi River were made about a mile downstream from B’dote, the sacred origin site of the Dakota people where the Minnesota River enters the Mississippi. This confluence is influenced by the presence of a massive riverside power plant. Once coal fired, the newly built natural gas fuel heats water for steam turbines that generate electricity, resulting in warm water refuse that’s dumped into the Mississippi through an outlet on the north bank of the river. This temperature difference combined with the influx of sediment filled water from B’dote, influences the patterns of freezing through constant thawing and open water surrounded by ice and snow. The collision of severe sub-zero surface winds and warm discharge water flowing beneath the ice creates unique patterns that are constantly changing. Windblown surface snow, hard pack ice and the presence of power lines and bridge shadows add to the landscape configurations, the result of the built environment set in deep-time big nature.

Visit the Book Report page of this site to read more about some Winter Books on view in the Reading Room.