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Book Arts

The French Connection

One of a Thousand Fires (2006) is a tall book of Cissy Ross’s poems about a modern day Eve. “River imagery,” noted Bruggeman, “alludes to veins in the body and our impermanence.” The poems speak of an Eve who has long ago been cast out of the Garden and whose Adam has become dull and ordinary. Ross writes, in “Eve’s Peas,” “Eve has time to herself. / Adam won’t be home for hours. / Every night he stops at a bar / to say his silent prayers for the dead.” Words like “nothing,” “dark,” “empty,” “silent,” and “cold” course through these poems.

A Crisis Ethicist’s Directions For Use
A Crisis Ethicist’s Directions For Use

At one point, when talking about one of her books, Bruggeman said that making a book that pushes the boundaries of what we normally think of a book is something that appeals to her. You can certainly see this in a book like A Crisis Ethicist’s Directions For Use (2003), which comes with a box of pushpins and a calendar-like series of aphorisms and questions and is, as Bruggeman stated, “a fluxus like object that the viewer/reader must interact with and explore.” Yet even this somewhat playful book is full of intellectual challenges, posing cryptic questions that we may not comprehend, let alone be able to answer, “What permutations of sited awareness best sketch into existence non-collapsing lucidity?” the reader is asked at one point.

Inge Bruggeman

1824 SE Spokane Street

Portland, OR 97202

(503) 234-8129

Harry Reese calls Bruggeman “an original thinker” with “an impeccable sense of design and a commitment to the highest craft standards of printing.” She has, in Reese’s words, “a fresh, lively and fearless artistic temperament—unrestrained, unpredictable and always rewarding.”

Inge Bruggeman is the thinking person’s maker of livres d’artiste.


Bad News

Bad News was letterpress printed from hand-set type and photopolymer plates on Somerset paper in an edition of 37 copies in 1998. This book is built around a short story by Lynne Tillman and set in Centaur and Futura Medium Condensed. The images in this book began as small clay sculptures that were photographed and made into hand-processed photopolymer plates. Both the way the text is set and the images reflect the psyche of the main character who is effected by the radio voice that constantly feeds her fears and imagination. The book is bound using an exposed spine, Coptic style sewing and rests in a printed paper case. (11 x 7.5 x .5") $875

Simple Harmonic Motions

Simple Harmonic Motions was letterpress printed in 2001 on Kitakata Green paper from hand-processed photopolymer plates in an edition of 50 copies. It is based on 8 poems written by Hank Lazer selected from a larger work titled Days. The text is set in Spectrum. The two-sided accordion style binding rests in a tri-fold portfolio case which holds a mini-disc of the author reading the poems and performing them musically. This book visualizes the syncopated and rhythmic nature of speech on the printed page. Images are of mouths in the process of making sound/speech along with soundwave patterns. (10.25 x 7.75 x .5") $675

A Crisis Ethicist's Directions For Use (Or How to Be at Home in a Residence-Cum-Laboratory)

A Crisis Ethicist's Directions For Use (Or How to Be at Home in a Residence-Cum-Laboratory) is based on a set of directions excerpted from Architectural Body by Madeline Gins and Arakawa. This book/box project was letterpress printed from hand-set type and hand-processed photopolymer plates in an edition of 50 copies in 2003. This book compares book structures and architectural structures and looks at how we are strongly influenced by our everyday interactions with them. The Fluxus-like box demands curiosity. It opens to a ring-bound booklet (with fold-out pages) that is housed in a handmade paper slipcase. The impermanent binding and tiled imagery of an architectural plan on the back of each folio indicates the book can be taken apart and re-pieced together on a wall with the provided thumbtacks. Text transforms into image (into structural building blocks) and architectural framework turns into abstract form in this book. (10 x 6.5 x 2") $925

One of a Thousand Fires

One of a Thousand Fires is based on 5 poems by Cissy Ross. The poems are hand-set in Goudy Oldstyle and letterpress printed on dampened handmade paper by Cave Paper. The images are made from hand-processed photopolymer plates and run throughout the book. This book was made in an edition of 32 copies in 2006. It is sewn over printed paper tapes that are laced into a paper cover. The soft-cover book is housed in a hard-cover slipcase. (13.5 x 10 x .75") $775

Unable to Find Each Other, Let Alone Ourselves

Unable to Find Each Other, Let Alone Ourselves was made in an edition of 15 copies in 2007. This book is letterpress printed from hand-set type and hand-processed photopolymer plates on Magnani Pescia and Sekishu papers. This book also incorporates handwriting, watercolor, pochoir stenciling, and sewing as structure and compositional element. The edition was sewn using an exposed spine sewing, and the book rests in a protective tri-fold case. Each book comes with a unique folded print that is found in a pocket in the front of the book. (15 x 8.5 x 1") O.P.

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Richard GoodmanRichard Goodman is the author of The Soul of Creative Writing and French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France. A founding member of the New York Writers Workshop, Goodman teaches creative nonfiction at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. He’s written for the New York Times, the Harvard Review, Commonweal, Saveur, the Michigan Quarterly Review and many other publications. His essay, “In Search of the Exact Word,” was included in the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus. He lives in New York City. Read more at