I’m in rural Nebraska doing a writing residency. It’s stunning, with huge rolling fields that go on longer than my eyes can make sense of, hot, hot winds and an even hotter sun, barns filled with art and artists, late night bonfires and more lightening bugs than I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s truly extraordinary.
I’ve made my writing home in the back of a barn, surrounded by salvaged paper and coffee tins full of nails and screws and bolts and things I don’t know the names of…
And when I’m not writing, or at the swimming hole up the road, I’m playing with the 100 year old letterpress! There are nine printing presses here and the 240 fonts all in little perfect drawers (called ‘cases’).
Not only am I falling in love with the metal type and the thick gooey ink, letterpress terminology is amazing: you fill a ‘composing stick’ with each letter, ‘the quoin key’ locks the type in place (called, ‘locking up the chase’) and the ‘furniture’ fills in the space around the text.