Sunday, August 03, 2008

From Chax Press

Dear Friends,

Perhaps the best thing about moving is that we have moved into a studio with room to pursue the work we were meant to do. Chax Press is back to printing handmade works. We have two projects before us. One is the first letterpress book we have made in two years, and it will be the first widely affordable letterpress book we have made since the mid-1990s. I sincerely hope it will mark a return to making the kind of book that is a fine art work that is also accessible to a good number of literary readers.

The letterpress book is Salt, My Love: A Ballad, by Patrick Pritchett. Patrick is the author of our earlier trade paperback book, Burn: A Doxology for Joan of Arc. After years in Boulder, where he was an active member of local and national/international poetry communities, he is currently an adjunct faculty member at Harvard.

The other work we are printing coincides with a conference we are sponsoring in early October titled Charles Olson: Language as Physical Fact. As a part of the conference we are printing, framing, and displaying handprinted broadsides of ten of the most visual of Olson’s famed Maximus Poems, with permission of the University of California Press and the estate of Charles Olson. This display, along with other events of October 10-11, will constitute the most ambitious public programming Chax Press has yet undertaken. The conference will feature local and visiting poets, including Myung Mi Kim, Anne Waldman, Cole Swensen, Steve McCaffery, Barbara Henning, and Tenney Nathanson.

To accomplish the return to letterpress printing and to realize the conference, we need your help. Letterpress papers, including handmade papers, are expensive. The letterpress book is not funded by any grants or major gifts. The Olson conference has obtained support from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Tucson Pima Arts Council. However, those grants require us to raise our own matching funds to fulfill the amounts needed to support the conference.

In the past several years we have asked donors for special support on occasion, and for regular annual contributions once per year. In doing so, we have concentrated on donors who could give $50, $100, and more. We still will mount an annual campaign in the fall of 2008. But right now, for current purposes, we want to give more people the opportunity to support these important, community-minded literary and artistic programs. We are seeking 200 donors who will each give us just $20. Please be one of these donors, one of those who make fine literature and book arts work available to the public in creative ways. Chax Press is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and your contribution is tax deductible.

Today, please, write a check for $20
and send it to us at our new address:
411 N 7th Ave, Tucson, Arizona 85705-8332. If you can’t afford $20, send $10 or $5. If you have the funds and want to give more (to take the place of those who can’t give), then by all means give a larger amount of your choice.

You may also choose to securely donate the amount of your choice online through paypal by visiting the donations page on our new web site donations page.

$20 spent in another way might mean one third of a tank of gas, or five or six coffee drinks. If spent as a contribution to Chax Press it means the chance to support some of the finest literature and book arts being presented anywhere, and to contribute to the cultural and intellectual life of Tucson and the nation.

-Charles Alexander
Executive Director
Chax Press

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