Dara writes (UPDATE):
I have been overwhelmed by the support you've shown for my chapbook of poems, "Tobacco Hour." I am excited to announce the edition is now sold out, and I'm so happy the books are in such good hands! Thank you to everyone who made it to Luhring Augustine Bushwick for the reading, to those who bought copies and ordered online, to our publisher Jason Andrew of Norte Maar, to my fellow readers John Talbird and Leslie Kerby, to the painter Philip Taaffe, and of course to my artist collaborator Brece Honeycutt.
pictured: Brece Honeycutt's ecodyed covers prepare to be hand-bound and stamped for Tobacco Hour. Photo: BH
Please join us for a celebration and reading of the book on Sunday, April 19, 4-6 pm, at Luhring Augustine Bushwick, 25 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.
Tobacco Hour is the product of a three-year collaboration between Dara Mandle and Brece Honeycutt. Published by Norte Maar in an edition of 75, featuring twenty new poems by Dara Mandle, each numbered copy of Tobacco Hour has been hand made by Brece Honeycutt.
Working together, artist and poet have designed Tobacco Hour to be an experimental cross between book printing and art making. Based in an 18th-century colonial farmhouse in Sheffield, Massachusetts, drawing on her impressions of Mandle's poems of devotion and desire, Honeycutt has used flora and found objects to dye and texture the covers of each book individually.
The chapbook is the size of a small prayer book, linking it to the many prayer poems in the text, which Brece has hand-stitched without glue in a special binding. For the covers, barberry, goldenrod, mugwort, rhododendron, and mint, along with metal washers, were interleaved in between white sheets of paper, put between two sheets of copper, and immersed in a dye bath. This process, called eco-dyeing, uses materials from the land that are then returned to the land.
Norte Maar, the Bushwick-based nonprofit dedicated to collaboration in the arts, is publishing the edition as part of its series of artist-writer collaborations, which will also include A Modicum of Mankind, short stories by John Talbird with art by Leslie Kerby.
Dara Mandle earned her BA in English from Yale University, where she was awarded the Clapp poetry prize, and her MFA in poetry from Columbia University. Her poetry has appeared in the Brooklyn Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Harpur Palate, among other journals. For the past nine years she has hosted the Young Poets series at the National Arts Club. She maintains a blog of her work at www.supremefiction.com.
Brece Honeycutt lives and works in Sheffield, MA. She makes history-based drawings, sculptures and installations. She received a B.S. in Art History from Skidmore College and a M.F.A. from Columbia University. Her installations have been placed in exterior locations including university campuses, historic houses, inner city parks and in office buildings, libraries, urban markets and galleries. She collaborates and works with the National Park Service, artists, students, historians, gardeners, non-profit organizations, poets, and dancers. In 2014, Honeycutt exhibited in New York, Massachusetts and Italy. She received two artist fellowships from the D.C.C.A.H. and an anonymous grant for an “artist working in a particular American vein.” She has served on the boards of the Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA, as treasurer and the Washington Sculptors Group. www.brecehoneycutt.com
Brece and Dara look over prototype pages in production in the Sheffield studio. Brece's stand-alone paper sculptures hang on the back wall. Photo: JP
Brece uses found objects as resists as she presses pages together to set overnight. When she opens them up, she discovers how foliage and other elements have left their marks on the paper. Photo: JP
On one wall Brece has pinned prototype pages for the book. Here Brece has written out one of Dara's poems on hand-made paper (above) and hand-stitched the binding of some pages (below). Dara and Brece experimented with different page formats and worked through ideas of how best to translate Brece's handmade book art to multiple production. Photo: JP
Folded covers for Tobacco Hour awaiting barberry bath. Photo: BH
Goldenrod, drying in the attic, used for book's ecodyes. Photo: JP
Ecodyed covers prepared for goldenrod bath. Photo: BH
Cover paper in Brece's press. Photo: BH
Hand-bound copies of Tobacco Hour ready for release. Photo: BH
A finished copy of Tobacco Hour. Photo: BH
Tobacco Hour. Photo by Sharon Butler.