The DownStairs Press
Letterpresss – Books & Broadsides
Photos provided by Jack Mader.
Small Poem in Three Parts
for Harry Houdini
Click image to zoom
11 x 19 • 60 numbered copies. Hand set in Playbill and Goudy Old Style. Printed on Rives BFK paper on my Vandercook SP 20. $100.
The text for this broadside I wrote many years ago for a book called 25 Minnesota Poets published by the Minneapolis Public Schools during the time Stanley Keisel was the first poet-in-residence in a school system anywhere in the country.
I had always felt the way the poem was originally printed, in the same font as all the other poems in the book lacked something, did not quite tell the story I had envisioned for the work. So I set about designing this broadside, incorporating a font very much like the ones Houdini employed in creating his show posters in the early years of the 20th century.
I like to say writing part two of the poem required the most time, the most thought. An early version of the text did not include part two, and felt incomplete.