Fine press volume.
Author: Rosemary Dobson
Artist: Rosalind Atkins
Design & Production: Ampersand Duck
Printed 2008, released 2009
Poems to Hold or Let Go is the second volume in the Ampersand Duck fine press series, ‘Selected’.
Printed with photopolymer plate using letterpress processes in Garamond, accompanied by two exquisite boxwood wood engravings on cream 125gsm rag mould-made Magnani Vergata laid paper, in a cased binding of teal Buckram and letterpress-printed navy Wibalin with a dustjacket of wood and metal handset & printed Wibalin. 56pp. 240 x 163mm. Edition of 200.
A view of one of the printed sheets in production, featuring one of the two Ros Atkins wood engravings
About the book
Poems to Hold or Let Go is a selection of 41 poems by beloved Australian poet Rosemary Dobson that spans over 60 years of outstanding writing. It is a conceptual rather than chronological selection, leading the reader on a journey through the poet’s themes and preoccupations, then forking off into an autobiographical direction. The volume includes three later poems that have never been published in book form. The two original wood engravings act as portals to and from the journey, with two seminal Dobson poems acting as prologue and epilogue. The title is chosen by the poet, and suits the philosophical meanderings the reader will undergo.
This whole volume was designed with great care in consultation with Dobson, and the printer’s late-process surprise gesture to her was the use of metal Garamond type in the dustjacket design that had once belonged to her late husband, Alec Bolton, proprietor of the Canberra private press, Brindabella Press.
About the contributors
Born in 1920, Rosemary’s career as a writer of poetry began at school (Frensham, in the Southern Highlands of NSW). Rosemary’s career continued with early acceptance of publication in literary journals. She has published altogether since then 14 volumes of poetry, two books of prose and (in collaboration), two volumes of translations from Russian poetry. She has edited several anthologies. Her most recent volume, Untold Lives and Later Poems, won the 2001 Age Book of the Year award.
Rosemary has received a number of literary awards including the Patrick White Award for Literature (1984), the Australia Council’s Writers’ Emeritus Award (1996), a DLitt from Sydney University (1996) and the Order of Australia for services to Australian Literature (1987). In June 2006 she won the NSW Premier’s Special Award.
She was for some years on the Editorial Staff of Angus & Robertson, publishers. In 1951 she married Alec Bolton, printer and publisher and Founding Director of Publications at the National Library of Australia. Subsequently taking early retirement he founded his own printing press, the Brindabella Press, much praised for the standards he set in all aspects of book publication. He published 23 books, nearly all of poetry, before his untimely death in 1996.
Rosalind Atkins is a highly regarded printmaker whose prints have been published in conjunction with the works of some of Australia’s best-known poets, including Les Murray and Judith Wright. She graduated from RMIT with a Bachelor of Fine Art and followed that with a Graduate Diploma of Fine Art. She is a member of the English Society of Wood Engravers. Rosalind has exhibited extensively, and is collected widely by national and international institutions as well as private collections.
Every ‘Selected’ volume has a letterpress-printed prospectus that is sent to press supporters and other interested parties. If you would like to be on the mailing list for these, please contact me.
All volumes are signed by the artist and printer; a limited number early in the edition are signed by the poet.