Archive for January, 2020

leaves of grass still growing

January 12, 2020

I learned from Billy Collins from this talk on Walt Whitman that Whitman designed some of the type for the first edition of Leaves of Grass, self published, printed and bound by Whitman himself.

“How poetry freed type” apparently, was 2017 a conference that explored “the ways in which Walt Whitman’s poetry and its related technologies, such as the printing press, shaped graphic design in America”.

“Letterpress technology’s rapid advances with the invention of higher-speed presses and typecasting machines gave poets cheaper access to do their own printing. This allowed avantgarde experimentation (especially the like of Parisian poet Apollinaire, and American humanists like Walt Whitman and Emerson) with typography and an ability to put pressure on word as image (rather than as music, as poetry functioned prior).  by Aine Carr

Whitman keeps inspiring new generations of publishers and illustrators – here is an example: a 2014 publication of Whitman’s “Song of Myself, fully illustrated by Allen Crawford.

 

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