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On Rooks, Dennis Philips 2015

Ninja Press is exceedingly pleased to announce the publication of its most recent book for 2015, On Rooks by Dennis Phillips. This set of splendidly rich poems records the minutiae of the moment, moving from micro to macro throughout. The poems are both the residue of privacy and an accounting of terrain, the poet’s territory; a collision of megalopolis, mountain, and desert meeting in fire.


                     A car’s running bass

                     traverses a line known but not seen.

                     The dog shifts but doesn’t seize.

                     You, frozen between hope and the kitchen

                     search for water

                     so many days from the way station.


                                      —From “On Night,” Dennis Phillips


Twenty-three photographs taken by Carolee Campbell inhabit the book. They do not illustrate as much as act as an ambient penumbra. The images were found in the glancing light shining off the edge of the poetry.


The type is hand set Van Dijck with Felix Titling for the display. It is printed letterpress on dampened Barcham Green paper, handmade in 1986 at the Hayle Mill (now closed) in Maidstone, Kent in England. Two watermarks can be seen throughout, one of which includes the date. The text was printed on a Vandercook Universal I flatbed proof press. The photographs were printed digitally by Karen Skove Chu using UltraChrome K3 inks. They are printed on Japanese Asuka washi, then cut, and tipped in by hand. The boards are quarter leather using a forest green French goatskin and a decorative black English paper that glows with the luminescence of a raven’s wing. The text is sewn into an inner cover of pure Belgian flax, handmade at Cave Paper in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Each of the one-of-a-kind sheets reflects the subtle interplay of browns, blues and blacks as the sheet is dyed multiple times, making each inner cover unique. 


The design, presswork, binding, and photography are by Carolee Campbell at Ninja Press with the assistance of Farida Sunada in the bindery.


The edition is comprised of 75 numbered copies, signed by both poet and photographer with an additional 8 lettered hors commerce.


12.5 inches by 6.75 inches. 36 pages. $1,250