The Gift of Illustrated Poetry

I have always been an admirer of book arts – the making, binding, and design of books as works of art. If I had it to do over, I would have studied book arts when I was in college and living not far from a small press that offered classes to the public in all of the necessary skills.

I have recently become the proud owner of two books of illustrated poetry that are works of art and I wanted to share a few pictures and try to convey some of the giddy joy I feel when I get to enjoy beautiful works of book art! I do recommend both books for the poetry and the art. I would love to illustrate poetry excerpts from both of these poets soon.

Soundings by Emily Hancock

St. Brigid Press


There are wonderful photos on the St. Brigid Press Blog of this book, and the very process that went into the hand making of it, but I wanted to add a few more that captured all of the incredible textures of this book. I want to invite everyone over to hold this book in their hands – but there might be some small logistical problems with that plan – so I’ll do my best with photography. The haikus are simple yet elegant reflections on nature; I read and reread them with a sense of the peace of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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Click to read about Kim Lasky’s Eclipse and see pictures!

Eclipse by Kim Lasky

Templar Poetry, Cover by Jane Weir


The poems of this slim volume revolve around science and internal discovery (so how could I not love them?), but the way the whole work is put together, from the art to the typeface, enhances the poetry and brings a sense of wholeness. You can read Ms. Lasky’s poetry and learn about all of her publications and work on her website. This book was a gift from the writer and poet Matthew J. Hall and when I see it on my bookshelf, especially as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., I am reminded how thankful I am for friends, old and new, and for all of the artists, collaborators, and writers I have met through blogging and the encouragement you have all given me. Thank you.

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  1. Love hand made books and making them. Although, mine are rather basic. I just staple together colour copied pages of my poems an illustrations. They look reasonably presentable. I also enjoy making books from one A4 sheet of paper; you arrange the pics and words in a certain way, print it, cut it in the middle and fold it into a tiny book. I may share more about them on my blog, when I get time to! 🙂
    I reckon it would be great to know more about book binding and designing books as works of art, too! Thanks for the close up photos; would love to be able to pick up the “Soundings” book, for a closer look! Really enjoyed the visit to the St Brigid Press Blog, and seeing more about it. Love the cover drawing by Jane Weir, of Kim Lasky’s lovely book, “Eclipse”. Went over to Kim Lasky’s website and I’m now following her blog. Had a quick visit to Mathew J.Hall’s site – very interesting! I’ve had a wonderful time looking around – thanks so much, for such a great post. All the best, Janette. 🙂


    1. Thank you so much, Janette! Making handmade books – even “simple” ones (in quotes because I don’t think there is anything simple about it, but you know what I mean) – is on my docket of art things to do and try. I bought a book about making books, but have not had the discipline to sit down and work through it. I hope you put your books up on your blog – I’d love to see them!

      St. Brigid Press is amazing – I love everything they do and Ms. Hancock is so talented as well as friendly! Matthew is a friend and one of the earliest supporters of this blog – so thank you for checking out his site!

      Liked by 1 person

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