Granary Books, 2020. Item #GB_177
8 x 12 in., 72 pp., unbound folios in wrapper and clamshell box.
Long-time Granary Books artist Timothy C. Ely is known for his intricately layered, handmade books. In 1975, Ely began self-motivated studies of bookbinding and developed the aesthetic style he is known for today: “a fusion of English-style binding techniques with visionary drawings of an unknowable future.” The drawings incorporate his unique style of cribriform, a type of asemic writing, an intuitive yet very specific calligraphic form with no (or open) semantic content. Carefully orchestrating the entire production process, from drawings to binding, Ely incorporates multiple media to encourage dense, nuanced reading experiences.
Ely created Interior Voice as a unique book in 1983. Now, the drawings within are reproduced in facsimile for the first time, re-imagining the structure of the book through archival pigment prints. In lieu of its original leather binding, the new work consists of unbound folios within a St. Armand handmade paper wrapper with a new drawing by Ely printed letterpress.
The book is further transformed by accompanying poems by Whit Griffin. Griffin, a poet based in Denver, Colorado, spent time with the Jargon Society, living with and working for Jonathan Williams and Tom Meyer. The poetry featured in this volume is drawn from his expansive recent work titled The Great Practice.
An intuitive process was embedded in the selection of poems to pair with Ely's drawings. Together with Steve Clay, Griffin and Ely “shuffled from the ‘deck of the text’ [The Great Practice] and what emerged felt like what wanted to come forward” (Griffin).
The edition consists of 18 unbound folios (72 pp.) printed by Jason Walz, housed in a St. Armand handmade paper wrapper with a new drawing by Timothy Ely printed at Soho Letterpress. Clamshell boxes of green and yellow made by Judith Ivry. This is from an edition of 27 copies; each signed by the poet and artist. As new.
Pictured: printed wrapper; open box; title page; folio 4; folio 6; folio 13; folio 15; closed box; and box cover.
The complete text of Whit Griffin's The Great Practice is available here.
Further reading: collected reviews and resources regarding the work of Timothy C. Ely, including an interview with Steve Clay, writing on Ely's cribriform by Ian Boyden, and review in Bookways no. 8 by Barbara Tetenbaum.