I'm very happy to announce that Muses Walk, my new chapbook / artist's book, is now available in an individually-numbered edition of 100 copies. The first three of these have been donated to 'An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street', for which project the book was originally conceived (I have been writing a series of posts on my involvement with this project, the idea behind the book, its relevance to the project and also to the rest of my work, and its development). The remainder will be available to buy at readings and events, and can also be purchased directly from me on request. The price is 5 Euro.
Writing, producing visual material, designing, laying out the text and images, printing, binding, cutting and generally publishing Muses Walk is proving a hugely valuable experience, if only as a sobering lesson in small-scale book-making and publishing. The finished book measures 148 x 105 mm (A6) and is in the quarto format - which means that it has been produced by twice folding over the full blanksheets, in this case of standard A4 size, of material on both sides. It's printed on 160gsm coloured (ivory) card paper, and runs to 32 pages - translating to 4 double-sided twice-folded sheets, each quarter of which contains one page of the book. Working out how the pages relate to each other when printed back-to-back and then folded, which piece of text and/or visual material should go on each quarter/page, and how exactly this material should fit within each quarter, was the easy part.
One reason for making the production of this book relatively complex is that I wanted its publication to be virtually unrepeatable. Its specific printing requirements (so that text and images line up correctly) and the material I used to make it, as well as the folding, binding and cutting of each individual copy by hand, make this the case. Plus I have no plans to reprint it in this form. In this sense, the making of Muses Walk was akin to a performance. I enjoyed the difficulty of putting it together - the consequence of which is that I feel huge satisfaction for having brought it to completion as I envisaged it, without having to compromise in its making.
Special mention must go to the people at the extremely busy Reads print centre on Dublin's Nassau Street, and in particular Nohema, for their patience with my nit-picking, endless re-drafting of the pdf file before re-printing and re-folding sample sheets, and my very specific printing requirements...