Black Rock Press Publications

Black Rock Press is a publishing entity focused on the book as art, craft and concept. We aim to publish a range of literary, visual and experimental materials, addressing the evolving nature of the book in diverse environments. Our mission to publish experimental poetry and writing while investigating the book form manifests as artist’s books, unique trade publications, broadsides and ephemera. We practice the traditions of fine printing, typography, illustration, graphic design, printmaking, papermaking and bookbinding, among others, while considering the abilities of new media to express content and meaning.

Reminders Within

by Skye Tafoya and Kaitlin Rees (2022)
Edition size: 150

Reminders Within is a hybrid publication collaboration between artist Skye Tafoya, writer Kaitlin Rees, and Black Rock Press. With Tafoya’s digital weavings and Rees’ precise, insistent voice, Reminders Within creates a protected space within which we can explore, in minute detail, the crumbs stuck to a child’s finger, our own desire to separate ourselves from them, however slowly, carefully. This book reminds us, we are no less artists or writers or makers because we are mothers. In fact, this duality of existence offers us a grand opportunity to hold a microscope up to humanity, to witness the continuously extending links between self and other. Reminders Within protects this space for multi taskers, for all of us.

Opossum.png is a book and website created by artist Jeff Thompson that makes physical a single, low-resolution image. In early 1995, a group of strangers assembled online to develop what would become the PNG file format. One of the first images to be encoded in this new format was a pixelated photograph of an opossum, taken by programmer and PNG contributor Glenn Randers-Pehrson. The entire contents of this photograph are presented in a 968-page book, listed in the various formats required to be read by a computer. It also includes a wooden storage case and a printed copy of Randers-Pehrson's photograph. A website accompanies the project, containing a full set of annotations for the file, delving into the technical workings of the PNG format and the people who made it.

Opossum.png is housed in a handmade birch-ply box with accompanying digital print of opossum photo and “How to use this book” pamphlet. Please visit Jeff Thompson's page for the full set of annotations for the PNG file.

Don’t Cut Your Hair It’s Beautiful is a set of interactive books that asks the reader to fold and unfold pages to construct or reveal images and text. Through the use of fragmented images, readers are encouraged to explore multiple possibilities of sequencing and arrangement where covers pair with center spreads to construct complete images. Don’t Cut Your Hair It’s Beautiful is an effort to disrupt and explore the relationship between hair that is considered valuable and hair that must be hidden, removed, and made invisible. The book includes contributions from twelve creatives in particular, but not limited to, those working with hair as a subject or material. These individuals were invited to respond to one of several prompts or to generate their own response about hair on the body. They could also choose to include an image, either found or made. These 12 writings provide thoughts and experiences surrounding hair, multiple points of access, and themes connected to hair on the body including: shame, resistance, and identity. Contributors: AB Gorham, Alisa Banks, Frances Melhop, Althea Murphy-Price, Rebecca Drolen, Jayoung Yoon, Kellee Morgado, Kate Kretz, Suzanne Gold, HAIR CLUB, Kat Howard, Sarah Scarr, Judith Rodby.

SHALL is an accordion bound artist book and poem made from rubbings of the Newlands Monument in Newlands Circle in Reno, Nevada. The book’s author, Jared Stanley, is an assistant professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Collaboratively designed by Jared Stanley and AB Gorham, in consultation with Inge Bruggeman, SHALL was letterpress printed from photopolymer plates on Zerkell book vellum paper, bound and published by Black Rock Press, 2019.

Selected Durations by David Abel is simultaneously a poem and a score for performance that captures, analyzes, quantifies and archives time. The kinesthetic and material qualities of this artist’s book embed Abel’s text in multiple layers of meaning, requiring the reader to perform the experience of the passage of time, which ticks away with each turn of the page.

The publication of Selected Durations was prompted by the author’s performance of the piece in a BFA seminar in the Department of Art at the University of Nevada, Reno, taught by Inge Bruggeman. Experiencing the pace and the compression of time in the reading led Bruggeman to propose that the text be editioned. Beginning with a prototype originally created by artist Katherine Kuehn, the Black Rock Press reimagined the work, bringing it to life in the hands of readers. Designed, printed and bound at the Black Rock Press, the book was published in the fall of 2017. Letterpress printed from photopolymer plates on Yupo Synthetic Paper and Neenah Touché.

A unique edition that combines Shelly Taylor’s intense, language-driven investigations into place and identity with the erosional utterances of Eben Goff’s entropic and elegant oil engravings in wax panels.

Things You See in the Dark, the newest Parley Project created by the 2016-2018 Black Rock Press Redfield Fellow, Lauren Cardenas, is a collaboration with Daniel Enrique Perez, an associate professor of Chicanx and Latinx studies in the Department of World Languages and Literatures at the University of Nevada, Reno and David Kirkland, a DJ based out of St. Louis, MO. The Parley Project is a biennial interdisciplinary book art project that fosters research and conversation across the University campus and involves Black Rock Press students, staff and faculty in its production.

Things You See in the Dark is a visual, tactile and auditory experience that pays homage to the uncertainties one might experience in the dark. Composed of a suite of prints and poems, along with a vinyl soundtrack, this artist book invites the viewer to slow down while meditating on the elusive nature of the dark.

Letterpress printed from handset metal type and photopolymer plates on Rives BFK. The typefaces that appear in the book are Craw Clarendon and Clarendon. The book is handbound in a drum leaf structure and presented in a paper wrapper and slipcase. Laser cut on an Epilog Helix 24 Laser Cutter and handcut by the artist. Signed and numbered by the artist on the colophon.

Jamie Shafer: “Created as part of my experience as the Black Rock Press Redfield Fellow in Book Arts at the University of Nevada, Reno, Old Geiger Grade is the first book produced by the Black Rock Press for the Parley Project. It was influenced by the W.M. Keck Museum at the University of Nevada, Reno — the second oldest museum in the state. Special thanks to the staff and students at the University of Nevada, Reno who assisted with production: Inge Bruggeman, Amy Thompson, Amaris Martin, Judith Rodby and Su Tran.

Old Geiger Grade was inspired by Geiger Grade Road and the history of the Comstock. It places readers in the steep, dangerous terrain of the 1860s as they travel to Virginia City where they hope their fortunes might be found.”