Happy 80th birthday Caxton Press

A Caxton MiscellanyThe Caxton Press is 80 today.  It was launched on 10 June 1935 by John Drew and poet/typographer Denis Glover to publish New Zealand literature. Leo Bensemann had a long and fruitful association as a designer and illustrator with Caxton. Most of the decade’s best writers were first published by the company. Caxton Press tells the story on its website:

THE CAXTON CLUB was a colourful group of students, writing enthusiasts and amateur printers which operated a small printing press in the basement of the University Clock Tower, Worcester Street, in the early 1930s. In 1935, renowned New Zealand literary figure Denis Glover, together with a partner, borrowed £100 for a new press and formed The Caxton Press. They set up in an old wooden shop at 129 Victoria St where they stayed for fifteen years.

In 2013, Central Library Peterborough hosted A Caxton Miscellany – a Christchurch Art Gallery exhibition (see our photos).

A Caxton Miscellany
A Caxton Miscellany, Saturday 16 February 2013. Flickr: CCL-2013 -02-16-IMG_3708

One of the gems of our digital collection are The Group Catalogues, 1927 — 1977 as printed by Caxton Press. You can see their exquisite work closeup in these digital copies.

Cover of 19521953 copy of The Group catalogueCover of 1955Cover of 1958Cover of 1965

More on the Caxton Press

Denis Glover, founder of Caxton Press, with Book Week display in Alexander Turnbull Library. Further negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1963/3385/9A-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23233944
Denis Glover, founder of Caxton Press, with Book Week display in Alexander Turnbull Library. Further negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1963/3385/9A-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23233944

Happy birthday Caxton Press

A Caxton MiscellanyThe Caxton Press was launched on 10 June 1935 by John Drew and poet/typographer Denis Glover to publish New Zealand literature. Leo Bensemann had a long and fruitful association as a designer and illustrator with Caxton. Most of the decade’s best writers were first published by the company. Caxton Press tells the story on its website:

THE CAXTON CLUB was a colourful group of students, writing enthusiasts and amateur printers which operated a small printing press in the basement of the University Clock Tower, Worcester Street, in the early 1930s. In 1935, renowned New Zealand literary figure Denis Glover, together with a partner, borrowed £100 for a new press and formed The Caxton Press. They set up in an old wooden shop at 129 Victoria St where they stayed for fifteen years.

In 2013, Central Library Peterborough hosted A Caxton Miscellany – a Christchurch Art Gallery exhibition (see our photos). And in a timely echo, The Art of the Dust Jacket –  another most excellent Christchurch Art Gallery exhibition at Central Library Peterborough – is running from 30 May to 14 July 2014). No doubt many titles are from the Caxton Press.

1953 copy of The Group catalogue
1953 copy of The Group catalogue [1.5MB PDF]
One of the gems of our digital collection are The Group Catalogues, 1927 — 1977 as printed by Caxton Press. You can see their exquisite work closeup.

More on the Caxton Press

Denis Glover, founder of Caxton Press, with Book Week display in Alexander Turnbull Library. Further negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1963/3385/9A-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23233944
Denis Glover, founder of Caxton Press, with Book Week display in Alexander Turnbull Library. Further negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1963/3385/9A-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23233944

 

Poetry as public art: get your poem published on Victoria Street

A Caxton Miscellany
A piece of Denis Glover’s poetry – currently on display at the “A Caxton Miscellany” Christchurch Art Gallery exhibition.

This just in – a chance to have your poem on a Christchurch street. Literally.

Your poem will need to reference some aspect of the history or use of Victoria Street and surrounds. It must be entered by 23 March 2013 and the commissioned poems will earn $1000.00 ex GST each. The following resources will help:

Victoria Street

Caxton Press

Supreme Court and Victoria Street bridge, Christchurch
Supreme Court and Victoria Street bridge, Christchurch, Circa 1921

Here’s the official information:
Christchurch City Council (CCC) is embarking on a transitional programme for Victoria Street, Christchurch. As part of the programme, we are seeking to commission two poems for Victoria Street, including one from Ngāi Tahu writers.

Poems need to reference some aspect of the history or use of the street and adjacent areas. We are interested in telling the long and traditional commercial history of the street. The street has an auspicious association with literature. Poet Denis Glover co-founded The Caxton Press on Victoria Street in 1935, and the business still operates there today

We intend to paint the poems onto structures and surfaces in the street and this form of application will be considered when selecting work. Submitting poets and writers are encouraged therefore, to be mindful of the limitations in setting out works due to the method and potentially disjointed application of text.  Te reo Māori translation of texts is also of interest.

Selection
A knowledgeable panel will be convened to make the selection. The CCC Metropolitan Arts Advisor and project Landscape Architect will advise the panel.

Victoria Street
Victoria Street 2013

Submission Requirements
Your submission must include:
•    an original poem for consideration and translation to English or Māori if available
•    arts curriculum (your previous poetry and writing credentials)
•    full contact details

Timing
Submissions must reach us no later than 23 March 2013.

Value of Commissions
$1000.00 ex GST for each poem

Copyright
This is a unique situation where Council is commissioning poetry as public art. In this instance we would seek to preserve the artists’ rights to the work (and to reproduce the work acknowledging the commission) and also seek to ensure Council’s rights as the commissioning agent to reproduce the work for promotional and recording purposes.

Longevity
Given the transitional nature of spaces and places in the central city, CCC cannot guarantee work will remain unaffected by any remedial work on the structures of surfaces to which the text is applied. We will seek to reinstate completed text on any affected surface as soon as is practicable or where suitable.

Contacts for your submission
Enquiries should be directed to Kiri Jarden, Metropolitan Arts Advisor.
Email submissions are preferred to Kiri.Jarden@ccc.govt.nz

Telephone:
03 941 8635 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            03 941 8635      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Post:
Metropolitan Arts Advisor
Community Services
Christchurch City Council
PO Box 73016
Christchurch 8154