We hope you’re as excited as we are that in just over two weeks the 14th Annual Kerrytown BookFest will finally be here! In addition to reviewing the fantastic lineup of panels before you attend, we’d like to introduce you to still more of the fantastic array of exhibitors who will be in attendance on September 11 from 10:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The exhibitors at BookFest represent the full range of the book world, from book-related artists to authors to publishers to book sellers to non-profit organizations. Following are just a few of the more than 120 exhibitors you can see at BookFest.
Ann Arbor Independent Booksellers Association (new exhibitor): The mission of the Ann Arbor Independent Booksellers Association (A2IBA) is to celebrate the diversity of Ann Arbor’s independent bookstores and to make Ann Arbor a destination for book lovers to visit. We work to connect readers with books through our website (a2books.org) and maps distributed at the independent bookstores. We are dedicated to becoming the go-to place for book lovers to participate in the dynamic book culture of Ann Arbor. What to look for: A2IBA will be distributing maps of Ann Arbor’s independent bookstores and will have a display featuring the independent bookstores.
Earthenwood Studio (returning exhibitor): I make ceramic jewelry, ornaments, and tiles with earthenware and porcelain clays, using a variety of clay forming techniques such as slab forming and plaster molding, and decoration techniques including custom rubber stamps and iron transfer decals. What to look for: This year, I am excited to bring more of my ceramic quote tiles and magnets, which I debuted at BookFest last year! I have added more new quotes to the series for this year. And I am excited to be working on some new tiles and pottery, also with famous quotes, which feature detailed sepia-toned portraits and vintage illustrations using a new iron transfer printing technique.
Prankster Press (new exhibitor): My printmaking process focuses mainly on carving linoleum or woodblock reliefs, which I print on a variety of archival Western and Japanese papers using a large etching press. My bookbinding practice uses a lot of old books that I collect from thrift stores that are in disrepair, and use the pages to decorate the covers of the journals that I make. I also print with magnesium die cuts, wood engravings on the letterpress. My relief prints are made by using a U-gouge or V-gouge carving knife to carve out an image on a flat piece of linoleum or wood. That block is then covered in ink with a rubber brayer, and the paper that I print on is laid on top of that inked relief block. I put that block and paper through the press, where it is pressed between a rotating cylinder and the press bed which it sits on, and the ink transfers onto the paper, creating the print. Most of the prints that I make have faces hidden in them somewhere, as people and human interaction are where I draw much of my artistic inspiration. My letterpressed work is printed mainly with my platen presses. I have two tabletop platen presses, one larger 8×12 Chandler & Price letterpress for printing smaller compositions, and a Potter Proofing press, which I am restoring to use more often for poster printing. Currently, I print mainly with old wood engravings and magnesium die cuts from old advertisements, which I used to decorate the handbound journals that I make. Sometimes I create posters, or combine my letterpress printed work into a larger, fine art relief print. My bookbinding practice consists mainly of perfect bound, Japanese stab bound, and coptic stitch journals, which I decorate using my own prints or pages from books in disrepair that I purchase second hand. Perfect bound books use glue to hold the text block (the blank pages) together, while the Japanese Stab Binding and Coptic Stitch journals are sewn. Bookbinding had taken a backseat to my printmaking practice, and I got back into it this year, so I’m excited to show off all the books I’ve made! What to look for: This is my first year at the Kerrytown BookFest as a vendor, so I’m excited to show how my own relief prints have been used to accent and decorate the journals that I’ve made, and the interaction between my personal relief carving style and the old engravings that I enjoy working with so much.
826Michigan (returning exhibitor): 826michigan inspires school-aged students to write confidently and skillfully with the help of adult volunteers in their communities. Our writing and tutoring programs uphold a culture of creativity and imagination and support students in establishing strong habits of mind. Through publication and community engagement, we provide students with an authentic and enthusiastic audience for their writing. Our programs provide an energizing creative outlet for students and meaningful volunteer opportunities for community members. We believe that with one-on-one attention from caring adults, students improve their academic performance, develop a sense of belonging, and discover the unique value of their voices. 826michigan’s publishing program is designed to help students experience, appreciate, practice, and recognize great writing. Our publications are written by students and professionally designed and bound, resulting in a polished product that honors students’ writing. To keep up with the incredible stories being produced constantly in each of our programs, we maintain a robust publishing schedule that includes two major professionally-bound publications, dozens of informal chapbooks, and quarterly issues of two digital journals each year. The culmination of this program is OMNIBUS, an annual compilation of the best writing produced in 826michigan’s numerous free, volunteer-driven creative writing programs. What to look for: This BookFest, we are proud to present a variety of titles from our publishing program. From our Young Author’s Book Project series, we have two main offerings:
- A Lantern of Fireflies: An Illustrated Treasury of Tales of Adventure, Discovery, and Magic written by ninth-grade students from Ann Arbor’s Huron High and accompanied by the artistry of twenty-five of the most talented illustrators around, including Dan Santat, Erin and Phil Stead, Jon Klassen and more.
- Rare Air/Aire raro is our latest YABP release from thirty fourth-grade students at Roberto Clemente Learning Academy in Detroit, and the first bilingual 826michigan publication ever. Renowned poet Richard Blanco penned the foreword and kept in touch with our thirty newest published authors as they wrote their collection of poems throughout the year.
In addition, we have earlier releases from our YABP series, copies of our annual best-of anthology, OMNIBUS, which features the work of students in each of our programs across Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Detroit; chapbooks that highlight the fantastic work our students produce in individual programs; and a fun series of postcards that enable book lovers everywhere to send a snapshot of 826michigan’s students’ imaginations anywhere in the world.
Michigan State University Press (returning exhibitor): We do regional histories, ethnic studies, environmental studies, Native American studies, African studies, literary studies and more. What to look for: We will be bringing our Discovering the Peoples of Michigan series that contains over 30 different ethnic groups in Michigan, some of our best-selling literary titles including Wolf’s Mouth by John Smolens one of your presenters, and our environmental books that focus on the Great Lakes state.
Out of Hand Papermaking Studio (returning exhibitor): I produce paper handmade from plants. The fibers I use are ones I can easily gather, such as cattail, milkweed, pampas grass, corn husks, as well as cotton rag. Paper can be made from any plant materials by chopping the fiber, cooking to get rid of the non-cellulose material, and beating the fiber to a pulp. The pulp is then forced into sheets, pressed, and dried. What to look for: Picture frames, journals, memo pads, photo albums made with handmade paper will be for sale. Individual sheets of paper made from various plant fibers, including some invasive species, will be available. If you are interested you can sign up for instructions and make your own handmade paper.
Wayne State University Press (returning exhibitor): Wayne State University Press is a leading publisher of regional interest titles as well as Judaica, film and media studies, fairy-tale studies, and a wide range of other scholarly and general interest titles. What to look for: This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Press and we are beyond excited to showcase at Kerrytown two of the series that helped get us here: our Great Lakes Books Series (celebrating its own 35-year anniversary!) specializes in books of regional interest that are of importance to Michigan and the entire Great Lakes region, and our Made in Michigan Writers Series (10 years!), which is devoted to highlighting the works of distinguished statewide writers and celebrating Michigan’s diverse voices. Come visit us to see this year’s newest books!
You can find a full list of all of the 2016 Kerrytown BookFest exhibitors in the exhibitors tab on our website. And check back here and on our Facebook page in the weeks ahead for more information about this year’s Kerrytown BookFest.