Between Dream and Flesh
by Jed Myers
“Through dream, memory or prayer, the poet considers how often a byproduct of tenderness is friction. Generous with rhyme and the music of natural speech, these poems struggle with the juxtapositions of living, such as 'the serene / face of my difficult love.' Myers concludes that to exist in the twenty-first century within 'our pierceable skins' is both perishable and precious.”
author of A Wreath of Down and Drops of Blood (University of Georgia Press, 2010)
About Jed Myers
Not only is Jed Myers an excellent poet, he is one who supports the poetry community by submitting to many publications and competitions (successfully!), by editing for Bracken magazine, and by reaching out to give support to other writers. Though he thinks I'm a little sarcastic, which I am, right now I'm completely serious. Really. He's impressive.
He teaches as a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Washington, and maintains a solo therapy practice in Seattle. He considers himself a student of human nature, and sees poetry as a pathway toward the illumination of that nature.
To learn more about Jed Myers, go to his website.
About the Making of
Between Dream and Flesh
The title and author name on the outer covers are foil-stamped using an embosser passed on to me by another Seattle poet—John Burgess and his wife Patsy. This old machine heats letterpress type to 260°, and pushes the type into a strip of prepared foil and down into the paper. To do this on the spine, it was necessary to line up the type by eyeballing it, which worked a surprising number of times. Usually, you'd use the grid to see where to place the type, but the cover paper conceiled then entire platform. I figured out a way to size it up efficiently, and went on from there.
Then I stamped the front covers with the title, and then again with the author’s name. Each time I pulled the lever, I had to be sure the head and the paper were still alligned. In the end, there were 150 covers embossed, for a total of 450 accurate stampings. Of course, there were several inaccurate stampings, as well, which have gone into the upcycle paper bin so I can make more paper.
I then collaged each cover with my handmade paper. There is an upper strip of light tan or cream-colored paper, and a darker strip of purple or brown. From designing the book, printing it on machine-made papers (as listed in the colophon), to scoring, folding, sewing, and trimming, collaging, and foil-embossing each book to complete their assembly—handmade books are a time-consuming product. Hands-on work like this is arduous, yet satisfying. Not only can you hold this book in your hands, the end result is something that is versatile as an entertainment, a book of literature, and each one an artwork.