Goss Press ~ Florida
(Elisabeth Stevens)

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Goss Press: "Born in Rome, NY, Elisabeth Goss Stevens now lives and works in Sarasota, FL, where she writes fiction, poetry and plays. She also creates and exhibits etchings, linocuts, silverpoints, and designs and illustrates her many books. ... She is a former art and architecture critic of The Baltimore Sun and a former art critic of The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Trenton Times."

Elisabeth Stevens: "I am an illustrator of fleeting impressions, fiction and imagination. I often choose etching as a graphic medium because of its surprises. As with a poem or a story, one can never be sure how and etching will turn out."


The Sufferers
By Elisabeth Stevens
Tampa, Florida: Goss Press, 2015. Edition of 15 + 2 Artist Proof's.

10 x 12"; 8 unbound leaves. 4 etchings signed, numbered and dated by the artist. Text set in Palatino 16 point. Printed on Somerset Satin Radiant White 250 g. Laid in black cloth-covered clamshell box with red silk lining and titles in gilt on front cover. Numbered on colophon.

The Sufferers is a suite of four original erotic etchings by Elisabeth Stevens. There is one text page with three quotations (two by Baudelaire, one by Saint Paul) that flavored the etchings.

Ah! Seigneur! donnez-moi la force et le courage
De contempler mon coeur et mon corps sans dégoût!
"Un Voyage à Cythere" Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire

[O! Lord! give me the strength and the courage
To contemplate my body and soul without loathing!
Translation by William Aggeler, "A Voyage to Cythera"]

Résigne-toi, mon coeur; dors ton sommeil de brute.
" Le Goût du néant" Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire

[Resign yourself, my heart; sleep your brutish sleep.
Translation by William Aggeler, "The Taste of Nothingness"]

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the spirit.
                              The Epistle of Paul to the Galatians 5:25


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Sirens' Songs
By Elisabeth Stevens
Tampa. Florida: Goss Press, 2010. Edition of 20.

11.5 x 13.75 x 2.5"; 72 leaves. 13 signed and numbered copper plate etchings. Text and the etchings printed on Somerset Satin Radiant White papers. Presented loose in a blue cloth-covered handmade clamshell box.

A portfolio of 48 poems and 13 original etchings by Elisabeth Stevens.

Kirkus' Review, 2011: "A compact yet thematically and stylistically wide-ranging verse collection that contains lyrical and nuanced explorations of love, power, impermanence and aging.

"The sea washes through this collection, not as a fixed symbol, but rather as something as capricious and mutable as life itself. Its currents may represent irresistible forces of attraction ('Sirens' Song'); its depths, the generative source of life ('The Mermaid’s Tale'); its tides, the vicissitudes of aging ('I’d Hate to See My Love Grow Old'); and its unyielding forces, a threat to reclaim what it has birthed ('The Sea Dance,' 'First Marriage'). Out of fear, love or simply wonder these narrators hold fast to the sight of the sea, by turns flailing to escape its currents or submersing themselves in its solemn, primordial metaphors. Not surprisingly for a volume drenched in superlatively feminine associations, these poems have much to say about gender issues and the burdens and triumphs of femininity. There are unabashed celebrations of sexuality, such as in 'Doughnut Man,' which conflates several sensory pleasures, and even frightening glimpses of a woman who kills dispassionately the man she loves in 'The Crime.' But there are also threats to the female body and psyche as in 'First Marriage' where the narrator flatly acknowledges that 'He fucks to kill,' or in 'Mustache Man' in which the narrator 'couldn’t stop laughing / until one man walked right through me, / followed by another, and another. / Then, as the tide rose and the sun sank, / they trampled me into the dark, wet sand.' In exploring the crimes perpetuated on the female body and heart, Stevens (Ragbag, 2010) occasionally resembles Sharon Olds, though without the sustained brutality and conceptual density. While the poems suggest a world of both empowered and victimized women, where the men are as likely to be the sirens as not ('The Steel Pier'), her accompanying illustrations, simple line sketches, tend to portray women in almost comically erotic terms, but always with a hint of elemental wildness to them, suggesting that they can never be victimized for long.

"A triumphant and eloquent collection that never shies away from the emotional and intellectual entanglements of love and lust, connection and manipulation, the momentary and the eternal."

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By Elisabeth Stevens
New York, New York: Goss Press, 2000. Edition of 25.

9.75 x 12.75 x 1"; 16 loose leaves. Printed in Palatino 14 point on Rives BFK paper. Five copperplate etchings, signed and numbered. Laid in green cloth-covered clamshell box. Paper title label.

An original short story by Elisabeth Stevens accompanied by her etchings.

Kirkus Review: "In Stevens’ … short story, a writer attends a dinner full of mysterious characters.

"An aging author is putting the finishing touches on what he believes will be his final novel when he receives an invitation to a Christmastime dinner party. He sends back an acceptance before continuing to work on his revisions. As a respected novelist, his life has become a sedate routine of writing and seeing his grandchildren on the weekends. But when the night of the party arrives, he finds himself confronted with a scene as intriguing as it is confounding. The elegant venue contains a motley crew of oddly familiar guests, including a dirty infant and elegantly dressed women, who seem to have little in common apart from their excitement at his presence. Soon enough, however, he realizes why they all seem familiar: They’re all characters from his own novels. He enjoys a surreal evening until he has a strange encounter with an enigmatic woman named Evadne—the only character he doesn’t recognize. Some of the five full-page, black-and-white illustrations that accompany Stevens’ short story have a certain charm. … The story’s tone and concept are reminiscent of a fairy tale’s, and at moments, it strikes just the right notes."

Eranos, derived from Greek, is a banquet to which guests bring contributions of food. In Stevens' short story the banquet attendees turn out to be characters the aging author has created in his novels. But a beautiful lady in black, he doesn't recognize. And there lies the mystery of the story.

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Page last update: 07.28.16

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