Red Hydra Press ~ Alabama
(Steve Miller)


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University of Alabama, “Steve Miller’s Red Hydra Press works are sized to read and read often, and mean to share the maker’s passion for each text. The collaboration between letterpress printer, author, and artist is key to each limited edition handmade book. The pieces are lively material manifestations of the text, and the accompanying art stands on its own. Contemporary poets are often presented bilingually and dynamically in English and Spanish.”

Broadsides by Red Hydra Press
Miniatures by Red Hydra Press
Red Ozier Press books by Steve Miller
Parallel Editions projects at the University of Alabama
Projects with Cuban artists

Words by Mary Wehner
Illustrations by Alejandro Sainz
Design by Steve Miller
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2016. Edition of 55.

3.5 x 5.5"; 20 pages. Linocuts. Letterpress printed. Sewn binding. Bound in paper wrapper with linocut illustration. Binding structure based on design by Anna Embree. Numbered. Signed by Wehner. Design and printing by Steve Miller. Text by Mary Wehner. Illustrations by Alejandro Sainz.

Steve Miller: "Cuban artist Alejandro Sainz cut seven linocuts for Red Hydra Press. Proofs of the cuts were sent to Wisconsin poet Mary Wehner, who created seven word swarms to accompany the images. This is a book that evokes the Malecón in Havana, as well as the lakes of the Midwest. It is simple and powerful."

Alejandro Sainz works at the Taller Experimental de Grafica in Havana. He has participated in other collaborations with Steve Miller and the University of Alabama Press, as well as with Red Trillium Press. Mary Wehner, a painter and writer from Wisconsin, has worked with Steve Miller on other publications by Red Hydra Press - "...or the opposite" (a chapbook) and "Broken Shells at Dusk" (a broadside).

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Until That Yellow Bird Returns
Text by Jeff Hardin
drawings by Katie Baldwin
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2015. Edition of 45.

3.5"; 82 pages. Letterpress printed. Bound in cloth over boards. Numbered. Signed by the poet.

Colophon: "Designed and letterpress printed by Steve Miller in Scala types on dampened Arches Text Wove paper. The binding design and production supervision is by Anna Embree, goddess of all things bound. Special Thanks to the poet and the artist for their willingness to play."

Red Hydra Press: "100, 5-line poems by Tennessee poet Jeff Hardin, each on its own page, … Katie Baldwin has contributed eleven somewhat translucent one-, two-, and three-color line drawings that define each section of the book. This is a hand-sized, hefty volume of thought-provoking words."

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Twelve Fables
By Rodney Jones
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2014. Edition of 55.

5 x 8”; 24 pages. The binding has been designed and largely executed by Anna Embree. Sewn and enclosed in Indian handmade paper wrappers stiffened with thin boards. Letterpress printed by Steve Miller on dampened Arches Text paper. Signed by both author and artist on the colophon. Numbered.

A collaborative effort of printer, poet and artist – Steve Miller, Rodney Jones, and Dana Moore.

Steve Miller: "A book of sweet fables by Rodney Jones accompanied by ten gorgeous bird nests by Dana Moore."

Poetry Foundation: "Rodney Jones was born in 1950 in rural Alabama. He has described his childhood and youth as 'very much like being a part of another age. Our community still did not have electricity until I was 5 or 6 years old.' His poetry frequently celebrates the relationships and events of the small, agrarian community he was born into, as well as preserves the kinds of vernacular speech he grew up hearing. ... Jones’s work is known for its investigation of place and memory, and its use of narrative, anecdote, and image.

"Jones studied at the University of Alabama and the University of North Carolina, where he earned his MFA. Since 1985 he has taught at the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where he is professor of English."

Dana Moore is an artist living in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. The illustrations for "Twelve Fables" are from her series "Nests."

Dana Moore: "I create my work in series that establish relationships between images and between series. I think of all of these projects as relating to home — how we create it to reflect our lives and encompass our memories."

The eagle above the house,
which on further inspection
turned out to be a vulture,
remains an eagle in my poem.

For years it has been an eagle,
To change it back to what
it was would only remind me
how little that fact matters …


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Lion Froth Crown
By Cade Collum
Drawings by Craig Wedderspoon
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2012. Edition of 45 + 9 artist proofs.

6.25 x 9"; 48 pages. Printed in Deepdene types on French Gray Grout and Neenah UV Ultra II papers. Bound in silver book cloth over boards by Anna Embree, with a Wedderspoon drawing printed letterpress onto the book cloth.

Steve Miller: "Lion Froth Crown is a collaboration begun in 2011, finished in 2013, and released in 2014 between author Cade Collum, bookbinder Anna Embree, letterpress printer Steve Miller, and artist Craig Wedderspoon. Weaving all the parts of this book together was a lengthy process. All four artists put their heads together to build the book out, beginning with the text. Some of the poems and drawings were printed on the translucent Neenah paper, so there is a subtle and sometimes dramatic relationship between pages, as parts of images or poems are revealed beneath the page being viewed."

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. ...or the opposite
By Mary Wehner
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2007. Edition of 75.

5 x 7.25", 30 pages. Letterpress printed in Chaparral Pro types and photopolymer printing plates. Printed in twelve colors. Text paper is Hahnemühle Biblio, the wrappers Khadi Indian handmade. Designed, letterpress printed, and hand-bound by Steve Miller.

Twelve new poems by Wisconsin writer Mary Wehner with a suite of drawings by Alabama artist Jane Marshall.

Red Hydra Press: "The poems and drawings are printed over several low relief Sandaragraph plates made by the printer from natural objects collected from the perimeter of the letterpress studio at the Penland School of Crafts, where this book was printed. Chaparral digital types were printed on dampened Biblio papers. The three-signature books were hand bound with brilliant green Khadi Indian handmade paper endsheets, tucked into printed periwinkle Khadi wrappers.

"This chapbook collaboration began as a conversation between printer and author about qualities of nature, humanity, and balance found in the poet's work. Once a decision was made publish a selection of new poems, there was no artist other than Jane who came to mind. Jane's drawings, prints, and paintings are well known for their strong connection to the plant and animal world. Conversations between poet, artist, and printer commenced. The resulting work is alive with their dialog."

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By His Own Labor:
The Biography of Dard Hunter

By Cathleen A. Baker
Northport, AL: 2000. Edition of 150.

7 x 11"; 368 pages. Two volumes housed in a cloth-covered clamshell box. Quarter-bound in leather with printed pattern papers created from a single leaf & stem punch cut by the author. John DePol cut the Hunter portrait in wood. Michael and Winifred Bixler cast the types. Kathryn and Howard Clark and Travis Becker made the paper. Dard Hunter III made the endsheets using his grandfather's Bull's Head & Branch watermarked mould. Book designed and printed by Steve Miller and Cathleen Baker. Plate volume printed by Meriden-Stinehour. Both the text and the plate volumes bound by Gray Parrot. Box by Judi Conant. Includes an index, a descriptive bibliography (271-286) and bibliographical references (296-320). 124 black-and-white and color illustrations of Dard Hunter’s work reproduced in second volume.

Red Hydra Press: "Dard Hunter (1883-1966) is best known as the paper historian whose writings form the cornerstone of our knowledge about world handmade paper history, technology, and materials. In order to gather firsthand knowledge about the making of paper, he traveled the world collecting tools, equipment, raw materials and paper samples. Through his Mountain House Press, he published his knowledge of world papermaking though a number of important limited edition handmade volumes, which have formed the foundation of today's renaissance in hand papermaking and related crafts. The Dard Hunter Collection forms the foundation of the Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology in Atlanta, Georgia....

"While Hunter wrote his autobiography, later followed by a biography of his father by Dard Hunter II, BY HIS OWN LABOR represents the first extensive critical biography. The book carefully chronicles his life and work, and evaluates his legacy."

This Red Hydra publication is based on the 10,000 non-book items in Hunter’s previously unexamined archives. Cathleen Baker, a paper conservator and teacher, lived for three years in the northeast tower of Hunter’s Mountain House while cataloguing and researching these materials.


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Collaborative book projects with Cuban artists  
To Sit With Animals
Linocuts by Sigfredo Mendoza
Words by Mary Wehner
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2013. Edition of 40.

2.75 x 2.75"; 18 pages. Miniature book with eight poems and eight linocuts. Letterpress printed in Century Schoolbook on paper from French Paper Co. Bound in wrapper of Mohawk paper. Designed, letterpress-printed, and handbound by Steve Miller. Signed and numbered by the poet.

Steve Miller: "This is my fourth collaboration with Wisconsin poet Mary Wehner, and the second with Havana-born Sigfredo Mendoza. I met the artist while working on artist book projects in Cuba. He became a friend and has visited Tuscaloosa twice. On a recent visit I gave him eight linoleum blocks and asked him to cut them as he saw fit. I then sent proofs of the blocks to the poet, and, Voila!, a book was born.

"Note to self: It is much harder to make a miniature book."



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The Dogs of Havana
By Cade Collum
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2008. Edition of 75.

5.25 x 7.75", 24 pages. Printed letterpress on Nideggen mouldmade paper at Penland School of Crafts by Steve Miller, in Bembo types from photopolymer printing plates. Seventy-five copies, of which fifteen have been specially bound in boards by Anna Embree, the rest in wraps by the printer.

Seven new poems by Cade Collum, written in response to eight linocuts created by Cuban Julio Cesar Peña Peralta. Bilingual (Spanish/English; translated from the original English by Maria Vargas.

Red Hydra Press: "This project began when, over the past four years, Alabama book artist Steve Miller, inspired by these lost animals, began photographing the small, feral dogs found on the streets of Havana, Cuba. Miller took some of the photographs to Havana and met with Julio Peralta, a well-known artist working at Taller Experimental de Grafica in Old Havana. Peralta took the challenge and created these evocative and pensive linocuts. [In 2006] Miller showed the linocuts to the Alabama poet Cade Collum, who began working on a suite of poems that would complement the spirit of the images. Once the poems were made, Maria Vargas translated them into Spanish and making the book began.

"Each linocut … is printed in black, with a different, brightly-colored background. The poems have been visually shaped to complement the linocuts."

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By Dan Kaplan
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: 2005. Edition of 75.

5.5 x 8.5", 6 pages. Letterpress printed. Covers were printed in Havana, Cuba. Four linocuts. A handmade paper envelope designed by Ann Embree encloses the chapbook.

Dan Kaplan is former editor-in-chief of Black Warrior Review, whose poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Third Coast, Indiana Review, and Quarterly West.

“Today you are the man your mother pleaded / you not become….”

Another publication stemming from the relationship the University of Alabama Book Arts program has developed with Cuban artists, this chapbook is in a bilingual edition of three new poems by Kaplan translated into Spanish by Maria Vargas, with linocut illustrations by Cuban artist Julio Cesar Peña Perez.
$175 (7 copies remaining)

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Page last update: 08.01.16


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