Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book Arts Fair in Toronto

The Printmaking Department of OCAD University organizes its 29th annual Book Arts Fair on Saturday, November 30, between 10 a.m and 5 p.m. in the Great Hall at 100 McCaul St in Toronto. Book artists, publishers, suppliers and students introduce their own original handmade books and publications for the public to browse and admire. The event also includes live performances, poetry readings and kid friendly craft workshops.

Admission is by donation, but generosity is much appreciated since the proceeds go toward supporting the Printmaking Department proposals and awards. Aboveground Art Supplies also contributed to the success of the Fair.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Beauty of the Book exhibit at UBC

UBC Libraries and UBC Press put together a new exhibit that hosts some of the most creative and well-designed books of 2013. Some of them come from the Book, Jacket, and Journal Show organized by the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) and consists of publications that were considered extraordinary both in design and production by judges in New York. Others come from our own Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada, going on their worldwide tour that includes Germany and Japan. So if you missed the opportunity to see these winners at other events, you have one more chance.

The exhibit opens with a reception and refreshments on Monday, December 2, 5-7 p.m., at Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Concourse and is open through December 13.

No matter how dependent we are on digital technologies, nothing can replace the soft touch of paper and the character of a beautifully-printed page. Charming covers and rustling pages are a treat for eyes, ears and fingers.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Judith Poirier acclaimed at the Ottawa International Animation Festival

For the Alcuin members who are avid readers of Amphora, Judith Poirier is no stranger. They should be familiar with her name and talents from Marlene Chan's excellent article, Enthusiasms and Eccentricities, published in our latest issue. The article examines Judith's approach of teaching book design at Université du Québec à Montréal. However, this September, Judith's experimental work, in which she uses print and film side by side, won her the Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival for Two Weeks - Two Minutes.

The project was developed while she was in residency at the Center for Book and Paper Arts in Chicago and consists of a movie and a book that are a reflection of each other. The animation movie and its soundtrack were created by printing on celluloid using letterpress. The book was printed directly on the press using the collection of wood and metal type belonging to the Center.

Judith Poirier also received an Alcuin Honourable Mention in 2009 in the Limited Edition category for her typographical work in Dialogue.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Details of the Book Auction on Nov 16

For those interested in attending the Alcuin Book Auction on Nov 16, 1 p.m. at the UBC Golf Club, here are a few more reasons why they should come, other than their love of beautiful books, and appreciation of a good bargain.

We mentioned this is going to be fun, and you probably wonder how fun an auction can be.

First, you will be treated like a real bidder. As you come in, you will be given a paddle with a number, which will be your main tool as you play the auction game like a pro. You will have the opportunity to delicately wave it in style every time you bid on one of your favourites. Fear not, we accept cash, cheques or VISA at the end, so you can spend at your leisure, be it $10 or $200.

You should be prepared for a torrent of jokes and banter. The auctioneer, John King of J. King, Bookseller, coming all the way from Garden Bay on the Sunshine Coast, has an incredibly
wicked sense of humour. He will be assisted by our own Alcuin board director Ralph Stanton, Librarian Emeritus, with his flair for spontaneous jokes rooted in actuality.

Since there are more than 200 books on auction, it is impossible to go through all of them. Therefore, at the beginning of the auction, bidders are going to identify the books they are interested in, so that we make sure they go on auction. The bidding starts at half the price of the book, and could go up or down, depending on the interest. A very interesting feature is The Book that is Impossible to Sell category, which includes the most extravagant book deemed by the auctioneers as the least desirable. Ironically, The Book That is Impossible to Sell always sells.

Happy bidding and have a great time at the auction!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Lake District Digital Project at SFU

Margaret Linley and her collaborators took on the impressive project of digitizing the archive of the Lake District books existent at Special Collections at Simon Fraser University, also having in mind the connections between the bibliographical and digital environments. On Wednesday, November 20, she will talk about the details of this venture, with special emphasis on the debates that plague digital humanities. The event takes place at the Simon Fraser University campus in Burnaby -- see the poster below for more information. The talk is free and open to the public.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

UBC exhibit and talk on the Oxford English Dictionary

As English is the most spoken language in the world, an exhibition that tracks the evolution of the English-language dictionaries can only be compelling. The Rare Books and Special Collections department of the UBC library banks on this when it presents the exhibit called The Road to the Oxford English Dictionary, showing how dictionaries evolved and changed as to get to the comprehensive masterpiece that is nowadays the Oxford English Dictionary. The exhibit is free to the public and open November 7 to December 24.

To accompany this exhibit, Stefan Dollinger, assistant professor of English language at UBC, will give a talk called The Oxford English Dictionary, the Grimm Brothers, and Miley Cyrus on November 15 at 12 p.m. He will provide a short history of the dictionary, and discuss the range of words that are, and should or should not be included in this staple representation of the English language. The talk is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Reminder: Alcuin Book Auction on Nov 16

The deadline for signing up for the lunch preceding the Book Auction has been extended to November 11. This is your chance to browse the books before the auction and chat with fellow book lovers.

If you decide to skip the lunch, you are still welcome to attend the auction, and bid on your favourites from a selection of more than 200 books, of all kinds and sizes, tastes and prices, each and every one of them exquisitely produced. You can find more information here.

All proceeds go towards funding next year's awards, so we thank you for supporting the Alcuin Book Awards. As a non-profit organization, the Alcuin Society relies solely on the resources and passion of its members.

Monday, November 04, 2013

David Zieroth at Vancouver Public Library

Alcuin Society and Vancouver Public Library have the pleasure to invite you to meet David Zieroth on Wednesday, November 20, at 7 pm. He will read an excerpt from his latest book, The November Optimist, published by Gaspereau Press. He will also talk about his previous book, Palominos, as well as his collaboration with Gaspereau Press. The event will take place at the Central branch, on 350 West Georgia Street.

David Zieroth won the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry for The Fly in Autumn. His work reflects his own life journey, dotted with rural scenery and profound meditation. He currently lives in North Vancouver, where he also owns a small press, the Alfred Gustav Press.