Born in the Sky- Letterpress Poems by Pediatric Patients

Here at Boxcar Press we love hearing stories of letterpress doing good! We were honored when asked to donate our photopolymer plates to a letterpress printing project headed by the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle. The School of Visual Concepts teamed up with Seattle Arts and Lectures through their Writers in the School’s program. Working with a local children’s hospital they planned to create poetry broadsides with children who are terminally ill. We were privileged to be included and gladly donated our photopolymer plates. It’s an amazingly moving project (try reading over the poetry and keeping your eyes dry), and it reminds us of how cool the letterpress community is, and what great things we can all accomplish together.

The children wrote poems as part of a legacy project. The poems were printed as letterpress broadsides and included in a portfolio. Everyone pitched in on this project, from 12 letterpress printers volunteering their time, Mohawk Papers donated the paper, and a book cloth company (Ecological Fibers) donated materials for creating the actual portfolio.



Each child’s family will receive several copies and the others will be distributed to local children’s groups and hospitals to be auctioned off as a fundraiser. There is a limited edition of 75 on each.



Many thanks to all who were involved: Seattle Arts & Lectures,  Seattle Children’s Hospital, School of Visual Concepts, Mohawk Fine Papers, Puget Bindery, Ecological Fibers, Boxcar Press.


Fine Press Broadside: When Poetry and Letterpress Meet

One of the coolest collaborations Boxcar is proud to be a part of is our sweet partnership with the YMCA’s Downtown Writer’s Center here in Syracuse. In 2002, the Downtown Writer’s Center launched a broadside series as fundraiser for their reading series. Two poets are selected annually and Boxcar’s own Harold Kyle takes the lead on designing and printing the broadsides in support of the series.

This recent broadside is for Jane Hirshfield’s poem, “Critique of Pure Reason” and Phil Memmer of the Downtown Writer’s Center calls it one of his favorites from the series. As Phil notes, “The detail in both the border and background is marvelous, and serves to echo the subject of the poem…and the careful way in which the poem itself is presented is simply perfect.” Phil also shares that the best commentary on the broadside might be from Jane herself, who gasped aloud when she first saw it – we love that!

You can check out other broadsides in the series in our letterpress portfolio. The Jane Hirshfield broadside, $25, and others in the series are available through the Downtown Writer’s Center by emailing