The Hyphen is a Dagger: Poets and Printers in Collaboration

With Pat Randle, Angie Butler and SJ Fowler

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Location: St Bride Foundation and Online via Zoom

In-person time (GMT):
Doors/bar: 18:15
Talk: 19:00-20:30
In-person tickets: £8.50, £11.00, £13.00

Online time (GMT):
Online tickets: £4.50, £6.50
Please note: you will be emailed the Zoom link at 18:00 GMT on the day of the talk.

Book tickets HERE

Celebrating the possibilities of collaboration between printers and poets, this special event sees the launch of a remarkable new limited edition publication – The Hyphen is a Dagger – from Nomad Letterpress and AB Press. Conceived, authored and printed by Pat Randle, Angie Butler, SJ Fowler, together, from the ground up, this work is a rare example of print and poetry working in symbiosis, rather than on commission or as illustration.

Following a performance to the mark the release, a moderated discussion will explore the unique process that led to the book’s conception and creation. In addition, five guest performers will open the night, all sharing work in kind.

About the book
A distinctive, eccentric, playful work of literature, The Hyphen is a Dagger is a product of a unique collaborative project between printers and poets – Angie Butler, Pat Randle and SJ Fowler. This publication was made with the letterpress process as both constraint and guide, using wood-letter from the stores of the legendary Whittington Press in the heart of the Cotswolds. Working to vocabularies and sorts available to hand, the poems were written by Fowler to be then edited, whilst being set, across a series of collaborative on- press sessions over 2022 and 2023.

The poems themselves relate to the place of their making, centring around the real-life crusader Sir Richard de Croupes, whose tomb adjoins the press at St Bartholomew’s Church. Guillaume, the hero of the story, was the first recorded troubadour. The typefaces are from a unique collection sourced from the Cambridge University Press and date back to the golden age of letterpress printing. Most were manufactured by the Delittle Foundry in York and each face contained within this project is identified in the margin of the page. This publication is an outstanding example of what is possible when writers and printers work together with simultaneous purpose; unlocking the creative potential of contemporary prose within the confines of letterpress printing.

Angie Butler is an artist-printer and practice-led scholar with a particular interest in small publishing, artists’ books, and embodied research. She utilises the letterpress process and the book as collaborative spaces– to connect people and language through a haptic environment. Angie is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Print Research (CFPR) at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.

SJ Fowler is a writer, poet and performer who lives in London. His work aims to encapsulate an expansive understanding of what poetry and literature can be – exploring the textual, visual, asemic, concrete, sonic, collaborative, performative, improvised, curatorial - through 40 publications, 200 performances in over 40 countries, 4 large scale event programs, numerous commissions, collaborations and more.

Pat Randle runs Nomad Letterpress from The Whittington Press. They specialise in printing books by letterpress and have a fully equipped Monotype department operated by Ellen Bills and Neil Winter. The metal type used in this publication was cast here.

We would like to thank Google and The Wynkyn de Worde Society Charitable Trust for their generosity in sponsoring this lecture.