Old Bonaventure [Newfoundland] | Parry Sound [Ontario]: The Church Street Press, 2021. Tall quarto, 34.5 x 25.4 cm. Cased in quarter green linen and green and blue ‘seaweed’ paste-paper over boards. The paste-paper and binding were done by Don Taylor. Lettering stamped in gilt to the spine. The endpapers are periwinkle blue and were handmade by Papeterie Saint-Armand using lichen “collected in the hills above Old Bonaventure.” Top edges trimmed, others untrimmed. pp.  11-81 ; included in the pagination are 17 double-leaves of handmade Iwami White Japanese paper, each printed with a wood engraving on one side; the illustrated double-leaves were inset and sewn into the text-block. A fine copy. The text was handset in 18 pt Cloister Old Style with 24 pt Cochin used for display. Printed on Saint-Armand handmade paper. The text is illustrated with a total of 19 wood engravings by Alan Stein, including a frontispiece hand-coloured in blue, red, yellow, green, and pink. The frontispiece was printed on Gampi Torinoko and tipped to the title spread verso. All of the engravings were printed from the blocks. 17 accompany the poems and were printed individually on a double-leaf of Iwami White paper. A vignette, suggesting snow and rain, was printed in blue over the title on the title-page. The vignette is excluded from the number of engravings given above. From an edition of 60 copies, this being number 17. Singed in pencil by Alan Stein and Des Walsh on the colophon page.
Loosely inserted is a copy of the original prospectus, embellished a wood engraving by Alan Stein; the engraving is repeated on the book’s half-title. The prospectus was printed on one side of a trimmed sheet of Saint-Armand paper; it is once-folded and measures roughly 48.5 x 16.6 cm open. Item #352
“Newfoundlander Des Walsh, a key participant in the St. John’s cultural rebirth of the 1970s, has six books of poetry published including Seasonal Bravery, The Singer’s Broken Throat and the acclaimed Love and Savagery, which was adapted for a motion picture by Morag Films in 2009.
Walsh is also a noted screenwriter, playwright and musician. He scripted the mini-series adaptation of Bernice Morgan’s Random Passage and Waiting for Time. Awards include a Gemini, a New York Festival Award, Italy’s Umbria Fiction Award, and Best Series (Cannes International TV Festival), all for co-writing The Boys of St. Vincent.
The 18 poems in this collection are ‘intensely lyrical, exploring the intersection of relationships and place, between images of lichen-covered rocks and angels, a persistent motif is the tortured emotions of one trying to be “sure of his place” especially in the seeking, losing, and reclaiming of love.’” (from the prospectus).