Ampersand ~ Italy
(Alessandro Zanella 1955 – 2012)

Alessandro Zanella: "I have been printing limited edition books on a handpress for many years here in Italy, in Verona. First of all under the imprint Plain Wrapper Press with Richard-Gabriel Rummonds, then, under Ampersand, the imprint of my personal private press."

Poesie Verticali
By Maria Luisa Spaziani
Verona: Ampersand , 2009. Edition of 80.

32.5 x 21 cm (12.8 x 8.3"); 32 pages. Trinite Bram de Does typeface. Letterpress printed on Hahnemühle paper in black and blue inks. Etchings printed in relief using Prussian blue ink. Quadrants hard coated canvas with dark blue fillets dry on all four edges. Enclosed in a chemise with three quadrants. Bound in half black cloth and gray paper.

Poems by Maria Luisa Spaziani, engravings by Marina Bindella, design and printing by Alessandro Zanella.

Maria Concetta Petrolla Pagliarani, Director, Library Vallicelliana: "The verses of which are mentioned in the title are 'vertical' to indicate the spiritual, sometimes religious in the strict sense, poetic appearance given by the figure of Maria Luisa Spaziani, one of the most important poets on the contemporary Italian landscape. … Very special in [this] work is the interaction between the content and the design and typography in which the poem is expressed. Here, in fact, the story is not transmitted only by verses from the written text, but also and above all, the story of words and figures: this is the book itself, in its materiality … which exceeds the sum words and images. ….The combination of text and graphics in … is emphasized even more by the printing of Alessandro Zanella, a printer in the old sense of the term. "

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Ecce Video
By Valerio Magrelli
Verona: Ampersand, 2006. Edition of 100.

33 x 22cm (12.9 x 8.7"); 24 pages. Accordion structure. Eight linoleum engravings performed on two incisions on the cover pages. Pages printed recto only. Text typeface Legacy Sans by Ronald Arnholm. Frontispiece and title character display designed by Alessandro Zanella for this edition. Text printed on white polyethylene fiber DuPont Tyvek. Printed with arrays of photopolymer on a Vandercook press. Engravings printed at the factory in black and white. Assembled in the workshop as a "Leporello" coupling support text on black card with rubbery finish. Engravings printed in black on a white plate on the front and black on a black plate on the rear. Housed in a clear Plexiglas enclosure. Title internally silkscreened on the back. Laid in corrugated cardboard fold box.

Eight poems in Italian by Magrelli (winner of the Mondello Prize, the Viareggio Prize, and the Montale Prize) with illustrations by Lucio Passerini.


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Poemi Lirici
By Riccardo Bacchelli
Verona: Ampersand, 2002. Edition of 100.

31 x 21 cm (12.2 x 8.3"); 5 4 pages. Letterpress printed on a Vandercook proof press. Digitally set in Rialto df and Kabel. Printed on Magnani handmade wove paper. Text in Italian. Hand-painted soft paper wrappers decorated with a large woodcut. Laid in a chemise. Enclosed in a slipcase. Signed by the artist.

Six long poems in Italian by Riccardo Bacchelli, champion of the Renaissance and 19th-century style, with a note by Sandro Bortone. With eighteen woodcuts and collages by Tomaso Cascella.


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Anna Livia Plurabelle
By James Joyce
Verona: Ampersand / Officina Chimèrea, 2001. Edition of 110.

18 x 25 cm. (7.1 x 9.8"); 50 pages. Letterpress printed on paper made by Magnani of Pescia. English text followed by Italian translation by James Joyce and Nino Frank. Etching by Valerio Adami. Slipcased.

This version of Anna Livia Plurabelle includes the English original and the Italian reworking that original done by Joyce, who had an intimate knowledge of Italian from his Trieste years, and his good friend the Italian intellectual Nino Franc. This book was printed on the occasion of five American institutions (the Universities of Nevada, Oregon, San Francisco, Utah, and Washington) hosting Ampersand and Officina Chimèrea in the spring of 2001.

Afterword: "The decorated paper for the binding was inspired by a 1930s motif and was printed in relief from an original cardboard cut.

"The horizontal format and the lack of line justification alternately on the left and on the right are in keeping with the flowing of the riverrun/fluidofiume, mirroring the course of the River Liffey, as well as of the numerous other rivers mentioned in Anna Livia Plurabelle."

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By Yannis Ritsos
Verona: Ampersand, 1990. Edition of 80.

28 x 35 cm (11 x 13.8"); 37 pages. Printed on an 1854 Stanhope handpress by Alessandro Zanella . Text in Modern Greek and English on facing pages. Printed on dampened Cortiere Milani paper in Antigone and Lutetia types . English translation by Nikos Stangos. With two woodcuts and a screenprint on the front and back covers by Joe Tilson. Bound in illustrated hardcovers.

Poetry by Yannis Ritsos (Greek poet and left-wing activist); illustrations by Joe Tilson (British painter, sculptor, and printmaker); translation by Nikos (Greek-British editor, publisher, and poet).

An elegant bilingual production of Ritsos's vision of the complex Greek goddess.

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Page last update: 12.29.12


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