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Red Hydra Press ~ Alabama
(Steve Miller)


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University of Alabama, “Steve Miller’s Red Hydra Press works are sized to read and read often, and mean to share the maker’s passion for each text. The collaboration between letterpress printer, author, and artist is key to each limited edition handmade book. The pieces are lively material manifestations of the text, and the accompanying art stands on its own. Contemporary poets are often presented bilingually and dynamically in English and Spanish.”

SFCB - From the Bench of Steve Miller / Red Hydra Press: “Printer Steve Miller talks about his path from aspiring poet to letterpress printer, book designer, and bookbinder, telling anecdotes and sharing pictures of his work as Red Ozier Press and Red Hydra Press.”


Broadsides by Red Hydra Press
Red Ozier Press books by Steve Miller
Parallel Editions projects at the University of Alabama
Projects with Cuban artists


Exactitude Along the Water
Poems by Mary Wehner with drawings by Jane Marshall
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2023. Edition of 50.

Measuring 4' x 6.5" the three sewn signatures of Biblio Text paper are bound in a letterpress-printed paper wrapper. Garamond types were chosen for this text. Bound in Kahdi Indian handmade papers. All the work of design, paper cutting, letterpress printing, and binding by hand was done by Steve Miller. The books are signed by author and the artist and are numbered 1-50.

Steve Miller: “This is a special book of fierce and earthy poems by Wisconsin poet Mary Wehner, with dynamic drawings by Alabama artist Jane Marshall. Mary and Jane were paired in an earlier book, or the opposite, and truly enjoy working off each other's energy.

“As is true of all Red Hydra book project, the printer/publisher needed to fall in love with the words and the drawings before committing them to book form. It takes too much time and hard work to not be convinced of the strength of both. The journey from idea to final bound books is a long one and cannot be done unless there is a strong belief in the power of the poems and the artist’ vision for the drawings. The two collaborators have spent a lifetime each in exploring their craft and art and it comes together powerfully and beautifully in this book. “

Many lovely verses and drawings in this small book of poetry. One such verse is “The Forest Book” -

A squirrel’s tail spins
Like a ball of string along
The lichen stones

Where wind moves freely
Among the hickories
Blowing nuts in fragrant circles

Across a carpet of homespun
Velvet green, thin threads
Of an ongoing history

Written in every spider web
Hung in every forest tree
For only a special few to read

About Mary: "Mary Wehner is a painter and a poet. Based in Wisconsin, she has exhibited her paintings regionally and locally and has collaborated with artists, poets and writers in the U.S. and Cuba. She has authored three letterpress poetry chapbooks and four broadsides published by Red Hydra Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She has published in various literary magazines and anthologies and was nominated for a Pushcart in poetry and awarded Poet-in-Residence for two sessions at Penland School of the Craft in North Carolina. She considers both poetry and painting as a way to attend to the world around her."

About Jane: "Jane Marshall is an artist of great versatility and depth. She is a painter, printmaker, sculptor, fabric and book artist who delves deeply into her subject matter including nature and the great themes and figures of history, mythology and literature. Jane is deeply involved in the natural environment, she spends hours at a time in one spot quietly observing and drawing the wild and plant life around her before beginning."

About Steve: "Steve Miller founded the Red Ozier Press in 1976, a fine press devoted to creating literary first editions in handmade limited editions. In 1988 Miller joined The University of Alabama faculty(now retired). He taught letterpress printing and hand papermaking and was the coordinator of the MFA Book Arts Program, School of Library & Information Studies, in the College of Communication and Information Science. His current Red Hydra Press books include numerous collaborations with Cuban artists and authors. Since 1976 he has worked with Nobel Prize honorees, National Book Award winners, U.S. poet laureates, and many other contemporary poets and artists.”

Exactitude Along the Water book
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These Winds Rarely Dial Down
By Steve Miller
Drawings by Eric Coleman
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2018. Edition of 50.

2.9 x 2.9"; 48 pages. Miniature. Letterpress printed. Bound in decorated paper-covered boards with cloth spine. Numbered. Initialed by Miller and Coleman.

Colophon: "This is a collaboration between Steve Miller & Eric Coleman. For years Steve was drawn to the mysterious Castillo de la Real Fuerza at the edge of Havana Harbor. This is the result of the blending of tales of the Castillo with many trips to Cuba between 2001 & 2017. A very special thanks to Dr. Jose Vazquez Rodriguez, who noted of one part of the text, 'This is only a legend, historically it was impossible, but many people still believe in this romantic issue. We are believers.'"

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nails and bullets
By Steve Miller
Photographs by david sorrell
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2017. Edition of 60.

6 x 9.25; 32 pages. Typeface: Poliphilus. Designed and letterpress printed by Steve Miller. Binding designed by Anna Embree. Photographs printed at Puritan Press Inc. using a digital tritone process. Bound in maroon book cloth. Numbered. Signed by Miller and Sorrell.

Steve Miller: "When I first saw David Sorrell's photographic figures they took me back to my early 20's. I was deeply passionate about poetry, art, books, architecture, landscape and nature - basically wildly interested in everything and not understanding how to channel it into something tangible. ... At the same time I was becoming fully aware of my attraction to men. I don't remember being confused or in denial about it. It just was, and it had a strong gravitational pull.

"I recently found a briefcase full of things from that time in my life - 1973 - 1975. Letters, class notes, landscape plans, prose wonderings, and poems full of questions. In reading them I met the young man I was then, a boy who was thrilled, full of energy, and confused, but pulling the oars ahead through fog. Years later novelist Joseph Hansen sent me one of his books with its smart, gay insurance investigator, and inscribed, 'At 16 I bent down to pick a flower, and when I stood up I was 60.' Instigated by encountering Sorrel's photos are words that come from an earlier life."

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Words by Mary Wehner
Illustrations by Alejandro Sainz
Design by Steve Miller
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2016. Edition of 55.

3.5 x 5.5"; 20 pages. Linocuts. Letterpress printed. Sewn binding. Bound in paper wrapper with linocut illustration. Binding structure based on design by Anna Embree. Numbered. Signed by Wehner. Design and printing by Steve Miller. Text by Mary Wehner. Illustrations by Alejandro Sainz.

Steve Miller: "Cuban artist Alejandro Sainz cut seven linocuts for Red Hydra Press. Proofs of the cuts were sent to Wisconsin poet Mary Wehner, who created seven word swarms to accompany the images. This is a book that evokes the Malecón in Havana, as well as the lakes of the Midwest. It is simple and powerful."

Alejandro Sainz works at the Taller Experimental de Grafica in Havana. He has participated in other collaborations with Steve Miller and the University of Alabama Press, as well as with Red Trillium Press. Mary Wehner, a painter and writer from Wisconsin, has worked with Steve Miller on other publications by Red Hydra Press - "...or the opposite" (a chapbook) and "Broken Shells at Dusk" (a broadside).

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By Steve Miller
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2016. Edition of 46.

2.75 x 2.75"; 24 pages. Miniature. Letterpress printed. Type is Scala Pro and Scala Sans Pro. Printed on Mohawk Text paper. Handbound in Khadi Indian handmade paper wrappers with green endpapers. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Red Hydra Press: "Zeke is the touching story of three friends, a pit bull, and a tornado. It is illustrated with two photographs of the boy dog. This is the second miniature book that Miller has created based upon experiencing the catastrophic 2011 Alabama tornado."

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Until That Yellow Bird Returns
Text by Jeff Hardin
drawings by Katie Baldwin
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2015. Edition of 45.

3.5"; 82 pages. Letterpress printed. Bound in cloth over boards. Numbered. Signed by the poet.

Colophon: "Designed and letterpress printed by Steve Miller in Scala types on dampened Arches Text Wove paper. The binding design and production supervision is by Anna Embree, goddess of all things bound. Special Thanks to the poet and the artist for their willingness to play."

Red Hydra Press: "100, 5-line poems by Tennessee poet Jeff Hardin, each on its own page, … Katie Baldwin has contributed eleven somewhat translucent one-, two-, and three-color line drawings that define each section of the book. This is a hand-sized, hefty volume of thought-provoking words."

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By Billy Collins
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2014. Edition of 65.

2.75 x 2.75" miniature book. Letterpress printed by Steve Miller in three sections, sewn, consolidated, then wrapped in handmade paper. Printed in Centaur and Charlemagne types. Printed and wrapped in four papers made at Papeterie St. Armand in Montréal. Signed by the poet. Numbered.

Steve Miller: "Billy Collins penned a sweet new poem, and this is its first appearance."

I slid past a pencil drawing of a young girl,
a white marble status of a warrior
as well as a vase that had managed to remain
unshattered for over three thousand years …


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Twelve Fables
By Rodney Jones
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2014. Edition of 55.

5 x 8”; 24 pages. The binding has been designed and largely executed by Anna Embree. Sewn and enclosed in Indian handmade paper wrappers stiffened with thin boards. Letterpress printed by Steve Miller on dampened Arches Text paper. Signed by both author and artist on the colophon. Numbered.

A collaborative effort of printer, poet and artist – Steve Miller, Rodney Jones, and Dana Moore.

Steve Miller: "A book of sweet fables by Rodney Jones accompanied by ten gorgeous bird nests by Dana Moore."

Poetry Foundation: "Rodney Jones was born in 1950 in rural Alabama. He has described his childhood and youth as 'very much like being a part of another age. Our community still did not have electricity until I was 5 or 6 years old.' His poetry frequently celebrates the relationships and events of the small, agrarian community he was born into, as well as preserves the kinds of vernacular speech he grew up hearing. ... Jones’s work is known for its investigation of place and memory, and its use of narrative, anecdote, and image.

"Jones studied at the University of Alabama and the University of North Carolina, where he earned his MFA. Since 1985 he has taught at the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where he is professor of English."

Dana Moore is an artist living in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. The illustrations for "Twelve Fables" are from her series "Nests."

Dana Moore: "I create my work in series that establish relationships between images and between series. I think of all of these projects as relating to home — how we create it to reflect our lives and encompass our memories."

The eagle above the house,
which on further inspection
turned out to be a vulture,
remains an eagle in my poem.

For years it has been an eagle,
To change it back to what
it was would only remind me
how little that fact matters …


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To Sit With Animals
Linocuts by Sigfredo Mendoza
Words by Mary Wehner
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2013. Edition of 40.

2.75 x 2.75"; 18 pages. Miniature book with eight poems and eight linocuts. Letterpress printed in Century Schoolbook on paper from French Paper Co. Bound in wrapper of Mohawk paper. Designed, letterpress-printed, and handbound by Steve Miller. Signed and numbered by the poet.

Steve Miller: "This is my fourth collaboration with Wisconsin poet Mary Wehner, and the second with Havana-born Sigfredo Mendoza. I met the artist while working on artist book projects in Cuba. He became a friend and has visited Tuscaloosa twice. On a recent visit I gave him eight linoleum blocks and asked him to cut them as he saw fit. I then sent proofs of the blocks to the poet, and, Voila!, a book was born.

"Note to self: It is much harder to make a miniature book."

$75 (Last 2 copies)


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Lion Froth Crown
By Cade Collum
Drawings by Craig Wedderspoon
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2012. Edition of 45 + 9 artist proofs.

6.25 x 9"; 48 pages. Printed in Deepdene types on French Gray Grout and Neenah UV Ultra II papers. Bound in silver book cloth over boards by Anna Embree, with a Wedderspoon drawing printed letterpress onto the book cloth.

Steve Miller: "Lion Froth Crown is a collaboration begun in 2011, finished in 2013, and released in 2014 between author Cade Collum, bookbinder Anna Embree, letterpress printer Steve Miller, and artist Craig Wedderspoon. Weaving all the parts of this book together was a lengthy process. All four artists put their heads together to build the book out, beginning with the text. Some of the poems and drawings were printed on the translucent Neenah paper, so there is a subtle and sometimes dramatic relationship between pages, as parts of images or poems are revealed beneath the page being viewed."

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. ...or the opposite
By Mary Wehner
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2007. Edition of 75.

5 x 7.25", 30 pages. Letterpress printed in Chaparral Pro types and photopolymer printing plates. Printed in twelve colors. Text paper is Hahnemühle Biblio, the wrappers Khadi Indian handmade. Designed, letterpress printed, and hand-bound by Steve Miller.

Twelve new poems by Wisconsin writer Mary Wehner with a suite of drawings by Alabama artist Jane Marshall.

Red Hydra Press: "The poems and drawings are printed over several low relief Sandaragraph plates made by the printer from natural objects collected from the perimeter of the letterpress studio at the Penland School of Crafts, where this book was printed. Chaparral digital types were printed on dampened Biblio papers. The three-signature books were hand bound with brilliant green Khadi Indian handmade paper endsheets, tucked into printed periwinkle Khadi wrappers.

"This chapbook collaboration began as a conversation between printer and author about qualities of nature, humanity, and balance found in the poet's work. Once a decision was made publish a selection of new poems, there was no artist other than Jane who came to mind. Jane's drawings, prints, and paintings are well known for their strong connection to the plant and animal world. Conversations between poet, artist, and printer commenced. The resulting work is alive with their dialog."

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By His Own Labor:
The Biography of Dard Hunter

By Cathleen A. Baker
Northport, AL: 2000. Edition of 150.

7 x 11"; 368 pages. Two volumes housed in a cloth-covered clamshell box. Quarter-bound in leather with printed pattern papers created from a single leaf & stem punch cut by the author. John DePol cut the Hunter portrait in wood. Michael and Winifred Bixler cast the types. Kathryn and Howard Clark and Travis Becker made the paper. Dard Hunter III made the endsheets using his grandfather's Bull's Head & Branch watermarked mould. Book designed and printed by Steve Miller and Cathleen Baker. Plate volume printed by Meriden-Stinehour. Both the text and the plate volumes bound by Gray Parrot. Box by Judi Conant. Includes an index, a descriptive bibliography (271-286) and bibliographical references (296-320). 124 black-and-white and color illustrations of Dard Hunter’s work reproduced in second volume.

Red Hydra Press: "Dard Hunter (1883-1966) is best known as the paper historian whose writings form the cornerstone of our knowledge about world handmade paper history, technology, and materials. In order to gather firsthand knowledge about the making of paper, he traveled the world collecting tools, equipment, raw materials and paper samples. Through his Mountain House Press, he published his knowledge of world papermaking though a number of important limited edition handmade volumes, which have formed the foundation of today's renaissance in hand papermaking and related crafts. The Dard Hunter Collection forms the foundation of the Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology in Atlanta, Georgia....

"While Hunter wrote his autobiography, later followed by a biography of his father by Dard Hunter II, BY HIS OWN LABOR represents the first extensive critical biography. The book carefully chronicles his life and work, and evaluates his legacy."

This Red Hydra publication is based on the 10,000 non-book items in Hunter’s previously unexamined archives. Cathleen Baker, a paper conservator and teacher, lived for three years in the northeast tower of Hunter’s Mountain House while cataloguing and researching these materials.


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Collaborative book projects with Cuban artists

Linocuts by Ramón Vargas
Poems by David Sorrell
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2021. Edition of 45.

5 x 6.5”; 24 pages. Linocuts. Letterpress printed in Centaur types on Zerkall Book paper. . Bound in cloth boards with linocut on cover. Printed and bound by Steve Miller. Signed by poet and artist. Numbered.

Red Hydra Press: "Eight mysterious, figurative, magenta-colored linocuts by Cuban artist Ramón Vargas, with accompanying poems by David Sorrell. The pandemic flows beautifully and quietly through these words. A 5" x 6.5" letterpress-printed, vital book in three sections, bound by Miller in passionate, magenta-colored cloth over boards, with a linocut printed on the front cover. The printer describes ‘Dreams’ as a ‘mystery book that rests easily in the hand’.”

Colophon: “Cuban artist Ramon Vargas cut these linocuts for the printer, given no direction about a theme. Poet David Sorrell then responded to these striking images.”

In the beginning, as we huddled in our houses,
clouds of sickness swirling outside the door,
it was mostly nightmares. My teeth dropping
from my mouth like broken headstrones,
toenails and hair slipping from their sockets,
or simply choking, gaspin awake with sheets wrapped, the tentacles pulling me deep, slowly release.




Dreams book
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The Kiss
Linocuts by Julio César Peña Peralta
Foreword by Steve Miller
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2021. Edition of 28.

13.75 x 10.25" closed; 10 leaves. Linocuts. Letterpress printed. Laid in portfolio enclosure with slip and slot closure. Binding cover with magnet closure. Signed by the artist on the title page. Signed by Miller on the foreward.

Red Hydra Press: "Eight large, erotic, skeletal linocuts by Cuban artist Peralta, with an introduction by Steve Miller, gathered, along with a title page and introductory page, into a silvery portfolio enclosure created by Anna Embree. This work can best be described as a Cuban Kamasutra. The title page is numbered and signed by the artist. This work has been in the hopper for five years while awaiting the linocuts, and then the pandemic, but well worth the wait for the maker. The letterpress work was done by Steve Miller at the Penland School of Craft."

Steve Miller, foreward: “Julio has an outsized personality – a big smile, a resounding voice, and amazing artistic talent. His work features skeletons – often whole scenes of people as skeletons.

“In 2014 I spoke with Julio about working with me on a Cuban Kamasutra – erotic prints with a skeletal twist. Being a passionate fellow he was immediately on board. … right away Julio drew out a plan for this devilish work. Years passed, and with each trip to the Taller I would ask him about it, and he would promise, “Soon!” with a big smile.

“In 2019, friends who visited the Taller were given a package from Julio to bring to me. Lo and Behold here were the prints - skeletons locked in eternal embrace. They were magnificent.”




The Kiss book
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La Carrera / The Race
By Omar Pérez
Translated by Kristin Dykstra
Linocuts by Ramón Vargas
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2018. Edition of 62.

6.25 x 9"; 45 pages. Includes seventeen 2-color linocuts. Text in Scala Pro type. Letterpress printed on Mohawk 100 lb. Text. Printed in English and Spanish. Bound in cloth over boards. Designed, letterpress printed and bound by Steve Miller. Signed by the artist, the poet, and printer. Numbered. Signed bookmark designed by the artist laid in.

Steve Miller: "This project began in Havana, Cuba and spanned two years of planning and making. I knew of and had heard the words of poet Omar Pérez, and visited him in his building overlooking the Malecon. He is a poet, musician, and artist, and is reputed to be the son of Che Guevara, a major figure of the Cuban revolution. We hatched the idea of the book there. Kristin Dykstra translated the words beautifully for this bilingual first edition.

"For several years I had been watching the artist Ramón Vargas at work at the Taller Experimental de Grafíca in Habana Vieja and knew I had to work with him. I showed him Omar’s manuscript and he was immediately excited to work on the project. On the next trip I took sheets of linoleum and cutting tools to him. When I returned to Havana I was shocked that, instead of contributing four of five images to the book, he had cut seventeen 2-color linocuts, 34 plates altogether! One for each of the seventeen poems. The proofs he made were amazing. They perfectly matched Omar’s poems. He and I spoke about sequence and colors, and production began. I am very pleased with how this book turned out. It is another complex collaborative book project with Cuban authors and artists that is very fulfilling.”

Omar Pérez (08/30/18): "The son of revolutionary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, poet, editor, and translator Omar Pérez was born and raised in Havana. He earned a degree in English at the University of Havana and studied Italian at the Universitá per Straniere di Siena. He has worked as a journalist for El Caimán Barbudo, and as an editor for the magazine La naranja dulce. A former member of the Cuban intellectual group Paideia, he edited the poetry magazine Mantis from 1994 to 1996. … Ordained as a Zen Buddhist monk, Pérez composes poems that engage languages, Zen, and political and cultural transcendence."

Kristin Dykstra (8.30.18): "Kristin Dykstra is a writer, literary translator, editor and scholar. She writes about people, places, and culture, with a special interest in motions and intersections amongst Americas. … She is Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Saint Michael's College in Vermont."

Ramon Vargas (8.30.18): "Ramon Vargas Artiz was born August 22, 1971. He is from the village Santiago de las Vegas, located in Boyeros, Havana, and he comes from a working-class family. He studied at the Elementary School of Art in Havana and then the provincial San Alejandro School of Arts where he graduated with a specialty in engraving. He subsequently became an independent creator and has been a professor of drawing and printmaking for more than 15 years. ... He is a member of the Experimental Workshop of Graphics in Havana."





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The Dogs of Havana
By Cade Collum
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2008. Edition of 75.

5.25 x 7.75", 24 pages. Printed letterpress on Nideggen mouldmade paper at Penland School of Crafts by Steve Miller, in Bembo types from photopolymer printing plates. Seventy-five copies, of which fifteen have been specially bound in boards by Anna Embree, the rest in wraps by the printer.

Seven new poems by Cade Collum, written in response to eight linocuts created by Cuban Julio Cesar Peña Peralta. Bilingual (Spanish/English; translated from the original English by Maria Vargas.

Red Hydra Press: "This project began when, over the past four years, Alabama book artist Steve Miller, inspired by these lost animals, began photographing the small, feral dogs found on the streets of Havana, Cuba. Miller took some of the photographs to Havana and met with Julio Peralta, a well-known artist working at Taller Experimental de Grafica in Old Havana. Peralta took the challenge and created these evocative and pensive linocuts. [In 2006] Miller showed the linocuts to the Alabama poet Cade Collum, who began working on a suite of poems that would complement the spirit of the images. Once the poems were made, Maria Vargas translated them into Spanish and making the book began.

"Each linocut … is printed in black, with a different, brightly-colored background. The poems have been visually shaped to complement the linocuts."

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By Dan Kaplan
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: 2005. Edition of 75.

5.5 x 8.5", 6 pages. Letterpress printed. Covers were printed in Havana, Cuba. Four linocuts. A handmade paper envelope designed by Ann Embree encloses the chapbook.

Dan Kaplan is former editor-in-chief of Black Warrior Review, whose poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Third Coast, Indiana Review, and Quarterly West.

“Today you are the man your mother pleaded / you not become….”

Another publication stemming from the relationship the University of Alabama Book Arts program has developed with Cuban artists, this chapbook is in a bilingual edition of three new poems by Kaplan translated into Spanish by Maria Vargas, with linocut illustrations by Cuban artist Julio Cesar Peña Perez.
$175 (Last 5 copies)

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Red Hydra Press SOLD / Out of Print Titles:  

The Devil Came to Alabama
Words by Voice Porter
Drawings by Alejandro Sainz Alfonso
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2021. Edition of 45.

5" x 8.25", 24 pages. Designed, letterpress printed, and bound in regal red cloth over boards by Steve Miller. Signed by author and artist. Numbered.

Steve Miller: "’The Devil Came to Alabama’ with work by a Birmingham poet, performance artist, and community organizer Brian 'Voice Porter' Hawkins. Cuban artist Alejandro Sainz made eight incredible drawings for the book. The edition is nearly out of print. Unfortunately, Voice passed away days after I was able to give him his copies. He loved the book. I didn't know that this was his first book of poems. It was an honor to publish this special book."

Colophon: “Voice uses his creativity to help create healthier communities through visual and performance art, workshops and lectures, and by making space for other artists to learn and grow.

“After hearing Voice powerfully speak his poems in the famous Courthouse at the Monroeville Literary Festival this book began to take shape. Cuban artist Alejandro Sainz Alfonso created drawings based on the strength of the words, and he did so gloriously. Steve miller designed and letterpress printed the book… Anna Embree designed and expedited the book binding.”

Video of Voice Porter reading “Traveler”, one of the verses from “The Devil Came to Alabama”

Starbucks Presents: To Be Human
(SOLD/Out of Print)

The devil Came to Alabama book
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Page last update: 12.12.2023


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