Author Archive | Mike Coughlin

When Pi left a sour taste in a printer’s mouth!

Among the nightmares that haunted printers during hot-metal days was the specter of the instantaneous destruction of hours of work. Printers called it pieing type. When it happened, it was equally instantly accompanied by a barrage of non-deleted expletives. Bob Shaw remembered pieing stories in his marvelous book Life In The Back Shop.  One of them was recounted […]

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From carnivore to vegetarian to vegan

Carrot Seeds by Kathy Coughlinhttps://www.letterpressbookpublishing.com/product/carrot-seeds/ The transition from eating meat to learning how to be a vegetarian was a slow process, but it worked and for a few years my family adjusted to the new menus I introduced to the dinner table. I had grown up on a southern Minnesota farm where I was intimately […]

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Rudolf Rocker: A Memorial

Dedicated to Rudolf Rocker and his great book Nationalism and Culturehttps://www.letterpressbookpublishing.com/product/the-dandelion-issue-14/ When Rudolf Rocker died in 1958, the world lost a remarkable historian and social critic, and a marvelous story teller. He stepped out of obscurity in the early 20th Century to become a leading figure in anarchist circles around the world, but with his […]

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Don’t mash your co-workers

Years ago I worked for a trade association whose boss was a recovering alcoholic who seemed to enjoy the art of smashing people.  Now, he didn’t always do it, but often enough to let each of us realize he was the top dog.  I think about him from time to time, but basically try to […]

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Robinson Jeffers lives through these recently uncovered broadsides

Years ago two Californians crossed paths–one a writer and the other an old-time printer–and together they immortalized each other.  The two are Robinson Jeffers and Marlan Beilke.  Last summer Oak Knoll Press published His Place for Story: An Annotated Robinson Jeffers Bibliography compiled and written by Michael Broomfield.   Charles Simic described the book  as a “A marvelously […]

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When letterpress was king! A look back through the eyes of Otto Boutin’s great book

Sometimes I chance upon stories that fascinate me and today was one of those days.  In my “spam” folder–why it ended up there I have no clue–I found a copy of Mark Michelson’s column in the on-line version of Printing Impressions.  It’s about Otto Boutin’s captivating book Otto’s Night Watch.  Michelson reproduces there “Love Letter to an Old […]

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