Denise Brady, “Ten Poems/Nebraska”

Brady 1: Paper Wrapper Closed

Brady 2: Paper Wrapper Open / Title Page

Brady 3: Three of ten poems layerd over Paper Wrapper

Brady 4: Ione Gardner poem unfolded

Brady 5: Martha Collins poem unfolded


Denise Brady
Omaha, Nebraska

Ten Poems / Nebraska
letterpress (hand set) & woodcut
12 (including title and colophon)
12 3/8 (h) x 15 (w) wrapper open. 7 1/2 (h) x 14 (w) sheets unfolded
7 3/4 (h) x 4 3/4 (w) x 3/8 (d)


Denise Brady: Statement May 2017

In inches: 7 3/4 (h) x 4 3/4 (w) x 3/8 (d) wrapper

closed. 12 3/8 (h) x 15 (w) wrapper open. 7 1/2

(h) x 14 (w) sheets unfolded.

Denise Brady hand set the text and printed the

poems and woodblock on a Vandercook No. 4.

The type is Bembo (12 & 10 pt) and the paper is

Hiromi Kitakata (33 g/m); wrappers and folded

slipsheets are French Paper Co. Speckletone.

Christine McGuigan and Devon Niebling assisted

with typesetting. Woodcut by Maranda Allbritten.

Poets & Poems:

Ione Gardner (1900 – unknown), I Have Put Away

All Things; Helene Magaret (1906 – 1998); Song of

the Answerer (A reply to Walt Whitman); Hilda Raz

(1938 – ), Diction; Martha Collins (1940 – ), White

Paper 24; Donna Whitewing-Vandall (1943 – 2012),

August 24, 1963 – 1:00 a.m. – Omaha; Barbara

Schmitz (1945 – ), Supper; Marcia Southwick (1949

), Small Difficulties; Lenora Castillo (1950 – ), La

Nebraska; Erin Belieu (1967 – ), My Field Guide;

Stacey Waite (1977 – ), In Nebraska

TEN POEMS / Nebraska, 2017, Omaha: Gibraltar Editions. 35 copies. $300.00

Without a poem that speaks to me, that I want to share, I don’t find reason to pick up the sorts and

put them in place, to spend time setting, designing, printing, and binding books. It is the desire to

share poetry that motivates my work.

Editing this collection of poems was as engaging, challenging, and rewarding as was designing and

creating the unbound book. Issued to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Nebraska’s statehood, these

poems were selected from Daniel Simon’s, Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867 – 2017,

published by Stephen F. Austin Press. A first editorial principle was to present an expansive concept

of Nebraska poetry in just a few selected poems. Another was to celebrate Simon’s rich and broad

anthology, a collection of over 80 poets which fully meets his goal of “paying tribute to the many diverse

voices that make up the cultural tapestry of our state.” My thanks to Guy, Louise, and Beatrice

Duncan who read Simon’s anthology with me and helped make the editorial decisions.

Love, family, place, race, nature, immigration, rural/urban differences, sexuality, and the life of

the mind are themes a reader of Ten Poems/Nebraska will encounter. Through the details of events and

geography and personal experience that shape them, these poems catch, I think, the character of life

in this particular place while reminding us that we are and always have been part of a larger world.

Ten Poems/Nebraska was designed to be touched, to be held and read. But my hope too is that a

single poem might call the reader to frame it like a painting or print that we share living space with.

Maranda’s woodcut of Nebraska’s rivers was printed on each text sheet, a subtle pattern behind the

three-page texts. The Kitakata sheets are folded in thirds with bi-fold slipsheets and stacked with a

title page card on top and a colophon card below in a paper wrapper.

The many production choices – from paper selection, to printing birth and death dates, and many

other choices in between – were made in an attempt enhance this collection, but also to depict the

ephemeral and contemplative as well as the physical and lasting nature of poetry in print.