Michele Leggott writes : “In mid-2004 I went to Portugal for the V Meeting of Poets at Coimbra University, which is one of the oldest universities in Europe. I took a notebook already prepared with lines I liked from Fernando Pessoa, Portugal’s great Modernist poet. On the facing pages I began a conversation with Pessoa and the early northern summer we were travelling through. I called it Journey to Portugal in homage to José Saramago’s book of the same name which covers far more ground than these poems do—but I hope they have some of its delight in seeking out what is new and old at the same time.”
Gretchen Albrecht writes : "The technique employed in realising my images is a form of collage— Chine Collé , where thin Japanese hand-made art papers are torn into shapes then glued and pressed in a 'nipping' press to the page. Each image was hand-done, in collaboration with Elizabeth Steiner who is a very experienced book-maker. Over the 100 books in the edition it was a rather labour-intensive task. I chose to place combinations of coloured blocks of paper to contrast with the complexity of Michele's text, and within the limitations of colours available, letting the heat of Portugal and its earthy dusty landscape with occasional glimpses of sea dictate my choices."
Journey to Portugal was designed by Gretchen Albrecht. Images (apart from the chine collé) and text are letterpress printed by Tara McLeod on an Asbern cylinder press. The paper is 290gsm mouldmade Tiepolo. Poems are set in 12pt Helvetica linotype by Longley Printing Co. Ltd. Binding is by Design Bind Ltd. 32 pages. 26 x 34 cm landscape format. An edition of 100 copies.
Publication date 22 February 2007. Price $500.