Even in the era of Kindles and the “cloud,” Lexington’s Black Swan Books is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a limited edition poem letter-pressed with handset type on handmade paper. It’s a statement symbolic of owner Michael Courtney’s commitment to the printed word and real, physical books.
“We’ve done eight or 10 of these broadsides over the past 20 years,” said Michael Courtney amidst stacks of books in his shop on Maxwell Street, vintage posters framed on the walls. “These are selling fast.”
A broadside is a single sheet of paper printed on one side and meant for framing. The anniversary broadside features a poem by Kentucky writer Wendell Berry whose works are a specialty of Courtney. Black Swan’s broadsides are printed using century-old equipment by Gray Zeitz of Larkspur Press in Monterey, Kentucky. The work of Berry and Zeitz is in such demand that half of the copies of the anniversary broadside were sold within the first two weeks.
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