Thornwillow Press Dispatch

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Thornwillow Press Dispatch

Maio 28, 2021, 1:58 pm

Anyone subscribe to the Dispatch from Thornwillow? It looks like a nice little program for a book and press lover. And I don't really know another press that has something like it, especially for the price point.

The latest title that they announced, Ask Hafiz by Sahar Muradi, looks right down my alley. But I'm already over-subscribed with private presses and with trade book subscriptions. I would consider buying it a la carte in the paper wrapped edition if the Dispatch titles show up that way on the website after all the subscriptions go out. I can't tell from the website whether that is possible.

In any event, I'd love to hear what subscribers think about the program and what gems they might have gotten as a part of it.

Editado: Maio 28, 2021, 4:04 pm

>1 jveezer: I subscribe to the Dispatch on a monthly basis and feel it’s a great value. Each shipment includes the monthly chapbook, 2 broadsides, and a piece of stationary or bookmark. The chapbooks themselves are usually 30-40 pages and, in some cases, are works by budding authors having their work published in fine press form for the first time.

That said, the books are definitely available a la carte, if you want to pick and choose month to month.

EDIT: I would note that subscribing to the Dispatch also gets you early notification about Thornwillow’s upcoming projects as well as bonus rewards when backing their Kickstarter campaigns (in some cases).

Jun 16, 2021, 2:27 pm

Thornwillow is killing me right now. I don't need more temptations and can't afford another subscription. But I have to have Ask Hafiz and now they are doing the Dead and it's Blooms Day. Ugh.

Jun 16, 2021, 4:34 pm

>3 jveezer: not familiar with the author nor work (Ask Hafiz) can you tell me about her and her writing? Thanks.

Jun 18, 2021, 4:26 pm

>4 astropi: I read about her somewhere (maybe in a Thornwillow dispatch email or maybe in a LitHub article?) and I really liked what she had to say about Hafiz and how his poetry and writing affected her life and guided her through everything the world threw at her. I liked what she had to say about the translation, and the translatibility, of Hafiz' work. And I've been wanting to dive into Hafiz, Attar, and Rumi.

I'm also reading a lot of literature in translation, especially from women, POCI, and LGBTQIA+ writers. So I can't resist this one...

Editado: Jul 16, 2021, 6:08 pm

Received my copy of The Dead. I jump on and off the dispatch which is a feature I like.

Jul 17, 2021, 6:25 pm

>6 trentsteel: How does that work? they charge you up front for the whole year, so how does the jumping on off affects that?

Jul 17, 2021, 6:32 pm

You can pay for the year or just each month. They announce the title for the upcoming month prior to month end. So if it's a title that interests me, I stay enrolled in patreon. If not interested, I can cancel and re-subscribe the following month. Sometimes I do space out and forget to unenroll, and get an unexpected treat, in one instance Goblin market, which I never would have read not being into poetry. But having forgotten to unenroll I received it and read it, enjoying it very much.

Jul 17, 2021, 6:46 pm

>8 trentsteel: ohh, I see.. Classic subscription does not allow skipping but then it is much more affordable. since you do get both classic and Patreon versions of the book, would you say Patreon editions are higher quality?

Jul 17, 2021, 6:54 pm

>9 dar.lynk: oh no, I'm definitely not the higher tier. I'm basic, I think classic, as you noted. The website patreon allows you to subscribe on a month to month basis. If you subscribe through the actual thornwillow website, I believe in that case, you do the full year.

Jul 18, 2021, 12:50 am

>7 dar.lynk: I just bought Asking Hafiz a la carte on their website right after they published it. I'm tempted to do the same for the Joyce because I love his writing and I have a hard time resisting any new fine press Joyce. But really I'd only be doing it for the artwork, so I'm resisting so far.

Jul 18, 2021, 7:50 am

>11 jveezer: their Twitter account makes mention of a centennial edition of ulysses. I wonder if that is their next kickstarter.

Jul 18, 2021, 7:57 am

>10 trentsteel: thanks! I will check this out next year!

Jul 18, 2021, 10:56 am

>12 trentsteel: I don't know if Ulysses is next, but the letter with the Joyce Dispatch did mention its kickstarter will start in the fall.

Jul 18, 2021, 11:17 am

Editado: Ago 10, 2021, 11:40 pm

For those that have the money for it, it looks like Thornwillow made alterations to their $300 Patreon tier, making it it’s own tier of the Dispatch. It includes:

The “Centaur Edition” of each month’s Dispatch title, letterpress printed on heavy archival stock and hardbound in cloth and handmade decorative paper boards. This hardcover edition is only available to our Centaur subscribers, and will not be available for purchase on our website after the subscription period closes. Subscribing at this tier is the only way to secure a copy of this extremely limited, individually numbered and signed edition.

A complimentary “Classic Edition” of the month’s Dispatch title to share with others, enabling you to be an ambassador of craft and culture in your community.

A complimentary curated assortment of letterpress and engraved keepsakes and goods for your study.

Behind the scenes access to the world of Thornwillow, as well as special thank you gifts along the way.

If you subscribe to one of our anchor publication campaigns throughout the year, you will receive a complimentary bonus add-on in thanks for your support of the Thornwillow Dispatch.

Ago 18, 2021, 3:37 pm

Subscribing to the Dispatch also supports their Patron's Prize which helps emerging writers and artists. They just announced the newest patron's prize winner which will come out in the next installment of the Dispatch... Cindy Trans' "Sonnet Crown"... Some of the poems appeared as Yelp reviews before being printed by Thornwillow.

Also... btw...there is a new (or I guess just new for me) Fans of Thornwillow Facebook group...

Ago 24, 2021, 2:48 am

If anybody is interested in a fine press trade:

I have a complete set of the Thornwillow Dispatch titles, and twenty-one duplicates. If anybody is interest in any combination (or all) of the following, let me know. Happy to make a trade.

How We Survived
The Dead
Ask Hafiz
Zero Hour
Ars Memoria
World Enough And Time
Firmness in the Right
Dracula's Guest
The Mark on the Wall
The Eyes Have It
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
The Yellow Wallpaper
Rip Van Winkle
Without Attribution
The Black Cat
Evidence of Evil
Arson Plus
Goblin Market

Editado: Ago 24, 2021, 4:50 am

>18 grifgon: interested in The Eyes Have It and maybe a few more. Will message you

Ago 24, 2021, 1:21 pm

>18 grifgon: Are these the Patron or Classics? I've been looking for a Patron Dracula's Guest, and would also be interested in The Eyes Have it if the commenter above oes not take it

Nov 4, 2021, 12:44 am

Interesting title for the new December edition of the Thornwillow Dispatch.

"With the winter soon approaching, we’d like to offer a bit of magic to warm up the season! Perfect for a fireside read over the holidays, we are pleased to announce the next installment of the Thornwillow Dispatch, a magical short story from the father of Science Fiction: “The Magic Shop” by H.G. Wells.

"The Magic Shop, first published in 1903, follows a father and his young son as they discover a magic shop which exceeds all their expectations. While life continues on as usual outside of the shop, they quickly realize that the fantastic tricks performed there are more than just tricks; they are the real thing—genuine magic.

"No author has so vividly contributed to our view of the future as H.G. Wells, a feat achieved by his seamless blending of fact and fiction. Wells is most famous for novels like The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds (among many others) which offered readers visions of the future never before imagined—air combat, space exploration, biological warfare—Wells prophetically brought these concepts to life with the stroke of his pen long before they became reality."

Nov 4, 2021, 9:08 am

>21 whytewolf1: A very exciting one! I decided to upgrade to the half cloth

Nov 4, 2021, 9:14 am

>22 NathanOv: Is that a possibility? How do I do that? I just joined the dispatch last month

Editado: Nov 4, 2021, 10:30 am

>23 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: absolutely, that would be the “Centaur” subscription level.

It’s a bit of a price jump at $300 (and given they make so few, definitely not the same value you get with Thornwillow’s regular half-clothes), but I’ve been just waiting for the right title to give it a try.

EDIT: For how to do it, the subscription management in the new website is pretty bad so you either 1) email asking to upgrade your subscription, which unfortunately relies on them responding in the time you have available or 2) do as I did and just purchase the subscription box at the upgraded level, then email to cancel your original.

Nov 4, 2021, 10:42 am

I heard they’re doing something unusual with this one. A puzzle or hidden secret in the book that will award the first to figure it out with a unique one of a kind prize book like they did for Poe.

Nov 4, 2021, 10:43 am

Not sure about details, but they said they’d announce it soon. Suspense…

Nov 4, 2021, 11:22 am

>24 NathanOv: Thanks... I joined the classic dispatch but the HG Wells book made me feel like upgrading. But at $300 probably not as I am contemplating getting Sir Gawain & the Green Knight after reading such fantastic reviews here... Will just have to be happy with the paper covers

Nov 4, 2021, 11:22 am

>25 FvS: Ooh that sounds cool

Nov 4, 2021, 11:30 am

>22 NathanOv: Very cool!

Editado: Jan 3, 2022, 2:57 pm

I just started a thread on The Magic Shop puzzle... would love thoughts from people following here if they've made any progress.

Editado: Jan 20, 2022, 5:27 pm

Interesting new title for the February edition of the Thornwillow Dispatch:

"Written in the late seventeenth century, Peau D’Âne is a 17th century coming-of-age story that resonates as strongly today as ever before. This tale of a young woman's quest for independence and identity reminds readers that with courage, wit, and self-actualization, happily ever after is within everyone's reach."

"Charles Perrault was a French writer and poet born in the middle of the seventeenth century. After his election to the prestigious Académie Française, he challenged the preeminence of Ancient authors in the ongoing Académie feud of the “Ancients and Moderns,” and pioneered the genre of the fairy tale by recording and modernizing folk tales like Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Sleeping Beauty, and, many more."

"Thornwillow’s bilingual edition of Peau D'Âne, will include the original French and an English translation by Robert Samber and J.E. Mansion, and will appear in three letterpress printed limited editions:

Classic Edition: Copies bound in letterpress paper wrappers
Patrons’ Edition: Volumes featuring handmade paste paper bindings and letterpress printed labels
Centaur Patrons’ Edition: Hardbound in cloth and decorative paper boards.
Patrons’ and Centaur Patrons’ editions will support the continuation of the Thornwillow Patrons’ Prize for Emerging Artists and be individually numbered and signed by the publisher."

Jan 21, 2022, 5:57 pm

I love the Dispatch. Every month is a treat. This title will be wonderful.

Editado: Mar 9, 2022, 4:34 pm

The April Thornwillow dispatch has been announced. As with our friends at No Reply, they have decided to celebrate a Ukrainian author. The dispatch is To the Dead and the Living and the Unborn by Ukrainian national poet Taras Shevchenko. Available in Classic, Patron, and Centaur editions as usual.

Mar 9, 2022, 4:53 pm

Wow! That looks great too! A historical figure and writer from TW and a living woman writer from No Reply. From the title it would look appropriate to send copies to the leaders (East and West) whose comic handling of this situation have brought us to this tragedy.

Mar 9, 2022, 6:15 pm

>33 Shadekeep: Any idea who the translator is?

Mar 9, 2022, 7:39 pm

>35 ambyrglow: No indication on their website of the translator. Probably a public domain one for a 177 year old poem....

Mar 10, 2022, 1:06 am

>36 jveezer: Surely, but as there are several to choose from I’m curious which one they picked.

Mar 10, 2022, 8:46 am

>35 ambyrglow: Wasn't able to track the translator down, perhaps when they post about it on Patreon they will provide the details. Or a Patreon subscriber could ask them then.

Mar 10, 2022, 9:48 am

A quick question for anyone with a Thornwillow subscription. I created a Patron level one in order to pick up the current dispatch. The subscription started yesterday. If I now Pause the subscription, that should stop the next release from automatically billing, but still get me the current one, correct? I'd hate to pause it only to discover that locked me out of this book too.

Editado: Mar 10, 2022, 12:33 pm

>39 Shadekeep: Yes, if you did it via the Thornwillow website and paid, you'll receive the next dispatch up even if you pause. You just have to be a little careful about when you unpause because I did it before the end of a subscription period once and got duplicates.

Mar 10, 2022, 12:37 pm

>40 NathanOv: Fab, thanks for the info!

Mar 11, 2022, 5:02 pm

>35 ambyrglow: Well the question has been answered: A.J. Hunter. Seems to be an existing translation which you can find some snippets of online, though a quick search of the name doesn't turn up much else. Anyone else familiar?

Mar 11, 2022, 6:48 pm

Just read this Vera Rich translation of the poem. Good read to get a flavor for what the Dispatch will contain.

Maio 9, 2022, 1:45 pm

The June dispatch is up for subscribing. It's The Girling Season by Christina Milletti. I really like the chickenwire motif on the Classic version.

Maio 14, 2022, 1:12 pm

They get better and better.

This is one of the Patron's Prize winners...

Maio 14, 2022, 2:14 pm

>45 FvS: Yes, very much looking forward to this one!

Jul 5, 2022, 8:49 pm

The August 2022 monthly dispatch is up for subscriptions, looks like another fascinating title! It's Part Horror, Part Magic, Holy Ourselves by Donna Steiner.

Jul 7, 2022, 11:59 am

This is the next Patrons' Prize winner. I love the Patrons prize titles because they take us to uncharted territories and are a wonderful contrast to the famous authors and classic texts. It is a great way to promote emerging writers. I have been moved by many of these titles, especially:

"Ask Hafiz" by Sahar Muradi -
"Protocol" by Amy Evans -
'Topos" by Beth Steidel -

They have all been interesting, but these three really stood out for me as particularly special and moving.

Jul 7, 2022, 12:30 pm

I only have Ask Hafiz but I agree, it is quite lovely. And TW publishing books like it and authors like Muradi is amazing.

Jul 7, 2022, 12:34 pm

>48 FvS: That’s great. Thanks for the recommendations!

Jul 7, 2022, 12:39 pm

>48 FvS: Agreed. I have Protocol and Topos, and have ordered both The Girling Season and Part Horror, Part Magic, Holy Ourselves. I think is a great format for new and adventurous works.

Jul 7, 2022, 3:02 pm

Definitely looking forward to the new ones...

Jul 21, 2022, 6:46 pm

Has anyone received The Girling Season? I feel like I haven’t received a dispatch in a while and I can’t find it on their website.

Jul 22, 2022, 6:45 am

>53 yolana: Further, what is the usual timeline on dispatches? I'm new to the subscription so not sure what the status quo is, but have three orders in my account area now without any arrived (international).

Jul 22, 2022, 8:42 am

>54 Aleks3000: I usually get them mid month, but I haven’t received one since May. Maybe summer vacation? Or else they were shipped and somehow didn’t get to me. The orders page of my account is never really up to date since it shows things as as in production even after I’ve gotten and read the book.

Editado: Jul 22, 2022, 9:33 am

>54 Aleks3000: I also suffer from international shipping and will say that since dispatch one the shipping has been notoriously slow—a fault more of USPS than anything. The last dispatch I received was "How To Guarantee A Life of Misery", a few weeks ago. I would usually expect The Girling Season by the end of this month, before the announcement of the August one.

Jul 22, 2022, 11:59 am

I am in the USA and have not received a dispatch since May, either. I suspect it is due to Thornwillow's staffing issues.

Editado: Jul 22, 2022, 1:18 pm

>55 yolana: Was the one you received in May “How to Guarantee a life of Misery?”

I have that and “To The Dead, Living and Unborn” but have not received “The Girling Season” and am actually still waiting on “Youth” as well which was missed in their little shipping snafu for that issue but supposed to have been on its way

Jul 22, 2022, 4:03 pm

>58 NathanOv: ?How to Guarantee a Life of Misery” is the last one I received. “Youth” and “To the Dead…” both came without incident, I had no idea of any shipping snafus, or staffing issues for that matter. Glad to know it’s not just me.

Editado: Jul 22, 2022, 7:02 pm

>59 yolana: I think with Youth a number just got missed in the first batch - they posted a notice for everyone on the website, and emailed me directly to confirm I'd still be getting a copy, but I think that was May or early June so maybe they're just on a shipping pause.

Jul 22, 2022, 10:27 pm

The following update was just posted on the Fans of Thornwillow Facebook group:

"The Girling Season... An Update!

I know that this title is being eagerly anticipated by many, so I thought I would get an update for everyone:

All of the pages for The Girling Season have been printed.

The Press is starting on the covers on Monday, letterpress printing the covers for the Classic edition and handmaking the paste paper covers for the Patrons' edition.

With any luck, shipments should be going out to Classic subscribers in about 10-12 days.

For Patrons' subscribers, the good news is that the Patrons' editions will be signed by the author. The bad news is that the Press is currently waiting for the signed sheets to come back from the author. So, Patrons' packages will probably take a little longer."

Jul 23, 2022, 11:20 am

>61 whytewolf1: That’s great news, thanks for passing it on.

Editado: Set 3, 2022, 4:21 pm

Thornwillow Dispatch for October...

"A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things they have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue." – Tim O’Brien

It is with great pleasure that we announce a new project in collaboration with our Thornwillow-West Point Fellows: The first fine press edition of Tim O’Brien’s iconic "How to Tell a True War Story". The piece, which first appeared in Esquire in 1987 and later in O’Brien’s bestselling short story collection "The Things They Carried", examines the role truth plays in communicating soldiers’ experiences during the Vietnam War.

O'Brien explores whether, in the context of attempting to convey horrors that are unimaginable to all but those who have witnessed them themselves, the distinction between reality and fiction actually matters. Does this distinction really exist at all? As conflicts large and small the world over are always spawning new stories, O'Brien's words resonate beyond any particular time and place.

Subscribe by September 30th for the October Dispatch:

"How to Tell a True War Story" by Tim O'Brien is next in our ongoing Monthly Dispatch series, which is a monthly subscription of fine printing, in three editions:

Classic Edition: Copies bound in letterpress paper wrappers, available to subscribers for $30
Patrons’ Edition: Volumes featuring handmade paste paper bindings and letterpress printed labels, individually numbered and signed by the publisher, available to subscribers for $100
Centaur Patrons’ Edition: Hardbound in cloth and decorative paper boards, individually numbered and signed by the publisher, and available only to Centaur Patron subscribers for $300

Incidentally, this was last month's. You may still be able to sneak in on this one, as well, if you ask them nicely. :P

Set 14, 2022, 7:41 am

Finally received The Girling Season (classic edition) a couple of days ago - my first TW dispatch. Haven't had much of a look but will do so this weekend.

Set 14, 2022, 7:52 am

>64 Aleks3000: Congratulations! Hope you enjoy it. Collecting these can get pretty addictive.

Editado: Set 14, 2022, 12:25 pm

>65 Shadekeep: I agree! By the way, the Classic edition Dispatch subscription is absolutely one of the best values in the fine press world (probably the best, frankly).

Set 14, 2022, 4:51 pm

>66 whytewolf1: Definitely the best, IMHO.

Set 14, 2022, 7:11 pm

Set 14, 2022, 7:16 pm

>68 whytewolf1: Actually, not to be a pill, but I worry that Thornwillow has locked itself into a too-low price. Patreon doesn't allow you to change the pricetag of a tier, and so the dispatch will be perpetually stuck at what it was set in 2019. That's not going to be sustainable. And it's a mess to get everybody to move over to a pricier tier voluntarily.

Set 14, 2022, 7:30 pm

>69 grifgon: I suspect they'll eventually do as you did with the NRP tiers, which is retire older tiers but allow those at that level to remain, while new subscribers can only access the price-corrected tiers. It's a slow solution, but over time should help migrate folks. I don't know how many dispatch subscribers they have, though, so it might be magnitudes more slow of a transition than it was for NRP.

And I also concur, one of the best bargains in fine press anywhere. The production quality, the contents, the release cycle, all are exemplary.

Set 14, 2022, 10:52 pm

>69 grifgon: It's a fair concern, but though they're still servicing all of the Patreon subscriptions, they have a good subscription system set up through their website now (this is version 2.0; the software they used for version 1.0 was a mess). And I suspect, though I don't know, that when they inevitably raise the price, they'll probably grandfather in current subscribers as long as they maintain their subscriptions anyway.

Editado: Out 2, 2022, 6:56 pm

New from Thornwillow...

Dear friends of Thornwillow,

It is with great pleasure that we announce the November Thornwillow Dispatch Title:

"The Arrest of Arsène Lupin" by Maurice LeBlanc!

First published in the French magazine Je sais tout in 1905, “The Arrest of Arsène Lupin” serves as the introduction to the iconic gentleman burglar. A staple of early crime fiction, LeBlanc’s mysterious and masterful professional criminal is the anti-Sherlock Holmes, constantly confounding the public and police alike with his ability to “commit a crime without actually being present” and even meeting fiction’s greatest detective (unsubtly given the name Herlock Sholmes) in a later story.
This novella of Arsène Lupin establishes the character as one of the greats of French crime literature with the mysterious arrival of a telegram to the passengers aboard a vessel bound for America announcing that the infamous burglar is on board the ship. But which traveler is really this master of disguise in disguise? It is up to the passengers on the ship to determine the false identity of Lupin before they dock in America, where Lupin’s nemesis, the famed Inspector Ganimard, is waiting.

Lupin is to Robin Hood as Ganimard (and in many ways, Holmes) is to the Sheriff of Nottingham; Lupin often takes from the rich to give to the poor. LeBlanc’s debonair gentleman thief was adapted into film as early as 1908, with the Hollywood film “The Gentleman Burglar” featuring William Ranows as Lupin. Most recently, the character and stories serve as the inspiration for the acclaimed Netflix series, Lupin, which uses Lupin as the muse of a new-age gentleman thief played by Omar Sy.

With a gasp-inducing plot twist, “The Arrest of Arsène Lupin” cements LeBlanc’s writing as foundational to crime literature as we know it today. This Dispatch will feature the text of this iconic French crime story in the original French and the English translation.

What better way to celebrate the beginning of spooky season than by subscribing to the Dispatch to receive this most iconic of crime stories? It's also not too early to start thinking about holiday gifts- "The Arrest of Arsène Lupin" makes the perfect winter holiday present for any crime fiction lover!

“The Arrest of Arsène Lupin” is available for subscription until October 31st, 2022, at 7pm EST in three letterpress printed limited editions:
Classic Edition: Copies bound in letterpress paper wrappers
Patrons’ Edition: Volumes featuring gold engraved black paper wrappers
Centaur Patrons’ Edition: Hardbound in cloth and decorative paper boards*
Patrons’ and Centaur Patrons’ Editions will also be individually numbered and signed by the publisher.
*Available only to Centaur Patron subscribers to the Thornwillow Dispatch

Out 15, 2022, 1:09 pm

Does anyone have a sense of what the timeline is like for dispatches in the US? I’m curious only because I just paid for my third month but still haven’t received anything haha. No problem but I’m wondering how long I should prep myself to wait.

Editado: Out 15, 2022, 2:02 pm

>73 Tambien: They just emailed out an update today. August is shipping (I received my notice last week), September is being assembled, and of course November is not due for a bit now. No mention of October.

In the past, Classic dispatches have gone out in the third or fourth week of their respective month, so I’d say they’re about 6 weeks behind at the moment.

EDIT: timelines above are for Classic subscription.

Out 15, 2022, 1:32 pm

>73 Tambien: this also depends on tier. Currently the Centaur subscribers are 6 months behind, soon to be 7.

Out 15, 2022, 8:56 pm

Thank you both! That’s extremely helpful to know

Editado: Nov 1, 2022, 5:47 pm

December's Dispatch is Three Tales of Consequence - Elucidating the Art of the Deal

All great art reveals to us some truth, but there are some stories which capture the nature of this world so fully and beautifully that they manage to transcend the distinctions between nations and cultures. These have been passed down, virtually unchanged, for hundreds—even thousands—of years, and are as relevant today as ever. This month, we are excited to share a selection of such stories:

Three Tales of Consequence - Elucidating the Art of the Deal As Compiled by the Brothers Grimm

Connoisseurs of folk and fairy tales, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm preserved a veritable treasure trove of artistic truths, passed down orally by common people over the course of millennia precisely for the lessons and insights they offer. Many of these are familiar favorites, lovingly adapted by both sleepy parents and Disney animators alike. Still, many more reveal… darker truths.

These are not your children’s fairy tales.

Presented in both their original German and English translations, these Three Tales of Consequence are united by a common theme and a dire warning—it is never wise to make a deal with the devil.

  • Rumpelstilzchen or “Rumpelstiltskin” - in which a miller’s daughter, desperate to spin straw into gold, deals away her firstborn child in exchange for a name…

  • Der Bärenhäuter or “Bearskin” - in which a soldier trades his life and likeness for love and riches…

  • Das Mädchen Ohne Hände or “The Maiden without Hands” - in which an unsuspecting miller signs his daughter over to the devil…

As we approach election season in the wake of a turbulent few years, these classic folktales and the lessons they teach us are now more poignant than ever. Many of us will be facing some difficult choices in the voting booth. When and where are we willing to compromise? Who or what are we willing to support? What are the human costs of each of these decisions—and is the deal worth the price, even one artfully made?

This edition of “Three Tales of Consequence” will also feature original wood engraving artwork by Rebecca Gilbert. Rebecca is a Philadelphia-based artist whose work exemplifies a dedication to traditional printmaking processes. Representations of bounty, fulfillment, longing, mystery, and communication between the realms of the living and the dead are embedded throughout much of her work. Her highly detailed work allows her to explore our perceptions of both space and beauty. She has lectured, given workshops, exhibited her work, and attended artist residencies and workshops across the United States and abroad. You can find out more about Rebecca’s work on her website,, or via Instagram, @rebecca_print.

Nov 1, 2022, 7:06 pm

>77 Shadekeep: I love these dual-language editions.

Nov 1, 2022, 7:49 pm

>78 whytewolf1: Me too. Luke (Thornwillow's proprietor) is a native German speaker, and it's been 30 years since he put it to use in a TWP edition!

Nov 2, 2022, 3:22 am

Hi all! Hopefully a quick question, but I just want to make sure I’m setting my expectations properly. I decided to spring for a copy of the Portrait of a Free Man half-cloth edition from Thornwillow and I noticed that it has fairly significant scuffing from the plough along the head and an untrimmed tail. Not a big deal because the text itself is beautiful, but I was wondering if this is standard for Thornwillow books and, if so, how that shows up in Dispatch titles.

Editado: Nov 2, 2022, 4:23 am

>80 Tambien: A good rule of thumb with Thornwillow is the higher the tier, the more “character” a particular copy might have.

The Classic Dispatch might be the most uniform and consistent state of publications that Thornwillow puts out. My Patron editions, with their nicer materials, have had more handmade idiosyncrasies - some charming, some not so much, but none too egregious.

My one-and-only Centaur edition had flaws that the first read deemed worthy of a return, and I’ve had similar issues with the other more limited states. However, they’ve for the most part made it right and made sure I end up with beautiful copies in my collection.

Editado: Dez 1, 2022, 12:03 pm

January 2023 Monthly Dispatch: Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway

As this year winds to a close, we are proud to present our January Dispatch title, by iconic and oft-requested author, Ernest Hemingway: Hills Like White Elephants

Ernest Hemingway remains one of the most recognized and influential writers of the twentieth century. Known for his sparse writing style and macho persona, he was a master of what he called the “iceberg theory,” the idea that what is left unseen and unsaid in a story may be just as meaningful as what is recorded on the page. In other words, what lurks beneath the surface of a story, or a person, might be greater than what is visible from above. Hills Like White Elephants is quintessential Hemingway in this regard: understated, yet charged with meaning.

First published in 1927, Hills Like White Elephants continues to resonate today. The story centers around an American man and a young woman nicknamed “Jig” as they pass time drinking at a Spanish train station. Their conversation is vague but tense and revolves around an “operation” that the man suggests his companion might undergo, and although they never say the word, it is generally accepted that their discussion concerns an abortion.

In typical Hemingway fashion, the conclusion of Hills Like White Elephants—including the moral conclusion—is left largely to the reader’s interpretation. Historical evidence suggests that Hemingway himself had a contentious—and self-contradictory—relationship with abortion. As we have seen dramatically in recent months, today’s broader societal struggle surrounding abortion remains unresolved. Nearly 100 years after this story’s publication, and half a century after Roe v. Wade, the debate over crucial questions of agency, influence, and bodily autonomy continues.

Dez 1, 2022, 1:19 pm

>82 Shadekeep: I love how they're doing more classic short stories. This looks like another great release!

Dez 1, 2022, 1:47 pm

>83 whytewolf1: Agreed, I've been very happy with their direction of late. Choice classics and interesting new material in equal measure, and the curation has been top-notch.

Editado: Dez 1, 2022, 2:46 pm

>83 whytewolf1: Their releases have been eclectic, which is great to see, but I differ a bit on this one. Anthologized a million times. I would love to see them take a crack on someone like Lucia Berlin. Her collection A Manual for Cleaning Women was released posthumously and made the NYT top-ten books of 2015 but otherwise flying under the radar since then. A distinctive but lesser-known author, much more exciting than another Hemingway release. That's my $.02 anyway, which is worth about $.00. 😂

Dez 1, 2022, 4:12 pm

>85 LBShoreBook: I would honestly consider emailing them with the suggestion, though I have no problem buying a fine standalone letterpress version of a story that's been heavily anthologized, as that usually means it's pretty good. ;)

Dez 1, 2022, 4:12 pm

Dez 1, 2022, 5:25 pm

>85 LBShoreBook: I'm with you there! To their credit, the dispatch introduced me to Sahar Muradi via Ask Hafiz. I am much more likely to purchase something like that or like your suggestion. Thanks for bringing Berlin to my awareness. Now I will keep an eye out for one of the Black Sparrow Press editions I see were published in the '90s.

I'm interested in a Hemingway take on abortion, so I'll slip that story into my reading queue. But probably from the library. I have no more book$$ for Hemingway.

Dez 1, 2022, 9:55 pm

>85 LBShoreBook: I also think that's a good choice to draw from and would happy support a dispatch from her too.

Dez 2, 2022, 5:33 am

I’m thrilled to see this one. It was a story that I had taught for many years to university students here in Japan, one that generated far more of an emotional response than might be expected. It routinely ranked quite high in surveys at the end of semesters.

Dez 7, 2022, 11:50 pm

I'm a centaur subscriber and I like Hemingway , but $300 seems high for a few-page short story.

Jan 2, 8:04 pm

February 2023 Monthly Dispatch: Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair By Pablo Neruda, translated by W. S. Merwin

February is the month that represents love, passion, and the expression of those emotions. In celebration of love and to warm our readers in the cold of winter, we are happy to announce that the pre-publication subscription period for the next title in our ongoing Monthly Dispatch Series is now open. We are proud to present:

Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair, By Pablo Neruda, translated by W. S. Merwin

When Pablo Neruda published the first poem in this collection, often titled “Cuerpo de mujer” (“Body of a Woman”) in 1924, the devastation resulting from the horrors of World War I was still at the forefront of people's minds. Additionally, Neruda’s native Chile was hit hard by the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918-1921. The nation that first read the passionate and unreserved lines “Cuerpo de mujer, blancas colinas, muslos blancos, / te pareces al mundo en tu actitud de entrega” was a nation, a people, in recovery. Neruda illustrates the importance of meditating on beauty in a period of searching.

Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada was widely acclaimed upon its publication in 1924, with widespread popularity among critics and the Chilean population alike. Although criticized for its explicit erotic nature, the poems resonated with a nation attempting to rebuild after tragedy. Neruda meditates on both the natural yet rough beauty and down-to-earth women of his native Chile in his poetry. His voice rings with a yearning and honesty that makes his work timeless; any person who has loved can feel the truth in the rawness of Neruda’s words. The sincerity and complexity of his writing earned Neruda a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. But regardless of the period in which one reads it, Neruda’s voice strikes a deep chord. Even in the twenty-first century, it is the bestselling book of poetry in the Spanish language.

But Neruda’s legacy goes beyond literature. A vocal member of the Chilean Communist Party, he published a great deal of historical and political writing in addition to love poetry. Neruda served in diplomatic posts for the Chilean government in Argentina, Spain, France, and Mexico, and advised Salvadore Allende, the first (and only) socialist President of Chile. Following Augusto Pinochet’s fascist coup-d'etat in 1973, Neruda suspected a doctor of attempting to poison him on Pinochet’s orders. Indeed, the Chilean government issued a statement in 2015 stating that, contrary to the line repeated since Neruda’s death in 1973 that he had died of heart failure, it was in fact likely that Neruda was killed as a result of his political associations.

Thornwillow’s edition of Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair presents the text in both the original Spanish and the English translation by W. S. Merwin. Merwin, a much-celebrated poet in his own right, brings the lyricism and beauty of Neruda’s poetry into English. Merwin’s own poetry earned him Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry in 1979 and 2009 and a National Book Award for Poetry in 2005, and he served as the 17th United States Poet Laureate in 2010. In addition to his translation of Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair, Merwin has translated other classic poetry such as “The Song of Roland,” Dante’s “Purgatorio,” and “Gawain and the Green Knight.”

Available for pre-order via subscription to the Thornwillow Dispatch until January 31st, 2023.

Classic Edition: Copies bound in letterpress paper wrappers
Patrons’ Edition: Volumes featuring gold engraved black paper wrappers
Centaur Patrons’ Edition: Hardbound in cloth and decorative paper boards*
Patrons’ and Centaur Patrons’ Editions will also be individually numbered and signed by the publisher.

*Available only to Centaur Patron subscribers to the Thornwillow Dispatch

Jan 3, 8:00 am

>92 whytewolf1: Excellent! Looking forward to this one as well.

Jan 3, 10:09 am

>93 Shadekeep: Me, too. Another dual-language edition too, which I love!

Jan 3, 10:15 am

>94 whytewolf1: Seconded! I'd love to see more of that going forward, and kudos to Thornwillow for taking this route.

Editado: Jan 8, 12:37 pm

I hope they do a dual of One Hundred Years of Solitude. Grateful Thornwillow is doing this.

Jan 17, 9:46 am

>91 ProbisPateo: Remember, though, that as a Centaur subscriber, you are actually a patron of the press. The proceeds go to support their work and the work of the Thornwillow Institute. Also, the only way to get a Centaur edition ( unless you can find one on the secondary market) is to be a Centaur subscriber. The editions are super limited. Also, I have paid $300 for a broadside or a print. In other words, I don't think the size of the book correlates to the price. We can all think about some very expensive postage stamps or baseball cards. I think this story is a terrific addition to the series (regardless of the fact that its on the shorter side).

Jan 17, 9:57 am

Also, I just received a half leather copy of The Red and the White. This little book is a gem. The quality of the binding is amazing. Little leather bound books are so hard to do well and this one hits it out of the park IMO.

I understand that they have a number of new people in the bindery doing really beautiful work and are gradually getting caught up. And they now have a second Heidelberg press for the book work so the printing front is getting caught up too. I'm especially looking forward to seeing Ulysses get back on track. I called the press the other day for an update and it sounds like things are heading in a good direction on several fronts. In the meantime I look forward to continuing to receive the Dispatches. They are wonderful little boxes.

Jan 17, 2:15 pm

>98 FvS: I'm slightly annoyed that you've received a half-leather copy of that book already and Centaur subscribers are currently 10 months behind on their subscriptions. Just slightly. Like that much annoyed.

Jan 18, 11:40 am

It's true. The Centaur editions are terribly delayed. It is really frustrating for us and certainly also for them. I called the other day to nudge/complain/inquire about this. They told me that the leather ones went through a different production pipeline which is why that one got done faster. They said that the Munger Centaur is done and ready to ship shortly and the rest are now finally moving. They have hired some new and talented people in the bindery who are settling, so things should start to move more quickly now. Fingers crossed. I agree with you, the delays are really annoying. But as mentioned earlier, I see the Centaur tier as a way to support the press particularly as they navigated this bumpy last year, so i am ok to be patient. I don't see it as much as a purchase, as a way to support something I am eager to see succeed. That said, I am really looking forward to receiving the books!

Editado: Jan 24, 11:07 am

I have to say, "Three Tales of Consequence" has my favorite typography, design and illustration of any Dispatch title to date. Excellent illustrator and a great suite of woodcuts that pair perfectly with the text and printing in my opinion.

I just with they'd cut the silly subtitle & introduction and let it be simply a set of thematically related stories.

Jan 24, 9:09 pm

Good deal. Looking forward to receiving my copies.

Jan 24, 9:22 pm

>101 NathanOv: it’s a gorgeous book, my favorite so far, though of course I’ve only subscribed for a year so I’m sure I missed some really great ones. It seems like getting away with highway robbery at $30.

Editado: Fev 1, 12:19 pm

March 2023 Monthly Dispatch: Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime by Oscar Wilde

This semi-satirical mystery story follows Lord Arthur Savile as he attempts to reconcile (and perhaps bring about) his own fate after a palm-reader informs him that he will commit murder. In this story, Wilde asks us to ponder the extent to which we make our own destinies, and cautions us on the dangers of believing our choices are predestined and allowing others to influence our decisions.

While Wilde is remembered for his literary feats, from short stories to plays such as The Importance of Being Earnest, he is also known for his trial and arrest for “gross indecency with men,” or as it is more commonly known, homosexuality. Wilde prosecuted the Marquess of Queensberry for libel after the Marquess left a note calling Wilde a “sodomite.” During the proceedings, however, evidence emerged that Wilde was indeed involved in relationships with Lord Alfred Douglas (the Marquess’ son) and Alfred Taylor, as well as a number of young male prostitutes. Following the libel trial, Wilde was prosecuted for sodomy; despite great evidence against him, Wilde pleaded “not guilty” and in 1895 was subsequently sentenced to the maximum penalty: two years of imprisonment and hard labor. Wilde’s struggles with identity, justice, choices, and fate throughout his life are woven into all of his writing, and poignantly so in “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime.”

Originally published in 1887 in The Court and Society Review, “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime” resonates as much today as it did over one hundred years ago. It prompts us to interrogate our roles in not only our lives, but the lives of the people around us. In this age of extreme individualism, it is perhaps good to consider how your choices are influenced by others and may in turn affect those around you.

Editado: Fev 1, 1:43 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Fev 1, 6:30 pm

Love this. The engraved cover on the Patrons' Edition will likely be amazing. The Lupin engraved cover was a knockout.

Fev 17, 6:39 pm

>101 NathanOv: I appreciate that you thought the woodcut prints fit with the text and printing. Few people appreciated how hard it was to print those and make them look right, so thanks.

Fev 17, 6:44 pm

>103 yolana: I have to say it's so nice to see the positive feedback. I'm glad you liked the IS the best chapbook so far. ;)

Fev 25, 3:51 pm

I think they'll be announcing the next one soon. Can't wait.

Editado: Mar 1, 4:08 pm

April 2023 Monthly Dispatch: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

What activities do we participate in, in our everyday lives, simply because they’re part of the way things have always been done? If we stopped to consider the ethical implications of such traditions, would we still engage in them?

Thornwillow is honored to announce the April 2023 Monthly Dispatch title, Shirley Jackson’s iconic short story, “The Lottery.”

In “The Lottery,” Jackson highlights our tendency to follow traditions without questioning their purpose or morality. This story follows the residents of a small unnamed town, often thought to be in New England (where Jackson lived most of her life). The residents gather in the town square for an annual lottery, each family pulling a slip of paper whose gruesome purpose is eventually revealed.

In this month’s Dispatch, we are giving you the opportunity to take part in a “lottery” of our own. Each Dispatch subscriber will receive a small custom-designed, handmade card; most will be blank, but one box will contain… the black dot (and needless to say, the tickets will be shuffled and distributed at random). Unlike in “The Lottery,” however, the Thornwillow black dot will signal good things in the winner’s future! The recipient of the winning ticket will receive a gift copy of Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler in paper wrapper, another iconic dystopian work published by Thornwillow.

Considered to be one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature, Jackson’s work of dystopian fiction was first published in The New Yorker in 1948. The reception of the work was immediate and vehement; hate mail and canceled subscriptions abounded following the shocking twist on quaint, picturesque American small-town life that the story details. “The Lottery” serves as an early example of modern dystopian fiction in general, published the year before another iconic work of the genre, 1984 by George Orwell, and serves as an early example of dystopian literature by a female author. Jackson’s writing paved the way for contemporary female-authored dystopian fiction such as The Hunger Games series and The Handmaid’s Tale.

EDIT: Personally tempted to pony up for the Centaur edition this time, though those seem still to be running quite behind in production.

Mar 1, 4:13 pm

Let's hold off on more dispatches until we catch up on books currently production... I'd like to see that Ulysses I backed via the 2021 Kickstarter sometime in 2023.

Mar 1, 4:22 pm

>111 L.Bloom: I suspect they are entirely separate teams. The Dispatches may even be part of the Thornwillow apprenticeship/training program. Or at least they would serve well in that slot. The Centaur level appears to call on more senior talent, such as in the binding, and may be why it's slower to the finish along with certain of their other projects.

Mar 1, 4:46 pm

Shipping for the Dispatch used to be free and now I'm being charged $15. That's ... disappointing.

Mar 1, 8:18 pm

>113 AMindForeverVoyaging: I don't think that should actually be the case. You may want to contact them about that.

>112 Shadekeep: They also have a fairly large number of monthly subscribers, so I don't really think it's an option. On the good news front, I understand that they have TWO Heidelberg printing presses now!

Editado: Mar 1, 9:24 pm

>113 AMindForeverVoyaging: >14 Powderfinger69: I received that charge as well, and it definitely was not included in my renewal notice. I think it must be an error, and others should likely check if concerned.

Mar 1, 11:24 pm

>112 Shadekeep: Not really.

Mar 1, 11:25 pm

>110 Shadekeep: Do you know how confusing that paper wrapper looks like to a printer xD.
Funny little jaunty angle right there

Mar 2, 7:17 am

>116 slightlyemo: Care to expand?

Editado: Mar 2, 10:55 am

>118 Shadekeep: Sure,
I printed The Girling Season, The Red and The White, Part Horror, Part Magic, Holy Ourselves, How to Tell a True War Story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Arrest of Arsene Lupin, Three Tales of Consequence, almost finished Hills Like White Elephants, and am currently making great headway with Pablo Neruda. I've had roughly 6 full days of training and have worked there for 8 months. I've helped with Ulysses as well but the person printing that was trained by me. I would say we're all the same team.... ;)

Mar 2, 11:00 am

>119 slightlyemo: Nifty! Always useful to have the inside skinny. 😊

Incidentally, great job on those titles. I have several of them and they are attractively made. And I do like the various covers for The Lottery, even if they are a bit vexatious to a printer. 😆

Editado: Mar 2, 11:14 am

>120 Shadekeep: Hahaha fair enough xD.

Thanks! It's nice to hear someone liked them :)). Yes.....quite xD

Mar 3, 12:11 pm

>115 NathanOv: Thornwillow responded to my email and said that indeed there was an error on their end and there should be no shipping fee. They also said they'd refund any Dispatch shipping charge that might have been paid.

Mar 3, 12:12 pm

>122 AMindForeverVoyaging: Glad you heard back! Still waiting on my response, but hopefully they've realized it was a wide spread issue and can simply refund in bulk rather than by individual request.

Mar 3, 12:29 pm

Has anyone gotten the classic edition of Arsene Lupin delivered yet?

Mar 3, 12:30 pm

>124 SolerSystem: I believe mine came in December.

Mar 3, 1:18 pm

>123 NathanOv: I set a message about it as well and heard back that they detected an issue with the system. Here's what they wrote:

Thank you so much for reaching out to the Press. We were made aware of this additional shipping charge yesterday; this was a mistake on our part (with the way that our website is set up, the setting for free shipping was mistakenly not applied to this month's Dispatch). We have fixed the mistake on our website and will process a full refund of the additional $15 charge. Please allow 10 business days for the charge to be processed.

That being said, if you don't see a refund after a while, do reach out to them.

>124 SolerSystem: Yes, I think it was about a month ago.

Mar 4, 11:58 am

The Thornwillow Dispatch at $30 per month with free shipping is an astonishing deal. The best deal in fine press, by far. By far far!

I post this here about once a year, but for any who have missed it, here's a great read about the history of Thornwillow:

Mar 4, 12:37 pm

>127 grifgon: Thank you for the article, Griffin. It will be a perfect bedtime reading.

Mar 4, 12:50 pm

>128 Lukas1990: This historical sketch was also published in Thornwillow's 25-year bibliography. I noticed one available on Abe for a terrific price:

Mar 28, 12:50 pm

May 2023 Monthly Dispatch: Paul's Case by Willa Cather

In life, it is often difficult to find one’s place in the world, trying to fit in when it feels as though everyone around us knows exactly who they are and where they belong. We often seek to escape the places and circumstances that we were born into, looking elsewhere to find what we cannot find at home. Thornwillow is honored to present the next title in the Monthly Dispatch series:

Paul’s Case

By Willa Cather

This short story follows Paul, a young man frustrated and out of place in his middle-class life in Pittsburgh, as he journeys to New York City and experiences some of the glamor of the bustling metropolis while contemplating his future and the path of his life; and whether or not he can stand returning to the status quo. Many scholars have studied “Paul’s Case” over the years, making arguments about Paul’s identity that associate him with homosexuality, autism, or a number of other historically marginalized identities. That said, Paul’s discontentedness is something all of us can identify with, a struggle to find happiness and purpose in one’s prescribed circumstances.

The fantasy of Gilded Age New York City presents a compelling contrast to the stark reality of Paul’s native Pittsburgh, a sparkling haven of luxury against the industrial center of coal mining and steel production. This story is very much in tune with Cather’s own life story at that moment in time. It was written when Cather was living in Pittsburgh, shortly before she moved to New York City to serve as an editor at McClure’s Magazine (where this story was first published in 1905).

Paul’s desires and quest to find meaning and excitement in his life are familiar to many of us. Although Paul makes a tragic decision for himself, his story continues to resonate for readers more than 100 years after the story’s publication.

“Paul’s Case” is available for subscription now until April 27, 2023 at 7pm EST in three letterpress printed limited editions:

Classic Edition: Copies bound in letterpress paper wrappers
Patrons’ Edition: Volumes featuring handmade paste paper wrappers
Centaur Patrons’ Edition: Hardbound in cloth and decorative paper boards*
Patrons’ and Centaur Patrons’ Editions will also be individually numbered and signed by the publisher.

*Available only to Centaur Patron subscribers to the Thornwillow Dispatch

Mar 28, 1:07 pm

>130 whytewolf1: Nice, another one to look forward to! They've been on a solid roll with these of late, one good title after the next.

Editado: Mar 28, 1:13 pm

>130 whytewolf1: I'm happy to see a Willa Cather title! I haven't read this particular story, but it sounds like it'll be a good read.

Side note, if there is an impending new Thornwillow book announcement, and they keep up the pattern of doing a dispatch from the same author ahead of the announcement, I think Cather's the first recent candidate for a full-length publication. Not sure what it would be though, with One of Ours probably being a bit too long, and My Antonia perhaps a bit too short.

Editado: Mar 28, 1:25 pm

>132 NathanOv: My guess would be O Pioneers!, though I wouldn't rule out My Ántonia.

Mar 28, 10:25 pm

>131 Shadekeep: >132 NathanOv: I agree (and I’ve heard others comment) that Thornwillow is on a roll editorially-speaking with the Dispatch titles!

As far as a major new release (whenever that may come), I think it will be interesting to see if they solicit another literary classic like Ulysses, something a bit more contemporary like Song of Solomon or Parable of the Sower, or if it winds up being something surprising and less characteristic.

Editado: Abr 21, 11:42 am

Hey all!

I've since departed Thornwillow Press as a printer and even though I didn't print the cover myself for the book - I'm going to post a comprehensive post of my journey in printing the Thornwillow press dispatch book 'Three Tales of Consequence' on my Instagram page if any of you are interested. :))
It's the work I'm most proud of printing there and think some of you might enjoy seeing and reading some of the details that go into printing one of those books.

Abr 21, 12:05 pm

>135 slightlyemo: Do you have a link?

Abr 21, 1:35 pm

>135 slightlyemo: Will you be continuing to print elsewhere? Maybe under your own shingle?

Abr 21, 7:11 pm

>136 marceloanciano: yes, link please!

Abr 22, 4:19 pm

I'll be posting Sunday in the late afternoon :). I'll post a link then.

Abr 22, 4:20 pm

>137 Shadekeep: It is a distinct and likely possibility that I will at some point in the relatively near future start printing myself. Most definitely not in the immediate future unfortunately.

Abr 22, 4:47 pm

>140 slightlyemo: Let us know if you do!

Abr 28, 5:39 pm

I had a call with the press today and got a heads up on the next Dispatch being launched on Monday. It is very exciting. I'm really looking forward to this one... But will leave it up to them to announce.

Also learned that they are almost done printing Oscar Wilde and the Lottery goes on press right after... so they're getting caught up!

... and volume 6 of Ulysses shipped today too.

Abr 29, 7:47 am

Stupid question. But have the 4 volume half cloth sets been shipped? I haven’t receive mine.

Abr 29, 7:56 am

>143 ironjaw: They have not. It appears that all of the paper wrappers will go out first. That makes it dubious whether we will see the 4 volume sets in 2023. You can follow the progress here:
The 4 volume sets have remained in the "on press" status for many months.

Abr 29, 4:16 pm


Abr 29, 10:33 pm

>144 L.Bloom: >143 ironjaw: It's worth noting that they are printing pages for all of the editions at the same time as those for the paper wraps editions, and they have just shipped volumes 6/10 of those, so they're getting there. Progress also does seem to be coming more quickly lately.

Editado: Abr 30, 12:58 pm

Look forward to receiving The Lottery.

Maio 1, 2:07 pm

June 2023 Monthly Dispatch: Super-Frog Saves Tokyo by Haruki Murakami

When Katagiri, a bank employee who appears average in every way, arrives home from work on February 15, 1995, a six-foot tall frog sitting at his kitchen table announces to him that an earthquake is going to destroy Tokyo in three days' time. Frog enlists Katagiri’s help to prevent the earthquake and save 150,000 people, proving to Katagiri, and the reader, that even the most average person can have a positive impact that reaches far beyond their own life.

Murakami’s celebrated story “Super-Frog Saves Tokyo” (かえるくん、東京を救う) was written in response to the Great Hanshin earthquake that destroyed much of Kobe, Japan on January 17, 1995. The lines between fantasy and reality, dream and true experience, and the real and the imagined are blurred in this adventure; but whether or not it was “real” may not be the most important lesson.

Haruki Murakami has won numerous awards for his literary genius, not least of all being one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015. His fiction is known for its elements of surrealism and the supernatural juxtaposed next to achingly beautiful explorations of what it means to live, love, and experience the pain that is a part of both. “Super-Frog Saves Tokyo” is a poignant example of what makes Murakami’s writing both controversial and beloved, with a somewhat absurd premise ultimately questioning our understanding of reality and the impact an individual can have on the world.

Personal note: Glad to see the continuation of non-English original works coming to this series.

Maio 13, 3:47 pm

I'm really excited about this title. Very neat. It was posted today on Murakami's fan page, which has over 2 million followers. I wonder if this edition will end up being larger than previous ones and also wonder if the Centaur tier will be capped.

I received some of the delayed Centaur volumes recently. They are exceeding my expectations. Just beautiful little gems. Really like the cloth bindings. They'll be impossible to find down the road as the editions are so small.

Even with the recent price increase (which doesn't apply to existing subscribers unless you cherry pick the titles you subscribe to or hop between levels), I still feel the dispatch is the fine press deal of the century. You get so much for your money. I went to an ordinary pub the other day with a friend in Chicago and had fish and chips and a few beers and it was over $100 for the two of us. Kinda puts it all in perspective.

Maio 28, 3:59 am

I agree with everyone else that the dispatch is a great deal (even as an overseas subscriber, where it works out to 50$ and occasional import fees, when customs feels like it), but I cancelled my subscription in February.

It took me a while to realize it, but some aspects of the Thornwillow books just do not agree with me (I also have their edition of The Waste Land, so these points apply beyond the dispatch).
First are the bindings, which I have found in all occasions to be exceedingly tight. If I have to apply conscious and continuous effort to keep a book open, reading it is not very enjoyable. Perhaps I am meant to do violence to the spine on every other page, but that just feels... wrong?
Second is the font choice (Perpetua I believe). It is just too small and compact for me, with not enough "white space" (surely there is a technical, typographic term for this) in the letters. They are simply too "thick" for their small height. This is somewhat alleviated in the larger sizes such as used in The Waste Land, but in the compact dispatch, there is no escaping it.
Last and perhaps least is the paper (Mohawk?), which I find to be stiff but not crisp, and with an unappealing texture. It is also very brightly white, where I prefer a more eggshell tint so that the contrast between print and paper is not too great.

Obviously this is not meant as any sort of objective criticism, but perhaps some prospective subscribers will recognize their own taste in my gripes and avoid disappointment.
I suspect that my discomfort with the Thornwillow offerings stems (at least in part), from my focus on vintage editions in the rest of my collection. These bring with them well-worn backs, seasoned, creamy, often handmade papers and, due to my personal choices, airy, spacious fonts. De gustibus!

I have encountered some uneven printing here and there, but never to the point that I would think to complain about it, given the price point.
I will still be keeping an eye on what is on offer every month, and if a particularly beloved text ever comes up, I still would snatch it up!

Maio 28, 11:00 am

>150 thfrgi: Hm - Thornwillow uses a wide variety of paper, type, and font sizes. There may have been a run of texts in perpetua, and I am not actually sure who the paper manufacturer is, but the last 6-months have shown a ton of variety.

It might be worth checking out Three Tales of Consequence or Peau D’Ane as I think they avoid most of the things you dislike, apart from the textured paper.

Maio 28, 11:48 am

>151 NathanOv: You're right, of course, the type changes each dispatch. Perhaps it is symptomatic that in my recollection they all blended together. Perpetua was for The Waste Land.
I still find them too thick for their size, here is an attempt at illustrating what I mean:
Above you see the 1901 edition of Shakespeare's sonnets by Thomas B. Mosher, below the February Thornwillow dispatch, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime (photographed side by side).

Even though the Sonnet is printed a fair bit smaller, I find it much more pleasant to read as the letters are thin and remain well-proportioned, while the Jenson type below feels bloated.
The difference is subtle, to be sure, but once I started to feel it I could not let go of it.

Looking over my dispatches, some are printed on a slightly warmer shade of white, but the paper was otherwise the same, as far as I could ascertain.

Revisiting my list of grievances after adjusting for my misapprehensions, I think the one point I would not call entirely subjective is that of the tight binding.
To take that picture of the Savile I had to forcefully press the book down to get it to stay at least somewhat flat, while the sonnets laid open of their own accord.
Going through all my dispatches, all of them have a "natural" opening angle of about 30°, anything more requires some force. I think 45° or more would be more comfortable and seems to be standard across my other books.
Perhaps this is due to the small size of the dispatches, or is simply a side effect of the simple glued back.

Anyway, I'll stop complaining now! They're still beautiful, affordable little books.

Jun 1, 8:56 am

July 2023 Monthly Dispatch: Death of a Pig by by E.B. White

E. B. White is one of the most beloved names in children’s literature, with works including Charlotte’s Web, Trumpet of the Swan, and Stuart Little earning him a Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Award for Literature, among numerous other accolades. But White was an extremely prolific essayist in addition to writing novels, contributing over eighteen hundred pieces to The New Yorker over the course of his life.

White spent many years living and working in New York City, but he dearly cherished his summers spent living on his family farm in Brooklin, Maine. It was on the farm that White wrote this essay, detailing the experience of caring for, and losing, one of his pigs. White describes the steps taken to try to save a pig that grew ill one summer, struggling to alleviate his pain and help him recover, while dealing with White’s own grief and the irony of mourning the death of a pig who was being raised for slaughter.

Although White himself never confirmed it, others have written that “Death of a Pig” was the essay that inspired, or perhaps catalyzed, the writing of Charlotte’s Web. Gerald Weales wrote in The New York Times that Charlotte’s Web attempted “to save his pig in retrospect,” giving White an alternative ending, albeit literary, for the tragedy that he details so poignantly in this essay.