06 November 2009

Editing 'Through Darkling Air'

After the excitement of wayzgoose, everyone settles back to work at the press. As well as the usual run of commercial typesetting, printing and whatnot that occupies a portion of every week, I’ve spent a good portion of this one making corrections on Peter Sanger’s epic book on the poet Richard Outram (1930–2005), Through Darkling Air: The Poetry of Richard Outram. As well as publishing collections of verse with, among others, MacMillan, The Porcupine’s Quill and Aliquando Press, Outram and his wife, the artist Barbara Howard, produced broadsheets and limited edition books under their Gauntlet Press imprint. You can find out more about the Gauntlet Press and see examples of their work by visiting the excellent online archive hosted by Memorial University of Newfoundland at the link below:


A 512-page casebound book including an index and 48 pages of photographs and illustrations, Through Darkling Air promises to be one of the most ambitious trade publications Gaspereau Press has ever undertaken. It fits both within the oeuvre of Peter Sanger’s works of belles lettres (Spar and White Salt Mountain) and Gaspereau’s series of works on major figures in the Book Arts in Canada (launched with autobiographies by Wesley Bates and Jim Rimmer last year).

The book is slated for release in April 2010, in all likelihood with a launch at one of Outram's old Toronto haunts. That is, if I can ever finish getting these pages and pages of corrections and changes entered! Sometime readers fail to realize the amount of work that goes into preparing a text for press, the many rounds of editing, revising, and proofing. On a complex book it can be exhausting for author and editor alike. Sometimes it feels like a long carry between two distant lakes. But these issolated lakes always reward the effort it takes to reach them.


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