Membership with the Fine Press Book Association (FPBA) comes with two copies of their journal „Parenthesis“. In the course of one year members will receive two issues: the spring issue edited in the UK and the autumn issue edited in North America. Add to this members can subscribe to have either the standard version or the deluxe version, the latter consisting of a casebound copy of the standard edition plus a portfolio of printed ephemera from presses around the world.
The journal brings essays, reviews, news, profiles of presses and the like about fine and private press printing, bookbinding, typography, collecting and related areas.
With last year‘s fair at Oxford having to be cancelled on short notice for the obvious reason, the FPBA decided to put up a virtual fair instead, in the form of weekly newsletters. Each newsletter came with five entries, as if it was one aisle at a fair with five exhibitors. All subscribers to the newsletter had their „fair share“ every week with all the new books and all the links to read more and the option to order from the respective press or artist.
I would have been at the fair in Oxford in March 2020 had it gone ahead and had not British airways cancelled my flight. I enjoyed the 13 weekly newsletters a lot and had the idea of giving something back, so I decided to print a broad sheet for the upcoming UK deluxe edition of Parenthesis No 40 – which is now out.
In the midst of the pandemic I chose Thomas Nashe‘s poem „In Time of Pestilence“ written in the year of the plague 1592.
Want to know more about the FPBA, tempted to become a member, want to order back issues of Parenthesis: their website is just one click away – and with it all the 13 newsletters that make up the virtual book fair of 2020.