Myrna Keliher of Expedition Press stands in front of 40-foot-long mural of Lucille Clifton quotation

From time to time, we highlight the work of Kingston, Washington, based Expedition Press, which creates beautiful letterpress renditions of poetry. While most of Myrna Keliher’s work is on the scale of cards, books, and broadsides, she sometimes ventures into larger prints.

In fact, Publishers Weekly last week featured some of Expedition’s really-big work in “Expedition Press Delivers Poetry on a Grand Scale.” Expedition’s 40-foot-long plywood mural shares Lucille Clifton’s words, “i continue to continue.”

The huge piece was exhibited at the American Booksellers Association Winter Institute in February and will be on display this week at the AWP Conference. Attendees can also find Expedition Press at booth 1341 at the AWP Bookfair.

Expedition Press, in Kingston, Washington, creates gorgeous letterpress prints of poetry. On Tuesdays at 12:30pm, Myrna Keliher, the owner, artist, and pressperson at Expedition, offers a reading of a favorite poem along with some personal musings. Think of it as an amuse-bouche for your lunch hour. It’s free and live on Instagram or visit the Expedition Press website. The Poetry Lunch series continues every Tuesday through December 13, 2022.

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photo: Expedition Press 3x3ft linocut inspired by “The Crossing” by Jericho Brown and printed with a steamroller at Wayzgoose Kitsap

Wild & Kind

May 20, 2022

Expedition Press, a poetry-focused letterpress printshop in Kingston, Washington, has just released a new edition of “Wild & Kind” by Anis Mojgani. The timing is auspicious, as Mojgani, who has served as Oregon’s Poet Laureate since 2020, has just been reappointed to the post for another two years by Governor Kate Brown.

press here

April 24, 2020

Streaming live from print shops around the world every Saturday: United in Isolation. Find the link on Facebook. It starts at 19:00 CEST (that’s 10:00 a.m. Pacific), and most of the videos should remain viewable for at least a while. (Visit Facebook to see the video of Expedition Press from the first week’s video program.)

The programmers, who are making nothing (except great connections) from their effort, say, “Our goal is to unite letterpress printers, both the experienced and the newcomers by building an inspirational video archive documenting letterpress stories from all over the world.”

The lineup for Saturday, April 25, 2020, is:
Peter Duffin, Animales de Lorca, VALENCIA, SPAIN
Judith Berliner, Full Circle Press, NEVADA CITY, CA, USA
Aleksandra Stępień, WARSAW, POLAND
Ane Thon Knutsen, Graphic Design, OSLO, NORWAY

Each press will present for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Make Awake

January 1, 2019

Expedition Press

“MAKE AWAKE” was created as part of Myrna Keliher’s debut interdisciplinary art show, “Awake,” at Core Gallery, Seattle in June 2017. The limited-edition linocut, along with scores of other Cascadia-author broadsides and books, was printed by Expedition Press in Kingston, Washington.

The words seem an apt salute to the New Year. All best from The Poetry Department for a richly poetic 2019.

Here’s a great story from Expedition Press:

Last spring, then-14-year-old Sabina Smith walked into the Expedition Press print shop, in Kingston, Washington, with June Jordan’s “Poem about My Rights” in hand. After reading it aloud, she turned to publisher/artist Myrna Keliher and said, “I never read a poem like THAT before. I didn’t know a poem could BE like that. Everyone needs to read this. I think it can change people’s minds. Can we print it?”

Keliher said yes. After more than a year of after-school and weekend sessions, Sabina has created a 4-foot long letterpress broadside of “Poem about My Rights” with the goal of selling it to benefit Black Lives Matter and Planned Parenthood.

On Saturday, June 2, 2018, poets Jamaica Baldwin, Jalayna Carter, and Natasha Marin will read work by Jordan that holds particular impact for them, and the event will culminate in a joint reading of “Poem about My Rights.” Join Expedition Press, Sabina Smith, and the poets for a memorable reading at Open Books in Seattle.

poetry to see

April 10, 2018

Expedition Press, based in Kingston, Washington, publishes poetry books, broadsides, and visual art with a typographic focus. For National Poetry Month, the press has mounted two exhibits:

“On Edge,” at Core Gallery in Seattle, is an installation of Broken Broadsides (fragmented poetry prints) and abstract paintings influenced by the prints and other texts. The show features words by poets Cedar Sigo, Natalie Diaz, Jane Wong, Shin Yu Pai, Amber Flame, Erin Malone, Elaina Ellis, Leanne Dunic, Tom Gilroy, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, and Holly Wren Spaulding. The exhibit is open through April 28, 2018, and many of the poets will participate in a reading at the gallery on Wednesday, April 25, at 7:00pm.

Expedition’s second exhibit is “Poetry & Type: distilled words for disturbing times,” which is on view through April 30 at Highline College in Des Moines, Washington. There is a reception for the exhibit TODAY, Tuesday, April 10, 1:30-3:00pm at Highline Library Exhibits and Art Gallery, Building 25, 4th floor, and there will be other poetry exhibits and readings scheduled throughout the month.

Expedition Press

On Sunday, May 22, 2016, poet Holly J. Hughes will offer a reading from her brand new chapbook, Passings (Expedition Press). Of her book, Holly Hughes says,

“This is a collection of poems I began years ago with a poem for Martha, the last passenger pigeon. That lead to another and another….with the result that this collection brings together poems about fifteen extinct birds, from the dodo to the O’o. I added a preface to provide context and an afterword with information on what we can do to protect the species that remain. I had the pleasure of collaborating with Expedition Press in Kingston, who published it in two limited editions: a trade copy bound by hand with a letterpress cover on recycled paper and a deluxe copy with covers of handmade paper and an archival slip case.”

Join Holly J. Hughes and friends on the 22nd at 4:00pm at Village Books.
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