“In the spirit of Gutenberg, printing copies of the Bible for lay people to read, and of William Blake, infernally printing his own illustrated poems, Reaney hand-set Alphabet and printed it with a motorized Chandler & Price vertical platen press.”
We know James Reaney would appreciate this honour, and his deepest wish was that others would be inspired to write and publish their stories.
“Two years later (printing lessons, typesetting, waiting for t’s to come from Toronto, balancing trays of type on buses rolling in blizzards) here it is.” — James Reaney, July 1960, from the Editorial to Alphabet, Issue No. 1.
April 14, 2012: Thank you everyone who came to celebrate National Poetry Month and Colleen Thibaudeau’s poem “Balloon,” which is displayed on a billboard near the junction of Stanley Street and Wortley Road in London, Ontario.
It was a windy day, but you all held on bravely. Many thanks to Carolyn Doyle, Supervisor of the Landon Branch Library, and Christine Walde of Poetry London for organizing the event, and to Glenn and Peggy Curnoe for their photos. (Poetry London also has photos on their Facebook page.)
Colleen knew about the plan to put her poem on a billboard earlier this year before she passed away and was thrilled to think that her poem would be writ large for all to see. Thank you so much!
“Balloon” is a concrete poem and was first published in 1965 in Colleen’s book Lozenges: Poems in the Shapes of Things by James Reaney’s Alphabet Press. For this month only, the London Public Library has free postcards of “Balloon.”