A poetry broadside is a single poem printed on a single piece of paper; the printing is often done on a letterpress and for a special occasion. Distributed at rallies or plastered on walls, poetry broadsides flourished especially in the 1960s in America as part of the wave of counter-cultural communication. In the art context poetry broadsides reflect collaboration between poets, artists, letterpress designers and printers. There has been a renaissance of this form in the past decade.
"Winds Blow Through Me" was designed and printed by Meredith Winer at Greenware Press at the Chicago Center for Book & Paper Arts. Winer designed the print in direct response to her listening to the poem on the CD Merge. The entire project was letterpress-printed on a Vandercook Universal 1 press with hand-mixed Van Son oil-based inks and transparents, and Stonehenge 100-lb paper.
Each color of ink (or "blind emboss") requires a separate run on the press; this broadside entailed five runs. The first "layer" was made from two hand-carved linoleum blocks; this became the background: the rose-colored solid "flat" with the spine-road carved out of it. The second "layer" was the poem's text (set in Palatino); it was made from a digital file, from which film and then a polymer plate were made; this plate was printed in a brown ink. The third "layer" was the honey-colored text. The logo MERGE was printed using antique woodtype; Winer's press imprint was made by setting lead type into the press-bed at the same time, for a single run. The fourth "layer" was another hand-carved linoleum block, the tree, printed in a red ink. The final "layer," the music notation, was a "blind emboss"—no ink was used, just the texture of that which is being printed—in this case, it was another polymer plate (also made from a digital file from which film was made in order to create the plate). The musical notation is a transcription made by saxophonist Erik Lawrence of the music he improvised for the recording of this poem for Merge.
Winer printed 120 copies, each signed by the printer and numbered.
The broadside was printed on the occasion of the CD release, October
13, 2006. This is the first of several poems from the CD that Winer
plans to design and print.