The Writing University is proud to announce a new digital archive: the Anthology Letterpress Poster Collection.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The Writing University has created an archival and digital collection to preserve and display the one-of-a-kind posters created for the Anthology Reading Series. The new online collection was created in conjunction with the Center for the Book, the UI Library Special Collections department and the Iowa Digital Library.
The Anthology Reading Series is a prominent public literary event series that brings together writers from across the University of Iowa’s world-renowned writing programs including the Nonfiction Writing Program, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the International Writing Program, Translation Workshop, the Playwrights Workshop and more.
The series is a cross-program endeavor founded by Cutter Wood (a nonfiction MFA student), Geoff Hilsabeck and Amanda Nadelberg (both Iowa Writers’ Workshop MFA students in poetry) in 2008. It is unique not only for the multi-genred approach but also the handprinted ephemera: for each Anthology reading event, MFA students at the University of Iowa Center for the Book would create a handmade poster printed in limited edition, using letterpress, silkscreen and various other printmaking techniques. These posters included the title, date and readers involved in the single event.
And these posters are beautiful. They act as historical documents for the ever growing and shifting community of writers in Iowa City; they chart the series and its readers throughout time. The Poster Collection provides an intimate look into the interdepartmental atmosphere of Iowa City, where printmakers and essayists mingle with artists and translators, sharing their worlds in these cozy, entertaining events.
The Writing University has created an archival and digital collection to preserve and display the posters, in conjunction with the Center for the Book, the UI Library Special Collections department and the Iowa Digital Library.
Many of the reading posters in a single edition were posted publicly to promote the events -- they were displayed on department walls, in stores downtown and on announcement boards in the community. The Nonfiction Writing Program kept copies of these editions in their offices, and the Center for the Book retained the editions in their studios as well.
We have gathered these prints, cataloged them, scanned them and shared a complete copy of the poster collection with the UI Library Special Collections and the Iowa Digital Library.
Each Anthology reading features a host of writers in different genres such as fiction, poetry, memoir, lyric essay, translation, playwriting, dance, multimedia. The writers/readers come from all walks as well: some are MFA students at Iowa, some are professors, and some are writers who live in Iowa City.
The posters invite viewers into this world, to explore the evanescent moments in time when Iowa City held artists and writers at integral moments in their careers.