natalie’s upstate weather report

 

snapping turtle laying eggs

may 27, 2024

Eggs, books, etc.: The first book in siglio’s new habitat is just about laid. Our local snapping turtle George perambulated the house in driving rain, determined and curious, then laid her eggs at our doorstep. Do snapping turtles and publishers share common traits? Oh, so very, very slow. Reportedly testy but actually timid. A group of them might be a bale, nest, turn, dole, or creep—though ours seems solitary. Only 10% of her eggs will survive as hatchlings. Make of it what you will. Sophie Calle’s The Sleepers goes on press very soon. One sleeper said to Calle: “I’ve often dreamt of an egg that was enormous ovoid transgression. The original sin of Adam & Eve is a hard-boiled egg.” Meanwhile, many sightings of goslings, kits, poults, and one fawn too: how easily the others propagate, alas.

april 11, 2024

The spring peepers have thawed (these little frogs freeze in winter) and now, unabashedly randy, they chirp. At first there was one, then two, and now it sounds like thousands. Two days ago, when it was truly spring, their adamantine chorus was almost deafening (we closed the windows to simply think!). Siglio has relocated to a lush, thriving hollow at the furthestmost edge of the Berkshires after two years of peripatetics, sans library—which is now unpacked in a less than Benjaminian manner (little time to contemplate—our urgency in getting books on shelves mirrored the peepers need to mate). The first few months of 2024 were almost unendurable, but we’re home, spring is here, and there are books to made. We are singing!

september 22, 2023

Every day blue skies, 71 degrees, and a slight, saltine breeze. Away from the ocean, into the city: heat that melts tar and soaks the concrete while waiting for a bus that seems to have evaporated. And then the ascension up the hill above the slow ooze of traffic on I-405 to the Getty Research Center where—shoed, socked and sweatered—our publisher delves into the Jean Brown Archive, a wholly other climate.

july 31, 2023

It has been a wet and gray summer all around. Poet Keith Waldrop passed away a few days ago. Siglio had the immense honor to publish Keith’s luminescent collages—edited by the dearest of Siglio friends, artist-writer Robert Seydel—and the great luck to enter Keith and his soulmate Rosmarie’s rich and multifarious world of poetry, translation, publishing, community. No, not world; rather, galaxy, universe, cosmos. Their collaboration on the insistently vanguard Burning Deck Press chartered the outer reaches, yielding an indispensable map for siglio—and many other small presses.

may 11, 2023

It was spring. And then it was not. And now it is again. How far can you throw a ball? What if one could travel along a high arc, across a continent, an ocean? What if you could travel with the ball, see as it might what is above and below? And I wonder what its speed might be? Enough to stay aloft, but slow, not even so fast as a swallow? That was once how a single season felt. Now…

february 11, 2023

Oh! Another sojourn to Los Angeles, now in February bloom, evoking the memories of jasmine wafting through the open HQ office (garage) door, a publisher in shorts and flip-flops, a lazy dog moseying from one spot in the sun to another—seven years ago. Now, a return for a show! Beloved Helen Cammock’s first U.S. exhibition opened in the warm embrace of a Saturday in Leimert Park (street vendors galore) at Art + Practice. A marvelously thought-provoking film, some trumpet-playing and a rapt crowd. Hooray for Helen.

january 4, 2023

Suddenly, not winter. At least for a day: sunny and an unseasonable 60 degrees. Some welcome light and warmth to offset the sadness of writing another remembrance. Two women hailed here at Siglio departed this earth at the end of 2022, a great, great loss. They couldn’t have been more different in so many ways—Bernadette and Dorothy—but both challenged the norms with gusto and persistence, also laughter and candor and insouciance, along with a little anarchy too. Nothing better than a meal with them, and of course, making a book that made them happy.

november 20, 2022

Suddenly, winter. The inbox has 487 unread promotional emails. And our dear publisher has just sent another. 488, alas! This relationship between book, gift, commodity is a bit like a faulty, flickering lightbulb, or is the metaphor not quite right? Which is light? Which is dark? Which is electricity? Which is the leap of faith when one does not know how a light bulb actually works? Contemplating instead: desert, dessert. Where is my hat? My ears are cold!

october 25, 2022

In the rearview mirror: I Will Keep My Soul has gone on press, the new website is launched, NY Art Book Fair hurricane has subsided. Now—finally—looking toward the horizon which happens, at this very moment, to be the blue on blue of California sky and Pacific ocean. But returning to the melancholia of fall and coming days of gray to read, read, read.

september 23, 2022

Relentlessly stormy with brief bouts of sunshine as the melancholy of fall sets in. We’re all about the dummies here (and proofs), preparing to send off HC’s I Will Keep My Soul to press. Meanwhile, our publisher LP (who will not be bullied) is continuing testimony on zoom at a court in Lithuania (wish her luck!). And like a rocket with a countdown, we’ve launched this website! Thank you, TG & JG of ES!


✼ not stones, not stale bread:

The book object. Object as aim. Object as thing. “In committing himself to book-objects, Dick Higgins confronted object status . . . the objectification of the creative act and the rise of art as a commodity object.” Call It Something Else at the Reina Sofia through January 22, 2024, curated by Alice Centamore and Christian Xatrec.

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