Making Books in Bristol – Richard Jones, Tangent Books, 16 May 2017

The first Making Books in Bristol talk is taking place at the Central Library in Bristol on Wednesday 16 May 2017 at 1pm.

Come along to hear what Richard Jones of Tangent Books thinks about making books, and to find out more about the book that Artist-in-Residence Angie Butler will be making about making books in Bristol.


All welcome; entrance is free, and no booking required.

Directions to the library can be found here.

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Making Books in Bristol – free lunchtime public talks

The Books research cluster are excited to announce ‘Making Books in Bristol’, a series of free lunchtime public talks that will take place in May and June.

The talks will be given by Bristol-based speakers who are involved, in various different ways, in the art of making books. These independent publishers, book artists, and letter press printers will discuss their experiences of book making in Bristol. Come along to join in the conversation!

At Bristol Central Library:

Wednesday 17 May, 1-2pm – Richard Jones from Tangent Books

Wednesday 24 May, 1-2pm – Greet Pauwelijn from Book Island

At The Folk House:

Friday 16 June, 1-2pm – Sarah Bodman, Senior Research Fellow for Artists’ Books, Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE

Friday 23 June, 1-2pm – Nick and Ellen from The Letterpress Collective

All events are free; no booking required.

Keep an eye on the blog for more details,  and contact us at with any enquiries.


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Calling book artists in Bristol!

A new project at the University of Bristol would like to commission a book artist currently based in the Bristol area to create a new piece of work which explores what it means to make a book in Bristol.

‘Making Books in Bristol’ is a project which will run May-September 2017, organized by academics in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Bristol who research books and book culture from a variety of different historical and linguistic perspectives. Our interests include the history of publishing and publishers, editing, manuscript and print, the history of reading, book collecting, and artists’ books. Through this project we would like to work together with book professionals who are directly engaged in the making of books, in order to explore the different ways in which we understand the physical form of the book to mediate the meaning(s) of the book’s contents.

The commissioned artist will create a book, in collaboration with the Making Books project team.  Over the course of May-September, the artist will be required to attend two or three meetings with the team, as well as four public lunchtime talks on book making given by publishers and book artists/designers (in the Central Library on 17th and 24th May, and the Folk House, Park Street on 16th and 23rd June, 1-2pm). We will also be using social media to crowdsource further ideas and materials related to books in Bristol, and would hope for these to feed into the artist’s book. Part of the commission will involve documenting the process of making the book, and we envisage that there will be scope for exhibiting the final work, which will remain the property of the artist beyond the life of the project.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 31st March 2017. Interested applicants should send, via email to,:

  • up to three examples of your work
  • a summary CV no longer than one side of A4
  • a short statement (max. 300 words) describing how you might respond to the project brief

The artist will be responsible for all costs associated with his/her transport and materials. The artist will be paid a fee of £500 for the commission.

For further information, email Rhiannon and Jenny at

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The end of the End of the Book…for now

What a fabulous time we had at the End of the Book conference! Thank you so much to all of our fabulous speakers, participants, and helpers who came together on 18 November to investigate what happens when we reach the end, how the end may twist round to become a beginning, how ends function to create expectations, and how one can creatively interact with and subvert this teleological anticipation in literature.

Topics of individual papers ranged from unresolved endings in Homer and frame-breaking in the endnotes of historical fiction, to editorial power over what constitutes an ending in Middle English and Renaissance texts. We heard how seriality in 18th century literature blurred the line between end and sequel, and how the Story of O functions as series of love letters to an absent lover, thus reaching beyond the book. It was demonstrated how artists can alter reader interaction with books, either through the creation of hypertexts that engage with pre-existing texts, or through a self-conscious unravelling of the format of the book. Finally, we learned how Latin American graphic fiction augments the physical world, creating a new kind of reader-text engagement, and how ambient literature offers the possibility of moving beyond traditional book format, with technology helping to bring literature into the reality of the reader.

The first keynote speaker of the day, Dr Laura Jansen (University of Bristol) spoke about the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, and drew upon the metaphor of the Möbius Strip to understand Borges’ conception of literature, how an author’s life ends where his/her literary production begins, the two caught in a recurrent loop. Our second keynote speaker, Professor Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University) took the discussion in another direction, highlighting contemporary innovations in digital storytelling, and how collaborative projects with ongoing storylines and audience participation challenge our familiarity with traditional formats; the beginning, middle, and end of a book.

There was a large audience from across the University and much praise for the fundamentally interdisciplinary – and chronologically broad – scope of the programme, as well as the strong quality of the papers. We would like to record our sincere thanks for the generous financial and organizational support received from the IGRCT and BIRTHA, which helped to make the event such a success.

Watch this space for news of future events…

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The End of the Book on Twitter

On Friday 18 November 2016 the Books research cluster  hosted ‘The End of the Book’ at the University of Bristol. Did you miss it? Never fear: conference organizer Richard Cole has put together this storify to show how our live-tweeting attendees saw the event:

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The End of the Book, 18 November 2016

How do we know when we have reached the end of a book? What do we, as readers, expect to find at the end? How have the answers to these questions evolved over time, from the classical era through to the present day?

These questions (and more) will be asked at The End of the Book, a one-day conference taking place in the Old Council Chamber, Wills Memorial Building at the University of Bristol on 18 November 2016.

Registration for the conference is free; you can register here.

Provisional Programme:

8.30-9.00: Registration

9.00-9.45: Keynote Address (Chair: Katie Brown)
Laura Jansen (Bristol), ‘Liminal Readers of the End: Classical Myth and the Open Closures of Literature in Borges’ World Poetry’

9.45-10.45: Session 1, Endings that aren’t (Chair: Laura Jansen)
Catherine Rozier (Swansea), ‘Telos, Nostos, and Succession: the Unresolved Ending of Homer’s Odyssey’
Richard Cole (Bristol), ‘Beyond the End – Metalepsis in Historical Fiction’

10.45-11.00: Tea/coffee break

11.00-12.30: Session 2, The Never-ending(s) (Chair: Jennifer Batt)
Natasha Simonova (Oxford), ‘“Volume the Last”: Seriality and the End of the 18th-century Novel’
Emmanuelle Waeckerle (UCA), ‘Reading (Story of) O: Does a Story Ever End?’
Otto (Graphic Artist), ‘Artists’ Books with Alternative Ends’

12.30-13.30: Lunch (provided)

13.30-14.30: Keynote Lecture (Chair: Richard Cole)
Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa), ‘From Book to Container: New forms, New possibilities’

14.30-14.45: Tea/coffee break

14.45-15.45: Session 3, Editorial Endings (Chair: Rhiannon Daniels)
Jennifer Rushworth (Oxford), ‘Petrarch’s Afterlife: The New Ends of Reception’
Cathy Hume (Bristol), ‘The Storie of Asneth and its Epilogue: an Elegiac Ending?’

15.45-16.00: Break

16.00-17.30: Session 4, Ending the Book? (Chair: John McTague)
Edward King (Bristol), ‘The Graphic Novel and Digital Culture in Latin America’
Michael Marcinkowski (Bath Spa), ‘Ambient Literature and the Beginning of a Ubiquitous Everything’

18.00-19.00: Reception
The conference has been organized by Rhiannon Daniels (Modern Languages), Jennifer Batt (English), Richard Cole (Classics and Ancient History) and Books at Bristol, with the support of the Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition (IGRCT), and the Bristol Institute for Research in the Humanities and Arts (BIRTHA). For enquiries, please contact

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Professor Anne Coldiron (Florida State University) ‘Languages of the Book: Translation, Paratext, Design’, Thursday 27 October, 5.15-6.45pm

We are delighted to welcome Professor Coldiron to Bristol on Thursday 27th October. Her lecture will be held in LR8, 21 Woodland Road, 5.15-6.45pm, followed by a reception. All welcome. Non-University visitors should use the main entrance on 3-5 Woodland Road.

Professor Coldiron specializes in late-medieval and Renaissance literature, with a focus on French-English literary relations, poetics, translation, and early printing. She currently directs the History of Text Technologies program at Florida State and her most recent monograph is entitled Printers Without Borders: Translation and Textuality in the Renaissance (2015).

Professor Coldiron’s visit is funded by the AHRC project, The Renaissance Decameron. For further details please contact Rhiannon Daniels

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