Pamela Hovland | Miscellaneous

Happy Holidays from Robert Frost

In 1926, two idealistic book-loving young men, Joseph Blumenthal and George Hoffman, opened a letterpress shop in New York City under the name of Spiral Press. The publisher Henry Holt and Company was an important early client; they hired Spiral Press to produce a book of collected poems for the American poet Robert Frost. During this project, Joseph Blumenthal decided to reprint one of Frost’s poems to use as a Christmas greeting card for his wife and a small group of colleagues. Robert Frost saw the card, appreciated the efforts of this small press and wrote to Blumenthal requesting a meeting, which happened a few weeks later. This bit of ephemera inspired a long collaboration between Blumenthal and Frost as well as many top woodcut and engraving artists of the day. The poet and designer/printer sent the cards (8, 12 or 16 page chapbooks) yearly as a Christmas greeting: over time, these grew to become an acclaimed series of first editions (and an in-demand annual tradition). Twenty-five chapbooks were produced between 1929 and 1962. —Pamela Hovland

Posted in: Arts + Culture, History, Media

Jobs | July 25