Making of two poetry anthologies

By 15 Dec 2021

Delhi-based independent publisher Red River recently published two landmark poetry antholo gies — Witness: The Red River Book of Poetry of Dissent and The Shape of a Poem: The Red River Book of Contemporary Erotic Poetry. The former title was printed at Sivakasi-based Lovely Offset Printers and the latter title at Delhi-based Avantika Printers

Witness: The Red River Book of Poetry of Dissent

From the Publisher
Concept idea: Editor Nabina Das says, “We looked at poetry to counter the tyranny of our system, of the ruling disposition, and of all institutional injustices that continue to prevail and perpetuate. Especially in the pandemic – if not now, then when? – it is imperative we speak up and urge for structural changes to lives, livelihoods, and above all, for freedom of expression. Poetry is witness to all of that. Because dissent is collective, we have allowed ourselves to write about a gamut of experiences and sensibilities – most undoubtedly first-hand, first and foremost, and also several as reactions and responses. In a volume such as this one, such liberty is taken to strengthen and raise our voices.”

Designer: Dibyajyoti Sarma
Short history about Red River: Red River is an independent publishing venture based in New Delhi, run by a single individual, Dibyajyoti Sarma, with a vision to publish memorable poetry collections, focusing on quality irrespective of market demands. Established in 2017, Red River so far has published 60 books. The average print-run is 200 copies.

Duration and process of selection: The idea was germinated in late 2019 with the editor and the publisher writing to the poets asking for contribution.

Favourite poets: The highlight of the book was its inclusivity. It contains works from veteran poets as well as the newcomers, and poets writing in different Indian languages.

A comment on Witness: Publisher Dibyajyoti Sarma says, “As the country is going through societal, cultural and political turmoil, not counting the pandemic, the collection attempts to document the times we live in, as we dream for a better future.”

From the Printer

  • Volume: 500 copies.
  • Size: 6x9-inches.
  • Plates: TechNova Thermal Elite
  • Inks: Toyo Ink JPN Hyunity
  • Adhesive: Henkel 4570
  • Process / workflow: Prinergy workflow to manage pre-press activities.
  • Best pre-press practices that were adhered: Vigneshwaran S of Lovely Offset Printers says, “The customer files are pre-flighted before anything is done to confirm the integrity of the files. The files are then refined and paginated using PREPS. This job was soft proofed and sent to the RIP for colour separation. Plates were exposed on Kodak’s trendsetters and CIP3 data was sent to Lithrone GL540+C via a gigabit ethernet network.”
  • Fabrication of cover page, etc: The cover page was laminated in Steinemann Lotus 102SF laminator.
  • Paper: Inner pages were printed on 70-gsm Seshasayee Silverbrite paper which is ideal for book inner pages and 300-gsm Ningbo Art Card for the cover.
  • Press: The inner pages were printed on a Mitsubishi Daiya 3DP, which is capable of printing on both sides of the paper in one pass. The cover was printed on a Komori Lithrone GL540+C with PDC-SX. This is one of the most sophisticated printing machines available today. The machine has auto-register and automatic print density control which work in tandem.
  • Post-press: The inner pages were folded in a Shoei folding machine and perfect-bound in a Muller Martini Acoro A5 perfect binder with 16 gathering stations and inline trimmer.
  • Most difficult book produced by Lovely in the recent months: An ultimate planner. Nearly 75 processes had to be done to complete the planner.
  • Most difficult book to bind in the recent months: An A3 learning activity book. It was a big challenge to bind this 320 pages A3 size book.
  • Update from the Lovely factory: Says Vigneshwaran, “We have almost doubled our floor space and set up rigid box and paper bag lines.”

The Shape of a Poem: The Red River Book of Contemporary Erotic Poetry

From the Publisher
Concept idea: Editors Srividya Sivakumar and Paresh Tiwari say, “Some of the finest contemporary poetic voices from Bangladesh, Canada, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Scotland, the UK, and the US make a compelling case for the pursuit of pleasure, for the excitement of the erotic. When explored in a space of consent, the erotic is a formidable force. It is not an easy animal to fathom.
Often misunderstood and mistreated, it is trivialised, confused with pornography, considered taboo, too bold or risqué. It is sometimes greeted with a whiff of disapproval and embarrassment and sometimes, even dismissed. This erotic anthology celebrates sex and desire unabashedly. But it also seeks to makes a case for permission, for the celebration of
all bodies, genders, and orientations.”

Designer: Dibyajyoti Sarma
Duration and process of selection: The idea was germinated in late 2019 with the editors writing to the poets asking for contribution.

Favourite poets: The highlight of the book was its inclusivity. It contains works from poets writing from all over the world.

A comment on The Shape of a Poem: Publisher Dibyajyoti Sarma says, “With this anthology, we want to celebrate intimacies without shame and guilt.”

 

From the Printer

  • Volume: 200 copies.
  • Size: 5.8x8-inches.
  • Plates: In PoD model, there is no plates and ink. It was printed through cutsheet toner-based digital.
  • Process/workflow: Imposition was done as per the size to be printed on digital machines.
  • Best pre-press practices that was adhered: Colour correction on the cover is performed along with the font checking is a must as they get corrupted while transferring files from the system to RIP station.
  • Fabrication of cover page, etc: Matte lamination was done on the cover after digital printing and then was sent for perfect binding.
  • Paper:  80-gsm NS book printing paper from Seshasayee in black and white for the inner pages and BILT 250-gsm C1S on colour for the cover.
  • Press: Ricoh 8120 for mono printing and Canon C8000VP for the cover as it is a colour job.
  • Post-press: The book was perfect bound on a Welbound binding machine.
  • Most difficult book produced by Avantika in the recent months: Himanshu Pandey of Avantika, says, “Recently, we made a box for a book, which was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind.”
  • Most difficult book to bind in the recent months: Pandey says, “We have done a catalogue for Asian Paints with many pop-ups inside and foil printing in five impressions and spot UV.”
  • Update from the Avantika factory: Pandey says, “Post-Covid, we have set up a unit in Greater Noida to serve corporate and educational institution clients." 

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