John Updike Society members may know Andrew Moorhouse from the last two conferences he attended, at which he modestly suggested he was not an academic but “only” an Updike fan, a reader, and a lover of books.
But it turns out that his love of books has made him one of the most respected fine press publishers in the United Kingdom. And John Updike inspired him.
“The American author John Updike said: ‘A book is beautiful in its relation to the human eye, to the human hand, to the human brain and to the human spirit,’ and it is this quote which encouraged me to get involved in Fine Press publishing,” Moorhouse wrote in an article that appeared yesterday in The Irish Times: “Michael Longley’s Sea Asters: publishing as a work of art.”
In the article, Moorhouse talks about how he started Fine Press Poetry in 2013 and how his first three books—two featuring British poet Simon Armitage and this third release, Michael Longley’s Sea Asters, illustrated by the author’s artist daughter—came to be. The article also contains several poems by Longley, who was recently announced as winner of the Griffin International Poetry Prize.
Moorhouse’s forthcoming publication is Andrew Motion’s Ted Hughes Award-winning Coming Home poems. Fine Press Poetry, which specializes in creating letterpress editions of poems accompanied by illustrations by wood engravers and artists, is based in Rochdale, England.