Alisa Golden
never mind the press

As I worked on my first book of poems during my first semester at California College of Arts and Crafts, my teacher, Betsy Davids, suggested that I choose a press name. The book was called never mind the crowd, so it seemed fitting that never mind the press become its imprint. As evidenced by the poetry, I liked wordplay. Choosing never mind the press seemed an offhand way of making something serious and not serious at the same time.

I mixed my writing with the work that I did in other printmaking classes and was very happy merging the writing and the art. Finally, I didn't have to choose one or the other; I could make things and write. I received a BFA in Printmaking with High Distinction in 1985.

The imprint graduated with me, and I bought my own press in 1987. I created approximately one hundred editions of letterpress printed books. Setting the words one letter at a time gave me the opportunity to do some editing; on the other hand, I occasionally ran out of a letter and had to change a word at the last minute. Each book challenged me in a new way. I balance my practice by making both letterpress printed editions and multicolored linoleum block prints and unique handmade boxes with objects and books inside, additionally incorporating handmade felt. I also print on fabric and make art quilts, which feel like large scale open books to me.

In addition to making books, I have taught book structures and printing in the San Francisco Bay area, including CCA, the San Francisco Art Institute, the San Francisco Center for the Book, and Ocean View elementary school. I have also taught "Writing and the Creative Process" at John F. Kennedy University.

As a result of my teaching experience I wrote Creating Handmade Books, a how-to book; it was published in 1998 by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. I pursued my investigation of interesting book structures and the creative processes of different artists and wrote a second how-to book called Unique Handmade Books (November 2001) A third book, focusing even more on the creative process and specifically linking content to form, followed: Expressive Handmade Books (December 2005). I wrote the fourth book after exploring acrylic inks on paper: Painted Paper: Techniques and Projects for Handmade Books and Cards (January 2008). The fifth book, Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms was published by Lark Books in January 2011.

My lifelong writing practice took me back to school in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, with an emphasis in fiction. I graduated with an MFA in May 2012 and founded the quarterly art and literary magazine Star 82 Review in December 2012: the first issue was released in March 2013.

I am a former program director and board member of the Pacific Center for the Book Arts.

note: In 2003, CCAC changed its name to CCA, or California College of the Arts.

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