Skillman Library, Simon Room
November 8, 2010 – January 7, 2011

Ninja Press. Image of cover: Burn Down the Zendo by Michael Hannon, 2004.

Ninja Press. Burn Down the Zendo by Michael Hannon, 2004.

For twenty-five years, Ninja Press in Sherman Oaks, California, has turned out some of the finest work to be found in the contemporary artists’ books scene.  The press was founded in 1984 by Carolee Campbell, who continues to be its sole proprietor and who designs, prints, and binds every volume of each edition produced by the press.  Specializing in contemporary poetry, Campbell has printed the works of such poets as Breyten Breytenbach, Robert Bringhurst, Michael Hannon, W.S. Merwin, José Montoya, and Nathaniel Tarn.  The limited-edition books and broadsides produced by Ninja Press are avidly collected by institutions that specialize in artists’ books.

Skillman Library is honored to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ninja Press with this exhibition.  On view are all of the sixteen book productions of the press, as well as chapbooks and nearly thirty broadsides.  Realia from several of the editions include binding and presswork notes, binding jigs and stencils, printing plates, and various states of binding materials. Photographs taken by Campbell for three of the works are also on display.  On November 11, Campbell gave the third annual Schlueter Lecture, “Poetry & the Artists’ Book.”