The pressman on the job
When Pasatiempo decided to put a poem by Layli Long Soldier on its cover, printer Tom Leech seemed the ideal man for the job. Leech, who recreated the magazine’s logo and Long Soldier’s words in letterpress type, is the director of the Palace Press at the New Mexico History Museum. For the cover, which he printed on a Vandercook proof press, Leech used a Centaur typeface, Palatino italic for the footnotes, and, as he called it, “plain old black” ink.
At the press shop in the Palace of the Governors’ courtyard, Leech prints oneof-a-kind letterpress editions and broadsides, or large printed posters, available for sale to visitors — including more prints of the Long Soldier poem. His work continues a long poetic tradition of using broadsides as a form of street literature or a portable medium for circulating political or social messages. When we last stopped in, he was working on a striking treatment of another poem, “Forms of the Earth at Abiquiú,” by Pulitzer Prize-winner N. Scott Momaday. — M.B.