As publishers of poetry, prints, and book art in limited editions, Harry Reese and Sandra Liddell Reese set type by hand, print with hand presses, and produce art projects that feature their own papermaking, traditional as well as digital printmaking, edition binding, innovative book structures, and collaborations with poets, artists, writers, and thinkers. Since its origin in 1974, Turkey Press has received grants and awards from a number of organizations, most notably the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the College Book Art Association, and the Book Club of California. In 1990, they created another imprint, Edition Reese, to produce artists’ publications in limited editions. They have worked with many artists, including William T. Wiley, Antonio Frasconi, Ann Hamilton, Joan Tanner, Kiki Smith, Yoko Ono, and Jean-Pierre Hébert. Color reproductions of their books are featured in The Rocket Four: Making Artist Books Today, a 1999 catalogue of four contemporary artist book publishers for exhibitions that traveled in Europe, South America, and the United States. Their work was also included in the exhibition, The Art of the Book in California: Five Contemporary Presses, at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, in 2011. An illustrated catalogue, with essays by Peter Koch and Robert Bringhurst, accompanied the exhibition. In 1992 the Getty Research Institute acquired the Turkey Press Archives (1974-1991). The second installment of the Reese Archive (1992-2016) belongs to Stanford University.
Harry Reese received an MFA from Brown University in 1975. He taught printmaking, papermaking, book art, visual literacy, public art, and media ecology classes at the University of California, Santa Barbara from 1978 until his retirement in 2018. In 1985, he established the Book Arts Program in the College of Creative Studies, which continues today under the guidance of Linda Ekstrom, as one of the only programs in the country in which an undergraduate may receive a degree in Book Arts. For more than a decade, his administrative duties also included appointments as Chair of the Department of Art and as Associate Dean of the College of Creative Studies. His artist’s book, Funagainstawake – originally produced in unique versions for Edition Reese – was published in a limited edition by Granary Books (New York, NY) in 1997. His collaboration with Jud Fine on “Spine,” a permanent outdoor installation at the Los Angeles Central Library, opened in 1993. That same year, they co-authored a book on this project, published by the Los Angeles Library Association. He has worked on other public art commissions and projects in Arizona (Tempe), California (San Francisco, Pasadena, Laguna Hills), Florida (Hollywood), Nevada (Fallon), North Carolina (Penland), and South Carolina (Charleston).
Sandra Liddell Reese
A native of California, Sandra Liddell Reese was graduated from Denver University with a BA in 1969. She taught science and art to sixth graders until she met Harry Reese in 1975 and began making books. Self taught (and still learning) she produces most of their printing and binding publications in their home and studios in Isla Vista. Collaborative projects she planned and edited include: Heart Island – epigrammatic love poems by the late James Laughlin, a fine poet who was best known as the publisher of New Directions Publishing Corp., with wood engravings from a 19th century French dictionary of infernal demons; The Standard, an artist’s book collaboration of 26 copies between her and Harry Reese; and Kinnikinnick Brand Kickapoo Joy-Juice, poems (‘meta-fours”) by the late Jonathan Williams, with drawings by John Furnival and her own typographic and monotype prints. She has taught occasionally at UCSB and elsewhere, but primarily she works with poets, artists, writers, curators, and designers in planning and producing limited editions of books, folded broadsides, and print projects.
Naming the Press
“I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of bad moral character; like those among men who, live by sharping and robbing, he is generally poor and often very lousy. The turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true and original native of America.”
Benjamin Franklin 1784