Monday, 15 December 2008

Ellipsis and Cakes

Ornan Rotem is a designer. He's responsible for the fabulous cahiers series run in conjuction with the American University in Paris. We met a few months ago for tea in Amato's - the best patisserie on Old Compton Street. Magical things happen there.

'Nancy!' he declared, wolfing Amato's airy chocolate mousse, 'I am going to start a poetry series and you will be its editor.'

The series has taken shape during long phone conversations while Ornan was at the printers easing other books off the press. Issued in sets of three, the slim, colourful volumes will offer contemporary translation, fiction, poetry, aphorisms... 'The books will be like the dots in an ellipsis,' Ornan remarked, deciding on the name - 'three dots, a beginning continued ... so small that it is nearly an ... omission.'

A few weeks later we met in the cafe at Foyle's on the Charing Cross Road. I sampled the more-ish vegan walnut and orange loaf. Looking over designs, we decided on a sewn structure rather than a common glue binding. The silky bible paper will have an oriental fold, so that each page is two sheets thick. The type is Ornan's beloved Dante. The slim books will be delicate but the general feel is far from light - the aim is to suggest something precious, worthy of care and consideration.

The writers have been selected for the first set of the series. The forthcoming list includes the aphorisms of the Hebrew writer Rachel Shihor, flash fiction sharp as a knife from Frances Gapper and wonderful poems by Ruth Valentine.

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