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wellsThe Book Arts Center at Wells College has announced that publisher David Godine will present the 30th Susan Garretson Swartzburg Book Arts Lecture on Thursday, October 21 at 5:15 PM in Stratton Auditorium on the Wells campus in Aurora, NY.

Godine is the proprietor of David R. Godine, Inc., a small Boston publishing house that produces between twenty and thirty eclectic titles per year. The company's goal, “to identify the best work and to produce it in the best way possible,” means that they feature works that many other publishers can't or won't support, books that won't necessarily become bestsellers but that still deserve publication. Godine's list stands apart by offering original fiction and non-fiction of the highest rank, rediscovered masterworks, translations of outstanding world literature, poetry, art, photography, and beautifully designed books for children.

The company was founded in 1970. After receiving degrees at Dartmouth College and Harvard University, David Godine worked for Leonard Baskin, the renowned typographer and printmaker, and Harold McGrath, his master printer. David Godine opened a printing shop the following year in a deserted barn in Brookline, Massachusetts. His first books, printed on his own presses, were nearly all letterpress, limited editions printed on high-quality rag or handmade paper. Many of these early volumes are now collector's items.

In 1980, the company initiated its children's program, publishing a number of books that have become classics. The Godine editions of Frances Hodgson Burnett's timeless works, The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, together have sold close to half a million hardcover copies. More recently, Godine has launched two new series: Imago Mundi, a line of original books devoted to photography and the graphic arts; and Verba Mundi, featuring the most notable contemporary world literature in translation.

The New York Times has said of him, “David Godine is a remarkable publisher.... He is determined to prove that the day of elegant books has not vanished. And he does prove it. Elegantly.” And Newsweek has said, “Godine books are not 'beautiful' in the glossy fashion of the coffee-table books that flood the market at Christmastime. They are instead flawlessly produced examples of the arts of printing and bookbinding, exquisitely understated.”

Wells’ Book Arts Lecture series is named for Susan Garretson Swartzburg, one of the co-founders of the Center. Swartzburg, Wells class of 1960, had worked tirelessly to promote the fledgling Book Arts Center when she died unexpectedly in 1996. Godine joins a list of distinguished lecturers from across the broad spectrum of book arts. Recent lectures have been given by Mark Dimunation, chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress; Julie Chen, internationally known proprietor of the Flying Fish Press; and Terry Belanger, rare book preservationist, founding director of the Rare Book School and a 2005 fellow of the MacArthur Foundation.

Godine’s lecture is free and open to the public.

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