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Pop-up Iowa City book fair is timed for the solstice


Solstice Book Fair

Iowa City Masonic Building (312 E College St) — Thursday, June 22 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Aethelwold by Russell Maret — photo by Annie Schlechter courtesy of the Solstice Book Fair

Earth will reach maximum axial tilt tonight at 11:24 p.m. — the Summer Solstice — meaning in the Northern Hemisphere we will be pointed most directly at our sun. In keeping with the time-honored symbolism of the solstice — the season for ascension in knowledge — the Solstice Book Fair will take over the Iowa City Masonic Building two days later, on Thursday, June 22.

“The timing of this event was inspired by a convergence of rare books aficionados: Librarians, collectors, historians, bibliophiles and makers in Iowa City,” said Candida Pagan, who co-organized the event with fellow Iowa City artist, Lisa Janezic. “It falls during the week of Summer Solstice and Midsummer always feels like a good time for a gathering to celebrate and engage in creative endeavors.”

The fair, a one-day event that is free and open to the public, will showcase 29 independent artists and small presses coast to coast. Several Iowa-based artists will be on display, including locals Islam Aly, Emily Martin and Kalmia Strong. Other exhibitors, such as Canarium Books and Prompt Press, have ties to the Iowa City literary community. (The full list is available on the Solstice Book Fair website).

Janezic and Pagan sent out a national call for participation, with an eye turned primarily towards the midwest. Attendees can expect rare books and artist’s books and letterpresses and broadsides and everything else related to the physically existing thing, the book.

The Solstice Book Fair is sponsored by the following organizations: The University of Iowa Center for the Book, RSVP, Paper Nest, Little Village, The Caxton Club and The Haunted Bookshop.


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