The last set of page proofs for HAPPY LIFE arrived here electronically—a practically instantaneous way of sending something—on April 22nd. Sending page proofs electronically, albeit swift, as opposed to snailmail, presents a particular difficulty for someone like me with an old printer. I, being an old fashioned kinda guy, wanted to sit at my desk and read the pages on paper as opposed to a computer screen. But when I went to print out the proofs from the attachment, I got gobbledygook, because my printer couldn’t handle the fonts the manuscript was in. I was forced to read the book this last time on-screen, which I did but didn’t much like. The moral of this story is: keep up to date or you will be, like me, lost.

Because of numerous other obligations facing me when the proofs arrived—I had to smoke a leg of lamb on Easter Sunday (I smoke with apple wood), the second part of my interview on Amanda Hoving’s blog MY WRINKLED PAGES went up on the internet on Monday, the 25th, (Part II is at:, Part I is at: which meant writing numerous responses to readers, plus a day’s worth of meetings on the 26th and a phone interview with a poetry class at University of the South, in Sewanee, TN, on the 27th—all of which meant I had to proof the last set of proofs willy-nilly, in the cracks between all those other things, plus trying to spend some time outside getting gravel back in the drive and replacing snowplow divots. But I did it, and I sent the proofs back Thursday morning, April 28th.

In this last round of proofs almost everything is as it was during the set of proofs before this one, at least that’s what you hope for. New to this set was the CIP, Cataloguing in Publication Data from the Library of Congress, and the acknowledgements for Lois Eby’s artwork on the cover. At this point the back matter gets added: the “About the Author” page, a page acknowledging the various major contributors to Copper Canyon Press, and the colophon.

A colophon is the press mark—for Copper Canyon Press it’s the Chinese character for poetry—plus a paragraph saying with what fonts the book was composed, giving a little history of those fonts, and also telling who designed the book, in this case Valerie Brewster, (,

Here’s the colophon for HAPPY LIFE:

This book is set in Minion, designed for digital composition by Robert Slimbach in 1989. Minion is a neohumanist face, a contemporary typeface retaining elements of the pen-drawn letterforms developed during the Renaissance. Display type is set in Woodland, designed by Akira Kobayashi. Book design and composition by Valerie Brewster, Scribe Typography. Printed on archival-quality paper at McNaughton & Gunn, Inc.

Barring any unforeseen difficulties, the page proofs are now off to the printer and before long this thing that’s been in the works now for almost a year and a half will be a book.

Now, I, as the author, move away from those who work in composition and design and over to the publicity department and I get ready to do my part in promoting the book, trying to get it noticed among all the tens of thousands of other books that will be published this fall.

Until next time … Sincerely,

David Budbill

April 28, 2011