Named by its founders James and Carolyn Robertson for the area north of Covelo, California, the Yolla Bolly press specialized in fine press editions of literature, poems, and essays. Before it ceased publishing with the death of James Robertson in 2001, the press had followed the traditional French model of livres d’artistes: it would select a text, usually by a prominent California or Mexican writer, commission original art work for it, and sometimes add commentary by a contemporary critic. In the words of the Press’ own publicity material, “[t]he result is not a simple reprint, but an interpretation of the original text in a contemporary context.”

The press used mouldmade paper generally from Europe and handmade bindings some of which were designed by prominent book artists like Julie Chen. A major retrospective of the work of the press was held at the Stanford University Library, where the Press’ archive is held, in 2002.


Books from the Yolla Bolly Press available from Boreas Fine Art:

[ Yolla Bolly Press ]  Jeffers, Robinson.  Cawdor.  Covelo, CA: Yolla Bolly Press.  [1983].

[ Yolla Bolly Press ]  Thoreau, Henry David.  The Winged Life.  Covelo, CA: Yolla Bolly Press.  1986.  (Wood engravings by Michael McCurdy; edited by Robert Bly.)

[ Yolla Bolly Press ]  de Balbuena, Bernardo, et al. trans. Samuel Beckett.  The Bread of Days. Covelo, CA: Yolla Bolly Press.  1994.  (Twelve etchings by Enrique Chagoya; commentaries by Octavio Paz and Eliot Weinberger; binding designed by Julie Chen.)



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