Pooka Press

This site is a vehicle for me to share items I have found over the years, including many Pooka Press "books" I have made. As I say below, many of my Pooka Press items are formed from a single sheet of paper.

(Note as of late October 2006: Right now the site consists of only what you're looking at. Links to actual content will show up soon.)

Explanation / Background

Pooka Press is what I would term an "experimental" press, an enterprise for my own enjoyment. I do not sell the items I make (yet?) -- my mode of distribution is to make the various "books" and hand them out, share them with friends and some people I meet in passing. My output is varied and "occasional," except for my Christmas ornament books, the first in 1982, then continuous from 1983. Some of my Pooka Press books remain at the "dummy book" stage, not for public release yet, as I have not taken the time to complete the production process.

I have collected quotations, stories, and odd bits of information, since my grade school days. I have been interested in origami, paper projects, and crafts since those days also. My intent is to share what I have found - and will find. My Pooka Press items are one conduit, this web site is another.

Genesis of the name: When I was a librarian at a Junior High School, a student wanted to start a student (underground?) newspaper. I encouraged her and helped solicit submissions for publication. She thought up the name, Pooka Press. Unfortunately, the enterprise died aborning for lack of interest -- nothing was submitted. I made a couple of folded books and a couple of cut/folded/stapled books between 1972 and 1981; I appropriated the Pooka Press name, so now it is mine. It was not until December 1982 that I began producing little books in earnest, my first Christmas ornament book, as indicated above.

History lesson/aside: A pooka is the Irish equivalent of the English Puck, a mischievous spirit; however, the pooka tends to be a meaner, often malevolent, spirit than Puck, often taking the shape of a horse. Irish folk tales often cast the pooka as akin to a haunt, a frightening beast. I have heard of one story in which the woman the pooka tries to scare refuses to react, whereupon the pooka and she get together occasionally for a friendly time together. The six-foot invisible rabbit in the play (and movie) "Harvey" is a pooka. Pooka Press does not intend to be mean, evil, or nasty.

I began making small "books" in 1972; It was not until December 1982 that I began producing little books in earnest. Many of my Pooka Press items are formed from a single sheet of paper. My intent is to have some available in pdf format on this website. I find that my printer does not print edge-to-edge, so some of my items may not print as I have made them. Ah well... Also, some items do not lend themselves to easy transition to a web page. (see the Pooka Press items section.)

The subject matter of Pooka Press is varied: poems, quotations, a couple of stories, and a couple of short essays make up the bulk of my list. I have drawn directions for a number of origami forms that are also part of the list. The Christmas ornament books, as I mentioned, are an annual effort.

In addition to my Pooka Press output, I have also collected quite a few quotations and poems, many of which I have not found on the Web. Some of the items in my accumulation are copyrighted, so I can only indicate what I have found. I am aware that a number of quotations are attributed to the wrong person; finding the actual author can be an impossible task. I prefer to include the source of a quotation or poem where possible. (see the Quotes and Poems section)

last updated: 2006-10-22