Red Ozier Press 1976-1988
In 1976, inspired by Anaïs Nin who self-published her own experimental prose, Steve Miller founded Red Ozier Press in Madison, Wisconsin.
Red Ozier's second home was on the 5th floor of this warehouse building on Warren Street in the Tribeca area of Manhattan. The #4 Vandercook proof press sat behind the glorious half-round window.
Ken Botnick on the left, and Steve working up proofs of a book by William Burroughs
Steve Miller founded Red Ozier Press in 1976 in Madison, Wisconsin. While bartending and waiting on tables, and wanting to make a book of his own poems, he took a letterpress printing class with Walter Hamady, a professor at the University of Wisconsin and proprietor of The Perishable Press. He printed a broadside, The Balloon People Poem, and then a chapbook of his own poems, Wild Night Irises. By the time the book was finished he knew he had to continue doing this magical thing of making books by hand. He bought a printing press in Chicago and set up a small studio on the 2nd floor of a welfare hotel in Madison. For three years he made books and broadsides there while waiting on tables at a restaurant downstairs in the hotel.
His good friend and undergraduate business student Ken Botnick egged him on, buying him the press' first school kid paper cutter. After three years the two of them moved to a loft that Ken had found in lower Manhattan, and Ken became fully involved with the daily practice of making books.
In 1988 the New York Public Library purchased the Red Ozier archive. Michael Peich wrote the Red Ozier Press bibliography, The Red Ozier: A Literary Fine Press, co-published by the New York Public Library and Yellow Barn Press. The following are links to two chapters from this wonderful book.
A LITERARY FINE PRESS
History and Bibliography 1976-1987
By MICHAEL PEICH
By STEVE MILLER
A scanned pdf file of the original book introductions, including Ken Botnick's remarks.
Red Ozier items are available at Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers, LLC.