Carolyn Porter | Carolyn Porter: Blog
Learn more about the book "Marcel's Letters" and the font P22 Marcel Script, which is based on the handwriting of conscripted WWII laborer Marcel Heuzé
Carolyn Porter, Marcel Heuzé, Marcel's Letters, Graphic Design, Font Design, P22 Marcel Script
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Marcel’s Letters is awarded a Gold IPPY

Front cover of book, Marcel's Letters, with announcement of IPPY Gold Medal

 

This week I learned Marcel’s Letters was awarded a gold medal in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards (the book tied with  Armand Merizon: His Life and Art 1920-2010, by Muriel Zandstra).

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  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Carolyn Porter standing in front of the Hatch Public Library, Mauston, WI
  • Carolyn Porter's presentation on book "Marcel's Letters" at Hatch Public Library, Mauston, WI
  • Photo showing hand-held sign pointing to hotel bed with six plush pillows; the sign says "Six pillows! All to myself!"
  • Dinner at Larry and Karen Fritz' home
  • Photo of dogs Hoover and Kelly, circa 2005
  • Hat and WWI medals earned by Larry's Fritz' father
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour
  • Marcel's Letters Book Tour

A Book Tour Summary (Mostly) in Selfies

I thought I’d try something different to blog about my April 4–7 book tour to Wisconsin, so here it is: a summary of the tour mostly in selfies! Thanks to everyone who came out to one of my presentations. The trip was a delight.

In Praise of Colophons

In Praise of Colophons

 

Just when I think I’m finished reading my book,
I turn the last page and find that the lettering
of this softened paperback was first cut
by a monk in 1739, just off the Northern coast
of France. How delightful, this production
by the sea——no talking, only the small splashes
of wave against rock, a plover’s squawk,
the metal plink of each letter into the carriage.

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Fuck, Yeah!

I recently received several lovely emails from readers of Marcel’s Letters. Their thoughtful messages noted how they couldn’t put the book down or how they, too, “fell deeply in love with Marcel, his family, and the font.” Emails like that make my heart swell until it feels like it could burst.

After I shared these messages with my husband, Aaron, we joked it was only a matter of time before I would receive a letter or email that contained an opposite sentiment. READ MORE

March 24, 1918: Letter written by Emery Porter who was “Nowhere in France”

This letter was written and mailed by my grandfather, J. Emery Porter, to his sister, Lois Bayley. Forty or so of Emery’s WWI letters to Lois have survived (read more about these letters here). On the back of the envelope (shown above), he included a return address: “Pvt. Emery Porter, 646 Aero Squadron, American Expeditionary Forces, via New York.” I never met my grandfather, but I heard he was a life-long French speaker and unabashed Francophile, primarily due to the experiences he had while stationed in France.

 

“Nowhere in France”
March 24, 1918

Dear Sister,

I was the happy recipient of your letter today. It is the second I have received from home folks. I received one from Mother two weeks ago this morning but nothing since. Evidently you have written others which I may yet receive. This one was dated March 2nd or 3rd. Emily K. has written six but I have received two so far so you can judge why I don’t respond often.

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Military Writers Society of America Book Review

This is Ms. Porter’s story as well as Marcel’s. She tells it honestly and with deep emotion. She manages to balance the several strands of her adventures—the history lessons, the details of creating a font, the inner workings of her marriage, and the clues that point to the eventual outcomes. The reader will rejoice with her when things go well and cry with her when she faces discouragement. It’s a great story.

– Carolyn Schriber, Military Writers Society of America

Read the full review here

Honored to be included in “Freehand: New Typography Sketchbooks”

Two years ago, Steve Heller invited me to submit images of my type sketchbook. I loved how he didn’t ask whether I had a type sketchbook, rather he assumed I did. It was an honor to share images, but also a bit scary as I’ve never shown my sketchbook to anyone before. After submitting the images and answering a few questions about materials and process, I didn’t hear a word. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if anything ever came of the project.
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“My father was friends with Marcel Heuzé”

Our conversation began with this astonishing claim: “My father was friends with Marcel Heuzé.”
(Cue the sound of a needle scratching across a record.)

Let me back up. Two weeks ago, I picked up my office phone to hear a 90-year-old woman with a crisp French accent state her name — Nelly Trocmé Hewett — followed by the astonishing claim her father had been friends with Marcel.READ MORE

Marcel’s Letters is a Minnesota Book Award finalist

I was — I am! — humbled and honored to learn Marcel’s Letters is one of four finalists in the Memoir & Creative Nonfiction category of the Minnesota Book Awards. Finalists were chosen “by 27 judges from around the state—writers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and others from the literary community.”

I am also honored to be a finalist with Amy Thielen for Give a Girl a Knife, Tom Rademacher for It Won’t Be Easy: An Exceedingly Honest (and Slightly Unprofessional) Love Letter to Teaching, and Linda LeGarde Grover for Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year.

Read the official announcement here.

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Update April 21, 2018: Huge congratulations to Linda LeGarde Grover for her win for Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year!

Book Review: Spandau, The Secret Diaries


I just finished reading Spandau: The Secret Diaries by Albert Speer. A friend loaned the book to me long ago; she heard Marcel had been imprisoned in Spandau, and thought the book might be of interest.

Albert Speer was Hitler’s architect and eventually became Minister of Armaments and War Production. During the post-war Nuremberg trial, Speer denounced Hitler, took responsibility for the use of forced labor, and was sentenced to a 20-year prison term. Many other Nazi leaders, including Fritz Sauckel, General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment (that is, the man who was in charge of sending men like Marcel to Germany), were hanged.READ MORE