X has never been common in the English language, and just .02 percent of the dictionary begins with this rare letter. For letterpress printers using wood type, the X is often missing from a font, or the poor sort has had its reverse side surrendered for carving a sorely needed A or E instead.
During a residency at Shooting Star Press in Little Rock, Arkansas, I had the opportunity to explore the huge wood type collection, full of rare and exotic specimens. Inspired by the extraordinary xenodochy (hospitality) of my hosts in contrast to our country’s disturbing xenophobia (fear of foreigners), I set out to create Xenagogy X, a guidebook. Words led by the letter X are surrounded by their definitions and framed by X specimens, all bound in an X-cordion. An independent variable, an unknown value, the letter X serves to expand and excite.
10 x 7.25" closed, expands to 24". Letterpress printed with handset wood and metal and Ludlow-cast type. Printed on French Speckletone paper. Bound in varnished railroad board covers. Numbered edition of 45 copies signed by the artist.