Print Your Own Language

Books & Literature | Fellowships

Book Artist, Frank Brannon. Courtesy of Frank Brannon.
Book Artist, Frank Brannon. Courtesy of Frank Brannon.

Brooks Hall, 2nd Floor Conference Room

1560 University Avenue Charlottesville, VA

Book Artist and Resident Fellow with Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Frank Brannon, will discuss his work to support Cherokee language revitalization through letterpress printing and share recently completed pieces by student printmaking artists from Southwestern Community College, NC.

The Cherokee written language, known as Cherokee Syllabary, was developed in the 19th century and literacy in the syllabary spread rapidly across the community. Several years after its inception, the language was adapted for letterpress printing with the foundation of the Cherokee Phoenix, an indigenous language newspaper. The paper, which operated out of present day Georgia, was shut down during the events leading to the infamous trail of tears when the Georgia guard seized the printing press the accompanying metal type. Brannon worked with the Cherokee community to recreate the lost type and restore the lost art of Cherokee letterpress to the region.