Five staff photographers will offer close-ups of the interests, activities, and personalities inside five Harvard Houses in installments over the course of the academic year. In the first, Kris Snibbe visits Adams House, home of the Bow and Arrow Press.

During Bow and Arrow Press’ weekly “Party in the Press,” a poem from Charles Baudelaire’s “Les Fleurs du Mal” is set in lead type and crimson ink and is spread over the printing rollers.

A thin sheet of maple veneer is fed into the press by Daniel Gross ’13, student press master, who explains his affinity for printing: “You’re taking a bunch of metal, pulling it across a piece of paper, you feel the indentation of the metal pressing ink into the page. On a computer, it wouldn’t be the same.”

Beyond poetry and printmaking, Bow and Arrow Press is used for special House functions, such as creating winter feast invitations. Zachary Sifuentes, visiting lecturer on visual and environmental studies and resident tutor in poetry at Adams House, says, “It leaves a bite in the page, a tactile imprint — it tells us that we’re going to leave one of these events with a memory that is real.”

Bow and Arrow Press

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

  • Printworks


    Zachary Sifuentes (left), visiting lecturer on visual and environmental studies and resident tutor in poetry at Adams House, watches Kathryn Reed '13 print a poem by Charles Baudelaire inside the Bow and Arrow Press at Adams House during Open Press Night.

  • Red letter day

    Red letter day

    These letter blocks must be meticulously laid out before printing.

  • Press master

    Press master

    Student press master Daniel Gross '13 explores the historical presses inside Bow and Arrow Press.

  • Letters in hand

    Letters in hand

    Rebecca Cooper '11 reserves these tiny letters for a project of her own.

  • An inky joy

    An inky joy

    "On a computer, it wouldn’t be the same," said press master Daniel Gross '13 of printing on this maple veneer.

  • A vision in crimson

    A vision in crimson

    Fresh crimson ink is applied to the press.

  • Printing plans

    Printing plans

    Justin Butler '11 (from left), Rebecca Cooper '11, Daniel Gross '13, and Ted Ollier, printmaker and Adams House nonresident tutor, talk about future printing projects.

  • Woman of letters

    Woman of letters

    Rebecca Cooper '11 plucks from a trove of letters.

  • Viva Adams House

    Viva Adams House

    The archive of historical projects made inside the Bow and Arrow Press includes a poster showing the Adams House shield.

  • 'Be Drunk'

    'Be Drunk'

    This type, all laid out, shows Charles Baudelaire's poem "Be Drunk," which says: "You have to be always drunk. That's all there is to it — it's the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk."

  • Finished product

    Finished product

    Zachary Sifuentes (right) and Justin Butler '11 are almost ready to print.

  • It's beautiful!

    It's beautiful!

    Success! Zachary Sifuentes (center) holds Baudelaire's words up in the air. Daniel Gross '13 (from left) and Matt Warner '13 look on in admiration. Visiting Lecturer, VES; Resident Tutor in Poetry & Arts, Adams House and Matt Warner '13, also a Student Press Master, print together inside the Bow and Arrow Press during Open Press Night inside Adams House at Harvard University. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer