death of workers whilst building skyscrapers

Death of workers whilst building skyscrapers is a publishing press run by Lucy Wilkinson. Her work consists of handmade limited edition publications and ephemera in the experimental literature calibre.

“Frustrated working in a bar, I started the publishing press in 2018 as a means to self-publish a novella I wrote after the breakdown of a relationship whilst living with the grief of having a terminally ill father. The book had been stuffed in a drawer and I felt a calling to share it. I was overwhelmed by the costs to print a book and I remember being sat on a bench outside the printers in Cheadle, thinking “I’m just going to do it myself”.

I went home that day, borrowed £40 from my dad, and went to the art shop to buy some bookbinding supplies. I had no clue whatsoever. After practising and practising for a few months, reading bookbinding books and websites, and watching videos on bookbinding, I felt confident enough to hand-bind the novella, as well as a small chapbook of poems by my sister and a friend. I made fifty copies of each and then went to local bookstores and asked if they would stock them. They were all supportive and I managed to stock a few copies of each. People seemed to like them so I continued to publish more writers.

I have always been inspired by Manchester’s history, in particular the working-class poets such as John Bolton Rogerson. I reprinted his 1842 book Voice From The Town in 2018. It inspired me that he was a weaver who found the mental and physical energy to write and publish his own books. The persistence to hold on to his soul exudes from the book.

In 2020, I published the Canadian Experimental Filmmaker, Al Razutis. We collaborated together to publish a collection of essays that span fifty years of his life in the art world. It was important to Al that the book be a crafted and artistic object in its own right.

In 2023, I worked with the beat writer, Brenda Frazer. We worked closely together to produce a limited edition slipcase collection of her memoirs from 1959-1983.

I aim to reflect the content of the writing into the design and bookmaking process, collaborating with the writer to produce a limited edition book.”

Books, chapbooks and ephemera are stocked in a selection of bookstores and libraries, including City Lights (San Francisco, U.S.), Good Press (Glasgow, UK), Lightcone (Paris, France), Greenhouse Books (Manchester, UK), Chetham’s Library (Manchester, UK), The National Poetry Library (London, UK), Manchester Poetry Library (Manchester, UK), Typewronger (Edinburgh, UK), Glasgow School of Art (Glasgow, UK), The University of Buffalo Library (New York, U.S.), The British Library (London, UK).