I was recently commissioned to write an essay (“One Hundred Years Out”) for The Glass Reader. This publication is being edited by Jeffrey Sarmiento and Kevin Petrie (who are both makers and writers based at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, UK) and it will be published by Bloomsbury in early 2020.
A “reader” is another term for an anthology; it is a book of selected writings on a particular subject or by a particular author. If compiled well, these volumes are especially useful in giving us an overview of a given and key texts (both theoretical and practical) in a field. Often, the selections are edited down—or abridged--to essential paragraphs; as a writer I have a slight bias against this because it shortens an author’s argument. Both the general sections and individual selections of a reader are often preceded by the editor’s summary comments. These editorial comments may also be helpful in understanding the actual texts, their historical significance in their particular arena, and their broader cultural context. To the right is an image of Kevin Petrie's The Ceramics Reader.