Poinciana Paper Press: A Publishing Model for the Caribbean

PPP MFA exhibition invite Sonia Farmer squ

In April 2019, Sonia presented her thesis exhibition, “Poinciana Paper Press: A Publishing Model for the Caribbean” at the K.K. Merker Gallery in the University of Iowa Center for the Book with a Bahamian breakfast reception. Successfully graduating with her MFA in Book Arts shortly thereafter, Sonia also earned The JoAnn Castagna and Daniel Campion Award for her academic achievements during her time at the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sonia’s thesis details her commitment to use multiple forms of publishing to advance the diversity of Caribbean literature through her independent press, Poinciana Paper Press, positioning it as a major collaborator in the literary and visual art communities in the region. To that end, she presented four projects that propose a direction for her press:

The Best Estimation in the World (a model for full-length book design and distribution for her work and work by others);

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Current Books (a model for chapbook design and institutional collaboration);

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The Red Thread Cycle (a model for artist book projects and artistic collaboration);

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


and The Craftsman Press Archive (a model for ongoing digital publishing projects and community collaboration).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


In their collective subject matter that resists the singular Caribbean narrative, in their range of materials and forms that span from handmade limited-edition printed books to websites, and in their outreach, these projects lay the groundwork for an unprecedented publishing model in The Caribbean.

Her thesis is available to download from The University of Iowa’s Institutional Repository. or by emailing Sonia at sonia [at] poincianapaperpress.com.


Thank you, University of Iowa Center for the Book. Thank you thesis committee: Julia Leonard, Sara Langworthy, Sara Sauers, Karen Carcia, and Matthew Brown. Thank you Isabella for the final proofing. Thank you, John & Pia Farmer. Thank you, Manfred.

Breakfast reception images courtesy of Lauren Chesire. Thanks, Lauren! 

Thanks also to the following folks who made this breakfast reception possible through cookware loans, altered baked goods, food shortage emergencies, clean-up, and transport: Kat; Kaeli; Bobby; Katerina; Katharine. Thank you Leslie for the flowers and thank you India for the homemade lunch that fueled this eight-hour install. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s