Events & Visiting Artists

Featured Artist - Winner of the Soybean Award for Literature & Art

Valerie O'Brien

Valerie O’Brien is a graduating senior with a double-major in English and Creative Writing and a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies. She grew up in Rockford, Illinois and moved to Urbana as a transfer student from the University of Minnesota in 2009. Many of her poems are about the Midwest and connect personal relationships to elements of the natural world. Valerie is a campus tour guide and has volunteered with various literacy tutoring programs while in undergrad. She loves to garden, travel, and watch movies and plans to spend her summer doing all three. She will begin graduate study in English at the University of Illinois in the fall, and hopes to be an English professor someday.

The Soybean Press has hosted both artists and literary figures such as the Combat Paper Project, Amos Kennedy, W.S. Merwin and Audrey Niffenegger. During these visits, the volunteers of the Soybean Press produce something in honor of or in collaboration with the guests. These events provide a great opportunity to educate students and faculty about fine press printing and the artists who utilize it.

The Soybean Press is the core institution of the Illinois Book Arts Collaborative. See our About.

Check out the University of Illinois sustainable paper makers at the Fresh Press.

The Soybean Press has partnered with the undergraduate students arts journal Montage to award one student annually with a fine press edition of their work.

Spineless Books will be working on projects with the Soybean Press as of Spring 2012.

Robert Chapman is a local papermaker and letterpress artist.

Illini Union Bookstore

The publications of the Soybean Press will soon be available through the website of the Illini Union Bookstore.

The Soybean Press is a collaborative endeavor of the School of Art & Design, the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and the Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

For more information please email