Codhill Press’s Naissance

Codhill Press began in the throes of the Y2K event. That was when a mania hit the Western world and people feared a cataclysmic breakdown in services—all because computers hadn’t been programmed to turn the corner beyond 1999. It began as a moonlighting venture. I was then editing Parabola Magazine, and had the thought that an additional book line would be a good idea. The Parabola board disagreed and Codhill was launched amidst great controversy.

An early supporter and benefactor was Frederick Franck. Frederick, a Dutch emigre, and his wife Claske had fled the New York City high end art scene for an authentic life in nature. They bought a property that included an old stone mill, now a museum of his many art pieces, sculptures, drawings, and etchings. One day he handed me a manuscript of how the story had unfolded, and it became the first title, Pacem in Terris. It is still in print, as are all Codhill titles.

Frederick Franck was a lay master of Zen. He had made it a point to spend time with great men he admired: Albert Schweitzer, Pope John XXIII, the Dalai Llama, to name a few. His sketches of each are exquisite. Many appear in a subsequent Codhill publication of his, an anthology of work entitled The Passion of Seeing.

Pacem in Terris is also the name of the museum, located in Warwick. It cerebrates the presence of Frederick Franck. His living breath is palpable among the many works of his that are scattered along the banks of the Wawayanda River as it runs through the propery. It is a sanctuary for sanity that Frederick felt so crucial to being human. Well worth a visit.