Sunday, May 10, 2015

Towards a New American Poetics, limited edition signed by Allen Ginsberg and more (Black Sparrow Press, 1978)

This isn't technically in my collection, but passing through: Towards a New American Poetics is a gift my wife and I will be giving to a relative who will be getting his Ph.D. next month in American literature.

Published in 1978 by Black Sparrow Press and edited by Ekbert Faas, Towards a New American Poetics features essays by Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Gary Snyder, Robert Creeley, Robert Bly and Allen Ginsberg, as well as an interview with each by Faas.

In traditional Black Sparrow Press form, the book was issued in a trade edition of 1000 copies as well as a limited, numbered edition of only 125. These copies were all signed by the authors, with the exception of Charles Olson who died eight years previously. Pretty neat to see all these important poets on one signature page:

And, for good measure, an excerpt of Allen Ginsberg discussing Whitman's nonexistent influence on Howl; credit goes instead to Hart Crane, Shelley and Williams.

Copies of these are out there, kicking around eBay for a high fixed price and the option to make an offer. This was a little out of reach for us, but I figured I'd try with what I felt was a low offer (but still somewhat appropriate considering the book)... The seller accepted it, to my surprise, and the book is ours. I think it'll be a great gift.

Currently reading:
Notes from a Dead House by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Currently listening to:
Red House Painters, S/T (Rollercoaster)

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