Took last week off after enduring the Rhineback Fall Foliage half marathon, but am back with an exciting recent acquisition by one of my favorite artists/authors, Joe Brainard. This is New Work, which was published in 1973 by Black Sparrow Press. This is #6 of 200 signed and numbered copies bound in a silky red floral fabric - there were 26 lettered copies that came with an original drawing by Brainard (more on those later).
New Work compiles some poems and short prose pieces that Brainard originally self-published in various staple-bound zines and poetry pamphlets. It's only about 50 pages but a fantastic selection, including this gem:
Now, as a collector I've been ridiculously tempted by these lettered Brainard books - there are a few out there, including The Vermont Notebook (with John Ashbery) and Kenward Elmslie's Circus Nerves. I've seen a lot of these and while it's great to see original ink drawings, they're not particularly special pieces. I've seen a drawing of a fence, a house, a toothbrush. These are priced high but somewhat within reach after a year or so of saving up. I've held out for years thinking I'd find one at a more reasonable price, but instead I found some original collages on eBay. I'll post some really exciting finds once they come back from the framer!
Keeping an Eye Open by Julian Barnes
Currently listening to:
Kurt Vile, "b'lieve i'm goin' down"