Richard Brautigan

Richard Gary Brautigan (January 30, 1935 – ca. September 14, 1984) was an American novelist, poet, and short story writer. brautigan_01Writing about nature, life, and emotion, his work often employs 
comedy, parody, and satire; his singular imagination provided the unusual settings for his
themes. He is best known for his 1967 novel TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA.

Robert Novak wrote in Dictionary of Literary Biography that “Brautigan is commonly seen as the bridge between the Beat Movement of the 1950s and the youth revolution of the 1960s.”

Considered one of the primary writers of the “New Fiction,” Brautigan at first experienced difficulty in finding a publisher; thus his early work was only published by small presses.

About the body of Brautigan’s work, Guy Davenport commented in the Hudson Review: “Mr. Brautigan locates his writing on the barricade which the sane mind maintains against spiel and bilge, and here he cavorts with a divine idiocy, thumbing his nose. But he makes clear that at his immediate disposal is a fund of common sense he does not hesitate to bring into play. He is a kind of Thoreau who cannot keep a straight face.”

* The bibliographic notes here focus on Brautigan’s earliest publications of poetry.


A. Books and Broadsides

1. THE RETURN OF THE RIVERS
brautigan_returnSan Francisco: Inferno Press, May 1957
First edition, broadside tipped into wrappers, 100 copies.
Brautigan poem: “The Return of the Rivers”
[not in archive]


2. THE GALILEE HITCH-HIKER
brautigan_galileeSan Francisco: White Rabbit Press, 1958
First edition, sewn illustrated wrappers, 6.5″ x 8.5″, 16 pages, 200 copies, cover illustration by Kenn Davis.
Brautigan poem: “The Galilee Hitch-Hiker”


3. LAY THE MARBLE TEA
brautigan_laySan Francisco: Carp Press, 1959
First edition (second printing issued in 1960), stapled illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 16 pages, (c. 500 copies), cover illustration by Kenn Davis.
Brautigan poems: “Portrait of the Id As Billy The Kid”, “Sonnet”, “The Chinese Checker Players”, “Portrait of a Child-Bride on Her Honeymoon”, “Hansel and Gretel”, “April Ground”, “The Ferris Wheel”, “Night”, “Cyclops”, “The Escape of the Owl”, “In a Cafe”, “Fragment”, “Herman Melville in Dreams, Moby Dick in Reality”, “Kafka’s Hat”, “Yes, the Fish Music”, “Cantos Falling”, “The Castle of the Cormorants”, “Feel Free to Marry Emily Dickinson”, “Cat”, “A Childhood Spent in Tacoma”, “To England”, “A Boat”, “Geometry”, “The Twenty-Eight Cents for My Old Age”

4. THE OCTOPUS FRONTIER
brautigan_octopusSan Francisco: Carp Press, 1960
First edition, stapled pictorial wrappers, 5″ x 7″, 20 pages, cover photograph by Gui de Angulo.
Brautigan poems: “The Sawmill”, “1942”, “The Wheel”, “The Pumpkin Tide”, “The Sidney Greenstreet Blues”, “The Quail”, “The Symbol”, “A Postcard from Chinatown”, “Sit Comma and Creeley Comma”, “The Rape of Ophelia”, “The Last Music Is Not Heard”, “The Octopus Frontier”, “The Potato House of Julius Caesar”, “The Fever Monument”, “The Winos on Potrero Hill”, “Mike”, “Horse Race”, “The Old Folk’s Home”, “The Postman”, “Surprise”, “The Nature Poem”, “Private Eye Lettuce”


B. Contributions to Books and Anthologies

1. FOUR NEW POETS, edited by Leslie Woolf Hedley

brautigan_fourSan Francisco: Inferno Press, 1957
First edition, perfect-bound illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8″, 34 pages, Brautigan’s first book appearance. Contributors include Martin Hoberman, Carl Larsen, and James M. Singer.
Brautigan poems: “The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth’s Beer Bottles”, “The Mortuary Bush”, “Twelve Roman Soldiers and an Oatmeal Cookie”, “Gifts”

2. EPOS ANTHOLOGY 1958, edited by Will Tullos and Evelyn Thorne
mags_eposanth1958Lake Como: New Athenaeum Press, 1958
Brautigan poem: “The Second Kingdom”





3. BEATITUDE ANTHOLOGY, edited by Bob Kaufman and John Kelly
San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1960
Brautigan poems: “The American Submarine”, “A Postcard from the Bridge”, “That Girl”, “The Whorehouse at the Top of Mount Rainer”, “Swandragons”

4. San Francisco Arts Festival: A Poetry Folio, 1964
San Francisco: East Wind Printers, 1964.
300 copies, broadside in portfolio, illustrated by Richard Corral
Brautigan poem: “September California”


C. Contributions to Periodicals


1. Flame, Vol. 2, No. 3, edited by Lilith Lorraine

mags_flame0203Alpine, Autumn 1955
Brautigan poem: “Someplace in the World a Man is Screaming in Pain” [uncollected]




2. Epos, Vol. 8, No. 2, edited by Evelyn Thorne and Will Tullos
mags_epos0802Lake Como: Epos, Winter 1956
Brautigan poem: “The Second Kingdom” [uncollected]




3. Epos, Vol. 8, No. 4, edited by Evelyn Thorne and Will Tullos
mags_epos0804Lake Como: Epos, Summer 1957
Brautigan poem: “A Young Poet” [uncollected]





4. Mainstream, Vol. 2, No. 2, edited by Robin Raey Cuscaden and Ronald Often
Palatine, Summer-Autumn 1957
Brautigan poem: “The Final Ride” [uncollected]

5. Existaria, a Journal of Existant Hysteria, No. 7, Edited by Carl Larsen
mags_existaria07Hermosa Beach, September-October 1957
Brautigan poems: “The Daring Little Guy on the Burma Shave Sign” [uncollected], “The World Will Never End” [uncollected]



6. Danse Macabre, Vol. 1, No. 1, edited by R.T. Baylor
Manhattan Beach, 1957
Brautigan poems: “They Keep Coming Down the Dark Streets” [uncollected], “15 Stories in One Poem” [uncollected]

7. Hearse, No. 2, edited by E.V. Griffith
mags_hearse02Eureka: Hearse Press, 1958
Brautigan poem: “15 Stories in One Poem” [previously published in DANSE MACABRE]




8. Hearse, No. 3, edited by E.V. Griffith
mags_hearse03Eureka: Hearse Press, 1958
Brautigan poems: “The Mortuary Bush” [previously published in FOUR NEW POETS], “Twelve Roman Soldiers and an Oatmeal Cookie” [previously published in FOUR NEW POETS]



9. Epos, Vol. 9, No. 3, edited by Will Tullos and Evelyn Thorne
mags_epos0903Lake Como: Epos, Spring 1958
Brautigan poem: “Kingdom Come” [uncollected]





10. San Francisco Review, No. 2, edited by R.H. Miller
mags_sfreview02
San Francisco, Spring 1959
Brautigan poem: “Psalm” [uncollected]





11. Beatitude, No. 1, edited by Bob Kaufman, John Kelly, and William J. Margolis
San Francisco, 9 May 1959
Brautigan poem: “The Whorehouse at the Top of Mount Rainer” [collected in BEATITUDE ANTHOLOGY]

12. Beatitude, No. 4, edited by Bob Kaufman, John Kelly, and William J. Margolis
San Francisco, 30 May 1959
Brautigan poems: “The American Submarine”, “A Postcard from the Bridge”, “That Girl”, “The Sink” [all collected in BEATITUDE ANTHOLOGY]

13. Beatitude, No. 9, edited by Bob Kaufman, John Kelly, and William J. Margolis
San Francisco, 18 September 1959
Brautigan poem: “Swandragons” [collected in BEATITUDE ANTHOLOGY]

14. J, No. 1, edited by Jack Spicer
mags_j01
San Francisco, September 1959
Cover illustration by Fran Herndon
Brautigan poem: “The Fever Monument” [collected in THE OCTOPUS FRONTIER]



15. Foot, No.1, edited by Richard Duerdan
mags_foot01San Francisco, September 1959
Cover illustration by Robert Duncan
Brautigan poem: “The Rape of Ophelia”, “Postcard from Chinatown”, “The Nature Poem”, “Horse Race”, “The Last Music is Not Heard” [all collected in THE OCTOPUS FRONTIER]

16. J, No. 4, edited by Jack Spicer
mags_j04San Francisco, November 1959
Cover illustration by Fran Herndon
Brautigan poem: “The Pumpkin Tide”, “The Sidney Greenstreet Blues”, “Surprise” [all collected in THE OCTOPUS FRONTIER]



17. J, No. 5, edited by Jack Spicer
mags_j05San Francisco, December 1959
Cover illustration by Fran Herndon
Brautigan poem: “1942” [collected in THE OCTOPUS FRONTIER]




18. Hearse: A Vehicle Used to Convey the Dead, No. 9, edited by E.V. Griffith
mags_hearse09Eureka: Hearse Press, 1961
Brautigan poem: “The Rain” [uncollected]





19. Sum, No. 3, Edited by Fred Wah
Albuquerque, May 1964
Brautigan poem: “September California” [collected in Revenge of the Lawn]

20. San Francisco Keeper’s Voice, Vol. 1, No. 4, edited by Alexander Weiss
San Francisco, April 1965
Brautigan poem: “October 2, 1960” [uncollected]

21. Wild Dog, No. 18, edited by Joanne Kyger, contributing editor Edward Dorn
mags_wilddog18San Francisco, 17 July 1965
Brautigan poems: “The Buses” [uncollected], “Period Piece” [uncollected]



22. O’er, No. 2, edited by David Sandberg
mags_oar02San Francisco, December 1966
Brautigan poems: “The House” [uncollected], “My Nose is Growing Old” [collected in All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace], “November 3” [collected in All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace]


References consulted:
Barber, John F. Richard Brautigan: An Annotated Bibliography.
Jefferson: McFarland, 1990