Tag Archives: Charles Olson

Auerhahn Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

A. Auerhahn Press: Books & Pamphlets 1958-1965
B. Auerhahn Press: Broadsides 1959-1965
C. Auerhahn Press: Commissioned Publications 1961-1965
D. Dave Haselwood Books 1965-1969

While stationed with the U.S. Army in Germany during the 1950s, David Haselwood conceived the idea of becoming a publisher. At the time he was corresponding with his friend Michael McClure (also a native of Wichita, Kansas) who was living in San Francisco. McClure’s first book of poems, Passage (1956), was being published by Jonathan Williams’ Jargon Press. “Jonathan was having books printed in Germany because of the high quality and low cost,” Haselwood says, “and I began looking into things.”

When Haselwood was released from the Army, he came to live in San Francisco. According to Haselwood, “During the summer of 1958 I drifted around San Francisco talking endlessly with painters such as Robert LaVigne and Jesse Sharpe and poets [Philip] Lamantia, [Michael] McClure, [John] Wieners, and reading all the live poetry and prose I could get my hands on. It was at this time that it occurred to me that the press could mean a great many things … ” From this intense exposure to the active literary scene in the Bay Area grew the desire to see these writers published without the great delays imposed by larger printing establishments.

A short while later in 1958 appeared the first publication of the Auerhahn Press, John Wieners’s The Hotel Wentley Poems. After this initial experience, in which the actual printing was done by a commercial printer (and edited by the printer without Haselwood’s knowledge), Haselwood was convinced that he should not only design all future books himself, but also print them: “The first and final consideration in printing poetry is the poetry itself. If the poems are great they create their own space, the publisher is just a midwife during the final operation…” With this ideal in mind, Haselwood tackled the publication of Philip Lamantia’s Ekstasis, and went on to the printing of Michael McClure’s Hymns to St. Geryon.

Though its limited financial resources were drained by this last publication, the press continued its publication of controversial and avant-garde works, such as Lamantia’s pamphlet Narcotica.

Haselwood took on a partner, Andrew Hoyem, in 1961. By then, a number of Kansans had arrived in San Francisco — including Robert Branaman, who shared living quarters with Haselwood for a time, and Glenn Todd, who later worked as a pressman and editor at Arion Press, which Hoyem founded after an amicable dissolution of his Auerhahn interests in 1964. Todd remembers the partners at work at 1334 Franklin Street: “The Auerhahn was a small press in a small room. Andrew would be setting type, and Dave running the press, passing single sheets of paper through. They’d be in their blue printer’s aprons.” Branaman adds, “Dave looked like someone out of Dickens to me. His shop was a center for artists. It was a well-known center of the culture.”

Another of San Francisco’s cultural hot spots was the Batman Gallery, first owned by William Jahrmarkt, a.k.a. Billy Batman, whose art interests leaned to the visionary, the experimental and the mystical. According to Jack Foley in O Her Blackness Sparkles! The Life and Times of the Batman Art Gallery, 1960-65 (1995), the opening of the gallery was a “spectacular affair” and featured 99 pieces of Bruce Conner’s work. Auerhahn produced the announcement. In 1962, the gallery was sold to Michael Agron, a psychiatrist and University of California Medical Center associate professor who researched LSD as a therapeutic tool. Collaborating with Haselwood, Agron conceived of each exhibition’s announcement as a work of art. The first Agron show, Master-Bat, showcased the works of, among others, Conner and Branaman.

As the Beat scene faded with the ascent of Hippie culture, Haselwood continued to collaborate with artists on Dave Haselwood Books projects. He worked for a time at Arion Press and designed books for other presses, but his interest in publishing had waned by the close of the ’60s. It was time, he says, to choose another path.


References consulted:

Clay, Steven and Rodney Phillips. A SECRET LOCATION ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE: Adventures in Writing, 1960-1980
New York: New York Public Library / Granary Books, 1998

Clements, Marshall. A CATALOG OF WORKS BY MICHAEL MCCLURE, 1956-1965
New York: The Phoenix Book Shop, 1965

Johnston, Alastair. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE AUERHAHN PRESS & ITS SUCCESSOR DAVE HASELWOOD BOOKS
Berkeley: Poltroon Press, 1976

Lepper, Gary M. A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INTRODUCTION TO SEVENTY-FIVE MODERN AMERICAN AUTHORS
Berkeley: Serendipity Books, 1976

 

The Jargon Society

The First 50, a checklist

The following list contains only those titles appearing in the sequence beginning with Jonathan Williams’ Garbage Litters the Iron Face of the Sun’s Child (Jargon 1). Jargon Society postcards, broadsides, billboards and other ephemeral items are not included.


1. Williams, Jonathan. GARBAGE LITTERS THE IRON FACE OF THE SUN’S CHILD
jargon_garbagelitters
(San Francisco): Jargon, 1951
First edition, 4″ x 13″ broadside folded twice to make a 4″ x 5″ leaflet, engraving by David Ruff, 50 copies. Printed by David Ruff at The Print Workshop. Published as Jargon 1. (Jaffe A4)
[not in archive]

2. Oppenheimer, Joel. THE DANCER
jargon_dancerHighlands: Jargon, 1951
First edition, illustration by Robert Rauschenberg, 150 copies. Printed at the The Sad Devil Press, Black Mountain College. Published as Jargon 2.
[not in archive]

3. Williams, Jonathan. RED / GRAY 
Black Mountain, 1952
Drawings by Paul Ellsworth, 100 copies.

4. Kalos, Victor. THE DOUBLE-BACKED BEAST
Black Mountain, 1952
Drawings by Dan Rice, 25 copies.

5. Williams, Jonathan. FOUR STOPPAGES / A CONFIGURATION
Stuttgart, 1953
Drawings by Charles Oscar, 200 copies.

6. Patchen, Kenneth. FABLES & OTHER LITTLES TALES
Karlsruhe, 1953
450 copies.

7. Olson, Charles. THE MAXIMUS POEMS / 1-10
Suttgart, 1953
Calligraphy by Jonathan Williams, 300 copies, 9″ x 12″, 46 pages plus prospectus by Creeley.

8. Creeley, Robert. THE IMMORAL PROPOSITION
Karlsruhe, 1953
Drawings by René Laubiès, 200 copies, 15 pages.

9. Olson, Charles. THE MAXIMUS POEMS / 11-22
Suttgart, 1956
Calligraphy by Jonathan Williams, 350 copies.

10. Creeley, Robert. ALL THAT IS LOVELY IN MEN
jargon_allthatAsheville: Jonathan Williams – Publisher, 1955
First edition, perfect bound in illustrated wrappers, drawings by Dan Rice, photograph by Jonathan Williams, 6″ x 8″, 44 pages, 200 copies. Signed by Creeley and Rice on the colophon. Printed by the Biltmore Press. Published as Jargon 10. (Novik A6)

11. Patchen, Kenneth. POEM-SCAPES
Highlands, 1958.

12. Zukofsky, Louis. A TEST OF POETRY
New York, 1964.

13a. Williams, Jonathan. AMEN / HUZZA / SELAH
Black Mountain, 1960
“A Preface?” by Louis Zukofsky. Photographs by Jonathan Williams.

13b. Williams, Jonathan. ELEGIES AND CELEBRATIONS 
Highlands, 1962
Preface by Robert Duncan. Photographs by Aaron Siskind and Jonathan Williams.

13c. Williams, Jonathan. JAMMIN’ THE GREEK SCENE 
Nota by Charles Olson. Drawings by Fielding Dawson. James Jaffe notes, “Approximately 4 proof copies were produced for a projected edition of 300 copies, but the book, with a cover designed by Fielding Dawson, was never published.” Karlsruhe, 1959.

14. Duncan, Robert. LETTERS: POEMS 1953-1956
Highlands, 1958
Drawings by Robert Duncan.

15. Zukofsky, Louis. SOME TIME
Sutgart, 1956
A song setting on the cover by Celia Zukofsky.

16. Oppenheimer, Joel. THE DUTIFUL SON
Highlands, 1957
Frontispiece by Joseph Fiore.

17. Perkoff, Stuart Z. THE SUICIDE ROOM 
Karlsruhe, 1956
Drawing by Fielding Dawson. Photograph by Charles Kessler.

18. Irving Layton. THE IMPROVED BINOCULARS
Highlands, 1956.
Introduction by William Carlos Williams. Second edition includes thirty additional poems.

19. Denise Levertov. OVERLAND TO THE ISLANDS
Highlands, 1958
Drawings by Al Kresch. Calligraphy by Jonathan Williams.

20. Michael McClure. PASSAGE
mcclure_passageBig Sur: Jonathan Williams – Publisher, 1956
First edition, sewn wrappers, 7.25? x 10.75?, 12 pages, 200 copies. Cover by Jonathan Williams. Published as Jargon 20. Printed by the Windhover Press. (Clements A1)



21. Kenneth Patchen. HURRAH FOR ANYTHING 
Highlands, 1957
Drawings by Kenneth Patchen.

22. Henry Miller. THE RED NOTEBOOK
Highlands, 1958
Drawings by Henry Miller. Phorograph by Wynn Bullock.

23. Mina Loy. LUNAR BAEDEKER AND TIME-TABLES
Highlands, 1958
Introductions by William Carlos Williams, Kenneth Rexroth and Denise Levertov. Drawings by Emerson Woelffer.

24. Charles Olson. THE MAXIMUS POEMS
New York, 1960
Photograph by Frederick Sommer. Published in association with Corinth Books.

25. Paul C. Metcalf. WILL WEST
Asheville, 1956.

26. Robert Creeley. THE WHIP
Highlands, 1957
Cover design by René Laubiès. Drawings by Kirsten Hoeck.

27. Peyton Houston. SONNET VARIATIONS
Highlands, 1962
Photograph by Henry Holmes Smith.

28. Irving Layton. A LAUGHTER IN THE MIND
Highlands, 1958
Photograph by Frederick Sommer.

29. Bob Brown. 1450-1950
New York, 1959
Photograph by Jonathan Williams.

30. Jonathan Williams. THE EMPIRE FINALS AT VERONA
Highlands, 1959
Drawings and collage by Fielding Dawson.

31. Williams, Jonathan ed. 14 POETS, 1 ARTIST 
New York, 1958
Drawings by Fielding Dawson. Contributors include Paul Blackburn, Bob Brown, Edward Dahlberg, Max Finstein, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Goodman, Denise Levertov, Walter Lowenfels, Edward Marshall, E.A. Navaretta, Joel Oppenheimer, Gilbert Sorrentino, Jonathan Williams and Louis Zukofsky.

32. Walter Lowenfels. SOME DEATHS
Highlands, 1964
Introduction by Jonathan Williams. Photographs by Robert Schiller.

33. Robert Creeley. A FORM OF WOMEN
New York, 1959
Photograph by Robert Schiller. Published in association with Corinth Books.

34. Bob Brown. THE SELECTED POEMS 
Introduction by Kay Boyle. Drawing by Reuben Nakian. Jargon 34 was projected but never published.

35. Irving Layton. A RED CARPET FOR THE SUN
Highlands, 1959
Photograph by Harry Callahan.

36. Larry Eigner. ON MY EYES
Highlands, 1960
Introduction by Denise Levertov. Photographs by Harry Callahan.

37. Russell Edson. WHAT A MAN CAN SEE
Highlands, 1969
Drawings by Ray Johnson.

38. Giuseppe Gioachino Belli. THE ROMAN SONNETS
Highlands, 1960
Translated by Harold Norse. Preface by William Carlos Williams. Introduction by Alberto Moravia. Cover by Ray Johnson. Collage by Jean-Jacques Lebel.

39. Jonathan Williams. LORD! LORD! LORD!: TRADITIONAL FUNERAL MUSIC
Highlands, 1959
Handset and printed “for the friends of the Jargon Press” by Igal Roodenko.

40. Gilbert Sorrentino. THE DARKNESS SURROUNDS US
Highlands, 1960
Introduction by Joel Oppenheimer. Collage and drawings by Fielding Dawson.

41. Lou Harrison. THREE CHORUSES FROM OPERA LIBRETTI
Highlands, 1960
Jargon’s Christmas in 1960

42. Ronald Johnson. A LINE OF POETRY, A ROW OF TREES
Highlands, 1964
Drawings by Thomas George. Printed by the Auerhahn Press, San Francisco.

43. Paul C. Metcalf. GENOA: A TELLING OF WONDERS
Highlands, 1965
Iconography by Jonathan Williams.

44. Buckminster Fuller. UNTITLED EPIC POEM ON THE HISTORY OF INDUSTRIALIZATION
Highlands, 1962
Introduction by Russell Davenport.

45. Sherwood Anderson. SIX MID-AMERICAN CHANTS
Highlands, 1964
Photographs by Art Sinsabaugh. Preface by Edward Dahlberg. Postface by Frederick Eckman

46. Guy Davenport. FLOWERS AND LEAVES
Highlands, 1966
Photograph by Ralph Eugene Meatyard.

47. Merle Hoyleman. Letters to Christopher
Introduction by George Marion O’Donnell. Jargon 47 was projected but never published.

48. Lorine Niedecker. TENDERNESS & GRISTLE: THE COLLECTED POEMS (1936-1966)
Penland, 1968
Plant prints by A. Doyle Moore.

49. Alfred Hamilton Starr. POEMS
Penland, 1970
Introduction by Geof Hewitt. Drawings by Philip Van Aver. Photograph by Simpson Kalisher.

50. Doris Ulmann. THE APPALACHIAN PHOTOGRAPHS OF DORIS ULMANN
Penland, 1971
Introduction by John Jacob Nies. Preface by Jonathan Williams.


References consulted:

A Jargon Society Checklist
Books & Company 1979

Jargon at Forty: 1951-1991
SUNY, 1991