David Meltzer

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Wallace Berman, Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, 1964. Mixed-media collage

 

 

David Meltzer was born in Rochester, New York, and raised in Brooklyn. He began his literary career during the San Francisco Beat and Berkeley Renaissance period in California, and his work was included in the anthology, The New American Poetry 1945-1960. At the age of 20 he recorded his poetry with jazz musicians in Los Angeles and also became a singer-songwriter and guitarist for several bands during the 1960s, including The Serpent Power. He is the author of over 40 volumes of poetry, and has also published fiction and essays, and has edited numerous anthologies and collections of interviews.

Meltzer taught in the humanities and poetics programs at the New College of California in San Francisco for 30 years. In 2008, he received the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. He was also given the Bay Area Guardian’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2012 was nominated for the Northern California Book Award in Poetry.

Diane di Prima has said, “David Meltzer is a hidden adept, one of the secret treasures on our planet. Great poet, musician, comic; mystic unsurpassed, performer with few peers.”


A. Books and Broadsides

1. Meltzer, David. POEMS
First edition:
San Francisco: Donald & Alice Shenker, [1957]
Side-stapled sheets in printed wrappers with library tape binding, 25 copies, offprint of David Meltzer / Donald Shenker book comprising only the Meltzer section and with a variant cover omitting Shenker’s name and a revised colophon.

2. Meltzer, David. RAGAS
First edition:
San Francisco: Discovery Books, 1959
Saddle-stapled printed wrappers, 52 pages, (1500 copies). Cover design by Peter LeBlanc.

3. Meltzer, David. THE CLOWN
First edition:
Larkspur: Semina, 1960
Printed sheets laid into printed folder, 335 copies. Letterpress printed by Wallace Berman.

4. Meltzer, David. WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY TO EACHOTHER
First edition:
San Francisco: Auerhahn Press, 1962
Saddle-stapled illustrated wrappers, 6.25″ x 8.5″, 12 pages, 750 copies. Published as Auerhahn Pamphlet No. 2. Letterpress printed by Dave Haselwood. (Auerhahn 19)

5. Meltzer, David. BAZASCOPE MOTHER
First edition:
Los Angeles: Drekfesser Press, [1964]
Single sheet folded once to make four pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 250 copies. Cover collage by I.E. Alexander, rear photograph by Zack Walsh.

6. Meltzer, David. STATION
First edition:
San Francisco: San Francisco Arts Festival Commission, 1964
Broadside, 13″ x 20″, 300 copies. Illustrated by Peter Bailey. Printed by East Wind Printers.

7. Meltzer, David. THE BLACKEST ROSE
First edition:
Berkeley: Oyez, 1964
First edition, broadside, 11″ x 17.5″, 350 copies, letterpress printed by Dave Haselwood at his Auerhahn Press and published as Oyez 6.

8. Meltzer, David. THE PROCESS
a. First edition, regular copies:
Berkeley: Oyez, 1965
Saddle-stapled illustrated french-fold wrappers, 44 pages, 500 copies, the first Oyez book designed by Dave Haselwood and printed by Graham Mackintosh. Cover illustration by  Peter LeBlanc.

b. First edition, numbered and signed copies:
Berkeley: Oyez, 1965
Hardcover in cloth-bound boards with illustrated dust jacket, 44 pages, 25 numbered and signed copies, the first Oyez book designed by Dave Haselwood and printed by Graham Mackintosh. Cover illustration by  Peter LeBlanc.

9. Meltzer, David. THE DARK CONTINENT
a. First edition,  regular copies:
Berkeley: Oyez, 1967
Perfect-bound in illustrated and printed wrappers, 94 pages, 1000 copies printed by Graham Mackintosh. Cover design by Peter LeBlanc.

b. First edition, lettered and signed copies:
Berkeley: Oyez, 1967
Hardcover in cloth-bound boards without dust jacket as issued, 94 pages, 26 lettered and signed copies printed by Graham Mackintosh

10. Meltzer, David. ROUND THE POEM BOX
a. First edition, regular copies:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow, 1969
Perfect-bound in printed wrappers, 8.5″ x 5.5″, 32 pages, 300 copies. Illustrated by David Meltzer. (Morrow & Cooney 60a)

b. First edition, numbered and signed copies:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow, 1969
Hardcover in cloth-bound boards with printed paper label in acetate dust jacket as issued, 32 pages, 125 numbered and signed copies. Illustrated by David Meltzer. (Morrow & Cooney 60b)

c. First edition, lettered and signed copies:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow, 1969
Hardcover in leather-bound boards in acetate dust jacket as issued, 32 pages, 26 lettered and signed copies. Illustrated by David Meltzer. (Morrow & Cooney 60c)

11. Meltzer, David. YESOD
a. First edition, regular copies:
London: Trigram Press, 1969
Perfect-bound in printed wrappers, 61 pages. Illustrated by David Meltzer.

b. First edition, numbered and signed copies:
London: Trigram Press, 1969
Hardcover in cloth-bound boards with foil-stamping in acetate dust jacket as issued, 61 pages, 100 numbered and signed copies. Illustrated by David Meltzer.

12. Meltzer, David. GREENSPEECH
a. First edition, regular copies:
Goleta: Christopher Books, 1970
Saddle-stapled in printed wrappers, 16 pages.

b. First edition, numbered and signed copies:
Goleta: Christopher Books, 1970
Hardcover bound in printed paper-covered boards , 16 pages, 50 numbered and signed copies.

13. Meltzer, David. LUNA
a. First edition, regular copies:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, July 1970
Perfect-bound in illustrated wrappers, 82 pages, 1000 copies printed by Noel Young. Cover illustration by Wallace Berman. (Morrow & Cooney 88a)

b. First edition, numbered and signed copies:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, July 1970
Hardcover bound in printed paper-covered boards in acetate dust jacket as issued , 16 pages, 200 numbered and signed copies printed by Noel Young. Cover illustration by Wallace Berman. (Morrow & Cooney 88b)

c. First edition, lettered and signed copies:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, July 1970
Hardcover bound in printed paper-covered boards in acetate dust jacket as issued, 16 pages, 26 lettered and signed copies printed by Noel Young. Frontispiece illustration by David Meltzer. Cover illustration by Wallace Berman. (Morrow & Cooney 88c)

14. Meltzer, David. HERO/LIL
a. First edition, regular copies:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow: Black Sparrow, 1973

b. First edition, numbered and signed copies:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow: Black Sparrow, 1973
Hardcover bound in printed paper-covered boards in acetate dust jacket as issued, 175 numbered and signed copies.

c. First edition, lettered and signed copies:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow: Black Sparrow, 1973
Hardcover bound in printed paper-covered boards in acetate dust jacket and slipcase as issued, 26 lettered and signed copies. Original illustration by David Meltzer bound in.

15. Meltzer, David. BARK, A POLEMIC
a. First edition, regular copies:
Santa Barbara: Capra Press, February 1973
Perfect-bound in printed wrappers, 42 pages, 75 numbered and signed copies. Published as Yes! Capra Chapbook Number 6.

b. First edition, numbered and signed copies:
Santa Barbara: Capra Press, February 1973
Hardcover bound in printed paper-covered boards, 42 pages, 75 numbered and signed copies. Published as Yes! Capra Chapbook Number 6.

16. Meltzer, David. THE EYES, THE BLOOD
San Francisco: Mudra, 1973
Hand-sewn plain white wrappers in printed dust jacket, 20 pages, 500 copies printed at the Cranium Press.

17. Meltzer, David. BLUE RAGS
Berkeley: Oyez, 1974

18. Meltzer, David. HARPS
Berkeley: Oyez, 1975

19. Meltzer, David. SIX
Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow, 1976

20. Meltzer, David. TWO-WAY MIRROR
Berkeley: Oyez, 1977

21. Meltzer, David. ARROWS: SELECTED POETRY, 1957-1992
Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1994

22. Meltzer, David. NO EYES: LESTER YOUNG
Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow, 2000

23. Meltzer, David. DAVID’S COPY
New York: Penguin Group Press, 2005

24. Meltzer, David. WHEN I WAS A POET
San Francisco: City Lights, June 2011


B. Contributions to Periodicals

1. PENINSULA
Gainesville: University of Florida, 1956
“4 July”

2. SEMINA, No. 1
Los Angeles: Wallace Berman, 1956
“An Unpublished Letter to Some Lost Relatives”

3. DAZZLE
San Francisco: Playgirl Publishing, 1957
“Kick Me Deadly”

4. SEMINA, No. 2
San Francisco: Wallace Berman, 1957
“Upon a Time”

5. SEMINA, No. 4
San Francisco: Wallace Berman, 1959
“Sampson Agonistes”

6. SPREE, Vol. 1, No. 7
Los Angeles: New Publishing Company, 1959
“Judgement Day”

7. PENNY POEMS, No. 27
New Haven: Penny Poems, 1959
“24th Raga/ For Tina”


References Consulted:

Bohn, Dave. OYEZ: THE AUTHORIZED CHECKLIST
Berkeley: n.p., 1997

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

Morrow, Bradford and Seamus Cooney. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE BLACK SPARROW PRESS, 1966-1978
Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press, 1981