Tag Archives: Black Mountain

The Divers Press Checklist

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A. Books published by The Divers Press:

1. Blackburn, Paul. PROENSA
First edition:
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, June 1953
Hand-sewn and bound into illustrated wrappers, 56 pages, 7.25″ x 11″, hand-set and printed by Mossén Alcover. (Woodward A18)

In the Divers Press Prospectus, Robert Creeley writes, “Proensa is a bilingual edition of the work of seven Troubadours (including Piere Vidal, Sordello, and Bertran de Born). So far as we know, it is the only book of its kind now available. The re-creation of a past time is never very simple, or as Blackburn wrote: ‘Pride, interest, self-love were all sins then. Today they have been transformed into virtues… All this means a problem in poetic craft, if one is so perverse as to attempt translation of medieval languages.’ Blackburn’s attempt succeeds in giving us poetry, not a trot.”

2. Creeley, Robert. THE KIND OF ACT OF
First edition:
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, May 1953
Hand-sewn and bound into illustrated wrappers, 6.25” x 7.25”, 24 pages, 250 copies, hand-set and printed by Mossén Alcover. Cover by René Laubiès. (Novik A2)

In the Divers Press Prospectus, Robert Creeley writes, “The Kind of Act of is a collection of those poems written since the publication of Le Fou. I don’t know that they are better or worse, etc., but they came out of a time which was difficult, and needed statement of a kind which could hold both myself and them. The forms are, for the most part, tighter, i.e., more condensed.”

3. Eigner, Larry. FROM THE SUSTAINING AIR
First edition:
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, July 1953
Hand-sewn and bound into illustrated wrappers, 6.75” x 9”, 16 pages, 250 copies, hand-set and printed by Mossén Alcover. Cover by René Laubiès. (Wyatt A2)

An excerpt from a letter to Robert Creeley from William Carlos Williams upon receiving Eigner’s FROM THE SUSTAINING AIR: “Eigner’s book is charming. I haven’t got such a relaxed feeling from anything in years. There is no tension whatever, but a feeling of eternity. It is hard to say how he achieved this in the world today. As far as I can see it comes from a perfect ear… Let me see anything he writes, it is contagious…”

4. Olson, Charles. MAYAN LETTERS
First edition:
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, January 1954
Sewn and perfect-bound in illustrated wrappers, 92 pages, 6.5″ x 8.5″, hand-set and printed by Mossén Alcover. Preface by Robert Creeley. Contains 17 letters from Charles Olson to Robert Creeley written between February 18 and July 1, 1951. (Butterick & Glover A9)

In the Divers Press Prospectus, Robert Creeley writes, “Mayan Letters… is an altogether rare instance of culture morphology at work. It insists on the full complex of attentions involved, and proves no art can sustain itself free of a basic human contact. Which comments belie, perhaps, the intensely human character of the letters themselves.”

5. Layton, Irving. IN THE MIDST OF MY FEVER
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, February 1954
(Bennett & Polson A6)

6. Creeley, Robert. THE GOLD DIGGERS
First edition:
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, February 1954
Sewn and perfect-bound in illustrated wrappers, 144 pages, 5” x 6.75”, 500 copies, hand-set and printed by Mossén Alcover. Cover by René Laubiès. (Novik A4)

7. Seymour-Smith, Martin. ALL DEVILS FADING
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, Spring 1954

8. Macklin, H.P. A HANDBOOK OF FANCY PIGEONS
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, May 1954

9. Kitasono, Katsué. BLACK RAIN: POEMS & DRAWINGS
First edition:
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, August 1954


10. Creeley, Robert. A SNARLING GARLAND OF XMAS VERSES
First edition:
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, 1954
100 copies, published anonymously (Novik A5)

11. Woolf, Douglas. THE HYPOCRITIC DAYS
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, January 1955

12. Blackburn, Paul. THE DISSOLVING FABRIC
First edition:
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, March 1955
Sewn and perfect-bound in illustrated wrappers, 24 pages, 6.5” x 8”, hand-set and printed by Mossén Alcover. Cover by Dan Rice with silkscreen reporduction by Arthur Okamura. (Woodward A1)

13. Duncan, Robert. CAESAR’S GATE: POEMS 1949–1950
a. First edition, regular copies:
Palma de Mallorca: Divers Press, September 1955
Sewn and perfect-bound in illustrated wrappers, 24 pages, 6.75” x 8.75”, 200 copies, hand-set and printed by Mossén Alcover. Illustrated by Jess Collins. (Bertholf A8a)

b. First edition, numbered copies:
Palma de Mallorca: Divers Press, September 1955
Sewn and perfect-bound in illustrated wrappers, 24 pages, 6.75” x 8.75”, 10 copies, hand-set and printed by Mossén Alcover. Illustrated by Jess Collins. (Bertholf A8b)

c. First edition, lettered copies:
Palma de Mallorca: Divers Press, September 1955
Sewn and perfect-bound in illustrated wrappers, 24 pages, 6.75” x 8.75”, 3 copies, hand-set and printed by Mossén Alcover. Illustrated by Jess Collins. (Bertholf A8c)


B. Books designed and printed by The Divers Press:

1. Olson, Charles. IN COLD HELL, IN THICKET
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, February 1953
Sewn and perfect-bound in illustrated wrappers, 62 pages, 7” x 8.5”, 500 copies, hand-set and printed by Mossén Alcover. Published as Origin 8 (Winter 1953) as part of the first series of Cid Corman’s long-running magazine. (Butterick & Glover A7)

2. Corman, Cid. THE PRECISIONS
New York: Sparrow Press, March 1955

3. Layton, Irving. THE BLUE PROPELLER
Montreal: Contact Press, 1955


C. The Divers Press ephemera:

1. PROSPECTUS OF THE DIVERS PRESS
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, 1953
Single sheet measuring 13.75″ x 6″ folded twice to make a 6-page booklet, letterpress printed by Mossén Alcover. (Novik 101)

Note by Creeley: “Printing is cheap in Mallorca, and for a small press like our own it means freedom from commercial pressures. It means, too, that we can design our books in a way that we want, since they are handset and made with an almost forgotten sense of craft. Above all, it is our chance to print what we actually like and believe in.” Creeley goes on to list several titles, the first four from the press, noting prices and distributors.

2. NEW BOOKS CATALOG
Palma de Mallorca: The Divers Press, Spring 1954
Single sheet measuring 4.75″ x 11.5″ folded twice to make a 6-page booklet, letterpress printed by Mossén Alcover.

Lists multiple forthcoming and previously published books by The Divers Press and includes names and addresses of distributors including Black Mountain College and Raymond Souster in Toronto.

3. CAESAR’S GATE PROSPECTUS
Black Mountain: Black Mountain College, 1955
Single sheet measuring 4.25″ x 6.25″, letterpress printed.

Text from Robert Duncan and Jess Collins holograph noting the various issues, limitations, and prices of the forthcoming book.


References consulted:

Bennett, Joy and James Polson. IRVING LAYTON: A BIBLIOGRAPHY 1935-1977
Montreal: Concordia University Libraries, 1979

Bertholf, Robert J. ROBERT DUNCAN: A DESCRIPTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY
Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1986

Butterick, George F. and Albert Glover. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS BY CHARLES OLSON
New York: The Phoenix Book Shop, 1967

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

Novik, Mary. ROBERT CREELEY, AN INVENTORY 1945-1970
Kent: The Kent State University Press, 1973

Woodward, Kathleet. DOCUMENTS FOR NEW POERTY II: PAUL BLACKBURN: A CHECKLIST
San Diego: Archive for New Poetry, 1980

Wyatt, Andrea. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS BY LARRY EIGNER, 1937-1969
Berkeley: Oyez, 1970

Joel Oppenheimer: Books & Broadsides

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Section A:
Books and Other Separate Publications

1. THE DANCER
First edition:
Highlands: Jonathan Williams, 1951
Single sheet measuring 10″ x 7″ folded once to make a 4-page booklet, 5.75″ x 7″, 150 copies. Illustration by Robert Rauschenberg. Printed at the The Sad Devil Press by Joel Oppenheimer at Black Mountain College. Published as Jargon 2. (Butterick A1)

2. FOUR POEMS TO SPRING
First edition:
Black Mountain: Joel Oppenheimer, May 1951
Printed wrappers, 4 pages. Hand-set, printed and bound by the author at the Black Mountain College print shop. (Butterick A2)

3. THE DUTIFUL SON
a. First edition, regular issue:
Highlands: Jonathan Williams, 1956
Hand-sewn and bound into french-fold wrappers with printed label tipped on, 6.5″x 10″, 36 pages, 200 copies, letterpress printed and bound by the Windhover Press in Short Hills. Frontispiece by Joseph Fiore. Printed announcement. Published as Jargon 16. (Butterick A3)

b. First edition, “author’s edition”:
Highlands: Jonathan Williams, 1956
Hand-sewn and bound into french-fold lithographed wrappers, 6.5″x 10″, 36 pages, 30 copies, letterpress printed and bound by the Windhover Press in Short Hills. Frontispiece and cover art by Joseph Fiore. Printed announcement. Published as Jargon 16. (Butterick A3)

4. THE LOVE BIT, AND OTHER POEMS
First edition:
New York: Totem Press / Corinth Books, 1962
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8″, 48 pages. Cover by Dan Rice. (Butterick A4)


5. THE GREAT AMERICAN DESERT
First edition:
New York: Grove Press, 1966
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8″, 40 pages, Published as Evergreen Playscript #3. (Butterick A5)


6. A TREATISE
New York: Brownstone Press, 1966
(Butterick A6)

7. SIRVENTES ON A SAD OCCURRENCE
First edition:
Madison: The Perishable Press Limited, Spring 1967
Hand-sewn in printed dust jacket 6.5″ x 7.25″, 20 pages, 130 signed copies. Letterpress printed by Walter Hamady. (Butterick A7)

8. WHEN THE DRUMS STOPPED
Kriya Press, Pleasant Valley 1967
Broadside, 100 copies. (Butterick A8)

9. IN TIME: POEMS 1962-1968
Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill 1969
Hardcover issue only. (Butterick A9)

10. 17-18 APRIL 1961
Sommerville: Press of The Black Flag Raised, 1970
Folded broadside. Published as Press of The Black Flag Raised No. 5. (Butterick A10)

11. ON OCCASION
Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company 1973
Paperback and hardcover issues. (Butterick A11)

12. THE WRONG SEASON
Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill 1973
Hardcover issue only. (Butterick A12)

13. PAN’S EYES: STORIES
Amherst, Mulch Press, 1974
Paperback and hardcover numbered and signed issues. (Butterick A13)

14. THE LESSON; ART; HYACINTHS; NATURE
Kent: Zephyrus Image, 1974
Broadside. Printed for Kent State Arts Festival by Holbrook Teter. (Butterick A14)

15. THE WOMAN POEMS
Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill 1975
Hardcover issue only. (Butterick A15)

Joel Oppenheimer

Portrait of Joel Oppenheimer by Jonathan Williams

Joel Oppenheimer Checklist:
Section A: Books and Broadsides
Section B: Contributions to Books and Anthologies
Section C: Contributions to Periodicals


Having been a student at Black Mountain College from 1950 to 1953, taking courses with Charles Olson and publishing in The Black Mountain Review edited by Robert Creeley, Joel Oppenheimer is one of those writers most legitimately a part of the group known in recent literary history as the Black Mountain Poets, and is included as such in Donald Allen’s famous anthology, The New American Poetry. Oppenheimer’s writing is hardly restricted to representing a literary movement, however, and his subsequent reputation is as much a result of his life and literary activities in New York as it is due to his Black Mountain connections — especially, since 1972, his regular column in the Village Voice. He has also been project director for the St. Mark’s Poetry Project as well as director of New York City’s Teachers and Writers Collaborative, and served as Poet in Residence at the City College of New York. Oppenheimer was born in 1930 in Yonkers, N.Y. [and died at 58 of lung cancer in Henniker, New Hampshire on October 11, 1988.] His papers are among the literary archives in the Special Collection of The University of Connecticut Library.

—George F. Butterick, Joel Oppenheimer, A Checklist of his Writings


References Consulted:

Butterick, George F. JOEL OPPENHEIMER: A CHECKLIST OF HIS WRITINGS
Storrs: University of Connecticut Library, 1975

Gilmore, Lyman. DON’T TOUCH THE POET: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JOEL OPPENHEIMER
New Jersey: Talisman House, 1998

Robert Duncan

Described by Kenneth Rexroth as “one of the most accomplished, one of the most influential” of the postwar American poets, Robert Duncan was an important part of both the Black Mountain school of poetry, led by Charles Olson, and the San Francisco Renaissance, whose other members included poets Jack Spicer and Robin Blaser. A distinctive voice in American poetry, Duncan’s idiosyncratic poetics drew on myth, occultism, religion—including the theosophical tradition in which he was raised—and innovative writing practices such as projective verse and composition by field.

further reading…

The Divers Press

Prospectus of The Divers Press. Palma de Mallorca, 1953

Divers Press Checklist


[excerpt from Steve Clay and Rodney Phillips’ A SECRET LOCATION ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE. Granary Books, 1998]

Raising pigeons and chickens on a farm in Littleton, New Hampshire, Robert Creeley heard, through “a fluke of airwaves,” poet Cid Corman’s weekly radio program from Boston, “This Is Poetry.” Inspired, Creeley read on the program during a weekend in 1950 when he was showing chickens at the Boston poultry show. And so began a network of literary friendships that inspired a generation of poets (“A knows B, B knows C, and there begins to be increasing focus. And I think that we were curiously lucky that that focus was not literally a question of whether we were all living together or not.”). Galvanized, Creeley tried unsuccessfully to start his own little magazine, but ended up giving Cid Corman at Origin much of the material he had collected, including work by Denise Levertov, Paul Blackburn, and Charles Olson, to whom the first issue of Origin was devoted.

Against this background it is not surprising that Creeley, called “The Figure of Outward” by Olson, whom he met through Corman, would himself venture forth as a publisher in 1953 with Martin Seymour-Smith’s All Devils Fading. In addition to two volumes by Paul Blackburn and one each by Larry Eigner and Robert Duncan, in 1954 Creeley issued a volume of poems by Canadian poet Irving Layton and Japanese poet Katué Kitasono’s self-translated poems, Black Rain. The last volume he published, in 1955, was American novelist Douglas Woolf’s “painful rite of passage,” The Hypocritic Days. Creeley published his own The Kind of Act of in 1953 and A Snarling Garland of Xmas Verses and The Gold Diggers, both in 1954. In 1982, Creeley wistfully remembered the serious, edgy nature of the press: “I don’t recall that the Divers Press paid anybody anything—it was my first wife’s modest income that kept any of it going—and so our choices had to be limited to writers as existentially defined as ourselves.”

“What I felt was the purpose of the press has much to do with my initial sense of [The Black Mountain Review] also. For me, and the other writers who came to be involved, it was a place defined by our own activity and accomplished altogether by ourselves—a place wherein we might make evident what we, as writers, had found to be significant, both for ourselves and for that world—no doubt often vague to us indeed—we hoped our writing might enter… there had to be both a press and a magazine absolutely specific to one’s own commitments and possibilities. Nothing short of that was good enough.”

— Robert Creeley, Introduction to the AMS Press reprint (1969) of The Black Mountain Review

— Steve Clay and Rodney Phillips in A SECRET LOCATION ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE (Granary Books, 1998)

 

Bibliographic Checklists and Notes

The categorization of the writers, poets, artists, printers and their work here isn’t meant to be definitive, rather it’s a way to simply organize an enormous amount of information and help form some sort of story-line. Certainly there are folks here whose work started before some of the categories existed in the common lexicon and continued long after a ‘scene’ faded away. It’s not the intent of the work here to presuppose intent or oversimplify the efforts of these folks. As new pieces are added, parts will be reorganized, edited and rearranged… stay tuned…

* Aside from primary resources, references consulted can be found here


A brief history of the mimeograph “revolution”


California and The San Francisco Renaissance
     plus the outsiders, hippies, and others

Artists:
· Jess Collins
· Wallace Berman
· Fran Herndon

Poets & Writers:
· Charles Bukowski

San Francisco Renaissance
· Helen Adam
· Robin Blaser
· Ebbe Borregaard
· Richard Duerden
· Robert Duncan
· William Everson
· Philip Lamantia
· Jack Spicer
· George Stanley
· 
Lew Welch

· Richard Brautigan
· Ron Loewinsohn
· 
Michael McClure
· David Meltzer
· Gary Snyder
· Philip Whalen

· Richard Krech

Presses:
· City Lights (1955-)
· Hearse Press (1957-1970)
· White Rabbit Press (1957-1972)
· Auerhahn Press (1958-1963)
· Enkidu Surrogate (1959)
· Oannes Press (1963)
· Oyez Press (1963-1968)
· Four Seasons Foundation (1964-1985)
· Black Sparrow Press (1966-2002)
· Capricorn Press (1969-1972)

Periodicals:
· Ark (Nos. 1-3, 1947-1957)
· Avalanche (Nos. 1-6, 1966-1969)
· Beatitude (Nos. 1-34, 1959-1987)
· Berkeley Miscellany (Nos. 1-2, 1948-1949)
· Change (No. 1, 1963)
· Circle (Nos. 1-10, 1944-1948)
· City Lights (Nos. 1-5, 1952-1955)
· City Lights Journal (Nos. 1-4, 1963-1966)
· Contour (Nos. 1-4, 1947-1948)
· Cow (Nos. 1-3, 1965-1966)
· Dust (Nos. 1-17
· Ephemeris (Nos. 1-3, c.1969-1970)
· Foot (Nos. 1-8, 1962-1980)
· Gryphon (Nos. 1-3, 1950-1951)
· Hearse (Nos. 1-17, 1957-1972)
· J (Nos. 1-8, 1959-1961)
· M (Nos. 1-2, 1962)
· Measure (Nos. 1-3, 1957-1962)
· Mithrander (No. 1, 1963)
· The Needle (Nos. 1-3, 1956)
· Now (Nos. 1-3, 1963-1965)
· Open Space (Nos. 0-12, 1964)
· Out of Sight (nos. 1-2, 1966)
· The Pacific Nation (Nos. 1-2, 1967-1969)
· R.C. Lion (Nos. 1-3, 1966-1967)
· Renaissance (Nos. 1-4, 1961-1962)
·
 The Rivoli Review (Nos. 1-2, 1963-1964)
·
 The San Francisco Capitalist Bloodsucker-N (No. 1, 1962)
· Semina (Nos. 1-9, 1955-1962)
·
 Wild Dog (Nos. 1-21, 1963-1966)

Galleries:
· Batman Gallery
· Six Gallery


New York and The Beats

Poets & Writers:
· William S. Burroughs
· Gregory Corso
· Allen Ginsberg
· Jack Kerouac

Presses:
· Corinth Books (1959-1973)
· Totem Press (1958-1962)

Publications:
· The Floating Bear (Nos. 1-37, 1961-1971)
· Fuck You/ a magazine of the arts (Nos. 1-13, 1962-1965)
· Kulchur (Nos. 1-20, 1960-1965)
· Neon (Nos. 1-4, 1956-1959)
· Yugen (Nos. 1-8, 1958-1962)


Black Mountain

Poets & Writers:
· Charles Olson
· Robert Duncan [see also, San Francisco Renaissance]
· Denise Levertov
· Paul Blackburn
· Robert Creeley
· Paul Carroll
· Larry Eigner
· Edward Dorn
· Jonathan Williams
· Joel Oppenheimer

Objectivists
· Louis Zukofsky
· George Oppen
· Carl Rakosi
· Lorine Niedecker
· Charles Reznikoff

Presses:
· Black Mountain College Print Shop
· The Divers Press (1953-1955)
· The Jargon Society (1951-)
· Migrant Books (1957-1966)

Periodicals:
· Black Mountain Review (Nos. 1-7, 1954-1957)
· Migrant (Nos. 1-8, 1959-1960)
· Origin (First Series: Nos. 1-20, 1951-1957)


Cleveland, the Midwest and South…

Poets & Writers:
The so-called Cleveland School
·
 Russell Atkins
· d.a. levy
· Kent Taylor

· Douglas Blazek

· Frank Stanford

Periodicals:
· The Eight Pager (Nos. 1-4, 1966)
· Grist (Nos. 1-12, 1964-1966)


Other places and people

The UK, Ireland, and…
· Ian Hamilton Finlay & The Wild Hawthorn Press
· Stuart Mills & Tarasque Press
· Cavan McCarthy & Tlaloc

Elsewhere…

· Piero Heliczer and The Dead Language

· Judson Crews and company