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Richard Brautigan – Books and Broadsides

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SECTION A:
This index includes books, chapbooks, booklets and broadsides


1. Brautigan, Richard. THE RETURN OF THE RIVERS
brautigan_returnFirst edition:
San Francisco: Inferno Press, May 1957
Broadside tipped into wrappers with tipped on label, 100 signed copies.  (Barber 4)
[not in archive]

Brautigan poem: “The Return of the Rivers” [collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster]

2. Brautigan, Richard. THE GALILEE HITCH-HIKER
First edition:
San Francisco: White Rabbit Press, 1958
Hand-sewn in printed and illustrated wrappers, 6.5″ x 8.5″, 16 pages, 200 copies, cover illustration by Kenn Davis. (Barber 7)

Brautigan poem: “The Galilee Hitch-Hiker”  [collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster]

Note: The Galilee Hitch-Hiker” is a single poem, with nine separate parts: “The Galilee Hitch-Hiker”, “The American Hotel”, “1939”, “The Flowerburgers”, “The Hour of Eternity”, “Salvador Dali”, “A Baseball Game”, “Insane Asylum”, “My Insect Funeral”

3. Brautigan, Richard. LAY THE MARBLE TEA
First edition:
San Francisco: Carp Press, April-May 1959
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 16 pages, 500 copies, cover illustration by Kenn Davis.  (Barber 11)

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”
[* collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster]

Note: second printing issued in 1960

4. Brautigan, Richard. THE OCTOPUS FRONTIER
First edition:
San Francisco: Carp Press, 1960
Saddle-stapled in printed and pictorial wrappers, 5″ x 7″, 20 pages, cover photograph by Gui de Angulo. (Barber 12)

Brautigan poems: “The Sawmill”*, “1942”* [previously published in J, No. 5], “The Wheel”*, “The Pumpkin Tide”* [previously published in J, No. 4], “The Sidney Greenstreet Blues”* [previously published in J, No. 4], “The Quail”*, “The Symbol”*, “A Postcard from Chinatown”* [previously published in Foot, No. 1], “Sit Comma and Creeley Comma”*, “The Rape of Ophelia”* [previously published in Foot, No. 1], “The Last Music Is Not Heard” [previously published in Foot, No. 1], “The Octopus Frontier”, “The Potato House of Julius Caesar”, “The Fever Monument”* [previously published in J, No. 1], “The Winos on Potrero Hill”*, “Mike”, “Horse Race”* [previously published in Foot, No. 1], “The Old Folk’s Home”, “The Postman”*, “Surprise”* [previously published in J, No. 4], “The Nature Poem”* [previously published in Foot, No. 1], “Private Eye Lettuce”*
[* collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster]

5. Brautigan, Richard. SEPTEMBER CALIFORNIA
First edition:
San Francisco: San Francisco Arts Festival Commission, 1964
Broadside, 12.75″ x 20″, 300 copies. Laid into a portfolio entitled San Francisco Arts Festival: A Poetry Folio, 1964, illustrated by Richard Correll. Printed by East Wind Printers. (Barber 15)

Brautigan poem: “September California” [uncollected]

6. Brautigan, Richard. KARMA REPAIR KIT
First edition:
San Francisco: Communication Company, 1967
Broadside, 8.5″ x 11″, mimeograph printed.

Brautigan poems: “Karma Repair Kit” [collected in All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace]

7. Brautigan, Richard. ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE
First edition:
San Francisco: Communication Company, 1967
Broadside, 8.5″ x 11″, mimeograph printed.

Brautigan poems: “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace” [collected in All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace]

8. Brautigan, Richard. THE BEAUTIFUL POEM
First edition:
San Francisco: Communication Company, 1967
Broadside, 8.5″ x 11″, mimeograph printed.

Brautigan poem: “The Beautiful Poem” [collected in All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace]

Note: written during Brautigan’s poet-in-residency at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, California, January 17-26, 1967.

9. Brautigan, Richard. LOVE POEM
First edition:
San Francisco: Communication Company, 1967
Broadside, 8.5″ x 11″, mimeograph printed.

Brautigan poems: “Love Poem” [collected in All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace]

10. Brautigan, Richard. FLOWERS FOR THOSE YOU LOVE
First edition:
San Francisco: Communication Company, 1967
Broadside, 8.5″ x 11″, mimeograph printed.

Brautigan poems: “Flowers for Those you Love” [collected in All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace]

11. Brautigan, Richard.  ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE
First edition:
San Francisco: Communication Company, 1967
Side-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers,  7″ x 8.75″, 36 pages, 1500 copies, cover photograph by Bill Brach.

Brautigan poems: “The Beautiful Poem”*, “December 24″*, “Milk for the Duck”*, “November 3″* [previously published in O’er, No. 2], “Flowers for Those You Love”*, “San Francisco”*, “Star Hole”*, “Love Poem”*, “I Lie Here in a Strange Girl’s Apartment”*, “It’s Raining in Love”* [previously published in Hollow Orange, No. 4], “Hey! This Is What It’s All About”*, “Our Beautiful West Coast Thing”*, “Widow’s Lament”*, “December 30″*, “Lovers”*, “A Mid-February Sky Dance”*, “Hey, Bacon!”*, “After Halloween Slump”*, “Hollywood”*, “It’s Going Down”*, “Albion Breakfast”*, “Comets”* [previously published in Hollow Orange, No. 4], “The Pomegranate Circus”*, “My Nose Is Growing Old”* [previously published in O’er, No. 2], “At the California Institute of Technology”* [previously published in Totem, May 1967], “Your Catfish Friend”*, “Karma Repair Kit: Items 1-4″*, “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace”*, “A Good-Talking Candle”*, “Nine Things”* [previously published in Hollow Orange, No. 4], “A Lady”*, “Let’s Voyage into the New American House”*
[* collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster]

From the copyright page: “Permission is granted to reprint any of these poems in magazines, books and newspapers if they are given away free. Bill Brock live with us a while on Pine Street. He took the photograph in the basement. It was a beautiful day in San Francisco. Some of these poems first appeared in Hollow Orange, Totem, O’er, and Beatitude. Five poems were published as broadsides by the Communication Company.”

12. Brautigan, Richard. SPINNING LIKE A GHOST ON THE BOTTOM OF A TOP, I’M HAUNTED BY ALL THE SPACE THAT I WILL LIVE WITHOUT YOU
First edition:
San Francisco: Free City Collective, October 1967
Broadside, 8.5″ x 14″, offset printed.

Brautigan poems: “Spinning like a Ghost on the Bottom of a Top, I’m haunted by all the Space that I will live without You” [collected and retitled “Boo, Forever” in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster]

Note: included in an anthology of ten broadside poems, Free City News, No. 1, published by the Diggers in October 1967; also issued separately.

13. Brautigan, Richard. PLEASE PLANT THIS BOOK
First edition:
Santa Barbara: Graham Mackintosh, 1968
Printed and illustrated folder with eight printed seed packets laid in, 6.25″ x 7″, 1500 copies, printed by Graham Mackintosh, typography by J.S. Brooke, cover photographs of Caledonia Jahrmarkt by Bill Brach.

Brautigan poems: “California Native Flowers”, “Shasta Daisy”, “Calendula”, “Sweet Alyssum Royal Carpet”, “Parsley”, “Squash”, “Carrots”, “Lettuce”

Note: The front of each packet was printed with a poem titled for the type of seeds (four of flowers, four of vegetables) contained in that packet. Planting instructions were printed on the back, the same for all eight packets.

14. Brautigan, Richard. THE SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER REPORT
First edition:
San Francisco: Graham Mackintosh, 1968
Broadside, 8″ x 13″, letterpress printed

Brautigan poems: “The San Francisco Weather Report” [collected in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster]

15. Brautigan, Richard. THE PILL VERSUS THE SPRINGHILL MINE DISASTER
a. First edition, regular copies:
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1968
Perfect-bound in photo-illustrated wrappers, 108 pages, cover photo by Edmund Shea. Published as Writing 20.

b. First edition, numbered and signed copies:
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1968
Hardcover in paper-bound boards with cloth backstrip, 108 pages, 50 numbered and signed copies. Binding by Schuberth Bookbindery. Published as Writing 20.

Brautigan poems: in addition to thirty-eight previously uncollected poems, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster includes The Return of the Rivers (May 1957), all nine parts of The Galilee Hitch-Hiker (1958), nine poems from the Lay The Marble Tea (1959), seventeen poems from The Octopus Frontier (1960), and all thirty two poems from All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (1967).

16. Brautigan, Richard. ROMMEL DRIVES ON DEEP INTO EGYPT
First edition:
New York: Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, April 1970
Hardcover in photo-illustrated boards in dust jacket, cover photo by Edmund Shea.

Brautigan poems: a collection of eighty-five poems

17. Brautigan, Richard. LOADING MERCURY WITH A PITCHFORK
First edition:
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1976
Hardcover in cloth-bound boards in dust jacket, cover photo by Erik Weber

Brautigan poems: a collection of ninety-four poems; the poems were grouped in eight titled sections and featured the crow as a dominant figure throughout.

18. Brautigan, Richard. JUNE 30TH, JUNE 30TH
First edition:
New York: Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1978
Hardcover in paper-bound boards in dust jacket, 99 pages, cover illustration by Walter Harper adapted from a photograph by Erik Weber of the Japanese immigration stamp in Brautigan’s passport.

Brautigan poems: a collection of seventy-seven poems, dated from May and June 1976, they form a poetic travel diary of Brautigan’s relationship with Japan, which he first visited during this time period. The form of this book follows the Japanese tradition of haibun, a collection of haiku gathered into a story line.

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.” (more…)

Richard Brautigan

Richard Brautigan in San Francisco’s Washington Square Park in March 1967, © Erik Weber

Richard Brautigan Checklist:

Section A: Books and Broadsides*
Section B: Contributions to Books and Anthologies*
Section C: Contributions to Periodicals
Section D: Novels and Prose
Section E: Periodicals Edited and Published
* The bibliographic notes here focus on Brautigan’s publications of poetry.


Richard Gary Brautigan (January 30, 1935 – ca. September 14, 1984) was an American novelist, poet, and short story writer. His work often clinically and surrealistically employs black comedy, parody, and satire, with emotionally blunt prose describing pastoral American life intertwining with technological progress. He is best known for his novels Trout Fishing in America (1967) and In Watermelon Sugar (1968).

Brautigan began his career as a poet, with his first collection being published in 1957. He made his debut as a novelist with A Confederate General from Big Sur (1964), about a seemingly delusional man who believes himself to be the descendant of a Confederate general. Brautigan would go on to publish numerous prose and poetry collections until 1982. He committed suicide in 1984.

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.”

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.”


References consulted:

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

Lepper, Gary M. A Bibliographical Introduction to Seventy-Five Modern American Authors
Berkeley: Serendipity Books, 1976


Online Resources:

American Dust – Richard Brautigan’s life and writing


Further reading:

Barber, John F. Richard Brautigan: Essays on the Writings and Life
Jefferson: McFarland & Company, 2006

Hjortsberg, William. Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan
Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2012