Tag Archives: Jess Collins

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…

Robert Duncan: Books & Broadsides

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Section A:
Books, Pamphlets, Broadsides, Separate Publications

A1. HEAVENLY CITY, EARTHLY CITY
Berkeley: Bern Porter, 1947
(Bertholf A1)

A2. POEMS, 1948-49
Berkeley: Berkeley Miscellany Editions, 1949
(Bertholf A2)

A3. MEDIEVAL SCENES
San Francisco: Centaur Press, 1950
(Bertholf A3)

A4. FRAGMENTS OF A DISORDERED DEVOTION
a. First edition, privately published:
San Francisco: privately printed, Fall 1952
Hand-sewn in printed and hand-colored covers in ink and crayons, 6″ x 8.25″, 28 pages, 50 numbered and signed copies, multilith printed. Text is reproduced from the author’s holograph. (Bertholf A4a)

b. Second edition, first issue:
San Francisco: Gnomon Press, 1966
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 6.5″ x 8″, 24 pages, 70 copies distributed but withdrawn from sale due to the cover being rejected by Duncan. Cover by Anton Van Dalen. Produced jointly by Victor Coleman’s Island Press in Toronto and Jonathan Greene’s Gnomon Press in San Francisco. (Bertholf A4b)

c. Second edition, second issue:
San Francisco: Gnomon Press, 1966
(Bertholf A4c)

A5. THE SONG OF THE BORDER-GUARD
First edition:
Black Mountain Graphics Workshop, 1952.
Folio broadside measuring 12.5″ x 19.5″ tipped into illustrated wrappers, 200 copies, letterpress printed by Nicola Cernovich and Joel Oppenheimer. Cover art by Cy Twombly. (Bertholf A5)

A6. BOOB, Nos. 1 & 2
First edition, privately published:
(San Francisco): privately published, (1952)
Set of broadsides measuring 11″ x 8.25, 250 copies. (Bertholf A6)







A7. FAUST FOUTU
a. First edition, privately published:
San Francisco: Privately published, 1953
Corner-stapled sheets, 8.5″ x 11″, 70 pages, 100 copies, mimeograph printed. (Bertholf A7a)



b. Second edition, abbreviated copies:
San Francisco: White Rabbit Press, March 1958
Hand-sewn in printed wrappesrs, 6.5″ x 8.5″, 17 pages, 300 copies. (Bertholf A7b)



c. Third edition, regular copies
Stinson Beach: Enkidu Surrogate, November 1959
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 8.5″, 72 pages, 700 copies. Cover art by Robert Duncan. (Bertholf A7c)

d. Third edition, signed and illustrated copies
Stinson Beach: Enkidu Surrogate, November 1959
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 8.5″, 72 pages, 50 illustrated and signed copies. Cover art by Robert Duncan. (Bertholf A7d)

A8. CAESAR’S GATE
a. First edition, regular copies:
Palma de Mallorca: Divers Press, 1955
(Bertholf A8a)

b. First edition, numbered copies:
Mallorca: Divers Press, 1955
(Bertholf A8b)

c. First edition, lettered copies:
Mallorca: Divers Press, 1955
(Bertholf A8c)

d. Second edition, first hardbound impression:
Sand Dollar, 1972.
(Bertholf A8d)

e. Second edition, first paperbound impression:
Sand Dollar, 1972.
(Bertholf A8e)

f. Second edition, second paperbound impression:
Sand Dollar, 1972.
(Bertholf A8f)

A9. LETTERS
a. First edition, paperbound copies:
Highlands: Jonathan Williams, 1958
(Bertholf A9a)

b. First edition, hardbound copies, first state:
Highlands: Jonathan Williams, 1958
(Bertholf A9b)

c. First edition, hardbound copies, second state:
Highlands: Jonathan Williams, 1958
(Bertholf A9c)

d. First edition, hardbound, decorated copies:
Highlands: Jonathan Williams, 1958
(Bertholf A9d)

A10. SELECTED POEMS
San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1959
(Bertholf A10)

A11. THE OPENING OF THE FIELD
New York: Grove, 1960
(Bertholf A11)

A12. AS TESTIMONY
San Francisco: White Rabbit ,1964
(Bertholf A12)

A13. WRITING WRITING
Albuquerque: Sumbooks, 1964
(Bertholf A13)





A14. ROOTS AND BRANCHES
New York: Scribner’s, 1964
(Bertholf A14)

A15. WINE
Berkeley: Oyez, 1964
(Bertholf A15)

A16. MEDEA AT KOLCHIS / THE MAIDEN HEAD
Berkeley: Oyez, 1965
(Bertholf A16)

A17. THE SWEETNESS AND GREATNESS OF DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY
San Francisco: Open Space, 1965
(Bertholf A17) (Johnston A32)

A18. UPRISING
Berkeley: Oyez, 1965
(Bertholf A18)

A19. OF THE WAR: PASSAGES 22-27
Berkeley: Oyez, 1966
(Bertholf A19)

A20. THE YEARS AS CATCHES: FIRST POEMS, 1939-46
Berkeley: Oyez, 1966.
(Bertholf A20)

Foot

Poet Richard Duerden was born in Utah and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He joined the Merchant Marines and the Marine Corps and was educated at the University of California.

A member of the San Francisco Renaissance poetry movement, Duerden founded the literary journals Foot and the Rivoli Review. His books of poetry include The Fork (1965), The Left Hand & The Glory of Her (1967), and The Air’s Nearly Perfect Elasticity (1979). His poetry was anthologized in The New American Poetry, 1945–1960 (1960, edited by Donald Allen). A selection of his manuscripts and correspondence is archived in the Stanford University Libraries and a smaller selection of his correspondence with poet Philip Whalen is archived at the Reed College Library.


Foot, No.1, edited by Richard Duerdan
mags_foot01San Francisco, September 1959
First edition, hand-sewn illustrated wrappers, 6.75″ x 8.5″, 56 pages. Cover illustration by Robert Duncan.

Contributors: Ebbe Borregaard, Richard Brautigan, Jess Collins, Richard Duerden, Robert Duncan, Larry Eigner, Eloise Nixon, Philip Whalen, Gary Snyder.

Foot, No. 2, edited by Richard Duerden and William Brown
mags_foot02San Francisco, 1962
First edition, saddle-stapled illustrated wrappers, 6.75″ x 8.75″, 80 pages. Illustrations by Philip Roeber and Philip Whalen.

Contributors: Philip Whalen, Philip Roeber, Joanne Snyder, Richard Duerden, Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer, Kenneth Rexroth, William Brown, Lew Welch, Leslie Thompson, Jess Collins, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Suzanne Duerden.

Foot, No. 3, edited by Richard Duerden
mags_foot03San Francisco, Spring 1977
First edition, saddle-stapled illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 8.5″, 12 pages. Cover illustration by Robert Duncan.

Contributors: Robert Creeley, Duncan McNaughton, Richard Duerden, John Thorpe, Lawrence Kearney.

Foot, No. 4, edited by Richard Duerden
mags_foot04San Francisco, Summer 1977
First edition, saddle-stapled illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 8.75″, 16 pages. Cover illustration by Terry Bell.

Contributors: Lawrence Kearney, Jerry Ratch, Duncan McNaughton,   Don Cushman, James Koller.

Foot, No. 5, edited by Richard Duerden
mags_foot05San Francisco, Fall 1977
First edition, saddle-stapled illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 8.5″, 12 pages. Cover illustration by Leslie Scalapino.

Contributors: Leslie Scalapino, Richard Duerden, Michael Wolfe, Ron Loewinsohn.

Foot, No. 6, edited by Leslie Scalapino and Richard Duerden
mags_foot06Berkeley, 1978
First edition, perfect bound illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 9″, 40 pages. Cover illustration by Diane Sophia.

Contributors: Diane Sophia, Leslie Scalapino, Larry Kearney, John Thorpe, Philip Whalen, Diane Sophia, Don Cushman, Sherril Jaffe, Michael Davidson, Michael Wolfe, Duncan McNaughton, Robert Duncan, Norman Fischer, Bernadette Mayer, Peter Rabbit, Richard Duerden.

Foot, No. 7, edited by Richard Duerden
mags_foot07Berkeley, 1979
First edition, perfect bound illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 5.5″, 40 pages. Cover illustration by Terry Bell.

Contributors: Lawrence Kearney

Foot, No. 8, edited by Leslie Scalapino and Richard Duerden
mags_foot08Berkeley, 1980
First edition, perfect bound illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 9″, 52 pages.

Contributors: Keith Shein, Leslie Scalapino, Diane Sophia, Norma Smith, Sarah Menefee, Don Cushman, Joanne Kyger, Larry Eigner, Bill Berkson, Bob Grenier, Jackie Cantwell, Ted Pearson, Marc Lecard, Lawrence Kearney, Jeanne Lance, Duncan McNaughton, Michael Wolfe, Carla Harryman.

Ebbe Borregaard

Ebbe Borregaard 1970Ebbe Borregaard’s work was published in the first run of White Rabbit Press in 1958 and then by Oyez using the name “Gerard Boar”, the anagrammatic pseudonym of his last name. He also appeared in several periodicals over the years and self-published some poetry and letters.

Along with his wife Joy, Ebbe owned and operated Borregaard’s Museum and Art Gallery. The idea behind establishing the venue in 1960 was to showcase the creative achievement of the Spicer circle. Helen Adam’s play SAN FRANCISCO’S BURNING was performed by Adam and her sister Pat in that first year. The following year the museum hosted a show of Jess’s work as well as a series of lectures by Duncan.

Borregaard also ran Oannes Press, publishing two titles: Helen and Pat Adam’s SAN FRANCISCO’S BURNING and James Alexander’s ETURNATURE, the latter in conjunction with Open Space.

Moving to Bolinas in 1969, Borregaard was later included in ON THE MESA: AN ANTHOLOGY OF BOLINAS WRITING published in 1971 by City Lights.


Section A:
Books and Broadsides

A1. Borregaard, Ebbe. THE WAPITIS
borregaard_wapitisFirst edition:
San Francisco: White Rabbit Press, January 1958
Hand-sewn illustrated wrappers, 6.5″ x 8.5″, 12 pages, (200 copies). Ebbe Borregaard’s first book. Cover illustration by Robert Duncan. (Johnston A4)

A2. Borregard, Ebbe. LEANTO: THE JOURNAL EXTRACT FROM THE ORIGINAL BY THE AUTHOR
First edition:
San Francisco: privately published, 1960
Illustrated french-fold wrappers, 125 copies, mimeograph. Illustrated by J. Alexander.

A3. Borregaard, Ebbe. [LETTERS TO SPRACH]
First edition:
Berkeley: privately published, 1963
Side-stapled sheets in unprinted card covers, 7″ x 10″, 58 pages, 20 copies. Preface by Ebbe Borregaard dated Christmas 1963.

Title supplied from Serendipity Books Catalogue 35, item no. 36 which also states that no more than 20 copies were printed.

A4. Borregaard, Ebbe. WHEN DID MORNING WIND RIP CALLOW FLOWERS IN MAY
First edition:
San Francisco: Arts Festival, 1964
Illustrated broadside, 12.5″ x 20″,  300 copies. Illustrated by Jess Collins.

A broadside issued as part of the 1964 San Francisco Arts Festival portfolio: A POETRY FOLIO, which contained 11 broadsides.

A5. Borregaard, Ebbe. CHILDHOOD OF DWARF CHRIST 1

First edition:
Sussex: Collection, 1969
Side-stapled illustrated wrappers, 9 copies, off-print of pages  25-36 from Collection 3 edited by Peter Riley.

A6. Boar, Gerard. SKETCHES FOR 13 SONNETS 
a. First edition, regular copies:
Berkeley: Oyez, 1969
Saddle-stapled printed wrappers, 7.75″ x 9.75″, 1600 copies, designed and printed by Graham Mackintosh.

b. First edition, hardcover copies:
Berkeley: Oyez, 1969
Hardcover, number of copies unknown, designed and printed by Graham Mackintosh.

A7. Borregaard, Ebbe. FRIDAY NIGHT PROVERBS
First edition:
Bolinas, n.d.
Broadside.


Section B:
Contributions to Periodicals and Anthologies

B1. J, No. 1, edited by Jack Spicer
mags_j01San Francisco, 1959
“Ballad for Billy Swan”, “Ballad for SAD”





B2. FOOT, No.1, edited by Richard Duerdan
mags_foot01San Francisco, September 1959






B3. LOCUS SOLUS, No. 1
1961
“Other stories of the beauty wapiti”, “wapiti 3”, “From ‘Sprach'”

B4. M, No. 2, edited by Lew Ellingham
mags_m02San Francisco: M, 1962
“October Seventh Poem”





B5. ANGEL HAIR, No. 3, edited by Lewis Warsh and Anne Waldman
New York: Angel Hair, Summer 1969

B6. COLLECTION, No. 3, edited by Peter Riley
Sussex, January 1969
“Childhood of Dwarf Christ 1”

B7. ANGEL HAIR, No. 6, edited by Lewis Warsh and Anne Waldman
New York: Angel Hair, Spring 1969

B8. EPHEMERIS, No. 2, edited by David Schaff
San Francisco, c. 1969
“Eros in Error”

B9. WRITING, No. 4, edited by Stan Persky and Dennis Wheeler
Vancouver: Georgia Straight, 1970

B10. WRITING, No. 7, edited by Stan Persky and Dennis Wheeler
Vancouver: Georgia Straight, 1971

B11. SESHETA, No. 2, edited by Andi Wachtel and Richard Downing
Surrey: Sesheta Press, Spring 1972

B12. ADVENTURES IN POETRY, No. 11, edited by Larry Fagin
New York: The Poetry Project, Spring 1974
“October Seventh Poem”


References consulted:

Alastair Johnston. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE WHITE RABBIT PRESS
Berkeley: Poltroon Press in association with Anacapa Books, 1985

Enkidu Surrogate

spicer_billyannouce
Announcement for Billy the Kid, circa 1959. Collage on paper

 

From Stinson Beach in the late 1950s, Jess Collins and Robert Duncan published just two books under their Enkidu Surrogate imprint.

The books were distributed by White Rabbit Press.

 

 

 

A1. Spicer, Jack. BILLY THE KID
spicer_billya. First edition, first state:
Stinson Beach: Enkidu Surrogate, October 1959
Saddle-stapled in illustrated wrappers, 6.5? x 8.5?, 16 pages, 750 copies, offset printed.  Illustrations by Jess Collins.

b. First edition, second state:
The second state includes holograph corrections to text on page 8

A2. Duncan, Robert. FAUST FOUTU
duncan_faust03a. First edition, regular copies:
Stinson Beach: Enkidu Surrogate, November 1959
Saddle-stapled in illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 8.5″, 71 pages, 750 copies. Illustrated by Robert Duncan. (Bertholf A7c)

b. First edition, numbered and signed copies:
Stinson Beach: Enkidu Surrogate, November 1959
Saddle-stapled in illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 8.5″, 71 pages, 50 copies numbered and signed with a drawing. Illustrated by Robert Duncan. (Bertholf A7d)

This is the first complete printing of the play, after a privately printed mimeographed first printing in 1953, and a second from White Rabbit Press in 1958. 

J

Jack Spicer’s J ran for eight issues: Nos. 1–5 were edited by Spicer in North Beach where contributions were left in a box marked “J” in The Place, a bar on Grant Avenue in San Francisco; Nos. 6 and 7 (an Apparition of the late J) were edited by George Stanley in San Francisco and New York City respectively while no. 8 was edited by Harold Dull in Rome. Spicer believed that poetry was for poets and the magazine had a small circulation but cast a long shadow. Contributors included: Robin Blaser, Richard Brautigan, Bruce Boyd, Kay Johnson, Robert Duncan, Joe Dunn, Ron Loewinsohn, Joanne Kyger, Helen Adam, and others. Covers (sometimes hand-embellished) were by Fran Herndon (Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5), Russell FitzGerald (No. 3), and George Stanley (Nos. 6, 7).


J, No. 1, edited by Jack Spicer
mags_j01San Francisco: J, 1959
Contributors:
James Alexander
Ebbe Borregaard
Robin Blaser
Jack Spicer
Joe Dunn
Richard Brautigan
Kay Johnson
Robert Duncan

J, No. 2, 1959, edited by Jack Spicer
San Francisco: J, 1959
Contributors:
George Stanley
Fran Herndon
Jess Collins
Robert Duncan
Stan Persky

J, No. 3, 1959, edited by Jack Spicer
San Francisco: J, 1959
Contributors:
Bruce Boyd
Ron Loewinsohn
George Stanley
Damon Beard
Jack Spicer

J, No. 4, 1959, edited by Jack Spicer
mags_j04San Francisco: J, 1959
Contributors:
Robert Duncan
Richard Brautigan
Joanne Kyger
Donald Allen
John Ryan
George Stanley
Jack Spicer

J, No. 5, 1959, edited by Jack Spicer
mags_j05San Francisco: J, 1959
Contributors:
Larry Eigner
Jess Collins
Richard Brautigan
Kay Johnson
Ron Loewinsohn
George Stanley
Robert Duncan
Richard Duerden
Jack Spicer

J, No. 6, edited by George Stanley
San Francisco: J, 1959
Contributors:
Helen Adam
Paul Goodman
Joanne Kyger
Ron Loewinsohn

J, No. 7, edited by George Stanley
New York: J, 1959
Contributors:
Ebbe Borregaard
Stan Persky

J, No. 8, 1961, edited by Harold Dull
Rome: J, 1961
Contributors:
Harold Dull
Stan Persky


online excerpt from A Secret Location on the Lower East Side (Granary Books, 1998):

“In many ways the most beautiful of all the mimeo magazines, J had an eight-issue run. The first five issues were edited from North Beach bars by Jack Spicer with Fran Herndon as art editor. Spicer, who embodied the spirit of poetry in the Bay area, collected pieces for his magazine from a box marked “J” in The Place, a bar at 1546 Grant Avenue in San Francisco. A refugee from Los Angeles with two degrees from Berkeley, he had been a student of Josephine Miles there in the mid-1940s. They became close friends, and Spicer participated in the Friday afternoon poetry readings in Wheeler Hall during the late 1940s as well as the readings organized with Rocke-feller money by Ruth Witt-Diamant at the new Poetry Center at San Francisco State. Into the cauldron of poetic politics surrounding Miles, Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Duncan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and others, Spicer introduced his freest of spirits, sometimes more Caliban than Ariel. Spicer lived for words (even making his living as a research assistant on a lexicographical project at Berkeley). He could be found most evenings in one of the North Beach bars or coffeehouses leading the discussion on poetry, poetics, myth, linguistics, and other mysteries. Like Blake and Yeats (with the help of Mrs. Yeats), Spicer attempted to clear his mind and open himself to “dictation” from other sources, which he devotedly pursued. Spicer also believed wholeheartedly in the necessity of human beings’ helping each other through communication, which he confronted in the editorship of J, a little newsletter of the poetic spirit. Donald Allen acted as J’s distributor in New York (“New York Contributions are not forbidden. But quotaed”), selling copies for Spicer to the Wilentz brothers of the Eighth Street Book Shop. In an early letter to Spicer, Allen eagerly wondered “what your editorial policy may be. Seduction by print.””


Further Reading:

Mimeo Mimeo on J

The Rivoli Review

The Rivoli Review, Vol. Zero, No. One, edited by Richard Duerden 
mags_rivoli01San Francicso: The Rivoli Review 1963
Side-stapled illustrated wrappers, 8.5″ x 11″, 24 pages, mimeograph printed. Cover illustration by Jess Collins.

 

Contributors:
Ford Madox Ford – “Meary Walker”
Robert Duncan – “Weacing the Design”
James Koller – [untitled] “mottled brown birds…”
Richard Duerden – “Seven: #2 La Martine Place”
Denise Levertov – “Hypocrite Women”
Lynn Lonidier – “Chagall and Bella”
Ron Loewinsohn – “Art for Art’s Sake”, “The Rain, The Rain”
Gerald Gilbert – [untitled] “Sunshine…”
Lorenzo Thomas – “Grass”, “West”
Robert Peterson – “Critical Times”
Ron Loewinsohn – “Fuck You Roger Maris”
Philip Whalen – “Plums, Metaphysics, An Investigation, A Visit and a Short Funeral Ode”
Ron Loewinsohn – “It is to be Bathed in Light”

The Rivoli Review, Vol. Zero, No. Two, edited by Richard Duerden 
mags_rivoli02San Francicso: The Rivoli Review 1964
Side-stapled illustrated wrappers, 8.5″ x 14″, 30 pages, mimeograph printed.

 

Contributors:
James Koller – “The People are Coming”
Ron Loewinsohn – “A Place to Go”
Jess Collins – “Song of the Pied Parrot”
Lew Brown – “from Lionel”
Deneen Brown – “Azalea Poem”
George Stanley – “Argus”
Robert Duncan – “Passages III”, “Passages 3-4”
Richard Duerden – “Silence, and Katharsis”
Lew Brown – “The Broadjump”, “from Lionel”
Jack Anderson – “The Scale of It”
Richard Duerden – “The Sonata”
Jack Anderson – “Man in a Doorway”
Gerard Malanga – “Final Sonnet XC”

Jess Collins

Jess Collins (August 6, 1923 – January 2, 2004) was born Burgess Franklin Collins in Long Beach, California. He was initially educated as a chemisjess1956t, having received his B.S. at the California Institute of Technology in 1948, and in his career worked on the production of plutonium for the Manhattan Project.  In 1949 he abandoned his scientific career and moved to San Francisco where he enrolled in the California School of Fine Arts  (now the San Francisco Art Institute) and began referring to himself simply as “Jess”. He met Robert Duncan in 1951, a relationship  that lasted until the poet’s death in 1988.

jess002
Alternative cover for O!, 1959

In 1952 Jess, Duncan, and Harry Jacobus opened the King Ubu Gallery, which became an important venue for alternative art in San Francisco. And it remained so when it was  reopened as the Six Gallery in 1954 by Wally Hedrick, Deborah Remington, John Ryan, Jack Spicer, Hayward King, and David Simpson.

A celebrated painter and collage artist, Jess was a leading light of the San Francisco art scene from the 1950s until his death in 2004, and one of the most original artists of the second half of the 20th century.

Jess was a quietly independent artist who in his paintings, collages, and sculptures developed a complex synthesis of art and literary history. Jess’ unique imagery, evolved from mythology and fables both playful and profound, has long been admired by critics, curators and writers. Using paper collage or his eccentric painting techniques, Jess’ pictures referenced ancient stories and invented symbols. Jess constructed a private world of delicate beauty and gentle absurdity. 


A. Books and Broadsides

1. Artists View #8
Tiburon: Artist’s View, 1954
Poems and paste-ups, folded broadside, entire issue devoted to the work of Jess.

2. O!
New York: Hawks Well Press, 1960
Paste-ups and poems, stapled wrappers, with a preface by Robert Duncan.




3. The Dios Kuroi
Off-print from The Northwest Review, 1963
Paste-up sequence.


B. Contributions to Books and Other Publications

1. Jess Collins and Robert Duncan. Boob #1
jess_boob01San Francisco: [privately printed], 1952
Broadside. Paste-up.




2. Jess Collins and Robert Duncan. Boob #2
jess_boob02San Francisco: [privately printed], 1952
Broadside. Paste-up.




3. Duncan, Robert. Caesar’s Gate
Mallorca: Divers Press, 1955.
Cover and 16 paste-ups.





4. Jonas, Steve. The Poem, The Sea & Other Pieces Examined.
jonas_loveSan Francisco: White Rabbit Press, 1957.
Cover illustration and titling. (Johnston A1)





5. Spicer, Jack. AFTER LORCA
spicer_lorcaSan Francisco: White Rabbit Press, 1957
Cover illustration. (Johnston A2)





6. Levertov, Denise. FIVE POEMS
levertov_fiveSan Francisco: White Rabbit Press, 1958
Cover illustration. (Johnston A3)





7. Adam, Helen. The Queen O’ Crow Castle
adam_queenSan Francisco: White Rabbit, 1958
Cover illustration, titling, and six drawings. (Johnston A9)




8. Olson, Charles. O’Ryan 2 4 6 8 10
olson_oryanSan Francisco: White Rabbit, 1958
Cover illustration. (Johnston A10)





9. Spicer, Jack. Billy The Kid
spicer_billyStinson Beach: Enkidu Surrogate Press, 1959
Cover illustration and seven drawings.





10. Duncan, Robert. The Opening of The Field
New York: Grove Press, 1960
Frontispiece drawing.

11. Adam, Helen and Pat. San Francisco’s Burning
Berkeley: Oannes Press, 1963
Cover illustration and six drawings.

12. Duncan, Robert. Unkingd by Affection 
San Francisco: San Francisco Arts Festival, 1963
Illustrated broadside.

13. Adam, Helen. Ballads
New York: Acadia Press, 1964
Cover illustration, titling, title page, and 15 drawings. Two additional drawings included in limited edition with hand-tinted cover.

14. Borregaard, Ebbe. When Did Morning Wind Rip Callow Flowers in May… 
San Francisco, San Francisco Arts Festival, 1964
Illustrated broadside.

15. Duncan, Robert. A Book of Resemblances
New Haven: Henry Wenning, 1966
Illustrations in two colors.

16. Duncan, Robert. The Cat and The Blackbird
San Francisco: White Rabbit Press, 1967
Cover illustration, titling, and drawings.





17. Duncan, Robert. Names of People
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1968
Illustrations.

18. Dunn, Joe. Better Dream House
San Francisco: White Rabbit Press, 1968
Cover and 11 paste-ups.





19. Morgenstern, Christian. Gallowsongs 
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press 1970
Illustrations.


C. Contributions to Periodicals

1. Artists View #0. Tiburon, 1952. Paste-up poem

2. Artists View #5. Tiburon, 1953. Cover illustration.

3. Poems & Pictures #1. 1954. Poem

4. Black Mountain Review #4. 1956. Paste-up poem.

5. Black Mountain Review #6. 1956. Paste-ups

6. Ark II, Moby I. 1956. Translations.

7. J #2. 1959. Notes on painting.

8. J #5. 1959. Cover illustration and comic strip.

9. J #6. 1959. Comic strip.

10. Chelsea #7. 1960. Translations.

11. An Apparition of The Late J. 1960. Poem.

12. Folio 3. Bloomington, Summer 1960. Paste-up.

13. Foot #1. 1960. Poem.

14. Foot #2. 1962. Poem.

15. The Northwest Review 4. Eugene, Winter 1963. Paste-up sequence.

16. Semina 8. Los Angeles, 1963. Paste-up.

17. The Rivoli Review #1. 1964. Cover illustration.

18. The Rivoli Review #2. 1964. Poem.

19. Writing 3. 1964. Cover illustration and five drawings.

20. Open Space #1. 1964. Dream record.

21. Open Space #2. 1964. Dream record and letter.

22. Open Space #Twin 4. 1964. Dream record.

23. Open Space #6. 1964. Dream record and drawing.

24. Open Space #7. 1964. Cover illustration and dream record.

25. Open Space #8. 1964. Paste-up.

26. Open Space #9. 1964. Drawing.

27. Open Space #10. 1964. Cover illustration and paste-up.

28. Open Space #12. 1964. Drawing.

29. Floating Bear #31. 1965. Cover illustration.

30. Insect Trust Gazette #2. 1965. Paste-up.

31. Some / Thing #8. 1966. Paste-up.

32. The Tenth Muse #14. 1967. Cover illustration.

33. The Tenth Muse #15. 1967. Cover illustration.

34. The Tenth Muse #21. 1968. Cover illustration.

35. The Tenth Muse #26. 1969. Cover paste-up.


Further Reading

Hyperallergic
The Paris Review
Siglio Press

Poet as Crystal Radio Set

Although known primarily among a coterie of poets in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time of his death in 1965, Jack Spicer has slowly become a towering figure in American poetry. He was born in Los Angeles in 1925 to midwestern parents and raised in a Calvinist jack-spicerhome. While attending college at the University of California-Berkeley, Spicer met fellow poets Robin Blaser and Robert Duncan. The friendship among these three poets would develop into what they referred to as “The Berkeley Renaissance,” which would in turn become the San Francisco Renaissance after Spicer, Blaser and Duncan moved to San Francisco in the 1950s.

In 1954, he co-founded the Six Gallery in San Francisco, which soon became famous as the scene of the October 1955 Six Gallery reading that launched the West Coast Beat movement. In 1955, Spicer moved to New York and then to Boston, where he worked for a time in the Rare Book Room of Boston Public Library. Blaser was also in Boston at this time, and the pair made contact with a number of local poets, including John Wieners, Stephen Jonas, and Joe Dunn.

Spicer returned to San Francisco in 1956 and started working on After Lorca. This book represented a major change in direction for two reasons. Firstly, he came to the conclusion that stand-alone poems (which Spicer referred to as his one-night stands) were unsatisfactory and that henceforth he would compose serial poems. In fact, he wrote to Blaser that ‘all my stuff from the past (except the Elegies and Troilus) looks foul to me.’ Secondly, in writing After Lorca, he began to practice what he called “poetry as dictation”.

In 1957, Spicer ran a workshop called Poetry as Magic at San Francisco State College, which was attended by Duncan, Helen Adam, James Broughton, Joe Dunn, Jack Gilbert, and George Stanley. He also participated in, and sometimes hosted, Blabbermouth Night at a literary bar called The Place. This was a kind of contest of improvised poetry and encouraged Spicer’s view of poetry as being dictated to the poet. (more…)