Lot 29: The Return of the Rivers, 1/100 rare
18th May 2017
Author: Brautigan, Richard
Title: The Return of the Rivers
Place Published: [San Francisco]
Date Published: 
 pp. (8vo) 23x15 cm (9x6"), single sheet folded to make 2 pages, in black wrapper with paper cover label. One of 100 copies. First Edition.
Signed by Brautigan on the paper cover label. First published in May of 1957, The Return of the Rivers, a single poem, is considered Brautigan's first poetry book publication. The poem was printed as a favor to Brautigan by Leslie Woolf Hedley of Inferno Press. The book was constructed by Brautigan, his wife Virginia, and poet Ron Loewinsohn. The poem was reprinted in the collection, The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster. Only one auction record located, a copy being sold by PBA Galleries in 2016. OCLC shows only two library holdings; UC Berkeley and the University of Virginia. OCLC suggests there are only 15 copies of the poem still known to exist. A nice copy of what is most assuredly the rarest piece of important Brautigan ephemera in existence. Provenance: Anna Savoca. Brautigan met and dated Anna Savoca, then a photographer and a student at San Francisco State University, in 1963. He courted her with poetry, and eight unpublished poems survive. After Savoca ended the relationship, Brautigan cut his wrists superficially, smearing his blood on the walls of her apartment. (Hjortsberg,198-199, 201-202)
Condition: General light wear to wrapper, ½" closed tear at top edge, along with another miniscule nick, light fading to edges and spine, some toning to paper label; poem sheet laid loose in wrapper, light wear to poem sheet with miniscule closed tear to top edge, light toning and a few light spots, darkened circular area caused by the gluing of the page to the wrapper bleeds through both pages (faint on the first page), as seems to be the case with all known copies; very good.
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