Lot 606: American Poets

RR Auction

RR Auction

2015-08-21 10:52:39

Lot 606: Fascinating archive of approximately 200 poems, notes, postcards, and letters dating from the 1960s–1980s. Most letters are to Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, and Diane Di Prima, written by many of the key poets of their generation—most associated with the New York School, Black Mountain School, Beats, or Language poets—and contain fantastic literary content, sharing poems, discussing publications, or arranging readings and meetings. Signers include: Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Kay Boyle, Robert Creeley, Elizabeth Bishop, Denise Levertov, Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, Diane Di Prima, Philip Whalen, Bernadette Mayer, Aram Saroyan, Clark Coolidge, Anne Waldman, Kenward Elmslie, Louise Bogan, Tom Weigel, and Ed Sanders. Highlights include a wonderful ALS in pencil from Allen Ginsberg, one page both sides, dated March 5,1982, in full: "I'm overwhelmed by paper. My poetry teacher W. C. Williams said (of poetry) NO ideas but in things. I only could glance briefly at texts—not my direction of poetry—I try to avoid all psychological generalization and relate to 'minute particulars'—sex, closeups, car wheels, raindrops in oil, maple leafs brown w/rust." A second highlight is a softcover booklet titled "Each Day," entirely handwritten by Ted Berrigan with hand-done illustrations by Tom Clark. Booklet is dated December 27, 1966, and humorously numbered "#1 of 1 copies," dedicated to poets Clark Coolidge and Aram Saroyan. Also of interest is a TLS from Anne Waldman, signed "Anne," one page, 8.5 x 11, February 21, 1979. Letter to writer and Warhol associate Victor Bockris, in part: "You've simply outdone yourself with 'The Burroughs File'—it's truly a masterful tribute! Quick-witted, spicy, engaging, with an ear for Bill's best lines. I'm currently 'holding down the fort'—staying in Bill's apt when I'm in town to teach… Some interesting dreams sleeping in the Cher Maitre's bed… some interesting lines on the Cher Maitre's typewriter…You must come out this summer and do a piece! Have you got current Naropa catalog for summer? Sontag, Creeley, Kesey (to name a few) plus all the 'regulars'. Only you can do 'it' justice! I fear this Kerouac School might not be here forever." Enclosed with the letter is a notecard with a few strands of hair taped to it, notated by Waldman below, "HAIRS from brush of W.S. Burroughs, Boulder, CO, '79." In overall very good to fine condition. Accompanied by many of the original mailing envelopes, three oversized signed photos of Berrigan and Notley taken by Thomas Burla, several original candid photos of various poets, and several unsigned limited edition publications. A unique, in-depth collection from this influential group, impressive in both its content and wide circle of key figures. RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 460 Wednesday, 16th September 2015 Estimate: $2000-3000
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