Association Copies: Jerome Rothenberg to Clayton Eshleman
1960-2006. Approximately 40 Rothenberg items from Eshleman's library spanning the years 1960 -- Rothenberg's first book -- to 2006. Most of the items are signed or inscribed by Rothenberg to the poet Clayton Eshleman. The group includes Rothenberg's first book inscribed to Eshleman in the year of publication, and documents their ongoing relationship from a time prior to the publication of Eshleman's own first books (Mexico and North and Pablo Neruda, Residence on Earth, each 1962) and forward over the course of nearly five decades. The two poets shared not only a friendship but a strong interest in ethnopoetics, something that sets both apart from many of the other poets of their generation and links these two quite closely. Rothenberg's books were part of what Eshleman called his "core library," and the poetic and personal connections represented by these copies provide an important piece of the poetic history of their era. As follows:
  • White Sun/Black Sun. (NY): Hawk's Well Press (1960). Rothenberg's first book, a collection of poems, published by a press that he founded to issue work by avant garde poets. Inscribed by Rothenberg in October, 1960 to Clayton Eshleman, "with warm best wishes." A nice association copy, linking the two poets from an early date, two years prior to Eshleman's own first book being published. In wrappers.
  • Sightings/Lunes. (NY): (Hawk's Well Press)(1964). Inscribed by Rothenberg in 1965 to Clay[ton Eshleman] and Barbara: "these poems for light and all." The glue has failed on the tipped-in drawings by Amy Mendelson; the drawings are now laid in; otherwise near fine in wrappers. Also laid in is a small broadside printing "Sightings" by Rothenberg, with "Lunes" by Robert Kelly on the verso. In addition there is an announcement of the 1965 birth of Rothenberg's son.
  • Ritual: A Book of Primitive Rites and Events. NY: A Great Bear Pamphlet, 1966. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl, "the pleasure of your company. Love/Jerry. Postdated: 8/11/79." Stapled wrappers.
  • The Gorky Poems. Mexico: Corno Emplumado, 1966. A bilingual (English/Spanish) edition. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clay[ton Eshleman] & Caryl in 1979, "con fuertes abrazos." With Eshleman's ownership signature, dated 1966. In wrappers.
  • Between 1960-1963. London: Fulcrum Press (1967). Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl in 1979, "after between & with love." With Eshleman's ownership signature, dated in the year of publication. In wrappers.
  • The Flight of Quetzalcoatl. Brighton: Unicorn, 1967. Translation of an Aztec myth/song, rendered into Spanish verse in the 16th century and then adapted into Spanish prose, from which this translation was done. Of a total edition of 426 copies, this is one of 26 lettered copies signed by Rothenberg and by Tony Bennett, who designed the cover. Stapled wrappers.
  • The Book of Hours and Constellations. NY: Something Else Press, 1968. The poems of Eugen Comringer, "presented by" Rothenberg. Wrappers.
  • Poland/1931. (n.p.): Unicorn Press (1970). The limited trade edition. One of 500 numbered copies, this copy inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl. Unbound sheets and photographs, fine, inserted into pockets of hardbound portfolio.
  • Poland/1931. The Wedding. (n.p.):(n.p.)(n.d.). Undated broadside printing only one poem. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman]: "Year's Joys! Jerry/Diane/Matthew." Rothenberg has also corrected one misprint in the broadside. Folded in thirds and addressed as a letter to Eshleman by Rothenberg.
  • Poems for the Game of Silence, 1960-1970. NY: Dial Press, 1971. Uncommon hardcover edition. Fine in a very good dust jacket with chipping to the edges and folds, internally tape-mended.
  • A Book of Testimony. (Bolinas): Tree Books, 1971. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl, "in the warm aura of Italian/Latino music - Los Angeles Saturday - love." Wrappers.
  • Poland 1931. (NY): New Directions (1974). The New Directions softcover issue of this title. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl with "happy welcome home" and "abrazos."
  • Esther K. Comes to America. (1931). (Greensboro): Unicorn Press (1974). Poems from the "Poland 1931" sequence. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman], "with admiration & thanks for the encouragements & challenge." Illustrated with posed photographs. One of 2000 copies in wrappers.
  • The Pirke & The Pearl. Berkeley: Tree, 1975. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman], "whose poetry continues to reveal, astound - in friendship." Self-wrappers.
  • Seneca Journal Mid-Winter. St. Louis, MO: Singing Bone Press, 1975. A journal in a small, matchbox style box. Including a vertical accordion-folded book, several cards with illustrations, a folding map of the Five Nations, two seeds, some fur and a stalk/ribbon. Rothenberg spent two years living on a Seneca reservation in the 1970s. Uncommon, fragile, ephemeral work.
  • The Notebooks. (Milwaukee): Membrane Press, 1976. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] and Caryl, "the pleasure of your company." Wrappers.
  • Narratives and Real Theater Pieces. (Bretenoux): (Braad Press)(1977). One of 300 numbered copies, with woodcuts by Ian Tyson laid in. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl, "a book from the cove country. With love." In wrapper and dust jacket.
  • Gematria 27. Milwaukee: Membrane Press, 1977. A book as a box of small cards, with text on one side and illustrations on the other, and two sheets of paper that give the history of the term "Gematria" and an example of the way the cards can be positioned as a whole. In a folding cardstock box that has been inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl, "with love" in the year of publication.
  • A Seneca Journal. (NY): New Directions (1978). The softcover trade edition of this book that arose out of Rothenberg's time living on a Seneca reservation. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl "in the year of European voyages to come! Clear sailing! And love." Wrappers.
  • Abulafia's Circles. (Milwaukee): Membrane Press (1979). One of 26 lettered copies signed by the author and additionally inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] and Caryl, "with love and friendship." Stapled wrappers.
  • Two Sonnets. (London): Spot Press, 1980. One of 50 numbered copies signed by the author. Additionally inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] and Caryl, "voyagers in (still) mad California, another year. Love & friendship." Frontispiece by British artist Pip Benveniste. Oversized wrappers. Uncommon, attractive production.
  • The History of Dada as My Muse. (London): Spot Press (1982). Of a total edition of 200 copies, this copy is designated "A/P" (artist's proof) and is signed by the author. Additionally inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] and Caryl, "these words from the DADA caves in love & friendship." Oversized wrappers. Uncommon, attractive production, and scarce in this proof state.
  • Altar Pieces. Barrytown: Station Hill Press, 1982. Four poems, with collages by Patricia Nedds. One large sheet of cardstock, intricately cut and folded to make a 12 page booklet (including the covers). Signed by the author and additionally inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] and Caryl, "fellow travelers, with love."
  • That Dada Strain. (NY): New Directions (1983). Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl: "voyages in subterranean flower worlds. With warm friendship," dated in 1983. Wrappers.
  • The Riverside Interviews. London: Binnacle Press (1984). One of 350 copies. With the ownership signature of Clayton Eshleman. Wrappers.
  • The Nature Theater of Oklahoma: Two States. (Madison): Woodland Pattern Broadside, 1986. Broadside; folded by design; signed by Rothenberg on rear cover and additionally inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl: "from now until our re-uniting. With love."
  • Khurbn & Other Poems. (NY): New Directions (1989). The hardcover edition of this collection of poems based on a visit to his family's ancestral home in Poland. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman]: "Companion in these times in which there is only poetry to bring us through." Eshleman provides a lengthy blurb on the back of the dust jacket (the only blurb on the jacket) in which he says that Rothenberg "pulls Adorno's 'After Auschwitz, there can be no poetry' inside out, to read: 'after auschwitz/ there is only poetry.'"
  • The Lorca Variations, I-VIII. La Laguna: Zasterle Press, 1990. One of 300 numbered copies. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl: "some more invasions from elsewhere, with much love." Rothenberg was working on translations of Lorca at the time he wrote these poems; both he and Eshleman have translated Spanish language poetry, in addition to sharing an interest in indigenous, tribal, and prehistoric arts. Wrappers.
  • Apres le Jeu du Silence. (Marseille): CIPM, 1991. A French language edition. One of 850 copies. This copy is inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl, "to keep these in the files, of use as resource for the other language. With love to you both." Self-wrappers.
  • An Oracle for Delfi. (Kenosha): Light and Dust Books/Membrane Press, 1994 (1995). Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl, "water language seeping/out. With friendship." Wrappers.
  • Camera Obscura XXVIII. [Thessaloniki]: [Publisher in Greek], 1995. A single poem (in Greek) by Rothenberg, from An Oracle for Delfi, accompanying a sequence of photographs of hands. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl, "with warmest thanks for so much good! In friendship, ever." Stapled wrappers.
  • Seedings and Other Poems. (NY): New Directions (1996). Wrappers.
  • The Leonardo Project. (San Diego/Encinitas): (Self-published), 1998. A suite of 12 visual poems, originally commissioned for a Florence exhibit, A Supper with Leonardo, reproduced here in a photocopied miniature book "as a gift to friends who might be interested in it." Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl, "with love." Stapled pages.
  • Despues de Auschwitz y Otros Poemas. NY: Pen Press, 2001. A Spanish language edition. One of 200 copies. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl, "companions into better places - with much love" and dated in the year of publication. Stapled wrappers.
  • Dal Taccuino di uno Sciamano. (Loiano): Porto dei Santi (2001). A bilingual edition (English/Italian), one of 108 copies. Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl, "the exchange goes on - and the friendship. With much love." 4" square book. Wrappers with long string-tie, in striped dustwrapper.
  • China Notes & the Treasures of Dunhuang. Tokyo/Toronto: Ahadada Press (2006). Inscribed by Rothenberg to Clayton [Eshleman] & Caryl, "all the way to Yang Pass and maybe beyond." In wrappers. Laid in is an email from Rothenberg from the following month, sending the poem "Blake's Babes: A Prophecy."
  • Homage to Goya: The Sleep of Reason. (n.p.): (Ed.It)(2006). Prints "The Sleep of Reason," dedicated to Clayton Eshleman, with artwork by Ian Tyson. Author's proof ("AP") of an edition of 30 copies signed by Rothenberg and Tyson. Also inscribed by Rothenberg to the dedicatee, Clayton [Eshleman], and also Caryl: "our good companions over the decades." Two tall sheets, inter-folded.
  • That Dada Strain. (n.p.): Center for Theater Science & Research (n.d.). Flyers announcing the premiere performance of Rothenberg's "That Dada Strain." Half dozen copies.
  • Casa del Tiempo. (Mexico): Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, 1985. Includes two poems by Rothenberg (in Spanish). Stapled wrappers.
  • Announcement for a Reading. [Ypsilanti]: Eastern Michigan University, 1992. Program for a poetry reading by Rothenberg and Jayne Cortez at the university where Clayton Eshleman taught at the time of this reading. Includes a brief bio. One sheet folded to make four pages.
An interesting group of titles, representing a longstanding friendship and a strong poetic and literary connection. Unless otherwise noted, all items are near fine or better. [#028058] $4,000

All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.

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