[Torrence, California]: Labyrinth Editions, 1980. Killion, Tom. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 50 copies on hand-made paper, elephant folio size, 54 pp., signed by William Everson and Tom Killion. Near fine. Item #22080501
This a stunning collaborative work: the poetry of William Everson, the artwork of Tom Killion and the printing of Richard Bigus.
William Everson (1912-1994) was also known as Brother Antoninus, a name he adopted during his sixteen years serving as a Dominican monk. Everson pre-dates the Beats, but was a recognized member of Kenneth Rexroth's circle; he was praised by Rexroth throughout his career and is considered an essential contributor to the San Francisco literary Renaissance that would become the Beat movement - he would later be known as the Beat-friar. His pacifist leanings were well-known; he "registered as an anarchist and a pacifist with his draft board, in compliance with the 1940 draft bill. In 1943, he was sent to a Civilian Public Service (CPS) work camp for conscientious objectors in Oregon" (n.b., per Wiki). This volume presents a selection of poems written during that time, although published in this format over forty years later.
The artwork of American artist and author Tom Killion (b. 1953) displays exquisite detail of line and shape; Killion learned printmaking and bookbinding from Jack Stauffacher of the Greenwood Press, one of the most prominent printers in the Bay Area in the latter half of the twentieth century. As with many of Killion's works, this illustrated by means of linocuts, each hand-printed from the original blocks. This volume contains the exquisite triptych cut on the double-spread half-title page with four additional cuts.
Richard Bigus was not only a printer but an author in his own right; however, mostly known for his printing. "Bigus learned the craft of printing under the tutelage of William Everson and Jack Stauffacher at U.C. Santa Cruz... For him, the visualization of the word became paramount" (n.b., from the web site of our colleagues Bromer Booksellers, a blog posting from July 1, 2013).
This volume one of fifty printed on Japanese handmade Hosho professional and Suzuki paper (total edition size 250) and the difference between this and the standard version is remarkable. The handmade paper lends a degree of tactile depth unachievable by any other means, and shows both the clear-cut lines of the printing types, as well as Killion's linocuts, to perfection.
___DESCRIPTION: Stab binding of leather with a natural linen shelfback over marbled paper boards, title in black on the front board, double spread half-title page with the tritych linocut in blue, signed by Tom Killion in pencil below the plate (note that this signature is not in the standard copies), printed title page follows, all leaves french fold, three additional blue linocuts throughout (two full-page and one in-text), a fifth blue linocut at the colophon, this cut also signed by Killion below the plate in pencil, the colophon signed by Evenson in black ink; types used include Centaur, Arrighi Italic, Castellar, and Arrishi on Japanese hand-made Hosho professional and Suzuki papers, the broadsheet papers Imago Papermill, elephant folio size (15 1/4" by 10"), unpaginated with twenty-seven printed sheets, this no. XXVII of the fifty special copies (total edition 250). Housed in a matching slipcase of wood, covered with the same marbled paper outside and the two inner sides lined with white paper, marbled paper spine label with black lettering.
___CONDITION: Volume near fine, with clean boards, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; the interior fine, we are grading as near fine due to foxing to the linen shelfback. The slipcase fine structually, without splits or tears, near fine overall due to light foxing to the spine and the paper turn-ins (which rest next to the linen spine).
___POSTAGE: Please note that additional postage may apply due to both weight and size; please inquire for details.
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