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ASHBERY, John, & Joe Brainard (illus.)

The Vermont Notebook.

Availability: In stock

Published: Los Angeles Black Sparrow Press, 1975

Stock Code: 122652

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First edition, deluxe issue, number B of 26 lettered copies signed by both poet and artist, bound by Earle Gray, and with an original signed ink drawing by Brainard dated 1974 bound in; this copy additionally a presentation copy, inscribed by Ashbery in the year of publication to his friend the artist R. B. Kitaj: "for R. B. Kitaj, love, John Ashbery, London, April 18 1975". There were a further 250 copies signed by Ashbery and Brainard, also hardbound (though not so handsomely) by Gray and without an original drawing.
Kitaj (1932-2007) and Ashbery were close friends and collaborators: Kitaj had painted the work used as the cover for Ashbery's Houseboat Days (1957) and Ashbery published many laudatory appraisals of Kitaj's work, culminating in his book Kitaj: Paintings, Drawings, Pastels (Thames & Hudson, 1983). Ashbery's Pulitzer prize-winning poem "Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror", inspired by Parmigiano and written in 1974, was issued by the Arion Press in 1984 with illustrations by a small selection of his artist friends including Kitaj. In 1997 Kitaj executed an etched portrait of the poet. The illustrator Joe Brainard was an artist of the New York school and notable for his collaborations with its poets. His memoir I Remember (1970) is a cult classic, praised by Paul Auster as "one of the few totally original books I have ever read."

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Octavo. Original patterned cloth backed boards, title label to spine, white paper over boards with title and illustration to front, brown endpapers. With the original acetate wrapper.


47 full page black and white illustrations by Brainard. With an original Brainard pen-and-ink drawing, signed "Brainard - 74", bound in as issued.


A fine copy, with the acetate wrapper chipped at the head.


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