Communications Equipment. Kenward Elmslie.
Communications Equipment
Communications Equipment
Communications Equipment

Communications Equipment

Washington DC: Burning Deck Press, 1979. First Printing / Association Copy. Stapled Wrappers. "Kenward Elmslie’s perverse, scabrous, gorgeous poetry and prose have astonished his fans for over fifty years—decades during which he remained the pride of small presses, the happy secret of cognoscenti—but it is safe to say that the vast audience his work deserves doesn’t know what it’s missing. He’s the most extravagant, and extravagantly overlooked, poet in America." (Michael Silverblatt Book Review, October 26, 2016, The Paris Review). An exceedingly eclectic publication even for the wildly imaginative Kenward Elmslie, these poems, in contrast to the majority of Elmslie's catalogue, almost bear an analogous relation to James Joyce's confounding leaps from the challenging-but-lucid erudition of "Ulysses" to the befuddling labyrinth of "Finnegan's Wake." This copy boasts an extremely unique circle of association, with four relating parties as to the usual two. The first and most obvious relation is inferred by the edition description: it is an association copy, signed & inscribed by Kenward Elmslie to Ken & Ann Mikolowski, founders of Detroit's visionary "Alternative Press" and publishers of many Beat/New York School/Black Mountain-related authors. Who the inscription does not refer to is Keith Waldrop, co-founder of Burning Deck Press, who was one of Ken's poetry teachers while studying at the University of Michigan, and an early & vital mentor for what would become his life's work. Waldrop also utilized an antique letterpress as opposed to a mimeo machine, which was later to be the exact manner in which the Alternative Press would publish their now-immortal publications. Hence, this item is significant for Ken's personal history and the history of the eventual founding of the Alternative Press. The fourth relating party (now that the Elmslie/Mikolowski/Waldrop connection is elucidated) is referred to in Elmslie's inscription: the legendary artist & poet Joe Brainard, whose artwork and prose masterpiece "I Remember" have been lauded by such towering figures as Allen Ginsberg. Inscription reads: "for (block letters w/lines running through them) K + A (resumes common handwriting) "Kinky gentry into ransom crud used up(?)" / Love, / on Joe's B-Day /March 11, 1995." Brainard, Elmslie's longtime partner & collaborator, died in 1994. Brainard would have turned 53 years old that year. From the library of Ken & Ann Mikolowski. Book in very fine condition with only slight rubbing to front, back covers esp. at rightmost fine-edge of front cover; minor shelf-wear to all fine-edges; tiny bumps at all corners of front, back cover; bump-crease to top left corner of front cover. Very Fine. [Item #2835]

Price: $40.00

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