Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press, 1976-77. 1st Edition. 2 vols., octavo, publisher's handbound patterned and textured cloth spines over offwhite printed paper-covered boards, paper spine labels, colored endpapers, original acetate dust jackets.
Deluxe signed limited editions of Brooklyn-born "Objectivist" poet Reznikoff's complete poems, each volume with a holograph poem in Reznikoff's hand: "Whatever unfriendly stars and comets do,/whatever stormy heavens are unfurled,/my spirit be like fire in this, too,/that all the straws and rubbish of the world/only feed its flame." While Reznikoff studied journalism and briefly practiced law, he mostly worked as a freelance writer and researcher, including a spell transcribing court records for a legal publisher. This proved influential on his poetry, which was largely concerned with issues of social justice and the experiences of the underprivileged in American society. He died while the present work was at press, but not before having signed the colophon and prepared the holograph verse pages for insertion (in both cases, the above-quoted third stanza from the poem "Samuel," which originally appeared in the self-published collection 5 Groups of Verse in 1927). With extensive textual notes, indexes, and a black-and-white photo of Reznikoff by Gerard Malanga. Each volume one of 26 deluxe lettered copies signed, with holograph, and handbound by Earle Gray: vol. I being letter "M" and vol. II being letter "V." Published simultaneously with a trade edition of 500 copies and a regular signed limited edition of 225 copies. Publisher's prospectus laid into vol. I. Light rubbing to acetate dust jackets, else fine. Item #599