4 Poets with "House of Horror" essay (1 Viewer)

synaesthesia press

publisher / printer / bookseller
I received an e-mail about this book today, as well as some in the past, so I thought I'd post:

In 1995 I published a chapbook called 4 Poets. Working included a poem by Denis Johnson, Ferlinghetti, and Steve Fisher...as well as a short essay by Bukowski I found at the archives at the University of Arizona. (I don't remember what that essay was called, and I don't feel like going through my boxes of shit to find out).

243 copies were printed. I gave about 2 dozen away, sold maybe a dozen more (at $3 a pop) before John Martin purchased the rest. He also sent me a nice letter asking not to do it again.

All work, except Bukowski's, was authorized...in a sense.

Ferlinghetti handed me a poem at a reading in Fort Worth, Texas, in '93 (maybe '94) to use at my discretion; Denis Johnson gave Steve Fisher a poem to use at his discretion; Steve Fisher gave me a poem while he was alive to make a broadside.

Steve gave me the Johnson poem to start a broadside series with, as well as his poem. Steve and I co-founded synaesthesia; however, that broadside series never materialized.

All poems laid in a drawer until I discovered Steve had taken his life.

Without anyone's permission, I made the chapbook. I was teaching high school at the time, and used the xerox machine in the mutlimedia room during my breaks to print the book. I collated and stapled them at home after work.

I used different card stocks as mock-ups to see what I liked best...resulting in a handful of covers that, while kinda cool, didn't make the final cut; instead, I went with the mint green paper stock for the final edition of 243.

Since I had these odd color mock-ups, I made a special edition of 11, tipped in an essay called "The House of Horrors" that came from the same archive at the U of A...11 was the exact number of mock-up covers I had, so 11 was the number of my special edition. I made copies of the manuscript essay, and stapled them into the covers. I gave these all away. I think Martin paid me for the final 3 I had...or I gave them to him.

Again, I don't remember.

I have one copy of each in my box of shit. I think there's 4 copies of the numbered edition on ABE, last time I checked.

This is something I'd never do again, and highly advise any publisher against, but when you're a young publisher, and excited about making a book, well...you do stupid things.
 

cirerita

Founding member
hi, I was the guy who emailed you today. It's a small world :D

apparently, the 1964 essay is titled A Depressive State of Affairs for Kings, Witches and Elevator Boys
 

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