Robinson Jeffers lives through these recently uncovered broadsides

Robinson Jeffers "Love the Wild Swan"

“Love the Wild Swan” broadside by Robinson Jeffers

Years ago two Californians crossed paths–one a writer and the other an old-time printer–and together they immortalized each other.  The two are Robinson Jeffers and Marlan Beilke.  Last summer Oak Knoll Press published His Place for Story: An Annotated Robinson Jeffers Bibliography compiled and written by Michael Broomfield.   Charles Simic described the book  as a “A marvelously comprehensive bibliography of Jeffers that reads like a detective novel and makes me want to peek into every item mentioned and immerse myself in his poetry.”  This book builds on a Jeffers bibliography compiled by S.S. Alberts in 1933 and also includes material Jeffers produced from then until his death in 1962. It lists books, pamphlets and broadsides issued by several important small presses, including those published by Beilke at his Quintessence Press in Amador City, California. There are over 400 images printed in greyscale in the book, which is accompanied by a CD which shows these images in color.

The Beilke-printed broadsides featured in the book accompany those of other famous American printers: William Everson; the Grabhorn Brothers of San Francisco; Gelber/Lilienthal of San Francisco; the Ward Ritchie Press of Los Angeles; the Yolo Bolly Press of California; the Blue Oak Press of California; the Quercus Press of California; Random House of New York; Boni & Live-Right of New York; the Lime Kiln Press of Santa Cruz, California; Dave Haselwood of San Francisco; the Poltroon Press of Berkeley, California; and the Book Club of California of San Francisco.

I came to have these Jeffers broadsides when my friend Marlan asked me to make them available.  When he wrote he advised me “These are the last, surviving copies, many hand-numbered with colophons, telling information as to issue, typography, history, and literary commentary.  None are signed by the printer, however.  Superb examples of now nearly-extinct letterpress typography, they feature type designs by the world’s foremost typographical designers such as Nicholas Jensen of Venice, Italy.”

All of these broadsides are provenance of the estate of Linomarl Beilke of Rhinelander, Wisconsin.  If interested in these works of the printer’s art, check letterpressbookpublishing.com and click on “broadsides” under “publications” and you will find all the Beilke broadsides together with other broadsides that I have published.

Until later . . . 

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