On returning. Gaylord Schanilec.

On returning

[Saint Paul]: Midnight Paper Sales, 1981. First edition limited to 70 copies of which this is no. 64, 12mo (approx. 6" x 4¾"), pp. [12];; blue pictorial wrappers, grey endsheets; magnesium plate made from a reduced image of a woodcut by Schanilec on title page; fine. This copy without the small laser-printed broadside, beginning "The ninth section..." which was laid into all copies that were sold and/or distributed after 1991. This was Schanilec's first attempt at poetry since his college days at the University of North Dakota. Quarter to Midnight A.43: "I was sixteen when the moon stuck in my pocket. Thomas McGrath visited our school ... [and] strode into the room. I was changed before he uttered a single word. Poetry became my passion. Two years later I went off to the University of North Dakota to become a poet, but before long I realized I lacked the courage. I finished my college days hiding in the art department ... “One day, however, I thought I might give poetry another try, and I wrote a poem about it called "On Returning" in which I claim to have learned to recognize Thomas McGrath’s tracks. I printed the poem into a little book and sent him a copy. He replied with a polite note thanking me for the “mysterious” little book, and that was that. “Years later, after he had died, I was reading through his last book of poems (Death Song, Copper Canyon Press, 1991), and I found this: WARNING So- You recognize my footprint… But don’t think that you know Which way I’ve gone.” In a letter dated December 22, 1998, Schanilec writes: “During his lifetime I had one opportunity to do a drawing for the cover of one of his books, and he rejected it. But, when Copper Canyon asked me to do the cover of the complete Letter to an Imaginary Friend, he was no longer around to object. I think the image of the footprints [on the Copper Canyon edition] completes the story!”. Item #57962

Price: $125.00