Edwin Denby, Ted Berrigan, Frank O'Hara, John Wieners, & Andy Warhol
C: A Journal of Poetry, Vol. I, No. 4

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Edwin Denby, Ted Berrigan, Frank O'Hara, John Wieners, & Andy Warhol
C: A Journal of Poetry, Vol. I, No. 4

20,000.00

Will Poetry Outlive Gossip?

New York: Lorenz Gude, 1963.
First printing. (28) pp., tall narrow 4to. Side-stapled mimeo.

Silkscreen covers by Andy Warhol; introductions, essays, and notes by Frank O'Hara, John Wieners, and Ted Berrigan; poems by Edwin Denby.

One of a small number of special copies, signed on the title page by all five contributors and by Gerard Malanga (who appears with Denby in the cover photos).

In very good condition, with slight rusting to staples, tiny tears along the wraparound spine (not affecting the images), and mild rumpling to the foredges of the cover, which extend beyond the text block. As with most (and perhaps all) of the special copies, “signed” is noted in pink ink on the front cover in an unknown hand, and there are holograph corrections by Denby to six of the poems (in one case, the restoration of an entire line).

The September 1963 issue of Berrigan's now-legendary journal, devoted to the still-neglected poems of Edwin Denby, with the almost infamous Warhol silkscreen covers.

The covers on copies of this issue, reportedly executed by Berrigan himself, vary considerably, essentially constituting a Warhol multiple as much as an edition. The compelling front cover image on this copy is sharper and more complete than is usual.

Reva Wolf's estimate of the importance of these images is worth quoting in full:

This is the first-known instance in which Warhol used Polaroids for silkscreen portraits, a practice he did not pursue at the time but one to which he would return and which would become his standard procedure for making portraits, beginning in 1970. Even his editorial approach to the C portraits—thoughtfully selecting a few photographs out of several he had shot— would become a customary step in his production of later Polaroid portraits.
        A comparison of five rejected Polaroids from the Denby and Malanga sitting to the two images he chose to use for the C cover reveals that Warhol selected for the cover those images that were most legible, most centered compositionally, and that would set up a clear narrative which moved from a formal portrait on the front cover—a witty homosexual parody of conventional portrayals of husbands and wives—to an intimate exchange on the back cover (Andy Warhol, Poetry, and Gossip in the 1960s, p. 22).

She also notes regarding the back cover image, “Malanga has recalled unhesitatingly that for this photograph Warhol had specifically instructed him to bend over and kiss Denby.”

Uncommon, historically important, and poignant beyond all the ironies.

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