Eight Northwest Poets
Portland, OR: Portland Art Museum, 1959.
First printing. 10.5 x 4.25 inches (folded). Eight pamphlets, each printed on both sides of a large sheet, folded to make eight pages. Printed by Litho Art in Portland, in an unspecified edition, on the occasion of the Northwest Poetry Meetings held at the Portland Art Museum July 9-12, 1959, in connection with the Museum’s Centennial invitational exhibition, “Paintings and Sculptures of the Pacific Northwest.” Housed in a plain envelope, lettered by hand with the series title, the names of the poets, and the venue (as issued). Pamphlets in very fine condition (one, the Haislip, with a tiny corner crease), with only the barest hint of age-toning, in a near fine example of the envelope (with mild rumpling and three tiny closed tears). Item #4146
The Northwest Poetry Meetings were called together by the Portland Art Museum’s curator of education, Rachel Smith Griffin. She and her assistant, Pauline Illo (later Pauline Eyerly), arranged for the printing of a pamphlet of poems by each of the invited poets.
For half of the poets (all in their thirties or early forties at the time), the pamphlet represents their first separate publication — true for Richard Hugo and Carolyn Kizer, for example. In William Stafford’s case, it is his first separate publication of poetry, and is significantly rarer than his first book (Down in My Heart, 1947).
Each collection of poems is paired with a painting or sculpture on display in the associated exhibition, including works by Margaret Tomkins, William Ivey, Sally Haley, Hilda Morris, Louis Bunce, Tony Mellara, Milton Wilson, and James McGarrell. (Carolyn Kizer was paired with Hilda Morris, and went on to write about Morris’s work in an essay for an exhibition catalogue nearly fifteen years later.)
Historically important, rarely found together, and almost never found in such lovely condition.