A Calendar, published in 1984, includes twelve poems by Robert Creeley, each titled (The Door; Hearts; March Moon; ‘Whan That Aprille...’; Whatt’s May; Summer Nights; ‘By the Rude Bridge...’; Vacation’s End; Helen’s House; Old Days; The Tally; Memory) and arranged to correspond to one month of the year. This oblong book is printed on the recto only. Handset in Spectrum and printed on Simpson’s Gainsborough Text, this is copy number two in an edition of six hundred signed by the poet. The image on the title page is by Ann Mikolowski of the Alternative Press. I’m not certain what the Morning Coffee Chapbook series was all about (this is number five in the series), but it appears to be in imprint of the Coffee House Press, which was formerly Toothpaste. I also have Ron Padgett's and Trevor Winkfield's How To Be Modern Art, which was number seven in the series. Certainly designed by Allan Kornblum and printed in West Branch, Iowa, my guess is that this series connects Kornblum’s two imprints. He said in an interview:
Partly under [Harry] Duncan’s influence and partly of my own interest and volition, I began to learn the history of the craft of books and printing, bought a press and a house in West Branch, Iowa, and under the imprint of Toothpaste Press, began publishing exclusively letterpress books and pamphlets of poetry on a full-time basis in 1973. We published our last Toothpaste title, Anne Waldman’s Make-Up on Empty Space, in December 1983, and re-opened as Coffee House Press in 1984.
I have a memory of seeing another calendar by Creeley in the Poetry Collection at the University at Buffalo years ago, one that could literally hang on the wall. Was it spiral-bound? And if I recall correctly, their copy was actually used, with appointments and such written in pencil, which had been partially erased. Practical art.
This copy of A Calendar came from the Spoonbill and Sugartown warehouse in Williamsburg. I had traded in several boxes of books and had a store credit. I found a lot of interesting poetry listed on their website that wasn’t in their store, so I asked the owner if the items had already sold. He explained that many of their rare books, some cataloged, others in-waiting, were a few blocks away. We spent a few hours there sorting through the stacks and there were a lot of interesting discoveries. I was happy to explain the significance and relationships between some of the poets in the inscriptions of various title pages, etc. Certainly one of Brooklyn’s finest bookstores.