Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Checklist Of Goliard Press (London 1965–7)

by Alastair Johnston

Tom Raworth Working Bibliography Part II. 

Tom Raworth by Barry Flanagan (from ACT, Trigram Press, 1973)

If Matrix Press can be considered Raworth's incunabular period, the Renaissance flowering of his career as a printer began when he started collaborating with artist Barry Hall at Goliard Press in 1965. 

For those old enough to remember, the "Summer of Love" was a transformative time. As a teenager in England I divided my non-school time between marching with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, rehearsing with my rock band, protesting the Vietnam War and attending poetry readings. They converged occasionally, as when there were benefit readings in support of striking coal miners or teachers -- big rallies featuring poets (Tony Harrison, Tom Pickard, Brian Patten, Adrian Henri, Roger McGough, Barry MacSweeney, Adrian Mitchell, Bob Cobbing, Tony Jackson, et al.) instead of agit-prop rhetoricians. Swinging England was turned on to poetry, and these poets were working class. If they went to college it was art school. If they listened to music it was rock on Radio Luxembourg, late at night. In 1965 the Wholly Communion event at the Royal Albert Hall featured Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and Lawrence Ferlinghetti from the USA, and many European poets reading their poetry to a packed house. Christopher Logue, Adrian Mitchell and the Scots novelist Alex Trocchi also read, showing that Britain was producing powerful performance poets. I was most impressed with Mitchell and the Austrian concrete poet Ernst Jandl.

Within a few years the younger generation of British poets had infiltrated the establishment, so regulars on the poetry circuit like Logue, Patten, Pickard and Spike Hawkins stood up alongside Basil Bunting, Hugh MacDiarmid, Stevie Smith, Ted Hughes and William Plomer to read the poetry of Ezra Pound at the gala anniversary of the Poetry Society in 1969. I think it was at the Royal Festival Hall. Pound was too frail to attend but sent a note and then his works were delivered by the superb performers on stage including Bunting, Logue, Smith and Pickard.

More Americans came through Britain to read and some stayed: Jack Hirschman and David Meltzer because they were friends with expatriate printer Asa Benveniste at Trigram Press (established in London in 1965 and publisher of many of the same writers as Raworth, including Hirschman, Heliczer, Hollo, Meltzer and Raworth himself); others like the young Tom Clark to attend university (Raworth recalls, "I think he was a student of Jeremy [Prynne]'s at Cambridge, as Andrew Crozier was. They were at Essex probably doing their postgraduate stuff and almost certainly because of Donald Davie whose intention was to make the Essex literature department more interesting than Cambridge."). Clark stayed to ridicule the establishment of George MacBeth, Edward Lucie Smith, Peter Porter and Ted Hughes (in his 1979 roman à clef, Who is Sylvia?). Anselm Hollo was actively involved in the scene in London, bringing manuscripts to the press. He and Raworth would be joined with John Esam in the Trigram Press book Haiku, 1968.

So Outburst had set in motion a whole trans-Atlantic migration, not only of writing, but of writers. Charles Olson came through: Raworth found it hard to take the endless monologue. Ginsberg and Corso were caught smoking hash on a train to Newcastle and told the guard they were smoking Turkish cigarettes (at the time Turkish cigarettes contained 1% hashish, as I discovered in Istanbul). Through the American publisher of Jargon, Jonathan Williams (who had come to England for a year), Raworth met Barry Hall. The meeting of Raworth and Hall brought the work to a new artistic level.

Announcement for a show of Barry Hall's paintings at the Batman Gallery, San Francisco, 1961

Raworth's partner, Barry Hall (born in Westminster, 1933), was a commercial engraver (having served a 7-year apprenticeship to learn the trade) and an artist. When he died in 1995, Raworth wrote his obituary for The Independent. He had studied at St Martin's School of Art in London, before going to San Francisco in 1961 for a year, where he exhibited at Batman Gallery and met the poets & painters of the San Francisco renaissance (Batman's publicity was printed by Dave Haselwood at Auerhahn Press). He returned to England, and, as Raworth wrote, "we co-founded the Goliard Press in 1964 in a ramshackle stable in West Hampstead, and hand-set, printed and published books by Elaine Feinstein, Charles Olson, Aram Saroyan and others: many for the first time in Britain. Other small presses benefited from our skills: we printed the first edition of Basil Bunting's Briggflatts for Fulcrum, and produced many volumes for Bernard Stone's Turret Books.

"Goliard was so successful that in 1967, through the efforts of Nathaniel Tarn and Tom Maschler, it came under the Jonathan Cape umbrella as Cape Goliard. Hall continued working, producing a list that included Neruda, Ginsberg, Paul Blackburn, J .H. Prynne, Gael Turnbull and Ted Berrigan, until one day, bored, he left the rollers halfway across a page of type, walked out, and went to America.

"For many years he was on the move. Breeding quarter-horses and making movies in New Mexico. Writing scripts in London. Filming Dale Herd's Dreamland Court in Los Angeles. Recovering from a severe illness in Newport, Rhode Island. Making a television film on Kerouac. Working again (briefly) as an engraver in London. Then he visited Africa, fell in love with Kenya, and moved there."

Elsewhere, Raworth wrote about the beginnings of Goliard: "In 1964 I met Barry Hall, one of the only two people I've ever been able to work with, and we decided to start Goliard. We got a larger press, a guillotine, a variety of type and set up in a cobble-floored stable off the Finchley Road. We worked together for a few years, then when Jonathan Cape wanted to get involved, I left."

Goliard Press books, London, 1965-7

Further light was shed on Goliard (and the difficulty of making a living as a small press) in a discussion about British poet Jeff Nuttall, when Raworth recalled, "Val, Barry and Jackie Hall and I ran into Jeff forty years ago at a party (home-grown marijuana, laboratory-made drink, candles and Dylan Thomas records). He asked us if we knew anything about a William Burroughs someone had told him of. We met a few times, he began to do My Own Mag, we were evicted, stayed for a while with the Hollos, then in December 1964 moved to High Barnet (a flat, strangely, in the street where the party had been). Jeff and Jane (and those four Calder-invisible children) lived a few streets away, and as Jeff passed our flat twice a day to and from his teaching job we spent quite a lot of time together. He got involved with Trocchi and the Sigma stuff, Barry and I struggled with Goliard. I wonder if anyone else remembers Priscilla and The Woolies. We saw one another less frequently after I left Goliard and we moved to Colchester: but we stayed in touch then, and through our years in the USA."

When I wrote commenting on the prolific output of Goliard during this time, Raworth replied: "How it mounts up. I'd really forgotten the amount of stuff we did in those basically couple of years before the Cape. I wonder we had time to drink and take drugs."

Goliard Press Checklist

1965 Broadside
Tom Raworth
Weapon Man
15 copies. Light olive green paper printed in black on front of folded sheet.
Notes: the image was reused from the cover of Outburst 2 where it was credited to the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum (It is a reversed image from Hans von Gersdorff, Fieldbook of Wound Surgery, Strasburg, 1519).

TR: The first item ever printed by Goliard was the small broadside Weapon Man, a thing of mine I wrote in the stick...

1966 Broadside

Tom Raworth
Illustration by Barry Hall. 15 3/4 x 9 1/8" Cochin type
Handset, printed and published ... in an edition of 150, 25 copies numbered and signed, plus 15 copies printed on handmade Japanese paper.


September 1965
Michael Horovitz
Nude Lines for Larking in Present Night Soho
7 3/4 x 6 1/5" 8 pp bond paper, stapled into flesh-colored (Caucasian) textured card stock. 36' Verona type on cover, four different text types.
Designed and printed by Barry Hall and Tom Raworth
Published in an edition of 160 copies in September 1965
Copyright Goliard Press  10a Fairhazel Gardens  London NW6
Note: (first book of the press).

TR: The first little booklet was Michael Horovitz' "Nude Lines for Larking in Present Night Soho". Nude was from mis-reading his writing and should have been "Rude". As far as I remember I did all the setting and it was all letterpress.


Anselm Hollo
The Claim
10 1/4 x 5 1/8" 8 pages, sewn into plain beige covers with a printed dustjacket on speckled Japanese paper; yellow tissue endpapers.
Set in 12 point Goudy Old Face. Much better typesetting and printing than the preceding work. 150 copies of which 50 signed & numbered. Cover display in 36' Verona type. The image is a reproduction of a medieval woodblock from the Rosarium Philosophorum (1550) repeated 5 times in red.

 T.R. There was probably some nice japanese paper from time to time..
A.J. yes, cover of the claim by anselm. my copy signed "to Barry & Jacqui from Anselm" with a poem added, $8 thanks to peter [howard]
T.R.:  i think I have a rare unsigned one somewhere

1966 July
Charles Olson
9 7/8 x 6 1/2" 18 pp laid paper, sewn into coated paper with glassine frontispiece portrait and Japanese paper overlay, glued-on wrappers of brown Japanese paper. Title in 36' Verona type, text in 12' Caslon with Cochin italic.
Colophon: "This book has been set in Caslon Old | Face and printed by hand on Glastonbury | antique laid paper at the Goliard Press, | 10a Fairhazel Gardens, London NW6 | in July 1966. This edition consists of | 500 copies in japanese Nagaragawa | wrappers and 25 copies hard-bound, | numbered and signed by the author."

Notes: The frontispiece portrait of Red Cloud (supplied by Ken Irby), printed on glassine, has a guard sheet of translucent Japanese paper which seems to have its own "red cloud" in the paper.
Slight notes, with Duncan & Blaser manifestations intercut into scribblings from the Report of the Board of Indian Commissions (1870) etc., as the Big O says in the preface: "So I have here a much larger story than would appear."

TR: Olson bombarded us with letters about West: move this here, move that there, do this, do that -- until we stopped opening the mail, did the book the way we thought, and on publication received an ecstatic telegram of thanks.
(Second printing 1969)


Elaine Feinstein
In a Green Eye
Photographs by Al Vandenberg
9 3/4 x 6 1/2" Cover title in Westminster type, perfectbound in coated wrappers. 36 pp of wove paper. Text in Caslon O. S. with headings in Verona.
500 copies on chromo; 30 numbered & signed.

Note: Today, Feinstein is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature: this was her first book. She began writing poetry influenced by Pound, Williams and the Objectivists, and was one of the first women to attend Cambridge University. Olson wrote her a letter defining "breath prosody" in which he famously addressed her as "Dear Mister Feinstein." Subsequently she wrote numerous poems, novels and five biographies, as well as plays and translations from the Russian. Vandenberg was a successful London photographer.

Not seen: Broadside prospectus, "For the baiting children in my son's school class..." 150 copies, of which 25 numbered and signed. Drawings by Johannes de Cuba. Pale tan paper printed in grey, browns, yellow-green and black.

Christopher Logue

Selections from a Correspondence between an Irishman and a Rat
3 3/4 x 6 1/2" 16 pp Glastonbury paper sewn into tan covers with a green wrapper printed in green and black. Poem set in 30' Placard Condensed (Monotype 1958). Cover drawing of rat & potato (?) by Hall(?)
150 copies*

*most destroyed by Barry Hall after a dispute with Logue. One of the worst situations a publisher can be in is to have a falling-out with the author after the book is printed. This happened famously with Jonathan Williams and Asa Benveniste over Imaginary Postcards at Trigram Press, and with Jack Spicer's circle over his Heads of the Town up to the Aether published by Auerhahn Press.

1966 broadside
Bill Butler
Twenty-four Names of God
large poster, tan paper printed in black and orange. Limitation unknown.

1966 broadside
Ron Padgett
white cardstock, folded to 9 x 4 1/8". A prose poem. Cochin type with a square of blue tissue paper glued on. 325 copies, of which 25 numbered and signed.

1966 Christmas

Aram Saroyan
Sled Hill Voices: 13 poems
4 7/8 x 6 1/2" Drawings by R. G. Dienst
30 pp wove paper sewn into plain card covers with a Japanese paper wrapper. Set in 24' Cochin italic, printed in multi colors. Imprint in 11' Engravers Roman. Drawings printed on tipped-in colored papers. 450 copies. Note: Minimalist pantheism from the minimalist poet. The author's first book.

1967 January

Tom Raworth
The Relation Ship
Illustrated by Barry Hall.
10 x 6 1/2" Set in Goudy Old Face
60 pp (unpaginated) of Glastonbury laid paper includes 3 illustrations and 3 additional leaves tipped in. (These tip-ins might have been conceived as tissue guards except they come after the images.) The images were offset-printed, then blind-embossed and hand-coloured. 450 hardbound of which 50 signed & numbered, plus 6 specially bound. Cover title printed in gold Westminster type on glassine wrapper.

Note: The major work of the press. Raworth's first book, and winner of the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize from the Poetry Society of London. Second edition, without monoprints, Cape Goliard/ Grossman 1969

1967 February

Tom Clark
The Emperor of the Animals. A play.
6 3/8 x 4 3/4"
16 pp of wove paper sewn into yellow cover stock printed in brown and green with Ultra Bodoni caps. Set in Cochin italic, Goudy Old Face and Westminster (for stage directions). Colophon: 300 copies of which the first 35 are numbered and signed by the author and all other members of the original production, and contain two illustrations of the sets.

Note: This play was first performed privately in London on January 14th, 1967, with the following cast:
Edward -- Edward Dorn
Benedict -- Robert Creeley
Howard -- Charles Olson
Helga -- Panna Grady
Janet -- Helene Dorn
Norma -- Valarie Raworth
Sets & costumes by Barry & Jackie Hall
Music by Tom Raworth
Directed by Tom Clark

Note: Clark doesn't recall whether there were signed copies or not. He adds, "As to the details of production, that remains a secret between me and Tom R."

1967 March
Zoltan Farkas
The Baltimore Poems
7 1/4 x 6 1/4"
20 pp of laid paper with tan Glastonbury laid endpapers, sewn into white card covers with Japanese paper wrappers. Printed cover title. 500 copies of which 35 are signed & numbered. Set in Goudy Old Face. Illustrations by Richard O. Tyler.

Sheet of coated stock bound in with sepia photo of the tomb of Edgar Allan Poe (in Baltimore). Note: Anselm Hollo brought the manuscript to the press.

1967 broadside
Jack Hirschman
Wasn't It Like This?
12 1/2 x 7 1/2" 100 copies printed, 25 numbered & signed. 3 colours. Westminster type. The famous Flammarion engraving (from 1888) used here, was also used by the UFO club and for the spring 1967 benefit for International Times in London, that featured Pink Floyd, Lennon & Ono, Soft Machine and other bands. The event known as the 14-hour Technicolour Dream was held at the Alexandra Palace.

Jack Hirschman
London Seen Directly
4 x 6 1/2" 16 pp sewn into yellow card cover with green Japanese paper wrapper, title printed in red. Text set in large Westminster printed in brown with yellow ornaments on each page. Re-uses Hall's rose from "Continuation" broadside.
150 copies of which 50 signed & numbered.

Note: The design shows the art nouveau influence which was big in the Swinging London/ Carnaby Street era.


"before your very eyes!" (cover title)
12 x 8"
Images lithographed in brown ink, printed on white card stock and stapled. Handset in Cochin and 24' Westminster Old Style.
Price: 7s 6d     $1     5 NF   "Unsolicited manuscripts will be burned without ceremony."

A magazine anthology, larger and more ambitious graphically than Outburst. Back cover reprints Corso's drawing of Nelson's column from Hollo's History. Hall's image of rat & potato overprinted to create abstract glyph with another splatter-like illustration. Contributions from Olson, Aram Saroyan, Hollo, Hirschman, Raworth, Ron Padgett (on his Max Jacob kick), & James Koller. "The pictures are from Rose Birth by William Jahrmarkt." (Billy Jahrmarkt was the proprietor of the Batman Gallery in San Francisco, which had shown Hall's work, and was the key location for the artists of the Beat Generation in North Beach and the Fillmore district. Unfortunately he was a heroin addict.)

(Note: Part III will contain Goliard Press jobwork).

Tom Raworth Working Bibliography Part I: A Checklist Of Matrix Press (London 1961-4).

1 comment:

  1. A bibliography can be categorized into two types analytic or critical bibliography and descriptive bibliography. Analytic bibliographies are concerned with resources as material objects; they use the evidence of physical features. See more annotated bibliography generator


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