A City Winter and Other Poems. Two Drawings by Larry Rivers
1951 · N. Y.
by O'HARA, Frank
N. Y.: Tibor De Nagy Gallery, 1951. First edition of O'Hara's first book, the birth of the New York School of Poetry. One of 20 copies printed by hand in Bodoni types on Japanese Kochi paper by Ruthven Todd for Editions of the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, specially bound with an original drawing by Larry Rivers as a frontispiece; this copy number 8. The drawing in this copy, a beautiful drawing of a reclining nude woman, is signed by Rivers. According to the colophon, A City Winter was published in March-April 1952 in an edition of 150 numbered copies, in two forms: a regular issue of 130 copies printed on French Arches paper [copies 21-150] and a deluxe issue printed on Japanese Kochi paper with an original drawing by Larry Rivers [copies 1-20]. However, according to Brad Gooch, 280 "folded paper" copies were printed in addition to the copies on Kochi paper. The regular issue, bound in blue paper wrappers, sold for $1.00; the deluxe hardbound issue on Kochi paper with an original drawing by Rivers for $20.00. (Gooch, City Poet, p. 213.) Not all of the copies in the regular issue were bound, a fact probably explained by the large over-run of 130 copies of the regular issue - twice the number specified in the colophon. These additional copies, for which there may not have been enough of the decorative blue paper used for the original wrappers, appear to have been distributed as unnumbered "folded paper" copies, that is, as "folded and gathered sheets". Of the copies that have come on the market in the past twenty-five years, the majority of copies have been in the form of unbound sheets. O'Hara gave Rivers full credit for getting the book published: "I doubt very much if John Myers would ever have published my first pamphlet, A City Winter, if one of his artists, Larry Rivers, hadn't wanted him to and wanted to do the drawings for it." Rivers was one of the artists represented by the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, and its favorite, owing to John Bernard Myers' infatuation with him. "No matter how large Myers' stable of artists became, Rivers was . . . always the showpiece." - Brad Gooch, City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara (N. Y.: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993), p. 199. Between 1951 and 1961, with the exception of two years, Myers devoted the gallery's December show to Rivers' work. Covers a bit faded, otherwise a fine copy. RIVERS, Larry. Tall 8vo, original frontispiece drawing & reproductions of two drawings by Larry Rivers, original cloth-backed decorated boards. Covers a bit faded, otherwise a fine copy. (Inventory #: 13180)