I have long been interested in (and on occasion purchase for my art collection or as gifts for poetry lovers) poetry broadsides. For those who might wonder where to go in search of broadsides, I've rounded up a dozen sources, some well-known and others known primarily to fine press collectors. Numerous other sources exist, and a number of educational institutions, including the University of Rochester Libraries, the University of Arizona Poetry Center, University of Louisville University Libraries, Lewis & Clark College, Emory University MARBL, and Cary Graphic Arts Collection at Rochester Institute of Technology, have notable and often rare collections.
✭ The Academy of American Poets currently offers broadsides signed and featuring poems by Donald Justice ("There is a Gold Light in Certain Old Paintings"), Carolyn Kizer ("On a Line from Valery), W.S. Merwin ("Returning Season"), and Mark Strand ("The Beach Hotel"). Each costs $50. The organization also has an "80th Anniversary Renga" comprising 75 lines by poets including Toi Derricotte, Mark Doty, Juan Felipe Herrera, Edward Hirsch, Jane Hirschfield, Khaled Mattawa, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Marie Ponsot, Claudia Rankine, Alberto Rios, Arthur Sze, Anne Waldman, and C.D. Wright. Images with text are available at the links.
✭ Some exceptional broadsides are available through Abigail Rorer & The Lone Oak Press. Among them are broadsides ($50 and up) with quotes by Henry David Thoreau and Virginia Woolfe.
✭ Broadsided Press, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2015, features monthly collaborations between artists and poets. The literary-visual collaborations are posted for downloading. They are free.
✭ In New York City, The Center for Book Arts produces broadsides from its Broadside Reading Series; these range in price from $20 to $300 (the more expensive feature images from a woodcut or monoprint and are letterpress-printed). Some editions are printed in limited editions.
✭ The Poetry Foundation includes on its Website what it calls "For the Fridge Broadsides"—poems that viewer themselves may print in color or black-and-white on 8-1/2" x 11" paper. While not valuable as fine press broadsides are, these comprise an interesting and varied collection of work by such poets as Frank O'Hara, Emily Dickinson, Denise Levertov, John Ashbery, Naomi Shihab Nye, Kay Ryan, and Billy Collins.
✭ Smith College's Poetry Center produces original letterpress broadsides in limited editions that cost between $200 and $250, although prices rise as an edition diminishes. Among them are beautiful broadsides by Sharon Olds ("April, New Hampshire"), Naomi Shihab Nye ("Cross That Line"), Adrienne Rich ("Fox"), and Seamus Heaney ("Hofn"). All are signed by the poet; most also are signed by the artist. The Heaney broadside features a particularly striking image by Barry Moser. Quality reproductions ($15) also are available.
✭ Inexpensive laser-printed and hand-stamped broadsides may be purchased from Thrush Press. The collection is eclectic.
✭ Although more than a half-dozen limited-edition broadsides produced by the Friends of William Stafford are out-of-print, others are still available at prices of $10 to $25; one, "Ask Me", in a limited edited of 200 and featuring an original drawing by Henk Pander, is considerably more costly ($75, numbered edition; $125, lettered edition). All are suitable to frame. Proceeds benefit literary outreach programs and ongoing work of Friends of William Stafford.
✭ At Rye House Press, poets, artists, and letterpress printers collaborate to produce the series "The Rally Broadsides". Currently, the Rye House Press store offers 11 Rally Broadsides at a reasonably low price ($15).
✭ The Poetry Society of America has limited-edition broadsides of poems by Hayden Carruth and Adam Zagajewski ($20-$45). Numbers are limited.
✭ At Virginia's Hampden-Sydney College, the Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review publishes a series of limited-edition letterpress broadsides that are hand-printed and signed by the poets, including Jessica Greenbaum ("Day After Memorial Day"), A.E. Stallings ("A Ditty for Persephone"), Billy Collins ("Daydream"), Todd Boss ("Today It Seemed I Had Nothing to Say"), and Dan Albergotti ("Chapter One, Verse One"). The cost is $20.