Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

More In Memory

FROM THE ARCHIVES. I am not a fan of Villa, and he did not die this month, but what the heck. Good to see the commas and "The Emperor's New Sonnet" again. And the not-so-Cyclops self-profile. What was that famous quote again from Hamlet when he held that skull-- "Alas, poor Yorick!" or "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark!"?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

In Memory

MY AMERICAN TRIBUTE to a Mindoro literary legend who died this month eighteen years ago, with these American hardcover editions of three of his books.  I never met the man, but maybe my mother the schoolteacher did; how else will she get a signed copy of the first edition of his book Seven Hills Away (1947) in Manila the year it came off the press 70 years ago? A Bible of sorts when I was in high school, handled to this day with the same reverence and care accorded to the Good Book, the book is still in pristine condition which I am proud of. Next is The Bamboo Dancers (1961) from the library of a now-defunct Jesuit seminary in Westchester County, found in an obscure bookshop in the Lower East Side. Last is a copy of Selected Stories (1964), which I don't remember where I got from, maybe a bookstore in downtown San Diego. All published by a guy named Allan Swallow.

NVM Gonzalez, Sept 1915-Nov 1999

And while we're at it, let's get to know this unfamiliar publisher, who also passed away this month, with this brief biography from the Syracuse University Library website:

"Alan Swallow was an American poet, editor, teacher, and publisher. He was born February 11, 1915 in the windswept prairies of Powell, Wyoming. Realizing at an early age that he was not suited to a life of farming and ranching, he entered the University of Wyoming where he received a B.A. degree in literature. He earned a fellowship to Louisiana State University where he received an M.A. degree. At LSU he studied under Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks. He was an instructor at the University of New Mexico  and associate professor of English at Western State College. He then taught at the University of Denver as assistant professor and directed its writing program, later becoming director of its University Press. In 1940, he became the founder, owner, and single employee of his publishing firm, Alan Swallow Publishing, printing high quality yet affordable books. He sought to promote the poetry and fiction of contemporary writers who are often unrecognized by the larger commercial publishers. His list included J.V. Cunningham, Thomas McGrath, Janet Lewis, and the more well known Anais Nin, Yvor Winters and Allen Tate. Swallow has also written and published several books of poems and has edited anthologies of poetry and prose. He lectured at various writers' conferences and was a member of the Western Writers of America, Colorado Authors League, Denver Westerners, and American Civil Liberties Union. His tireless work as an editor and innovative publisher gave him much integrity, while rumors of his marital infidelities and his fondness for fast cars earned him a different notoriety. He died on November 27, 1966 in Denver, Colorado."