Sunday, April 19, 2015
Paradise Valley by Al Glover (1975)
The Bellevue Press
This chapbook arrived in a mixed lot I won on ebay about 2 years ago and while it interested me, I didn't write about it until today. An oversight. I have a lot of chapbooks to write about. (so much to do, so little time) Anyway, this copy was signed by Al Glover on the back page. There was 350 copies printed, 50 of which were signed. So this is one of 50. That alone makes it fairly unique.
However, I was just as interested in the Press and that was challenging since there wasn't a whole lot about the Press that I was able to find 2 years ago - so I put it aside. Then, this month I decided to try to present a daily blog entry and I pulled this one out again (blew off the dust)and started looking on-line again. This time I was able to find a name, Gil Williams, who seems to have been the publisher. It also seemed that the Press never left Binghamton, NY. Other presses move with their owners : Pentagram moved several times, as did Robie Liscomb and his Fathom Press, and my own Plan B Press which started in Lancaster County, PA - Philadelphia - and finally Alexandria, VA before going on "hiatus".
I find a listing for a photo of his Gil Williams person taken by Gerard Malanga (wait, I know that name!) Yeah, Malanga was part of the Warhol Factory world and he took photos of this Williams person? The listing was on ABE which I have never used even though I had known about them since logging on in 1999. So, I opened an account and bought the photo
It wasn't until a packet of photos, the seller sent more than one item, did I realize that perhaps I was buying a copy of the photo from Gil Williams himself. The invoice was from Gil's Book Loft in Binghamton, NY and a quick note was included on the invoice from Deborah Williams. Gil.......Williams. Whoa, wait, cool, I - I immediately sent off a card in that direction and now am writing about this chapbook.
Paradise Valley is an 18 page prose poetry "story". Hand-sewn. Nice presentation. Well written. A foreword was written by Rutherford E. Delmage in 1973. There is an image of a horse inside. It's relevant. (I hate when there are images that have no bearing at all to the title or the content of a book, even a chapbook). I still don't know much about Al Glover but I do know a bit more about Bellevue Press, and I might know more soon should the folks at Gil's Book Loft respond. Fingers crossed.