Tuesday, November 29, 2016
who was Hunce Voelcker?
The Hart Crane Voyages
This is a start of an investigation as much as anything. A few months ago, I saw and became interested in reading a book entitled The Hart Crane Voyages published in 1969 by Brownstone Press, NYC. I got the copy I did because it was signed - and it was, by a family member to another family member basically saying "remember our relative". The fact that it was sold suggests that the relative opted not to remember. Sad when that happens.
It turns out that this book is a "biography" of Hart Crane. Prose/poetry/sumptin'. With footnotes. Also illustrated as well. But the illustrations are absolutely terrible. Like bad kid drawings terrible. Dregs. Ugh. If ever a book needed a redo, this one is it. And the funny thing is that this book by Brownstone is a redo - an original version of this book was made by cowstone press (NYC). I wish I had a copy of that version because once I decided to research this 'Hunce Voelcker' person I came to find out that he published other books of poetry and prose and that his first chapbook was called joy rock statue ship and was published in 1968 by cowstone press. It was designed and illustrated by a Don Lewis.
joy rock statue ship
from a strictly visual aesthetic, the chapbook by cowstone is superior. Every page of the chapbook has an image on it. Beautifully done. This Don Lewis person took great care in putting this chapbook together. It's really something to strive for. I am extremely happy to have it. My research suggests that Voelcker and Lewis collaborated on a few cowstone press books in 1968 - 1969.
Hunce Voelcker was born in Pennsylvania in 1940. He ended up in San Francisco and was part of the Jack Spicer group. There's an established poetry contest bearing his name. He died early, perhaps during the AIDS epidemic.
I will continue to research the man. I am also interested in knowing more about this Don Lewis cat, his work in this chapbook was stellar.