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Phone: 631.725.8654

Mailing: PO Box 943,
Sag Harbor, NY 11963


In the early 1960s Joe Brainard met Kenward Elmslie in New York, they  became life partners and collaborators until Brainard’s untimely death death from AIDS in 1994 at the age of 52. They were both part of a second generation of NY poets & artists following in the tradition of  the The New York School of poetry, an avant-guarde movement comprised of mid-century poets & artists such as John Ashbery, Alex Katz, Larry Rivers, Fairfield Porter, Kenneth Koch, and Frank O’Hara. Heavily influenced by surrealism and modernism, the poetry of the New York School was serious but also ironic, and incorporated an urban sensibility into much of the work. Abstract expressionism was also a major influence, with many poets having personal relationships with artists such as Jackson Pollock & Willem DeKooning. The second generation of New York School poets that arose during the 1960s included Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, Anne Waldman, Joe Brainard and Kenward Elmsile among others. Their work contained much of the same humor and collaborative spirit. They were closely associated with the now famed Poetry Project at St. Marks Church. Founded in 1966 it was a crucial venue for new and experimental poetry and helped launch the careers of many poets including Allen Ginsburg. The downtown scene in New York’s East Village became the center for beat culture, and the new emerging pop-art movement. In 1973 Elmslie became the editor of the Poetry Project’s literary magazine, Z. He was also editor and publisher of Z Press, publishing work by the close knit group of writers, artists and poets of the East Village scene. It was the start of the mimeograph revolution, a new support system in the form of a small presses, which was the most accessible and spontaneous way to spread information about the growing scene. Joe Brainard & Kenward Elmslie in many ways opened the door for the PoP movement and artists such as Ed Ruscha & Robert Rauchenberg who were to follow.

Description: SIGNED BY both BRAINARD & ELMSLIE, and inscribed Merry Christmas! Happy new Year! Paperback copy, with side-stapled mimeo wraps. Some age toning to wraps. One small tear to upper spine edge of tape binding. Interior clean and binding sound. The first of many published Brainard/Elmslie collaborations. Limited edition, one of 500 printed copies. This is a unnumbered and apparently out-of-series, with “Jack” hand written in the limitation line. A very rare signed copy!

Bookseller Inventory# 29455

The Baby Book
Brainard, Joe; Elmslie, Kenward


Publisher: Boke Press, NY
Publication Date: 1965
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Edition

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