Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1975. First Edition. Deluxe issue of Ashbery's 1975 experimental book-length poem, often overlooked in favor of his critically-acclaimed Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror published the same year. "In fact, The Vermont Notebook has often been elided entirely from the Ashbery canon: excluded from Ashbery's bibliography in some subsequent volumes, the poem failed to make an appearance in the poet's 1985 Selected Poems...An innovative hybrid of prose, verse, and line drawings provided by artist-poet Joe Brainard, The Vermont Notebook differs significantly from Ashbery's more classically Stevensian verse of the period. Formally, the poem is characterized by quasi-cinematic jump cuts, blatant appropriation of found material, and meaningful white space separating its mostly prose paragraphs. Beyond mere stylistic difference, this most essayistic of Ashbery's books reflects and refracts, with typically Ashberyian irony, a number of arguments about environmental and sexual politics regnant during the decade when it was written" (Schmidt, Christopher. "The Queer Nature of Waste in John Ashbery's The Vermont Notebook." Arizona Quarterly, Vol.68, No.3 (Autumn 2021), pp.71-72). Difficult to find for years, until it was published by Granary Books in 2001, and included in the Library of America's volume of Ashbery's work. Uncommon in the deluxe issue. Kermani A21.b; Morrow & Cooney 207c. Item #5459
Deluxe Issue, one of 26 lettered copies specially bound and signed by the author and illustrator, this being copy 'M.' Octavo (23.75cm); pictorial paper-covered boards and patterned cloth backstrip, with title label mounted to spine; publisher's original acetate dustjacket; ,7-101,pp. With a full-page original ink illustration of flowers by Brainard tipped in following the copyright page (signed and dated "Brainard – 74"). Fine in a lightly rubbed, Near Fine dustjacket, with shallow loss at the crown.