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The Buk Shop

A Poem for Ed Blair Broadside (#38/100): Perdido Press 2020

A Poem for Ed Blair Broadside (#38/100): Perdido Press 2020

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Broadsides from Ed Blaire’s Perdido Press seem hard to come by. He does limited runs and I think his many friends and fans of the press snap them up quickly and tend to hold onto them.

They are also hard to find much information about. This broadside was released in 2020, but good luck running a Google search and finding anything.

Charles Bukowski wrote “A Poem for Ed Blaire” to thank him for purchasing the paper that was used for Bukowski’s first true book, It Catches My Heart In Its Hands (1963). The poem is printed on the broadside and a facsimile of the original manuscript is also included.

Blaire was a fairly wealthy young man when he came to know Jon and Louise Webb in the early 1960s. Co-Founders of LouJon Press, the Webbs had already put out two issues of the Outsider magazine and were determined to undertake a book of Bukowski poems when Blaire stepped in.

The broadside is printed on nice textured paper, but it’s a relatively light stock. It measures approximately 15.5” x 12.5”. There are two reproduced photographs, one of Bukowski with Jon and the other of Bukowski with Louise.

In hand-written back pen, Blair added the following (I assume he did this on all copies):

Hank for this as a way of thanking me for lending the Webbs money
to buy paper for the printing of his first book “It Catches”
                                                                                      Ed Blair

Blair also hand-numbered the edition information, this copy being #38.

Finally, Blair included a facsimile of the original manuscript for the poem. Oddly enough, the two-page manuscript is printed on two separate pages of ordinary photocopy paper and was scotch tapped to the back of the broadside. I’m told that this was part of the original production. In any case, when I received the broadside, the facsimile had already separated from the broadside with no trace, markings or damage to the broadside because of the inexpensive tape used.

This copy is in Near Fine condition with a ding on the upper right.

Blair’s friendship continued throughout the lives of Jon and Louise. In 1991, Louise found herself destitute. Her husband Jon had passed 20 years before and she no longer was able to scrape by selling paintings to French Quarter tourists. As only a true friend would do, in 1991 Blaire decided to sell his entire Bukowski collection to raise funds for Gypsy Lou’s remaining years. He also helped arrange the sale of Gypsy Lou’s remaining LouJon Press collection, so she would get top dollar.

She finally passed away on Dec 13, 2020, at age 104, spending her last years at Greenbrier Nursing Center in Slidell, Louisiana, a few miles south of New Orleans.

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