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The Buk Shop

Sparrow 25 – 36 (Hardcover)

Sparrow 25 – 36 (Hardcover)

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John Martin started publishing Sparrow Magazine back in 1973.  It featured softcover issues dedicated to a single poet that Black Sparrow Press had under contract. It doesn’t appear to have had a regular publishing schedule, so I’m not sure what the occasion was for putting out an issue. It wasn’t based on new books being published, at least in Bukowski’s case, because all four Sparrows dedicated to his poems would not be published until 1979’s “Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit.”

Also published by Black Sparrow Press, this is one of four hardcover volumes that contain a Sparrow issue dedicated to Bukowski’s poems. In this case, Sparrow 30, “Africa, Paris, Greece”, published in March 1975.

The poems included:

Blue Moon, Oh Bleweeww Mooooon How I Adore You!
Face Of A Political Candidate On A Street Billboard
Nothing Is As Effective As Defeat
Solid State Marty
Yankee Doodle

Each of these poems would be later be collected in 1979’s “Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit”.

Although copies of Sparrow are somewhat bland and academic looking, Barbara Martin added her great talents as a designer to these volumes, of which there were six (Bukowski appeared in four). Each hardcover volume has a very distinctive fabric cover over the boards. There were also signed editions, produced in limitations of 50, that used different fabrics and colors.

This copy, Sparrow 25-36, is in Near Fine condition. Protected by the original mylar protector.

A truly beautiful example of Barbara Martin’s design work.

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