Clifford Burke, The Academy of Accidental Art, and Desert Rose Press
Clifford Burke, poet, master printer, baritone sax man, wrote the book on printing poetry, Printing Poetry, A Workbook of Typographic Reification (Scarab Press, 1980) He was an influential force in renewing interest in the letterpress arts and exquisitely crafted limited editions in the 60s and 70s of the San Francisco Bay Area. He was the founder of Cranium Press in the late 60s as well as publisher of the poetry magazine Hollow Orange and included the work of Richard Brautigan, Steve Carey, Bill Bathurst, Andrea Wyatt, Mary Carey, Pamela Milward, Mary Norbert Korte, Lew Welch, Keith Abbot, and Pat Nolan.
Long retired from the book trade and living in New Mexico, Clifford, when not noodling on the baritone sax, continues to practice his print designer’s art by publishing his own poems in keepsake editions under the Desert Rose imprint or that of the Academy of Accidental Art. The New Black Poetry Society is fortunate to be the recipient of some of Burke’s exquisite poetry chapbooks. Anyone interested in knowing how to print poetry can start here. These four little hand sewn books, each a perfection of spacing and presentation, arrived, one a quarter, in 2022. Also arriving in 2022, the monumental The Accidental Art Machine, a biography by Clifford Burke documenting the fashioning of a kinetic calligraphic work, and the book that had to be carted around in the bed of a pickup truck. As book art, as design art, this hard cover hand sewn memoir is a work of art.
Click on images to enlarge.
For those interested in the fine print renaissance of the 60s and 70s, Alastair Johnston’s Dreaming On The Edge, Poets & Book Arts in California (Oak Knoll Press, 2016). Read a review of it here.
Pingback: Black Bart Quarterly Review Of Books | The New Black Bart Poetry Society