This has been in the works for a while. To date, the most complete historical listing for d.a. levy's published work has been James Lowell's article entitled: "A Preliminary Checklist of the Writings of d.a. levy (1942 – 1968)" which appeared in the Kent State University publication, The Serif (Vol. 8, No. 4). Kent Taylor (whose diligence is the only reason this project is as complete as it is) and I have used this as a starting point to fill in any blanks as well as enhance the listings with additional historical data in an attempt to put levy's work in perspective for the people who have never seen the books.
When all the books are laid on the table, you can see a similarity between certain books which were published around the same time period. They have the same cover & page stock with a similar binding style. When levy ran out of that particular paper color or size, the next batch of chapbooks were printed on the next bundle of paper which dropped into his hands (whatever color & size that those reams happened to be). Also you can see a progression from letterpress to mimeograph to newsprint, each phase taking the process one step further.
As discussed in my other essay, "The Definitive Copy (Reprinting d.a. levy In The 2000s)," trying to catalog all the variations for any single levy publication is an impossible task. Multiple copies of a chapbook have special covers which were given to friends. In some instances, the covers for a chapbook are individually painted while other covers for the same chapbook have unique collages.
Another habit of levy's was to take overrun pages remaining from other publications & assemble that amalgamation as a separate new publication in an edition of one or five or ten. Even then, not all copies of that publication would contain the same pages. Some of his more unique chapbooks include random overprint pages which had been repeatedly run through the mimeo for various publications so that most of the sheets of paper were blackened with mimeo ink. levy would assemble a handful of these pages in no apparent order, staple covers onto the stack & give this new publication a title (e.g., The Great Tibetan Train Robbery Mystery Play In Color). It appears as if almost every piece of paper was eventually used as a part of something.
What makes this archeological effort to catalog levy's work more difficult is that levy started printing books almost 40 years ago. Many of these books have disappeared or are molding in a box in someone's basement. At best they might be found rusting in the special collections department at a university library or in the vaults of a private collector. Many of the people who were true friends of d.a. levy are a lifetime away. All the fine details as far as exact dates or even who helped print which publication are blurred by decades of dealing with their own lives. Remember, everything was happening so fast at the moment in the 1960s that there wasn't a lot of concern to record volumes of information for posterity. Life was for the NOW, if you could grab it. History was for somebody else to worry about & debate.
So here is a draft version of the d.a. levy bibliography for isis. It is segmented into three sections: the publications that levy produced, books by levy which were produced by a third party and a listing of books which are compilations of previously published works. I can guarantee that there are mistakes & omissions (for now) in these lists. See if you can spot all the errors, then write me & you might win a trip back to Cleveland, Ohio in the 1960s. I can almost see the police knocking on your door right now.
Stay tuned -
P.O. Box 2943
Vancouver, WA 98668-2943
Bibliographies organized by:
d.a.levy Books by Other Publishers (Essential)
Copyright © 2002 by Alan Horvath
Bibliography pages oppened 02/02/2002
This is a cooperative presentation by:
Kirpan Press, Ghost Pony Press, Kaldron On-Line
and Light and Dust Anthology of Poetry