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Sun & Moon Press Archive
MSS 0224  
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Collection Overview
 
Table of contents What's This?
Description
Archives of the Sun & Moon Press, Douglas Messerli's "alternative" publishing venture, dedicated to experimental poetry, fiction and drama, begun in 1976 in College Park, Maryland, and later located in Los Angeles. The collection documents the publishing history of the press throughout most of its 28 years of operation and maps the literary careers and, in some cases, the personal lives of numerous American and international literary figures and artists. The bulk of the materials documents Sun & Moon's publishing activities from 1991-2002. The collection is a compilation of literary correspondence, both to and from Messerli, of Press production materials (manuscripts, typescripts, publishing proofs), and of various documents related to Sun & Moon's business activities (financial records, trade catalogues, and advertising materials). Biographical materials for various writers and artists, interviews, designs, collages, broadsides and postcards are scattered throughout the collection as well. Materials feature, for instance: proofs of work by David Antin, Susan and Fanny Howe, and Gertrude Stein; Sara Garden Armstrong's battery-driven art book designs and collages done by Lou Horvath and Nick Piombino; interviews with Michael Palmer, Allan Kaprow and Linda Montano (interviewed by Moira Roth); materials from the artist Claudia Delmonte, architect Allan Greenberg, sculptor Lawrence McCabe, country western songwriter Chuck Rosenberg, who studied with the well known writer John Ashbery, to mention just a few. Also included are production materials for the anthology FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CENTURY: A NEW AMERICAN POETRY 1960-1990 and THE GERTRUDE STEIN AWARDS IN INNOVATIVE NORTH AMERICAN POETRY: 1993. Throughout the 1990s the press published several titles whose authors were selected as annual winners by the National Poetry Series and published the collection: 50: A CELEBRATION OF SUN & MOON CLASSICS (1995). Messerli's Green Integer succeeds Sun & Moon Press (after its closure in 2004) as the current venue for both celebrated and emerging poets and writers.
Background
In the winter of 1976 in an apartment in College Park, Maryland, Douglas Messerli founded the Sun & Moon Press (supported by the Contemporary Arts Education Project, Inc.) and began the publication of the internationally recognized magazine SUN & MOON, co-edited by his longtime partner, Howard Fox. In the magazine, Messerli and Fox published conceptual and language poetry, mixed-media art, and the work of the New York Poets. During this time, as well, Messerli began publishing Là-bas, a mimeographed, stapled "newsletter" of experimental poetry and poetics. Together, the magazines exhibited the work of writers such as Bruce Andrews, Charles Bernstein, Russell Banks, Susan Howe, Ray diPalma, Ted Greenwald, Bernadette Mayer, Barrett Watten, Hannah Weiner, Tina Darragh, P. Inman, and others. Là-bas ceased publication in 1978; Sun & Moon ran until 1981.
Extent
108.20 linear feet (165 archives boxes, 42 records cartons boxes, and 2 oversize folders)
Restrictions
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Availability
Collection is open for research