Selected and otherwise

By WILLIAM CORBETT  |  May 13, 2008

JONATHAN WILLIAMS — poet, essayist, photographer, and for more than 50 years the publisher of Jargon Books — died this past March at 79. He excelled at everything he did, and if you were interested in what he did and got in touch with him, he met your passion with passion. He published beautifully designed books by Charles Olson (under whom he studied at Black Mountain College), Mina Loy, Robert Creeley, Larry Eigner, Lorine Niedecker, and Thomas Meyer. His own poems are quick and droll and show a great appetite for the odd and out of the way. In 2002, David R. Godine published his book of photographs A Palpable Elysium: Portraits of Genius and Solitude, with subjects ranging from Kenneth Rexroth and Buckminster Fuller to the graves of Jelly Roll Morton, Erik Satie, and Vincent van Gogh, accompanied by Williams’s commentary. After you Google Williams and Jargon Books, that volume is a good place to begin.

WILLIAM CORBETT’s latest book of poems, Opening Day, has just been published by Hanging Loose Press.

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