Publisher: San Francisco: Printed by Andrew Hoyem of the Arion Press, 1976.
Edition: First separate edition, one of 150 copies printed.
Bibliographical References: De Bellis & Broomfield, John Updike, A Bibliography, A57.
Condition: In fine condition.
Book ID: 27539
DescriptionBroadside, 30 x 22.5 cm. Decorations in the margins by Valenti Angelo.
CommentsA handsome broadside of John Updike's amusing poem about San Francisco, first collected in The Carpentered Hen (1958). It was separately printed by five members of San Francisco's Roxburghe Club in May 1976, with Updike's approval. This copy, from the library of San Francisco book collector Jack Aldridge, has interesting and revelatory provenance. Aldridge was member of the Roxburghe Club and the instigator behind this separate printing of “Scenic.” On April 5, 1976, he wrote to Updike, seeking permission to publish something by him as a keepsake for one of the Club's upcoming dinners. Updike responded by returning Aldridge’s letter with a note written in its upper margin: "I have no new poems I could you give you. May I suggest 'Scenic' on page 13 of The Carpentered Hen as appropriate to your purposes? I grant permission hereby, but credit should be given to Harper & Bros, who hold the copyright. Best wishes, John Updike." Aldridge responded to Updike on April 21, thanking him and saying that he had arranged for Andrew Hoyem to print the poem, of which Updike would receive 25 copies. The broadside was printed and copies were distributed at the May 18, 1976 meeting of the Club. On June 2, 1976, Aldridge wrote to Andrew Hoyem: "Enclosed is my check for $26.63 which I believe is my share of the cost of printing the Updike keepsake . . . I am also enclosing a copy of the letter I received from John Updike, expressing his reaction to your superb printing job." Accompanying this copy of the broadside is Jack Aldridge’s original typed letter to John Updike, with Updike’s holograph response in the upper margin; a copy of Jack Aldridge’s letter to John Updike of April 21, 1976; a copy of Aldridge’s note to Andrew Hoyem of June 2, 1976; and the holograph note from Updike to Aldridge, dated May 8, on The Gotham Hotel stationery: “Dear Aldridge - Love the broadsides of Scenic; a really nice . . . printing job, with charming illustrations. Thank you indeed. Sincerely, John Updike.” Additionally, this copy is signed by both John Updike and Valenti Angelo in the lower margin (Angelo’s signature has faded).