Note: The following images, kindly provided by Rosanne Wasserman, are taken from one of Tom Weatherly’s illustrated “reading copies” of his book short history of the saxophone, published by Wasserman and Eugene Richie’s Groundwater Press in 2006. Throughout his life, Weatherly densely and colorfully illustrated his books, notably his dictionary, so that they sometimes came to resemble something close to medieval illuminated manuscripts.
Note: Victor Bockris and Andrew Wylie conducted a series of interviews with numerous contemporary American poets during the early 1970s, published in various venues. The playful style of the interview with Weatherly is typical of these. (These interviews were collected for a book to be titled The Life of Poetry in 1973, but the book never appeared in print.
Note: The following open letter was originally published in Jerome Rothenberg and Dennis Tedlock’s journal of ethnopoetics, Alcheringa, no. 3 (Winter 1971): 94–95 (a facsimile is available online at Independent Voices). The immediate occasion was a statement made by Ted Wilentz, Weatherly’s coeditor for the Natural Process anthology, in his introduction to that volume.
Note: The following open letter was originally published in Jerome Rothenberg and Dennis Tedlock’s journal of ethnopoetics, Alcheringa, no. 3 (Winter 1971): 94–95 (a facsimile is available online at Independent Voices).
Note: In 1970, Weatherly and Ted Wilentz coedited an anthology of African American poetry titled for the workshops Weatherly had been running from East Harlem for the past few years: Natural Process. A fixture on the New York scene, Wilentz and his brother Eli co-owned the Eighth Street Bookstore at 32 West 8th Street in New York.
Note: The uncollected texts printed here date from the same period as Tom Weatherly’s Maumau American Cantos (1970) and Thumbprint (1971), and include a number of additional cantos that were not published in the former collection.
Note: The following eight early poems written in 1964–1965, all of which predate the poems in Weatherly’s first published collection, Maumau American Cantos, are taken from typescripts at the Rosey Pool Collection, now at the University of Sussex. Pool, the Dutch editor of the anthology September 6, 2019
Note: The following poems were originally published in Climate/Stream, a joint publication with Ken Bluford, by Middle Earth Books in 1972. Two of these poems, “godfather” and “for Judy Alms,” also appeared in Alcheringa. — David Grundy