28 Fort Square
16.5 × 11 × 1
2014
Medium: Inkjet on Arches Cover paper.
Binding: Leporello binding in a traditional Japanese album structure, with three Turkish map folds printed on Asuka Natural paper inserted among the concertina folds, encased in linen portfolio.
Edition: 10

When the Gloucester poet Charles Olson died in early January of 1970, he left behind a monumental pile of manuscripts, personal papers, photographs, ephemera,, and other possessions. While his manuscripts carry his distinctive handwriting, the apartment itself at 28 Fort Square in Gloucester, Massachusetts, displays traces of his personal markings. Surrounding the windows that overlooked the harbor, Olson recorded meteorological data: daily and sometimes hourly temperature readings, wind speeds, precipitation amounts, and notes such as “second time harbor frozen this winter.” George Butterick, curator and editor of the Olson papers at the University of Connecticut, photographically recorded these window scribblings a few months after Olson’s death. The photographs have been studied by various literary scholars but have never been published as a set before. The current publication brings together all of the Butterick photographs of the window casings along with a digital reconstruction of the windows based on the images. Because Olson wrote so many of the Maximus poems while living in the Fort Square apartment and wandering about Gloucester, it seemed appropriate to include a number of facsimile pages of his poems in various stages of completion. Additional images of both the exterior and interior of the apartment were recorded by Butterick, giving us a glimpse into Olson’s environment at the time he was working on his celebrated Maximus Poems.

 

Title page & introduction

 

One who has become all eyes does not see

Opening fold revealing digital reconstruction of interior window casing.

De la Cosa's mappa mundi.

Reproductions of Olson mss. & snapshots of window casings.

Digital reconstruction of exterior window casing.
Digital reconstruction of exterior window casing.
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