Item #40192 Poemsequence for Samuel Beckett. John SHARKEY.
Poemsequence for Samuel Beckett.
Poemsequence for Samuel Beckett.
Poemsequence for Samuel Beckett.


Poemsequence for Samuel Beckett.

Np.: [Coitus Press], nd. [1965]. First edition. Narrow 4to. Plain black card wrps., stapled. 12 duplicated sheets, printed rectos only.

Limited edition of 50 numbered copies (limitation statement written out in blue ink by Sharkey on the final page).

SIGNED and inscribed on the title page: “To Barry Best Wishes John J. Sharkey”.

The provenance hasn’t been established, but the recipient may have been Barry Flanagan, who included sections from the poem in the second, third and fourth issues of his student publication, Silâns, copies of which were distributed free at St. Martin’s School of Art and at Better Books during October and November 1964.

The book is also accompanied by an ALS from Sharkey (approx. 100 words), dated June 29, 1965 (not long before Sharkey and Flanagan exhibited together at Better Books), beginning: “Dear Barry, A long time no write - I enclose a copy of my beckett poems for you.” The letter continues with mention of his relationship with his wife (“things have resettled more serenely & deeply between Wendy & I”), an imminent move to London (from Bristol), recent lectures given at Leeds Art School, an injury incurred in a car crash, attempts to bring out a magazine (“also more films”), before concluding that a “period of looking & searching for ends seems to be over - now a conglomeration of settled non-i extensions of me, working in harmony.”

The Times Literary Supplement published six poems from the sequence in August 1964, a tape recording of Sharkey performing the poem was issued by Fred Hunter around the time of the book’s publication, and it was published in its entirety by Paul Keeler in the final issue of Signals in January 1966.

Letter folded once for mailing, o/w Near Fine; minor handling and corner wear to wrappers, o/w Very Good plus.