Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Steps by ruth weiss
I saw this copy flittering on ebay. Wait, I thought, I know ruth weiss. This must be an early book (it was her first - published in 1958). I bought the book and wrote to ruth weiss. Once the book arrived, I looked it over and wrote the seller to see where HE got it. The seller is in San Francisco where ruth lived for a number of years. He informed me that the copy came from the basement/garage of a local SF poet and political activist. Most of the material which the seller acquired had not seen the light of day in 40 years and that the seller was surprised by the response on Ebay to this store of stuff.
The result of my letter to ruth was a phone call today. ruth told me that there were only 50 copies made of her first book and that the address listed on the back of the book, 1116 Ellis St., San Francisco was adjoining attic apartments that ruth and her first husband, Mel Weitsman, shared. She also told me, since I had asked, about the production of this first book. It was typed out using two typewriters. Mimeographed at a different location. The blue tape binding was stolen - shhhhhhh! - from a local stationary shop.
Very rare chapbook by a 82-year old survivor, a poet who continues to make her voice heard.