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A46. The Poet Is Dead: A Memorial for Robinson Jeffers


A46. The Poet Is Dead: A Memorial for Robinson Jeffers


Thomas, Peter and Donna


34 x 24 cm (13½” x 9 ½”), 28 pages, 140 copies.

Binding: Copies 1-3 are full-bound in black Morocco leather with on-lay and tooling by Donna Thomas. Title blind-stamped on spine and cover. Housed in a clamshell box made by Peter Thomas that is three-quarter-bound in black Morocco leather and black paper handmade by Peter Thomas. Title on spine. Copies 4-140 are full-bound in black goatskin. Title blind-stamped on spine and cover. Housed in a slipcase covered in grey commercial paper. Title and linocut by Tom Killion on front. Paper: Copies 1-3 printed on sheepskin parchment. Copies 4-140 printed on cream paper with black fibers, handmade by Peter Thomas. Printing: Letterpress. Typography: Handset Weiss and Weiss Titling Series II; several lines in red. Illustration: Two linocuts by Tom Killion.

“This book was our most ambitious undertaking to date. It took three months alone to make the text paper. Peter had to try three times before he got the black paper right for the clamshell box. We pied a galley of type with two whole pages in it. We gave minute attention to detail when typesetting. We made more than 30 trial title pages and tried out seven different types of asterisks before settling on the ones we used to divide the strophes. Killion did not finish the cuts before he left to spend a year working in a refugee camp in Sudan. The finished cuts arrived by post, sent by an Italian doctor who had been with Killion in Africa, but the cut for the opening page was not suitable. We sent linoleum and tools with a friend who was going to meet Killion in Kenya and he brought us back the cut used in the book. The leather was a special making of black goatskin which took six months longer than promised to arrive. The box board was lost in transit for months...neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow....”



Appears in Exhibits

Peter and Donna Thomas


Thomas, Peter and Donna, “A46. The Poet Is Dead: A Memorial for Robinson Jeffers,” Digital Exhibits - UWM Libraries Special Collections, accessed December 7, 2023,