william wantling • san quentin's stranger & other poems • limited edition • sick fly publications
23 numbered copies
£15 inc shipping
16 pages. Format approx. 6"/150mm wide x 300mm/12" tall. Handsewn at the Sick Tangerine workshop. Recycled Cairn almond stiff card covers; front cover artwork embossed in red. Heritage book white and Fabriano Bio Prima off-white text paper; Canson Mi-Tientes poppy red endpapers.
A small selection of poems based on Wantling's experiences whilst incarcerated at San Quentin Prison (1958-63). Still powerful, still relevant. Includes unique biography.
No copies were sent out for review
William Wantling (1933-74) was a veteran of the Korean War and a heroin addict who spent five and a half years in San Quentin Prison, where he first taught himself to write. Upon his release in 1963, under the G.I.Bill, he entered higher education, obtaining a BA and MA in English Literature. A contemporary of Charles Bukowski – with whom he had an unusual and ultimately destructive friendship – Wantling was widely published in the vibrant US poetry scene of the 1960s and 70s, including an appearance in the twelfth edition of the prestigious Penguin Modern Poets series. Whilst maintaining a high profile in the independent press scene, important literary figures such as Edward Lucie-Smith, Walter Lowenfels and Cyril Connolly regularly supported and promoted his work. Christopher Logue, writing in the Times Literary Supplement in December 1967, declared Wantling’s collection The Awakening his recommended book of the year. Wantling was a university lecturer when he died of heart failure on May 2nd 1974, aged 40 years.
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