Seattle: Mill Mountain Press, 1975. First Edition. Original green card wrappers printed on front cover. Signed on half title by the author. 32 pages. Exceptionally clean, tight, and unread. A book that is a rarity on the market, and even scarcer signed. Provenance: from the library of Stanford's publisher Irv Broughton.
"Stanford was one of the most recognized and prolific emerging poets of his generation until his suicide at the age of twenty-nine. Though all but two of his books remain out of print, his poems, which pitch startling and often surreal imagery against stark Southern landscapes, have sustained Stanford's reputation and influence" (Encyclopedia of Arkansas History). Arkansas Bench Stone was the fifth book in Stanford's oeuvre, all of which had been published by Irv Broughton of Mill Mountain Press. Along with two drawings and a photograph of a painting provided by Stanford's wife Ginny, the poetic volume contains a collection of sixteen poems written in Stanford's stream-of-consciousness style. Falling in between his debut work The Singing Knives and his magnum opus The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You, Stanford's Arkansas Bench Stone shows the young poet gaining confidence in his own creativity, tapping into the deepest memories of his Southern identity, and developing his signature writing style. An exceptional copy, accompanied by a letter of provenance from Irv Broughton, to whom Stanford signed the book. Fine (Item #2314)