LAMANTIA, Philip. The Blood of the Air.
(San Francisco, CA): Four Seasons Foundation, 1970. First edition. Paperback original. 45 pages. Cool poetry volume, illustrated with four automatic drawings by the author. Whilst Lamantia’s work was never particularly well known, he acted as an essential conduit in bringing the Surrealism of France to America in the 1940s and was the only American poet of his generation to have fully embraced both Surrealism and the Beat movement. He was one of the five poets who read at the now famous Six Gallery event on 7 October 1955 in San Francisco, which was to be the first public reading of Allen Ginsberg’s epic poem “Howl”, a work brought to trial in 1957 for “obscenity”. Rather than reciting his own poems, Lamantia chose to read pieces by his friend John Hoffman, who had recently died in Mexico of a peyote overdose. A near fine copy in wrappers.