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Black Stone Press archive


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Peter Koch, founder and proprietor of Black Stone Press, views his role in book creation as multifaceted. The poet, publisher, and printer has described himself as “Artist/Collaborationist, Designer/Printer, and Publisher,” as well as an “Archeologist of the Book, Book Architect,... Typographer/Printer to the Ur-text Project, [and] (urban) Cowboy Surrealist.” In describing his intentions, he quotes Chairil Anwar: “I’ll dig down and root out every word until I’ve gone deep enough to find the germinal word, the germinal image.” Koch continues, “as maker I could add ’...and after I’ve found them I’ll make them.’ As philosopher I might say, ’...and after I make them I’ll contemplate what I have made.”*

Koch was born in Missoula, Montana in 1943. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Montana, Missoula, he spent time traveling in Europe and North Africa. While in Paris, Koch came in contact with the international Surrealist movement, and discovered the works of André Breton and Max Ernst, two influences which were to strongly impact his own work. Koch returned to Montana in 1974 and set up Black Stone Press as a forum for his own work and that of fellow surrealist poets.

The founding venture of the press was the six-issue run of

Montana Gothic, a poetry journal edited and published by Koch between 1974 and 1977. Contributors included American writers as well as poets from Latin America and Europe, among them Robert Bly, Charles Henri Ford, Gabriel Weisz Carrington, Michael Poage, and Opal Nations. The journal also featured the work of such Surrealist-inspired artists as Bruce Lee. The single-volume journal Deadstart grew out of an essay by Koch in Montana Gothic #2 that called for a vital approach to both life and poetry: to scrap preconceived notions and start afresh.

While publishing

Montana Gothic, Koch became increasingly interested in the printing process. He bought his first handpress in 1978, and in 1979 apprenticed himself to Adrian Wilson at the Press in Tuscany Alley in San Francisco for a year of intensive training in book arts. He relocated the press to the Bay Area the same year. Michael Poage’s book of poems, Born, published in 1975, was the first of many limited edition volumes printed by Koch and his then-wife, Shelley Hoyt-Koch. Other significant books include Jane Bailey’s Pomegranate of 1976, Poage’s Handbook of Ornament of 1979, and Opal Nation’s The Marvels of Professor Pettingruel of 1978, for which Koch provided illustrations. Koch also produced a number of broadsides during this period, most notably his Square Zero series, as well as providing job printing services for local businesses and organizations.

Since the dissolution of Black Stone Press in 1984, Koch has continued to print and publish, until 1990 under the name

Peter Rutledge Koch, Typographic Design, and thereafter as Peter Koch, Printer. His work, in recent years, has focussed increasingly on the book itself as physical bearer of meaning, and has become more experimental with form, as earlier it had been with content. One example of his non-traditional approach to book arts is his Diogenes of 1994, printed in an edition of 50 copies, each unique, on lead plates and housed in an eartherware jug. Other significant book projects have included his Herakleitos of 1990 and Robinson Jeffers’ Point Lobos of 1987. Koch’s work has won a number of awards, including the Pushcart Prize for the Best of Small Presses for Montana Gothic in 1976 and more recently the American Library Association Award for Excellence in 1990. He has been featured in solo shows as well as group exhibitions. In addition to his printing activities, Koch is currently on the faculty at U. C. Berkeley’s Department of Visual Studies, and since 1991, is co-director of the Tuscany Alley Project at San Francisco State University.

Peter Koch: Recent Work. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Houghton Library, Harvard University, 1995. Peter Koch, Printer: Cowboy Surrealists, Maverick Poets & Pre-Socratic Philosophers . New York; San Francisco: New York Public Library; San Francisco Public Library, 1995. Biographical information has also been derived from material in the collection.

The Black Stone Press Archive consists of 5 linear feet of material spanning the dates 1974 to 1984. The archive includes correspondence, galleys, negatives, broadsides, books, literary journals, ephemera, and business records from the press. In addition to documenting the short history of the imprint, the collection is particularly useful in reconstructing the printer’s working procedures, containing working materials ranging from manuscripts and rough sketches through mockups and galleys, to finished pieces.

The collection is organized in three series. The first consists of printed material, including preparatory materials for

Montana Gothic, Deadstart, books, and broadsides, as well as job printing, the latter arranged by client and by year. The second series contains correspondence, consisting primarily of letters and manuscripts from contributors and potential contributors to Montana Gothic. The third series includes business records for 1974–1984, including bank statements, grant applications, and tax documents. The fourth and final series consists of books and literary journals printed by Black Stone Press. The collection and this finding aid include a bibliography of all titles received with the collection, a number of which have been cataloged and are available in Special Collections. Two oversize boxes contain material removed from Series I and II.

Boxes 1-5: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons Removals: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (32 inches)

Purchases, 1989, 1992.

Processed by Colette Walker, May 1995. Encoded by Natalie Baur, March 2010. Further encoding by Lauren Connolly, September 2015, and Tiffany Saulter, November 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2010 March 3
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents

Includes preparatory material toward publishing projects such as journals, books, and broadsides; posterboard flats used by Shelley Hoyt-Koch as teaching aids in demonstrating how to design and paint books; and job printing arranged in two subseries: alphabetically by client and by date.

Montana Gothic #1.
Box 1 Folder F1
Montana Gothic #2.
Box 1 Folder F2
Montana Gothic #3.
Box 1 Folder F3
Montana Gothic #4.
Box 1 Folder F4
Montana Gothic #4 (continued).
Box 1 Folder F5
Montana Gothic #5.
Box 1 Folder F6
Montana Gothic #6.
Box 1 Folder F7
Montana Gothic Headlines and Cover Art.
Box 1 Folder F8
Montana Gothic - Bruce Lee artwork.
Box 1 Folder F9
Box 1 Folder F10
Scope and Contents

dates following titles indicate publication dates

ABC XYZ- Kate Pond, 1980.
Box 1 Folder F11
Five Poems- Michael Poage, 1980.
Box 1 Folder F12
Handbook of Ornament- Michael Poage, 1979.
Box 1 Folder F13
Handbook of Ornament (continued).
Box 1 Folder F14
Harris, Paul (artist's book, not completed).
Box 1 Folder F15
Marvels of Professor Pettingruel- Opal Nations, 1978.
Box 1 Folder F16
Near the Ocean's Edge- Charles Morris, 1982.
Box 1 Folder F17
Poison in the System- David Highsmith, 1979.
Box 1 Folder F18
Pomegranate- Jane Bailey, 1976.
Box 1 Folder F19
Reflections on Color- Susan Roether, 1982.
Box 1 Folder F20
Reflections on Color (continued).
Box 1 Folder F21
Severson, Elizabeth Hartzell, 1983.
Box 1 Folder F22
Shooting Scripts- Adam Cornford, 1978.
Box 1 Folder F23
Shreds- Malles Meje, 1982.
Box 1 Folder F24
This flower!- Robert Sund, 1982.
Box 1 Folder F25
Weeding the Dutchess- Sarah Maclay, 1979.
Box 2 Folder F26
Posters & broadsides.
Box 2 Folder F27
Square Zero broadsides.
Box 2 Folder F28
Posterboard flats.
Box 2 Folder F29

By Client

American Library Association.
Box 2 Folder F30
Antin, Charles.
Box 2 Folder F31
Antin, Eleanor.
Box 2 Folder F32
The Asia Company.
Box 2 Folder F33
Philippe Bonnafont Gallery.
Box 2 Folder F34
Philippe Bonnafont Gallery (continued).
Box 2 Folder F35
Philippe Bonnafont Gallery (continued).
Box 2 Folder F36
Book Club of California.
Box 2 Folder F37
Brickers International Directory.
Box 2 Folder F38
Brick Row Book Shop.
Box 2 Folder F39
California Academy of Medicine.
Box 2 Folder F40
California Arts Council.
Box 2 Folder F41
City Hall Records Distribution.
Box 2 Folder F42
Lon Clark Association.
Box 2 Folder F43
College of Notre Dame.
Box 2 Folder F44
D'Allessandro, Pat.
Box 2 Folder F45
D'Allessandro, Pat - Penumbra.
Box 2 Folder F46
Doan, Mr. & Mrs. Leland.
Box 2 Folder F47
Gleeson Library Association.
Box 2 Folder F48
Hendrickson, H.
Box 2 Folder F49
Imago Handpaper Mill.
Box 2 Folder F50
Johnson, David.
Box 2 Folder F51
Nob Hill Association.
Box 2 Folder F52
North Point Gallery.
Box 2 Folder F53
Oyez Press.
Box 2 Folder F54
Richie, George.
Box 2 Folder F55
Rosenthal, Bernard.
Box 2 Folder F56
Roxburghe Club of San Francisco.
Box 2 Folder F57
San Francisco Art Commission.
Box 2 Folder F58
San Francisco Ecology Center.
Box 2 Folder F59
Stanford University.
Box 2 Folder F60
Sund, Robert.
Box 2 Folder F61
Team Edserv, Inc.
Box 2 Folder F62
Turtle Island Foundation.
Box 2 Folder F63
U.C. Berkeley.
Box 2 Folder F64
U.C. Berkeley (continued).
Box 2 Folder F65
University of California Press.
Box 2 Folder F66
Wayzgoose, 1979.
Box 2 Folder F67
Johnson Turnbull Vineyards.
Box 2 Folder F68
Zeller, Valaoritis, Kuznicki.
Box 2 Folder F69
Box 2 Folder F70
Box 2 Folder F71
Box 2 Folder F72
Box 2 Folder F73
Box 2 Folder F74
Box 2 Folder F75
Box 3 Folder F76
Box 3 Folder F77
1982 (continued).
Box 3 Folder F78

Aaron, Richard.
Box 3 Folder F79
Allen, Lewis.
Box 3 Folder F80
Auster, Paul.
Box 3 Folder F81
Bailey, Jane.
Box 3 Folder F82
Blazek, Douglas.
Box 3 Folder F83
Bly, Robert.
Box 3 Folder F84
Bowles, Paul.
Box 3 Folder F85
Brown, Paul.
Box 3 Folder F86
Burke, Jim.
Box 3 Folder F87
Carrington, Gabriel Weisz.
Box 3 Folder F88
Cherry Valley Editions.
Box 3 Folder F89
Codrescu, Andrei.
Box 3 Folder F90
Churry, Craig.
Box 3 Folder F91
Clifton, Merritt.
Box 3 Folder F92
Cornford, Adam.
Box 3 Folder F93
Digby, John.
Box 3 Folder F94
Dobb, Edwin.
Box 3 Folder F95
Estrin, Jerry.
Box 3 Folder F96
Flick, Steven.
Box 3 Folder F97
Ford, Charles Henri.
Box 3 Folder F98
Furguson, Frank.
Box 3 Folder F99
Box 3 Folder F100
Ginsberg, Allen.
Box 3 Folder F101
Goldbarth, Albert.
Box 3 Folder F102
Grillo, Paul.
Box 3 Folder F103
Hammer, Louis.
Box 3 Folder F104
Harkness, Edward.
Box 3 Folder F105
Harrold, William.
Box 3 Folder F106
Hart, Howard.
Box 3 Folder F107
Helman, Cecil.
Box 3 Folder F108
Hubenthal, Mahlon.
Box 3 Folder F109
Johnson, Dana William.
Box 3 Folder F110
Koch, Michael.
Box 3 Folder F111
Landes-Levi, Louise.
Box 3 Folder F112
Leale, B.C.
Box 3 Folder F113
Lee, Bruce.
Box 3 Folder F114
Levine, Philip.
Box 3 Folder F115
Long, David.
Box 3 Folder F116
McElroy, Jackie.
Box 3 Folder F117
Magorian, James.
Box 3 Folder F118
Malanga, Gerard.
Box 3 Folder F119
Mansour, Joyce.
Box 3 Folder F120
Marcus, G. Karl.
Box 3 Folder F121
Miles, Milo.
Box 3 Folder F122
Montague, Tony.
Box 3 Folder F123
Nations, Opal.
Box 3 Folder F124a
Nations, Opal - publications.
Box 3 Folder F124b
Nord, Carolann.
Box 3 Folder F125
Norse, Harold.
Box 3 Folder F126
Parlatore, Anselm.
Box 3 Folder F127
Petty, Ryan.
Box 3 Folder F128
Piper, Paul.
Box 3 Folder F129
Plymell, Charles.
Box 3 Folder F130
Poage, Michael.
Box 3 Folder F131
Poage, Michael (continued).
Box 3 Folder F132
Potts, Charlie.
Box 4 Folder F133
Robbins, Doren.
Box 4 Folder F134
Shatis, G./Bardo Matrix.
Box 4 Folder F135
Shukofsky, Eileen.
Box 4 Folder F136
Stainton, Albert.
Box 4 Folder F137
Taylor, Tom.
Box 4 Folder F138
Thomas, Dave.
Box 4 Folder F139
Todd, Patrick.
Box 4 Folder F140
Valaoritis, Nanos & Marie Wilson.
Box 4 Folder F141
Van Sickle, Dirck.
Box 4 Folder F142
Vega, Janine Pommy.
Box 4 Folder F143
Wilson, Marie (See F141, Valaoritis).
Box 4 Folder F144
Wechsler, Soshana.
Box 4 Folder F145
Weisz, Paul (Pablo).
Box 4 Folder F146
White, Cynthia.
Box 4 Folder F147
Whitson, Peter.
Box 4 Folder F148
Wood, Wilbur.
Box 4 Folder F149
Yenne, Bill.
Box 4 Folder F150
Young, Gary.
Box 4 Folder F151
Zawadiwsky, Christine.
Box 4 Folder F152
Zeller, Ludwig.
Box 4 Folder F153
Other Correspondence: A-D.
Box 4 Folder F154
Other Correspondence: E-H.
Box 4 Folder F155
Other Correspondence: I-P.
Box 4 Folder F156
Other Correspondence: Q-Z.
Box 4 Folder F157

Scope and Contents

Includes grant proposals, bank records, and other business documents related to operation of Black Stone Press.

Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines (CCLM), 1976-1977.
Box 4 Folder F158
CCLM, 1979-1979.
Box 4 Folder F159
CCLM Editors' Fellowship, 1979.
Box 4 Folder F160
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), 1977-1978.
Box 4 Folder F161
NEA, 1978-1979.
Box 4 Folder F162
NEA, 1980-1981.
Box 4 Folder F163
Montana Grants.
Box 4 Folder F164
Contributor Lists.
Box 4 Folder F165
Montana Writers Co-op.
Box 4 Folder F166
Box 4 Folder F167
Distribution and Advertisements.
Box 4 Folder F168
Distribution and Advertisements (continued).
Box 4 Folder F169
Sales & Property Taxes.
Box 4 Folder F170
Licences & Permits.
Box 4 Folder F171
Box 4 Folder F172
Fictitious Name Statements.
Box 4 Folder F173
Box 4 Folder F174
Accounts Payable, 1975-1976.
Box 4 Folder F175
Accounts Receivable, 1975-1976.
Box 4 Folder F176
Accounts Payable, 1977.
Box 4 Folder F177
Accounts Receivable, 1977.
Box 5 Folder F178
Accounts Payable, 1978.
Box 5 Folder F179
Accounts Receivable, 1978.
Box 5 Folder F180
Bank Statements, 1974-1975.
Box 5 Folder F181
Bank Statements, 1976.
Box 5 Folder F182
Bank Statements, 1976 (continued).
Box 5 Folder F183
Bank Statements, 1977.
Box 5 Folder F184
Bank Statements, 1977 (continued).
Box 5 Folder F185
Bank Statements, 1977 (continued).
Box 5 Folder F186
Bank Statements, 1978 (Western Montana).
Box 5 Folder F187
Bank Statements, 1978 (Western Montana, continued).
Box 5 Folder F188
Bank Statements, 1978 (Hibernia).
Box 5 Folder F189
Other business records, 1975-1981.
Box 5 Folder F190

Scope and Contents

Books that remain with the collection are indicated with an asterisk (*). All others have been cataloged and transferred to the printed holdings of Special Collections.

Deadstart: a Journal of Letters, Design and Typographical Printmaking, 1980.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Two copies. (one copy)*

Montana Gothic #1, Fall 1974.
Montana Gothic #2, Spring 1975.
Montana Gothic #3, Fall 1975.
Montana Gothic #4, Spring 1976.
Montana Gothic #5, Winter 1977.
Montana Gothic #6, Fall 1977.
Bailey, Jane. Pomegranate. Missoula, Montana: Black Stone Press, 1976.
Bessac, Susanne and Jo Rainbolt. Notes on Traditional Hmong Culture from Montana Hmong Recollections. Missoula, Montana: Missoula Museum of the Arts, (no date).
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Designed by Peter Koch.*

Bessac, Susanne. Persian Rugs. Missoula, Montana: Missoula Museum of the Arts, 1977.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Designed and printed by Peter Koch.*

California Private Academic Libraries. Striking Research Gold: Distinguished Collections in California Independent Academic Libraries, 1988.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Designed and printed by Peter Koch.*

Colette. Cheri. San Francisco: George F. Ritchie, 1983.
Scope and Contents

Designed and printed by Peter Koch.

Cornford, Adam. Shooting Scripts. Missoula, Montana: Black Stone Press, 1978.
Scope and Contents

Two copies, hard- and softcover.

Dinnean, Lawrence. Les Jeunes: An Account of Some Fin de Siecle San Francisco Authors and Artists. San Francisco: The Friends of the Bancroft Library, 1980.
Scope and Contents

Designed and printed by Peter Koch.

Farmer, David and Rennard Strickland. A Trumpet of Our Own. San Francisco: The Book Club of California, 1981.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Designed and printed by Peter Koch.*

Highsmith, David. Poison in the System. San Francisco: Black Stone Press, 1979.
Scope and Contents

Two copies, hard- and softcover.Two copies, hard- and softcover.

Meje, Malles. Shreds. San Francisco: Beatrice Love Kaukonen, 1982.
Scope and Contents

Designed and printed by Peter Koch.

Morris, Charles Kendrick. Near the Ocean's Edge. San Francisco: Charles Kendrick Morris, 1982.
Scope and Contents

Designed and printed by Peter Koch.

Maclay, Sarah. Weeding the Dutchess. San Francisco: Black Stone Press, 1979.
Scope and Contents

Two copies, hard- and softcover.

Nations, Opal L. The Marvels of Professor Pettingruel. Missoula, Montana: Black Stone Press, 1978.
Scope and Contents

Two copies, hard- and softcover.

Penzi, James. Salt Fever. San Francisco: Isthmus Press, 1976.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Gift from author to Koch.*

Poage, Michael. Born. Missoula, Montana: Black Stone Press, 1975.
Poage, Michael. Five Poems. San Francisco: Black Stone Press, 1980.
Poage, Michael. Handbook of Ornament. San Francisco: Black Stone Press, 1979.
Poage, Michael. Wings of Hair. Missoula, Montana: Black Stone Press, 1978.
Pond, Kate. ABC XYZ. San Francisco: Black Stone Press, 1980.
Roether, Susan. Reflections on Color. San Francisco: Black Stone Press, 1982.
Silberg, Richard. The Reckoning. San Francisco: Black Stone Press, 1979.
Sund, Robert. This flower! La Conner: The Great Blue Heron Society, 1982.
Scope and Contents

Designed and printed by Peter Koch.

Thomas, David. Fossil Fuel. Missoula, Montana: The Montana Writer's Cooperative, 1977.
Scope and Contents

Designed and printed by Peter Koch

Print, Suggest