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
Zephyrus Image was a small Northern California press operating from approximately 1969-1983, notable for its socially- and politically-subversive books and ephemera and its fine works on paper. The principals, Holbrook Teter and Michael Myers, were experimental in their use of form and materials and unorthodox in their distribution methods, often producing works for one-time use as giveaways, guerrilla art, or subversive advertising. Zephyrus Image planned and developed roughly 300 printed works of poetry and political and satirical books and ephemera, created for and in collaboration with a host of literary and artistic figures including Edward Dorn, Tom Raworth, William T. Wiley, Lucia Berlin, Stan Brakhage, and Robert Creeley. The press's creative output lay in two predominant areas: poetic works in the form of carefully constructed artists' books, booklets, broadsides, and pamphlets; and political and social commentary in the form of fliers, bumper stickers, business cards, flipbooks, miniature books, accordion books, surveys, wrappers, and folded paper.
Holbrook Teter and Michael Myers met in 1969 at Clifford Burke's Cranium Press, located on Collins Street in San Francisco. Teter was a social worker who took an interest in printing and began taking typesetting classes at Cranium. Myers was a book- and visual artist who had studied book arts under Walter Hamady and had become a skilled linoleum block cutter. For the majority of Zephyrus's output, Teter planned projects and set type, and Myers cut intricate and Art-Nouveau-inspired linoleum blocks as the press's visual artist.
At Collins Street, the two collaborated with Clifford Burke under the Cranium imprint, but also began creating works under the imprint "Zephyrous" which later became "Zephyrus Image." The two also formed Spring Creek Typesetting Service and Hermes Free Press: the former was used to generate income, and the latter served as a platform for charitable print jobs supporting social justice causes. Works under the Cranium imprint included Clifford Burke's various projects but also works for or in collaboration with Robert Creeley, Diane di Prima, Gino Clays Sky, and Lew Welch, among many others.
Under the Zephyrus imprint at Collins Street, early collaborators included poets Ed Dorn and Tom Raworth and photographer/artist Rob Rusk. A book of poetry, Will Fowler'sReds in town, was the press's first publication. Bean News was another early project, an unconventional newspaper that combined letters, articles, poems, puns, and rebuses while experimenting in art, typography, and layout. Poets Ed Dorn, Tom Raworth, Tom Clark, Jeremy Prynne, Michael McClure, Luis Garcia, and others submitted copy, and Bean News became an item of intrigue in the San Francisco small press community. Other Collins Street works included Totem Protectorates, an elaborately-fashioned book sent to each U.S. state senator imploring environmental advocacy, and the Richter Household Seismometer, a satirical piece of experimental ephemera. At Collins Street, Teter and Myers also began their long crusade against the politics of Richard Nixon with the Dick and Pat Fly-Swatter and Fan, a Bean News giveaway which could be assembled with a newspaper to achieve its namesake use.
In 1973, after a falling out with Burke, Teter and Myers moved the press to Geary Boulevard, also in San Francisco. Zephyrus Image collaborated with filmmaker Stan Brakhage onThe Seen, an ornately designed transcript of a lecture Brakhage delivered about his experimental use of light in filmmaking. Teter set type for artist William T. Wiley's first published book, Ship's Log. The printers produced packaging for their Gary Snyder Brand Pine Nuts in light mockery of the Synder's neo-tribalist ethos. These packages were filled with various nuts, aspirin, and other items and subversively hung on the racks in San Francisco convenience stores. At Geary, Zephyrus produced additional Nixon materials during the Watergate scandal that included rebus bumper stickers and satirical personal opinion polls.
In 1974, Teter and Myers traveled to Kent State University, where Ed Dorn was a poet-in-residence. The printers collaborated with Dorn, Joanne Kyger, Robert Creeley, Joel Oppenheimer, members of the band Devo, and others for the arts festival held that year, where they printed the works in remembrance of the Kent State massacre of 1970.
In 1976, Teter and Myers moved their operations out of the city to rural Healdsburg, California, where they lived and printed in a repurposed farmhouse and its outbuildings in a communal living experiment. Ed Dorn and his wife Jennifer also lived on the premises for a time. At Healdsburg, the press produced the first edition of Lucia Berlin'sManual for Cleaning Ladies, and also Tom Raworth's Common Sense. Zephyrus lampooned Black Mountain poet Charles Olson with their Folger's flipbook and derided Alice Hinton's Northern California conservative agenda with a series of ephemeral items. The printers also took up a number of social and environmental causes including opposition to the construction of the Warm Springs Dam as well as the "Plaza of the Flags" suburban gentrification in downtown Healdsburg. For the latter, they printed hundreds of paper "white blackbirds" to beleaguer the plaza developer.
Relationships at the Healdsburg farm grew strained. Teter and Ed Dorn ceased speaking with one another and even erected a barrier to separate their respective living areas. The Dorns left Healdsburg circa 1979, and Teter and Myers both had to take on additional external work in order to maintain the property expenses.
From its inception, and throughout all of its locations, Zephyrus produced commercial job work, working for various authors and poets on commission from various publishing houses. These works included Allen Ginsberg'sIndian Journals, Robert Bly's The 70's, and Robert Creeley's A Day Book. Other job work included Ed Dorn's most prominent work, Slinger; his never-published play Abiline! Abiline!; and his Recollections of Gran Apacheria, produced in collaboration with Turtle Island Foundation's Robert Callahan. Job work also included work for William T. Wiley, Rick London, and Tom Raworth, among many others.
In 1982, Myers died in a car accident. Teter closed the press circa 1983, returned to social work full-time, and allied himself with a number of social justice causes. He later wroteCentral America: at Home and Abroad (1991) about social justice reform in Central America. Teter died in 1999.
Johnston, Alastair, Michael Myers, Holbrook Teter, and Poltroon Press. 2003. Zephyrus Image : A Bibliography. Berkeley: Poltroon Press."Zephyrus Image: A Bibliography." Poltroon Press. Accessed December 2, 2019. http://www.poltroonpress.com/book/zephyrus-image-a-bibliography/.Other information derived from collection.
The Zephyrus Image records document the activities of the California press and its proprietors, Holbrook Teter and Michael Myers and their planning and development of roughly 300 printed works of poetry and political and satirical ephemera. Zephyrus Image projects were created for and in collaboration with a host of literary and artistic figures including Edward Dorn, Tom Raworth, William T. Wiley, Lucia Berlin, Stan Brakhage, and Robert Creeley.
The collection comprises numerous job files created at the press's Collins Street (circa 1969-1973), Geary Boulevard (1973-1976), and Healdsburg (circa 1975-1983), locations, as well as commercial job work created between 1970 and 1982. The collection also contains general and administrative records that include correspondence; photographs; press clippings and publicity; inspirational and source materials; grant applications; artwork by Michael Myers; exhibition ephemera, notebooks, and artwork by William T. Wiley; inventories of Zephyrus Image's output; and Holbrook Teter's later records created after the closing of the press circa 1983.
Series I. comprises job files created by the press at its three California locations, circa 1969-1983; the press's commercial job work from 1970-1982; and its undefined and/or unrealized projects circa 1966-1983. The series is arranged in nine subseries: I.A. Cranium Press (Collins Street); I.B. Collins Street publications; I.C. Collins Street ephemera; I.D. Geary Boulevard publications; I.E. Geary Boulevard ephemera; I.F. Healdsburg publications; I.G. Healdsburg ephemera; I.H. Job work 1970-1982; and I.I. Undefined and/or unrealized projects.
Zephyrus Image's creative output lay in two predominant areas: poetic works in the form of carefully constructed artists' books, booklets, broadsides, and pamphlets; and political and social commentary in the form of fliers, bumper stickers, business cards, flipbooks, miniature books, accordion books, surveys, wrappers, and folded paper. Throughout Series I, the majority of the projects are found in their published versions but also in various pre-publication states that include manuscripts, typescripts, drafts, mock-ups, layouts, dummies, galley-, page-, and reprographic-proofs, linocut prints, photographs, type specimen samples, calligraphy, freehand drawings, and other artwork.
The press's commercial job work (subseries I.H) is largely comprised of projects commissioned by external authors and publishers with typesetting by Teter and some design work by Myers. Additionally, job work included stationery and event ephemera produced for local organizations. The bulk of the job work contains both final publications and pre-publication print ephemera. All of the press's undefined and/or unrealized projects are in various states of pre-publication.
Series II. comprises Zephyrus Image's general and administrative records. The series is arranged into eight subseries: II.A. Correspondence; II.B. Photographs; II.C. Press clippings and publicity; II.D. Inspirational and source materials; II.E. Grant applications; II.F. Michael Myers artwork; II.G. William T. Wiley artwork, notebooks, and exhibition ephemera; and II.H. Zephyrus Image inventories.
Subseries II.A. contains Teter and Myers correspondence from 1971-1982. Notable correspondents include William S. Burroughs, Ed Dorn, Joanne Kyger, Joel Oppenheimer, and Tom Raworth. Other correspondence pertaining to specific projects is found within project files throughout the collection.
Subseries II.B. contains photographs by Ellen Mann and Rob Rusk. Ellen Mann's photographs were taken at the 1974 Kent State Arts Festival and include photos of Teter, Myers, Ed Dorn, and Robert Creeley. Rob Rusk photographs were taken predominantly at the press's Healdsburg location and include photos and negatives of various printing equipment, Zephyrus Image projects including Michael Myers' cut linoleum blocks, and numerous photos of Teter and Myers.
Subseries II.C. contains press clippings and publicity predominantly from Healdsburg newspapers. Topics of the news stories included Teter and Myers' recognition as "fine printers" for their work on William T. Wiley'sShip's Log; the press's receiving a NEA grant; and the controversy surrounding the "Plaza of the Flags" development in Healdsburg.
Subseries II.D. contains photographs, printed images, newspaper and magazine clippings, and other ephemera used by Teter and Myers as inspirational and source materials.
Subseries II.E. contains Zephyrus Image's NEA grant applications from 1974-1976, applications for grants by the California Arts Council in 1976; and other grant related materials.
Subseries II.F. comprises Michael Myers artwork that includes two artists' books he produced under the supervision of Walter Hamady,Kali-Ope (1968) and East Bay Moon Beams (1969); art Myers created for the San Francisco Oracle newspaper; and other early works. The series also includes Myers linocut prints and proofs, pencil and ink drawings, napkin art, and experimental books.
Subseries II.G. comprises William T. Wiley artwork, notebooks, and exhibition ephemera created from 1960-1994. Items of note include two original artworks, "Bullseye Sea Doubt," and "Outside it was raining…" as well as three of the artist's notebooks dated 1968-1971. Subseries II. H. contains inventories of Zephyrus Image's output created or commissioned by Teter both during its years in operation and after the closure of the press.
Series III., Later records, comprises records related to Zephyrus Image and Holbrook Teter after the closing of the press circa 1983. These consist of Teter's 1991 publication,Central America: at Home and Abroad; Teter's 1999 funeral program; and Zephyrus Image exhibition ephemera.
Box 1-8: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons
Box 9: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (17 inches)
Box 10: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (18 inches)
Box 11: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (18 inches)
Box 12: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (20 inches)
Box 13: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (24 inches)
Box 14-17: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize galleys
Box 18: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscripts boxes (3 inches)
Oversize folder 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize mapcases
The text of this webpage is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Purchase, 2008-2009. Gift of Peter Howard, 2010.
Processed and encoded by Dustin Frohlich, May-November, 2019.
- Teter, Holbrook
- Myers, Michael, 1948-1982
- Burke, Clifford
- Dorn, Edward
- Raworth, Tom
- Rusk, Robert
- Bly, Robert
- Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005
- Di Prima, Diane
- Welch, Lew
- Brakhage, Stan
- Wiley, William T., 1937-
- Snyder, Gary, 1930-
- McClure, Michael
- Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997
- Berlin, Lucia
- Burroughs, William S., 1914-1997
- Oppenheimer, Joel, 1930-1988
- London, Rick
- Kyger, Joanne
- Sky, Gino
- Authors, American--20th century
- Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
- Authors and publishers--20th century
- Book industries and trade--United States--History--20th century
- Graphic design (Typography)--United States--History--20th century
- Kent State Arts Festival (1974 : Kent State University)
- Linoleum block printing
- Linoleum block printing (American)
- Poets, American--20th century
- Poets, American--20th century--Correspondence
- Printing--United States--History--20th century
- Private presses
- Private Presses--United States--History--20th century
- Privately printed books
- Publishers and publishing
- Typesetting--United States
- Artists' books
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2019 November 12
- 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 Department, University of Delaware Library, https://library.udel.edu/static/purl.php?askspec
All Cranium Press, Collins Street, Geary Boulevard, and Healdsburg publications and ephemera are arranged alphabetically by author or project name within each subseries. Job work is arranged chronologically by year, then alphabetically by author and/or project name. Undefined or unrealized projects are arranged alphabetically by author and/or project name.
Contains letter by Allen Ginsberg regarding "Free Poem" project. Ginsberg submitted a letter regarding the trial of Wilbur Minzey for printing by Cranium.
Contains correspondence by members of the band Devo.
Contains signed typescript poem of a letter by Allen Ginsberg.
This folder also contains several poetry typescripts by Lea.