MCCLURE, Joanna. Wolf Eyes. San Francisco: Bearthm Press, 1974.
Small 8vo, decorative mustard card covers printed in black to covers and spine; matching dust wrapper; pp. [L]; tiny spot to upper cover; fine.
Limited edition of 1250 copies, this copy letter H of just 26 signed by the poet.
McClure began writing poetry in the 1950s, and it was during this time that she became associated with the Beat movement. In 1951 she moved to San Francisco, and in '54 she married Michael McClure, beat poet, playwright and novelist. Her work has been largely overshadowed by his writings ever since, the popularity of which escalated after he performed alongside Allen Ginsberg in the 1955 San Francisco Six Gallery reading, and he became one of Jack Kerouac's fictionalised characters The Dharma Bums and The Big Sur. Joanna's writing, however, while clearly influenced by this backdrop, has a more naturalistic feel, with themes drawn from nature such as wolves, flowers, and woodland creatures. It was late into the 50's when she began to publish her work in literary journals and chapbooks, and this, Wolf Eyes was to be her first book of poems.
Like many of her female Beat contemporaries, and American women writers in general throughout the 20th century, McClure wrote prolifically yet quietly year after year, even as her life shifted focus to a career in early childhood development and she and Michael divorced. "Poetry is where I keep company with myself," she writes.