Sunday, October 28, 2007

Recalling the "Bard of Auburn" in the Sacramento Room

"Who was Clark Ashton Smith, and what were his ties to California literature?" were two of the topics discussed October 24 As Ray Johnson and Ardath Winterowd spoke about the Auburn poet and author before two dozen curious library patrons and local poets.

Moderator Tom Tolley offered a brief biography of the reclusive Smith and gave a background history of the pulp magazines the “Bard of Auburn” made his livelihood and popular reputation with before introducing Ray Johnson, who shared his life-long love of pulps and personal recollections of Smith and Auburn in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Ardath Winterowd, who designed their book “Shadows Seen and Unseen” and contributed original art, spoke on their collaboration and detailed the work involved in fashioning the book, which contains facsimiles of original manuscript pages of Smith’s poetry.

Mr. Johnson and a fellow collector provided rare pulp magazines and first edition books as well as two dozen original manuscript pages of poems by Clark Ashton Smith and one of his original paintings. The Sacramento Room displayed some of their rare Smith first editions, including two that were printed in Auburn by the local newspaper in very limited run, as well as other scarce material from the California Collection.

The display of Clark Ashton Smith books, poems, pulps and paintings will remain until November 15.

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