[Currents headergraphic]

July 13, 1998

New endowment at University Library honors late poet/printmaker William Everson

by Barbara McKenna

"As a creative man the richest thing I can do is to write a poem, and the next is to print it." --William Everson

William Everson in 1992 with former students (l-r) Daniel Stolpe, Gary Young, Felicia Rice, and Peter Thomas

Master poet/printer William Everson (1912-1994) was a driving force in the explosive growth over the past 30 years in the production of artists' books--fine press books that fuse text, art, and the book arts of typography, papermaking, and binding. In a fitting tribute to the work of this eminent artisan, a nonprofit foundation has established an endowment at the University Library to expand its poetry and printmaking collection.

The gift of $20,000 comes to UCSC through the Kingfisher Flat Foundation of Santa Cruz, the nonprofit organization charged with overseeing Everson's literary estate and his legacy.

"The William Everson Endowment is created as a tribute to the late great Santa Cruz poet and master printer, who left his imprint upon the library, campus, and a generation of talented and grateful students," noted University Librarian Allan Dyson.

Among those former students are local printers Felicia Rice and Maureen Carey and poet/printer Gary Young; Carey and Young are both board members of the Kingfisher Flat Foundation. According to Young, "The board decided that the most fitting memorial to Bill would be to ensure in perpetuity the library's acquisition of new works of art by succeeding generations of poets and fine printers."

William Everson was a native Californian. He joined the Dominican brotherhood in 1951 and for two decades penned his poetry under the name of Brother Antoninus. When he shed his monk's robes in 1969, Everson came to live in Santa Cruz, where he remained until his death at the age of 81. He taught poetry at UC Santa Cruz between 1969 and 1978.

Everson also served as master printer of the world-renowned Lime Kiln Press, which was housed in and supported by the UCSC Library. UCSC Special Collections has an outstanding collection of works by and about William Everson, including the publications of the Lime Kiln Press and selections from Everson's personal library.

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