University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Black Stone Press Archive

1974 - 1984

Manuscript Collection Number: 316
Accessioned: Purchases 1989, 1992
Extent: 5 linear ft. and oversize material
Content: Letters, business records, broadsides, posters, galleys, and printed emphemera.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: May 1995 by Colette Walker.

for reference assistance email Special Collections
or contact:

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

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.

*See Peter Koch: Recent Work.


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.

Note: Biographical information has also been derived from material in the collection.

Scope and Content Note

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.

Series Outline

                          Series List
I.   Printed Material
     1.   Journals
          -  Montana Gothic
          -  Deadstart
     2.   Books
     3.   Broadsides
     4.   Instructional Materials
     5.   Job Printing
          -  By Client
          -  By Year

II.  Correspondence

III. Business Records

     1.   Grant Proposals
     2.   Other Business Records

III. Published Books and Journals

     1.   Journals
     2.   Books

Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

1         Series I.  Printed Material
          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.

          Series I.1.  Journals  

     F1   Montana Gothic #1

     F2   Montana Gothic #2

     F3   Montana Gothic #3

     F4   Montana Gothic #4

     F5   Montana Gothic #4 (continued)

     F6   Montana Gothic #5

     F7   Montana Gothic #6

     F8   Montana Gothic Headlines and Cover Art

     F9   Montana Gothic - Bruce Lee artwork

     F10  Deadstart

          Series I.2.  Books (dates following titles indicate publication dates) 

     F11  ABC XYZ (1980) - Kate Pond

     F12  Five Poems (1980) - Michael Poage

     F13  Handbook of Ornament (1979) - Michael Poage

     F14  Handbook of Ornament (continued)

     F15  Harris, Paul (artist's book, not completed)

     F16  Marvels of Professor Pettingruel (1978) - Opal Nations

          Series I.2. Books (continued) 

1    F17  Near the Ocean's Edge (1982) - Charles Morris     

     F18  Poison in the System (1979) - David Highsmith

     F19  Pomegranate (1976) - Jane Bailey

     F20  Reflections on Color (1982) - Susan Roether

     F21  Reflections on Color (continued)

     F22  Severson, Elizabeth Hartzell (1983)

     F23  Shooting Scripts (1978) - Adam Cornford

     F24  Shreds (1982) - Malles Meje

     F25  This flower! (1982) - Robert Sund

2    F26  Weeding the Dutchess (1979) - Sarah Maclay

          Series I.3.  Posters & Broadsides 

     F27  Posters & broadsides

     F28  Square Zero broadsides

          Series I.4.  Printing Instruction 

     F29  Posterboard flats

          Series I.5.  Job Printing

          By Client

     F30  American Library Association

     F31  Antin, Charles

2    F32  Antin, Eleanor

     F33  The Asia Company

     F34  Philippe Bonnafont Gallery

     F35  Philippe Bonnafont Gallery (continued)

     F36  Philippe Bonnafont Gallery (continued)

     F37  Book Club of California

     F38  Brickers International Directory

     F39  Brick Row Book Shop

     F40  California Academy of Medicine

     F41  California Arts Council

     F42  City Hall Records Distribution

     F43  Lon Clark Association

     F44  College of Notre Dame

     F45  D'Allessandro, Pat

     F46  D'Allessandro, Pat - Penumbra

     F47  Doan, Mr. & Mrs. Leland

     F48  Gleeson Library Association

     F49  Hendrickson, H.

     F50  Imago Handpaper Mill

          Series I.5. Job Printing

          By Client (continued)

2    F51  Johnson, David

     F52  Nob Hill Association

     F53  North Point Gallery

     F54  Oyez Press

     F55  Richie, George

     F56  Rosenthal, Bernard

     F57  Roxburghe Club of San Francisco

     F58  San Francisco Art Commission

     F59  San Francisco Ecology Center

     F60  Stanford University

     F61  Sund, Robert

     F62  Team Edserv, Inc.

     F63  Turtle Island Foundation

     F64  U.C. Berkeley

     F65  U.C. Berkeley (continued)

     F66  University of California Press

     F67  Wayzgoose 1979

     F68  Johnson Turnbull Vineyards

     F69  Zeller, Valaoritis, Kuznicki

          Series I.5.  Job Printing

          By Year

2    F70  1975

     F71  1976

     F72  1977

     F73  1978

     F74  1979

     F75  1980

3    F76  1981

     F77  1982

     F78  1982 (continued)

          Series II.  Correspondence

     F79  Aaron, Richard

     F80  Allen, Lewis

     F81  Auster, Paul

     F82  Bailey, Jane

     F83  Blazek, Douglas

     F84  Bly, Robert

     F85  Bowles, Paul

     F86  Brown, Paul

     F87  Burke, Jim

          Series II.  Correspondence (continued)

3    F88  Carrington, Gabriel Weisz

     F89  Cherry Valley Editions

     F90  Codrescu, Andrei

     F91  Churry, Craig

     F92  Clifton, Merritt

     F93  Cornford, Adam

     F94  Digby, John

     F95  Dobb, Edwin

     F96  Estrin, Jerry

     F97  Flick, Steven

     F98  Ford, Charles Henri

     F99  Furguson, Frank

     F100 Garner,Sky

     F101 Ginsberg, Allen

     F102 Goldbarth, Albert

     F103 Grillo, Paul

     F104 Hammer, Louis

     F105 Harkness, Edward

     F106 Harrold, William

     F107 Hart, Howard

          Series II.  Correspondence (continued)

3    F108 Helman, Cecil

     F109 Hubenthal, Mahlon

     F110 Johnson, Dana William

     F111 Koch, Michael

     F112 Landes-Levi, Louise

     F113 Leale, B.C.

     F114 Lee, Bruce

     F115 Levine, Philip

     F116 Long, David

     F117 McElroy, Jackie

     F118 Magorian, James

     F119 Malanga, Gerard

     F120 Mansour, Joyce

     F121 Marcus, G. Karl

     F122 Miles, Milo

     F123 Montague, Tony

     F124a Nations, Opal

     F124b Nations, Opal - publications

     F125 Nord, Carolann

     F126 Norse, Harold

          Series II.  Correspondence (continued)

3    F127 Parlatore, Anselm

     F128 Petty, Ryan

     F129 Piper, Paul

     F130 Plymell, Charles

     F131 Poage, Michael

     F132 Poage, Michael (continued)

4    F133 Potts, Charlie

     F134 Robbins, Doren

     F135 Shatis, G./Bardo Matrix

     F136 Shukofsky, Eileen

     F137 Stainton, Albert

     F138 Taylor, Tom

     F139 Thomas, Dave

     F140 Todd, Patrick

     F141 Valaoritis, Nanos & Marie Wilson

     F142 Van Sickle, Dirck

     F143 Vega, Janine Pommy

     F144 Wilson, Marie (See F141, Valaoritis)

     F145 Wechsler, Soshana

     F146 Weisz, Paul (Pablo)

          Series II.  Correspondence (continued)

4    F147 White, Cynthia

     F148 Whitson, Peter

     F149 Wood, Wilbur

     F150 Yenne, Bill

     F151 Young, Gary

     F152 Zawadiwsky, Christine

     F153 Zeller, Ludwig

     F154 Other Correspondence:  A-D

     F155 Other Correspondence:  E-H 

     F156 Other Correspondence:  I-P

     F157 Other Correspondence:  Q-Z

          Series III.  Business Records

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

          Series III.1. Grant Proposals

     F158 Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines (CCLM) 1976-1977 

     F159 CCLM 1979-1979

     F160 CCLM Editors' Fellowship 1979

     F161 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) 1977-1978

     F162 NEA 1978-1979

          Series III.2. Other Business Records

4    F163 NEA 1980-1981

     F164 Montana Grants

     F165 Contributor Lists

     F166 Montana Writers Co-op

     F167 Subscriptions

     F168 Distribution and Advertisements

     F169 Distribution and Advertisements (continued)

     F170 Sales & Property Taxes

     F171 Licences & Permits

     F172 Deposits

     F173 Fictitious Name Statements

     F174 Leases

     F175 Accounts Payable 1975-1976

     F176 Accounts Receivable 1975-1976

     F177 Accounts Payable 1977

5    F178 Accounts Receivable 1977

     F179 Accounts Payable 1978

     F180 Accounts Receivable 1978

     F181 Bank Statements 1974-1975

     F182 Bank Statements 1976

          Series III.2. Other Business Records (continued)

5    F183 Bank Statements 1976 (continued)

     F184 Bank Statements 1977

     F185 Bank Statements 1977 (continued)

     F186 Bank Statements 1977 (continued)

     F187 Bank Statements 1978 (Western Montana)

     F188 Bank Statements 1978 (Western Montana, continued)

     F189 Bank Statements 1978 (Hibernia)

     F190 Other business records, 1975-1981

Series IV. Books and Journals (Box 5) 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. Series III.1. Journals Deadstart: a Journal of Letters, Design and Typographical Printmaking, 1980. 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. Series IV.2. Books 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). Designed by Peter Koch.* Bessac, Susanne. Persian Rugs. Missoula, Montana: Missoula Museum of the Arts, 1977. Designed and printed by Peter Koch.* California Private Academic Libraries. Striking Research Gold: Distinguished Collections in California Independent Academic Libraries, 1988. Designed and printed by Peter Koch.* Colette. Cheri. San Francisco: George F. Ritchie, 1983. Designed and printed by Peter Koch. Cornford, Adam. Shooting Scripts. Missoula, Montana: Black Stone Press, 1978. Two copies, hard- and softcover. Series IV.2. Books (continued) 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. Designed and printed by Peter Koch. Farmer, David and Rennard Strickland. A Trumpet of Our Own. San Francisco: The Book Club of California, 1981. Designed and printed by Peter Koch.* Highsmith, David. Poison in the System. San Francisco: Black Stone Press, 1979. Two copies, hard- and softcover. Meje, Malles. Shreds. San Francisco: Beatrice Love Kaukonen, 1982. Designed and printed by Peter Koch. Morris, Charles Kendrick. Near the Ocean's Edge. San Francisco: Charles Kendrick Morris, 1982. Designed and printed by Peter Koch. Maclay, Sarah. Weeding the Dutchess. San Francisco: Black Stone Press, 1979. Two copies, hard- and softcover. Nations, Opal L. The Marvels of Professor Pettingruel. Missoula, Montana: Black Stone Press, 1978. Two copies, hard- and softcover. Penzi, James. Salt Fever. San Francisco: Isthmus Press, 1976. 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. Designed and printed by Peter Koch. Thomas, David. Fossil Fuel. Missoula, Montana: The Montana Writer's Cooperative, 1977. Designed and printed by Peter Koch.
Back to the UD Special Collections Home Page

+ Return to List of Manuscript Finding Aids by Title

This page is maintained by Special Collections
Last modified: 01/19/11
  • UD Library Special Collections  •   181 South College Avenue  •   Newark, DE 19717-5267  •   USA
    Phone: USA +1 302-831-2229  •   ©2014