Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. Photography. MY FIRST THREE BOOKS is produced in an edition of 500 softcovers. Included in each book: an interview with Tony Towle by Leo Edelstein about Towle's first three books: Poems (1966), After Dinner We Take a Drive into the Night (1968) and North, winner of the Frank O'Hara Award (1970); Preface by John Yau; 18 photographs, taken by Hans Namuth at Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) where Towle was poet-secretary to Tatyana Grosman, founder of ULAE, several in color including a portrait of Tatyana Grosman, and black-and-white photos that include a still from Andy Warhol's "screen test" of Tony Towle; 12 poems written by Towle in the 1960s that are discussed in the interview; and a CD of Tony Towle reading the 12 poems included in the book that's in a pocket attached to the inside back cover.
As John Yau says in his preface: "...1974, when I moved to New York City and began meeting all the poets that I had been reading, including [Tony] Towle, who I quickly discovered was every bit as erudite, interesting, opinionated, funny, sharp, and charming as his elegant and mysterious poems...Towle was in the center of the world of New York poets and artists, not just in one or the other. For 17 years he worked at Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE), which made fine art prints by Jasper Johns, Jim Dine, Robert Rauschenberg, Lee Bontecou, James Rosenquist, and Barnett Newman. Towle knew everybody that was anybody...Together, the memories, photographs, and selection of early poems gathered in this book form an important contribution of what life was like in the New York poetry and art world in the last half of the 1960s...".
Tony Towle has been associated with the New York School of Poetry since 1963. His first major collection, North, published by Columbia University Press and with cover art by Jasper Johns, won the Frank O'Hara Award for 1970. He has been awarded grants and fellowships by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Poets Foundation, among others. Towle's poems and prose have accompanied the artwork of Lee Bontecou and Jean Holabird, and he is the author of exhibition catalogue essays for exhibitions by ULAE and such artists as Jim Dine and Jasper Johns. A native New Yorker, he has two grown children and lives in Tribeca with actress Diane Tyler. His latest collection is MY FIRST THREE BOOKS (Vehicle Editions, 2020).Author City: New York City, NY USA