Founded in 1951 by poet and publisher Jonathan Williams (1929–2008), the Jargon Society was a product of surprising confluences, such as Williams’s attendance at Black Mountain College in the early 1950s, where he encountered Charles Olson as a teacher. Through his time at the College, and in his subsequent efforts that kept the communal energies of Black Mountain alive after the dissolution of the school, Williams was at the epicenter of an important and influential artistic community in the 1950s. This included many of the most experimental poets, painters, composers, dancers, and thinkers of the era that he would soon publish, such as Robert Creeley and Charles Olson, long before anyone heard mention of the New American Poetry.
The Jargon Society Collection comprises over 150 items and provides a comprehensive, representative overview of the Press’s output. The collection includes many landmark Jargon publications, including Some Time by Louis Zukofsky, Lunar Baedeker & Time-Tables by Mina Loy, Poemscapes by Kenneth Patchen, Letters by Robert Duncan, Will West by Paul Metcalf (his first book), Overland to the Islands by Denise Levertov, and All That is Lovely in Men by Robert Creeley with drawings by Dan Rice, to name a few.
The collection has sold. The illustrated prospectus is available here.