Vigilance Society Press


Some years ago, in 2006 I believe, I received a mysterious package in the mail, with two of my own poems published in a beautiful letterpress chapbook, cardstock sewn to what seemed to be scraps of fine-press paper. I was, of course, astonished. I had only ever read the poems in public once, and had never sent them out to be published. The booklet was ominously branded "Vigilance Society," with the injunction: "Speak of this to no one." I kept silent, but other publications followed over the years — eight in all — unannounced, anonymous, and postmarked from various locations throughout the country in a nomadic westward drift from upstate New York to the Pacific Northwest, with stops in the mountains of Colorado, the deserts of Nevada, and the cities of California in between.

Other authors I have contacted are equally inscient, or too afraid to talk. In all events, the booklets (and one broadside) are acts of beauty and terror, a kind of guerilla letterpress — or, simply, gifts (in Georges Bataille's sense of the word).

I have no way of knowing if this is a complete set. Were others published before I was added to the list? Have I now been excommunicated? (none have arrived for some time [EDITOR'S NOTE: Clutch and from Ondine have subsequently appeared (2012 and 2013, respectively)]). More will be archived if they appear.

If the publisher reads this, and objects to the press' inclusion in the archive, please contact the Editor.

Craig Dworkin:  All Saints

Rob Halpern:  Disaster Suite

C.J. Martin:  City

Michael Cross:  Cede

Eli Drabman:  from Daylight on the Wires

Eli Drabman:  Daylight on the Wires

Thom Donovan:  Our Insalvageable

Andrew Rippeon:  Priest

David Brazil:  Aevum

Richard Owens:  Clutch

Nella Holden:  from Ondine