Scope and Content of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: Sun & Moon Press Archive
Sun & Moon Press
Messerli, Douglas, 1947-
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0224
108.2 Linear feet
(165 archives boxes, 42 records cartons boxes, and 2 oversize folders)
Date (inclusive): 1939-2003 (bulk 1984-2000)
Abstract: Archives of the Sun & Moon Press, Douglas Messerli's "alternative" publishing venture, dedicated to experimental poetry, fiction
and drama. Sun & Moon Press was founded in 1976 in College Park, Maryland, and later relocated to Los Angeles. The bulk of
the materials document Sun & Moon's publishing activities from 1984-2000 and include correspondence, manuscripts, publishing
materials, and biographical information on writers and artists.
Scope and Content of Collection
Archives of the Sun & Moon Press, dedicated to experimental poetry, fiction and drama. Sun & Moon Press was founded by Douglas
Messerli in 1976 in College Park, Maryland, and later relocated to Los Angeles. The bulk of the materials document Sun & Moon's
publishing activities from 1984-2000 and include correspondence, manuscripts, publishing materials, and biographical information
on writers and artists.
Arranged in four series: 1) ADMINISTRATIVE AND PRODUCTION FILES, 2) FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CENTURY: A NEW AMERICAN POETRY,
3) GERTRUDE STEIN AWARDS, and 4) ADMINISTRATIVE AND PRODUCTION FILES.
In the winter of 1976 in an apartment in College Park, Maryland, Douglas Messerli founded the Sun & Moon Press (supported
by the Contemporary Arts Education Project, Inc.) and began the publication of the internationally recognized magazine
Sun & Moon, co-edited by his longtime partner, Howard Fox. In the magazine, Messerli and Fox published conceptual and language poetry,
mixed-media art, and the work of the New York Poets. During this time, as well, Messerli began publishing
Là-bas, a mimeographed, stapled "newsletter" of experimental poetry and poetics. Together, the magazines exhibited the work of writers
such as Bruce Andrews, Charles Bernstein, Russell Banks, Susan Howe, Ray DiPalma, Ted Greenwald, Bernadette Mayer, Barrett
Watten, Hannah Weiner, Tina Darragh, P. Inman, and others.
Là-bas ceased publication in 1978;
Sun & Moon ran until 1986.
In the late 1970s, Sun & Moon published chapbooks by Bernstein, DiPalma, and David Antin. By 1982 the small publishing house
had come into its own with the publication of Djuna Barnes'
Smoke and Other Early Stories, Russell Banks'
The Relation of My Imprisonment, and an important anthology of contemporary American fiction with selections written by Walter Abish, Steve Katz, Leslie
Scalapino, and Gilbert Sorrentino, to mention just a few.
Messerli, a writer in his own right, resigned his post as assistant professor of English at Temple University in 1983 to devote
himself full time to the press, which moved during the mid-1980s to its present Los Angeles location on Wilshire Boulevard
in the Gertrude Stein Plaza. To date, Sun & Moon has published more than 125 major works of drama, fiction and poetry and
has distributed another 400. Sun and Moon Press was awarded the prestigious Carey-Thomas Award for Creative Publishing in
1987 and has been awarded a number of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships.
In 1986, Messerli also initiated the Sun & Moon Classics series dedicated to the production of major texts in English and
in translation. The Classics series has published the work of Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, David Antin, Fanny Howe, the Flemish
modernist Stijn Streuvels, Norwegian novelist Tarjei Vesaas, Austrian writers Arthur Schnitzler and Heimito von Doderer, and
has another fifty books projected for publication in the years ahead.
Throughout the 1990s, Sun & Moon Press continued to publish individual innovative writers, such as Tarjei Vesaas and Lyn Hejinian,
as well as comprehensive anthologies of poetry and drama such as
From the Other Side of the Century, Volumes I and II, in 1994 and 1998, respectively. Green Integer Press, begun in 1997 and also founded and edited by Messerli
succeeded Sun & Moon Press in 2004, ending a nearly three decade long publishing project. However, Green Integer, in many
ways, picks up where Sun & Moon left off, publishing a number of the same authors and with a similar investment in innovative,
international poets and writers. Both presses reflect Messerli's commitment to recognizing significant, yet often overlooked
writers and works.
Sun & Moon Press Archive, MSS 224. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Acquired 1992, 1995, and 2000.
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Personally identifiable information is restricted.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Publishers and publishing -- United States
American poetry -- 20th century
Taggart, John, 1942- -- Correspondence
Major, Clarence -- Correspondence
Silliman, Ronald, 1946- -- Correspondence
Sherry, James -- Correspondence
Hejinian, Lyn -- Correspondence
Guest, Barbara -- Correspondence
Howe, Susan, 1937- -- Correspondence
Bernstein, Charles, 1950- -- Correspondence
Howe, Fanny -- Correspondence
Abish, Walter -- Correspondence
Waldrop, Rosmarie -- Correspondence
Antin, David -- Correspondence
Andrews, Bruce, 1948- -- Correspondence
Auster, Paul, 1947- -- Correspondence
Armantrout, Rae, 1947- -- Correspondence
DiPalma, Ray -- Correspondence
Greenwald, Ted -- Correspondence
Brownstein, Michael, 1943- -- Correspondence
Davidson, Michael, 1944- -- Correspondence
Sun & Moon Press -- Archives
Barnes, Djuna -- Correspondence
Acker, Kathy, 1948-1997 -- Correspondence
Messerli, Douglas, 1947- -- Archives