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Poetry from York County’s Lee Anderson

Title page of Prevailing Winds

In my recent York Sunday News column on nationally known poet and York County resident Lee Anderson, I noted his method of composing, and reading, a poem like a symphony. In this short example below from his poem Prevailing Winds, you can see how he laid out the words on a page, aiding the reader in reading the poem aloud, which is how Anderson stressed poetry should always be read.

First page of poem, Prevailing Winds

A brochure put out by his Shrewsbury literary agent, Carlyle Mitzell, promoting Anderson as a poet and lecturer, states:

Said by critics to be the only poet known to cast his work in a form suggesting that of the classical symphony. His use of language has been characterized as musically oriented also. And his originality has been recognized in other areas of poetic creation, most notably in imagery which he tempers not exclusively for the eye but for all the senses, especially sound.

(Carlyle Mitzell was a reporter for the Gazette and Daily newspaper and also a brother of actor Cameron Mitchell. Here is a link to Jim McClure’s York Town Square blog with Mitzell family information.)

Only 150 copies of the large-format 41-page Prevailing Winds were printed. The reverse of the title page states that “… 50 of which were printed on hand-made Tuscany and the remaining 100 on mould-made Laverstoke, imported by the Stevens-Nelson Paper Corporation.” With such a small run on special paper, production costs must have been substantial. The printer, William E. Rudge’s Sons, was known for fine printing. I don’t know what the original price was per volume, but the asking price of each of several used copies online is significant. The copy that was donated to the York County History Center some years ago was probably Anderson’s own copy.

Lee Anderson at his Potosi farm

More later on Anderson’s own printing business, a commercial venture that helped support his writing of poetry.

Here is more about Anderson’s Shrewsbury Press printing business.