New York: The Spiral Press, 1961. Limited "Pamphlet Edition" Paperback. This limited fine press edition was produced by The Spiral Press to commemorate Robert Frost’s participation in the January 20, 1961 Inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. Most commonly seen are the 500 hardcover copies. Far scarcer are surviving examples of the “pamphlet edition”. Frost bibliographer Crane (A40, p.103) notes "A pamphlet edition from the same type [as the hardcover] was later printed for Holt as a keepsake for the dinner RF was given by President Kennedy's cabinet." The colophon of this "pamphlet edition" further clarifies "Eight hundred copies of this booklet have been made for those attending the reception given for Robert Frost by the members of the Cabinet of the United States."
“Pamphlet edition” underrates this large, handsome production, measuring 11.25 x 7.5 inches (28.6 x 19.1 cm), the string-bound contents printed in black, red, gold, and grey on laid paper with untrimmed edges. Included are the poems “Dedication” and “The Gift Outright” as well as Kennedy’s inaugural address. The presidential eagle was cut in wood especially for this publication by illustrator Fritz Kredel (1900-1973). The typography is credited to printer, publisher, typographer and Spiral Press founder Joseph Blumenthal (1897-1990).
Condition of this copy approaches near fine. The ivory paper wraps are entirely complete, marred only trivial wrinkling and minor soiling to the blank rear cover, which also shows a tiny nick to the lower fore edge. The contents are immaculate, with no marks, soiling, or discernible flaws.
On January 20th, 1961, American poet and four-time Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Lee Frost (1874-1963) became the first poet to read in the program of a U.S. Presidential inauguration. Frost openly supported Kennedy’s candidacy. After Kennedy won, he asked Frost to speak at his inauguration. Frost responded to the young President-elect: “If you can bear at your age the honor of being made President of the United States, I ought to be able at my age to bear the honor of taking some part in your inauguration.” Frost composed a new poem - “Dedication” - for the ceremony, but glare from the sun and snow famously prevented him from reading the sheet on which his poem was typed, so Frost instead recited “The Gift Outright” from memory. Item #006312