One of the first works featured in our Featured Collections post was a piece by Charles Bukowski, entitled, “It Catches my Heart in its Hands”. It was published by an acclaimed small press in New Orleans known for its elaborate publications and attention to detail.
The Loujon Press was founded by Jon Edgar and Louise "Gypsy Lou" Webb in 1960 on Royal Street in New Orleans's French Quarter. The Village Voice and the New York Times called the press one of the best of its day. The Outsider, the press's literary review,
featured writers Charles Bukowski and Allen Ginsberg among others. The press was a labor of love for this creative couple, with Gypsy Lou selling her paintings by day on the corner of St. Peter and Royal for 19 years to support themselves and the press.
In addition to “It Catches my Heart in its Hands”, the Loujon published another early poetry collection by Bukowski, Crucifix in a deathhand: new poems 1963-65.
The press also published two books by Henry Miller: Order and Chaos chez Hans Reichel, and Insomnia, or the Devil at Large. In 1965, the Webbs moved to Santa Fe, El Paso, then settled for a while at in Tucson, Arizona. They later moved the press to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Jon and Gypsy Lou Webb
Insomnia, or the Devil at Large
This limited edition artist book includes a portfolio of 12 calligraphic watercolors by Miller, his hand-written introduction detailing his courtship of Hoki Hiroko Tokuda, a young Japanese singer whom he had recently married, and many large photographs of the newlyweds. It is all housed inside the original treated wooden portfolio box with slide-out front cover and decorative inlay wooden. One of 385 copies, book signed and dated May 1, 1970 by Miller.
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside Special Collections has all four books published by the Loujon Press, and one issue of The Outsider.
For more information on the Loujon Press, please visit: