Two Cas Poetry Linkages

Frederick J. Mayer


I designed the INTERNATIONAL CLARK ASHTON SMITH POETRY AWARD (1978-1985) which was presented yearly down in Southern California at "Fantasy Faire."

 picture #1
picture #1

The image of Smith on the actual award(s) (see picture #1) was a combination of my take on another artist's portrait drawing of him that I had seen on the back of a CAS book I had (see picture #1a) and various images of some of his artwork/scuptures I felt were good representations of the award's various sub-divisions weaved and woven into it. Sorry to say, they don't come out to well here as the image is blown up from the small picture inside the JBP book released in 1979 (see picture #2)

picture #1a
picture #1a

Then, the pen and ink drawing of mine was printed onto this dark flame redish, unusually reflective, seemingly dimensional material that we bought out the entire stock the printer had remaining when he told us it wouldn't be produced again. Most everthing about the actual physical award was, at first, all done by hand (including the writing of the "winner's" name on it)...a way of honoring Smith's artwork/sculpture work.

I don't have one of the original awards with me here in Korea, so I enlarged an existing image of the picture that was printed inside Joseph Payne Brennan's book of verse WEBS OF TIME. Brennan was the first person to be presented the "Life Achievement" division of the ICASPA.

I have provided the only picture I have of the actual award and it is of H. Warner Munn holding his ICASPA (which can give you an overall idea of the physical aspects of the award...see picture #3). This picture was from his poetry volume entitled THE BOOK OF MUNN. Munn was given the award from its "Book of Eibon" section (basically Dark Fantasy).

picture #3
picture #3

The ICASPA ceased to be presented because the long running and respected S-F/Fantasy convention that hosted the presentation ended (1985) due to the death of its co-founder Bill Crawford. And, no one involved felt right, at that time, to continue the award somewhere else because Bill and his convention were such a wonderful supporter.


I wrote the "Introduction" and did the cover art of J.P.Brennan's WEBS OF TIME (see picture #4), which came out under his own publishing organization "Macabre House." And, at that time, it was considered a quality and well respected "small press" publisher of others' works.

picture #4

For reasons I won't get into here, I was eventually asked by Brennan to do the whole design of his book. I changed the earlier physical design into something, in my mind, at least, that indirectly honored CAS (and, in a way, reflected an influence on a "young" poet, me, by him, partly because I had become so enthralled by everything Smith).

WEBS OF TIME near total overall physical design and presentation I copied straight from that of Smith's book of verse, STAR TREADER AND OTHER POEMS. It is more Smith's publisher Robertson etc concept true, but that was not the way I saw or felt it then (1978-1979). Everything from overall shape size and design, outside cover execution, putting an illustrated page boarder inside the book (see picture by Vandy Van Der Vort, this is probably a mis-spelling of her name)...even down to putting an autographed photo of the author/poet inside it (at least in the hand numbered first one hundred copies).

picture #2

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