Imagine my delight in taking a peek at the ZYZZYVA archive, at the Bancroft Library, UC-Berkeley.

An archivist has sorted through everything and arranged the material in folders—you’re allowed to take one out of the box at a time.

I was looking for early postcards and found 51 all told.

Plus letters from Kay Ryan indicating that it was she who discovered me, writing as soon as the first issue came out to see if she might submit.

And I loved (re)discovering the first “title” I thought might work: Nihil Obstat. The phrase means “nothing stands in the way,” and is the first step in having a book published under church auspices.  (The next step is the bishop’s “imprimatur”: let it be printed.)

I don’t think I shared the thought of Nihil Obstat with anyone.


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