Robert A. Wilson and the Phoenix Bookshop

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Robert Alfred Wilson (1922- ), Tea with Alice (New York: Phoenix Bookshop, 1978). One of 250 copies issued as a holiday greeting, with Wilson’s notes, his correspondence, and eventual personal call on Alice B. Toklas. Also includes a photograph of Toklas and a facsimile of a note in her hand.


Robert A. Wilson ran the Phoenix Bookshop in Greenwich Village from 1962 to 1988. He is the bibliographer of Gertrude Stein, Gregory Corso, and Denise Levertov, as well as the publisher of forty-three books including the work of Gertrude Stein, Marianne Moore, W.H. Auden, Allen Ginsberg, Elizabeth Bishop, and Richard Wilbur. His autobiography is entitled Seeing Shelley Plain (2001).

Each year at this time, Wilson self-published small chapbooks as holiday greetings, sent to a mailing list of around 300 colleagues and customers. Our copies came to Princeton as gifts of Edward Naumburg (1903-1995), who was an American stockbroker, rare books and manuscripts collector, and member of the Princeton Class of 1924.

Robert Alfred Wilson (1922- ), Auden’s Library (New York: Phoenix Bookshop, 1975). Issued as a holiday greeting recounting Wilson’s purchase of books from W.H. Auden before Auden left New York. There is a facsimile of a brief holograph noted from Auden.

Robert Alfred Wilson (1922- ), Rider Haggard’s “She” (New York: Phoenix Bookshop, 1977). One of 300 copies issued as a holiday greeting.

Robert Alfred Wilson (1922- ), Faulkner on Fire Island (New York: Phoenix Bookshop, 1979). One of 250 copies issued as a holiday greeting, with an account of his discovery of the original typescript of Faulkner’s first novel, together with the manuscripts of unpublished poems and stories.

Robert Alfred Wilson (1922- ), Mushrooms (New York: Phoenix Bookshop, 1981). One of 300 copies issued as a holiday greeting with a text on hunting for mushrooms and five drawings by Kenneth J. Doubrava.

Robert Alfred Wilson (1922- ), Six Favorites (New York: Phoenix Bookshop, 1982). One of 300 copies issued as a holiday greeting with typography and layout by Kenneth J. Doubrava.

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I was a Customer, Friend of Bob Wilson. I Live in Brooklyn, New York. But, The Phoenix Book Shop was a regular haunt of mine as I was a Big Book Collector. I also once did some repairs in his Brownstone when I moon-lighted doing maintenance work. Do you know if Bob Wilson is still alive? and where he is...i'd like to try to contact him. If Possible