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VOL. I ... NO. I
February 28, 1979
The University of North Carolina-Asheville
Poetry, Fiction, News, Essays, Trivia
Photo by Ralph Burns
This publication did not have humble aspirations. Acftually, it wanted
to be UNC-A’s established art and literary magazine. Images. Images,
however is in a state of bankruptcy this year and all that’s left of it can
best be described by the name of it’s replacement—The Rag and Bone
The title is taken from a line in the poem, “The Circus Animals’
Desertion,” by William Butler Yeats. In it, the poet reviews characters
and symbols he had used throughout his literary career to find that they
no longer work for him. In discarding his familiar body of imagery, the
poet wonders where he will find new inspiration, and finds it in his
Those masterful images because complete.
Grew pure in mind, but of what began?
A mound of refuse or the sweeping of the street.
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can.
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut,
Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder’s gone,
I must lie down where all the ladders start,
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.
Although the material within this issue could never hope to fully qualify
its lofty title, I think you will find some of it excellent and most of it at
least competent. This is no apology. We are a student publication and are
proud to be part of an artistic process.
In the future we would like to present a more thematic selection of
poetry and prose accompanied by critical material and more coordinated
and extensive artwork. This means we need more submissions. Students,
faculty, staff and community members are urged to respond. We’ll
assemble it, if you just get it to us . . . handwritten, typed, glyphed, and
even on paper napkin via carrier pigeon.
The entire UNC-A Literature Department,:.has been of considerable
inspirational help in this venture, especially the workshops and classes
conducted by Nelljean McConeghey, Paul Rice and Michael Gillum.
Those of us most involved with this publication have developed our
literary sea-legs under the direction of this department.
In seeking a way to publicize student interest in creative writing, it
seemed that without the financial backing of Images, we would have to
resort to mimeographed hand-outs, at one point. However, the editor of
the student newspaper Maureen Bigelow, enthusiastically offered us
monthly space as a supplement to The Ridgerunner. This generous offer
fostered an exploding number of possibilities best exemplified by the
RRI Here’s your filing cabinet and desk.
RB: Oh. Thank you, that’s really good. I thought perhaps I’d be working
out of my car and have to ask for submissions care of N.C. EPC663.
RR: The layout tables are downstairs.
RRI Yeah, after we get everything composed, we use the big room
downstairs with the long tables and take about a day or so to...
RB: Exacto-knives, rubber cement. Oh God. The roar of the greasepaint:
the smell of the crowd.
RR: What’s wrong?
RB: Well, I’ve never really done this kind of thing before, you know. I
mean, worked closely with the technical aspects of a publication. The
closest I get is typing term papers and they’re usually returned with
suggestions to proofread more carefully.
RR: Don’t worry. We’ll help with layout. Now,about graphics. I have a
list of about two-hundred typesets you can choose from for
RBJI was more thinking about one simple easily identifiable print—some
thing elegant, but not pompous; artistic, but not artsy—you know,
like the New Yorker.
RR: Yeah. Well take a look at these though. You can use, say, typesets
like: “Playbill” or “Broadway” for theatre reviews . . . “Hairpin
Hairline” for humor . . . “Microgramma Bold” for features, in any
point size, of course . . ;
RB: Yeah, and “Folio Light” for poetry or maybe “Parisian” . . . ooooh
isn’t that nice! ... point size?
Not only did we find support on campus, but in the community as
well. Jean Penland, of The Arts Journal has not only contributed
artwork, but offered to accompany me to the printers to act as a buffer
between my ignorance and their technology. Ralph and Brigid Burns of
Iris photographic studio have offered photographs and invaluable layout
advise. Mr. Jim Bily, the typesetter rendered calm, professional patient
assistance in the face of my fish-mouthed incomprehension of
Before closing, I would like to digress. I have always been astounded
at the power of words—intangible as they are, they have caused people to
kill, to build, anger, soothe and sometimes love. As children, my brother
and I would disagree. They were usually boundary disputes. (“This is my
half; cross this line and you’re dead.”) After a violation, my brother
would defend his position with physical brutality and I with verbal
brutality. I would couple his name with ignoble rhymes and chant, “.. .
moron . . . moron,” at him. He has not forgotten the words, and I can
barely remember the punches. So, give us your words—poetry, short
stories, short plays, essays. The Rag and Bone Shop is open for business.