The special collections and rare books department at the SFU library now has a substantial assemblage of Rimmer’s output, including printing, art and type design work, manuscripts, printers’ dummies, and various “backgrounders” (contextual analyses provided by Rimmer). The new material joins the books, broadsides, and linoleum blocks for printing already in the collection.
Included in the recent aquisition is a copy of an Allen Ginsberg proposed chapbook called Reflections at Lake Louise and a sheet of music called “Do the Meditation Rock,” with words and music by Ginsberg. The manuscript contains the handwritten annotation “second proofs” with suggested revisions initialled by Ginsberg.
In 1982 Rimmer had been commissioned by Jim McIntosh of Vancouver’s Colophon Books to print the chapbook, but his notes, or backgrounders, graphically describe his frustration in dealing with Ginsberg’s endless demands. Eventually Rimmer threw all the type into a “hell box” and the project was never completed.
Under his Pie Tree Press imprint, Rimmer has published two books and done much of the work toward completing a third. He decides which books to publish based on those books he has enjoyed reading during his leisure hours.
Rimmer says Pie Tree Press is named after “an ancient snagly old tree in our backyard, from which a couple of lovely old sister ladies who used to live next door to us would bake apple pies. They always referred to it as the Pie Tree.”