the sundial press
Currently being updated

Littleton POWYS Llewelyn POWYS Philippa POWYS T.F. POWYS Forrest REID

Adrienne HOWELLRoger NORMANDavid TippingPeter TAIT



Rosemary TIMPERLEYA. N. L. MUNBYChristopher

December 2021

The Powyses AND
Literary New York

ray crozier, patchin place, the powyses and literary new york, llewelyn powys, john cowper powys, sundial press


Price: 14.50 Format: softback ISBN-13: 978-1-908274-64-9

Book Dimensions: 210 x 148 mm — 332 + x pages Publication Date:  December 2021

At last! PATCHIN PLACE will be published late this month.

PATCHIN PLACE is a short alley containing only ten nineteenth-century dwellings in the heart of Greenwich Village, New York City, used as rooming houses and apartments. It has changed remarkably little since it was built and is a popular attraction for tourists as well as a site of pilgrimage for admirers of the writers e. e. cummings and Djuna Barnes, who were long-term residents, living there for 38 years and 42 years respectively. John Reed lodged there when he wrote Ten Days That Shook the World, his eye-witness account of the Russian revolution. Indeed, it has been home to a remarkable number of writers, particularly during the early years of the twentieth century when the Village was the centre of American bohemianism and at the heart of developments in modernist literature.

Devotees of John Cowper Powys and Llewelyn Powys are aware that the brothers lived in Patchin Place in the 1920s. John Cowper set up home there with Phyllis Playter for the first time, and Llewelyn met both his future wife Alyse Gregory and his lover Gamel Woolsey there. Their sister, Marian Powys, had set up a successful lace business in Manhattan and was a frequent visitor. Their time in the alley was significant for their writing careers. This was due  in part to the connections they formed through the small literary magazines, particularly The Little Review and its ‘foreign editor’ Ezra Pound, and The Dial, where Gregory was briefly managing editor. Cummings was John Cowper’s neighbour in the top floor of number 4.

This is the first book to be dedicated to Patchin Place.  Its aim is to fill that gap, to provide a history of Patchin Place from its construction to the present day, and to locate the alley within the history of New York bohemianism and artistic life more generally in the years of the twentieth century up to the Second World War. It draws upon contemporary accounts and census data to provide a picture of what life was like in Patchin Place and in Greenwich Village during those years. It portrays the lives of writers, journal editors, critics, publishers and patrons who had connections with the alley. Connections extend to writers in America and abroad, including Samuel Beckett, Kenneth Burke, Hilda Doolittle, Theodore Dreiser, T. S. Eliot, Edna St Vincent Millay, James Joyce, Marianne Moore, as well as editors and literary patrons such as Margaret Anderson, Bryher, Scofield Thayer and John Quinn.

RAY CROZIER, PhD is currently Honorary Professor in the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Prior to his retirement he was Professor of Psychology in the University of East Anglia and Cardiff University. He has published widely on the social psychology of shyness and blushing and on artistic creativity, and his books include Manufactured Pleasures: Psychological Responses to Design, 1994, Blushing and the Social Emotions: The Self Unmasked, 2006, Coping with Shyness and Social Phobia, with Lynn Alden, 2009, and the edited book, The Psychological Significance of the Blush, with Peter J. de Jong, 2013.

A keen reader of novels and biography, he has been a long-term admirer of the novels of John Cowper Powys, and a member of the Powys Society. He is fascinated by the creative achievements of so many members of the Powys family. His interest in Patchin Place was triggered by visits there to see where Powys and Phyllis Playter lived before moving to upstate New York, when he realised how little he knew about their time there, how little had been written about the alley, and the paucity of detail that was available in any publications that he could find.

Also of related interest:

tim blanchard, powysland, the discovery of john cowper powys, sundial press
POWYSLAND The Discovery of John Cowper Powys
by Tim Blanchard

Sundial House
The Sheeplands, Sherborne
Dorset DT9 4BS UK
Tel: 01935 814113
December 2021