Category Archives: Beyond



Nos. 1– (Spring 1999–). Ongoing.

Hornswoggle 1  (Spring 1999).

Hornswoggle No. 1

The standards & conventions of too many magazines are too boring. There may be perverse satisfaction in kvetching about them, but making a magazine of one’s own, in the fugitive tradition, is way more than too much fun. The spirit of Harry Smith initiated Hornswoggle #1. After transcribing a tape of Harry with students at the Naropa institute, & wondering what to do with it, what Robert Fripp refers to as “a point of seeing” presented a view to a photocopied magazine of circa 25 pages, making use of odd-ball, archival, and Other material. Unbeknownst to them, The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard, founded by Henry Kissinger, supplied the copy machines and postal meter for the first 5 issues. Thereafter, access to another copy machine was secured, and readers began sending in books of stamps. Production of Hornswoggle #1 began on a Friday afternoon, and as it mailed out the following Monday, issues 2 & 3 were all typed up & ready to go. The first 4 issues were produced on a manual typewriter. Access to a perfectly calibrated color printer made for the striking covers of the first ten issues, which were drawn by hand, scanned, and colored in Photoshop. The magazine went out via assorted mailing lists, and stacks were also left in CD/record shops, cafes, and bookstores around Boston, Brookline & Cambridge (After poet & publisher Lewis Warsh remarked that these dispersions of the magazine were “a waste,” they also began appearing in laundromats, doctor and dentist waiting rooms, and on subway car seats). Initially, a run of ten or twelve issues over a year seemed plausible, but the magazine continued onward with a change of title every ten issues, as it moved from an urban to a rural location. Highlights include Billie Whitelaw’s recollections of working with Samuel Beckett; the imaginary Jean Luc Godard interview that many certified Godard nuts found entirely convincing; the Jack Kerouac poems that fooled Clark Coolodge, who wrote asking how I had such access to the Sampas estate; David Bohm interviewed by Ace Frehley; the interview with attorney Bob Doyle on his Strangeloveian experiences in naval intelligence, working on the campaigns of Bobby Kennedy, Mo Udall, Jimmy Carter, & further escapades in Democratic party politics; the reprinting from obscurity of Philip Whalen’s “The Education Continues Along” in Phil’s calligraphic handwriting; the imaginary dialogues between Denis Diderot & Oscar Wilde; the complete Ted Berrigan Art News reviews; imaginary Harry Smith interviews that temporarily fooled Smith pal & aficionado Harvey Bialy; John Kenneth Galbraith interviewed by Bernadette Mayer; Steve Lacy interviewed by Lee & Maria Friedlander; Wim Wenders interviewed about his collaboration with Robert Kramer on The State of Things; Sunny Murray interviewed by Cher; Chantal Akerman interviewed by Cloris Leachman…


— Rufus T. Firefly


Tremendulate 7 (n.d.)

Hornswoggle 9 (n.d.)

First Intensity: A Magazine of New Writing

Magazines & Presses

First Intensity: A Magazine of New Writing

Lee Chapman
Staten Island, New York

Vol. 1, nos. 1–22 (Summer 1993–Fall 2007).

Issues after vol. 1, no. 2 lack volume designation.

First Intensity: A Magazine of New Writing, vol. 1, no. 1 (Summer 1993).

The artist Lee Chapman started the literary magazine First Intensity in 1993 when she was living in Staten Island, New York. By issue #6 in 1997 she was back in her old not-exactly-hometown of Lawrence, Kansas, where First Intensity continued to be produced until issue #22, which turned out to be the last one, in 2007. Twenty-two issues in fifteen years. Not bad. And these issues were pretty substantial—in the beginning they were about 120 pages or so, by #16 in 2001 the length grew to over 270 pages and stayed there.

Why did she do it? Lee had wanted to run a literary magazine for a long time. The way she tells it, she had a hard time finding what she liked to read. So when a small inheritance appeared she decided to collect what she liked in one place and make it available for others to read. Hence, First Intensity.

First Intensity: A Magazine of New Writing, vol. 1, no. 2 (Winter 1994). Cover by Susan Ashline.

How did she do it? Lee wasn’t part of any literary scene—she’s an artist, not a writer—but she knew a few poets from her years at the University of Kansas—Ken Irby, John Moritz, Jim McCrary. One of her friends (Jim McCrary) worked for William S. Burroughs and had access to an extensive list of writers’ addresses. So Lee made up some postcards that said First Intensity Magazine and sent them out to some writers she admired, none of whom knew her, soliciting their work. They sent work in. She sent more postcards to more people who also didn’t know her, citing the work she’d already accepted. And more work came in, until she had about 120 pages’ worth. Lee published good work, writers recognized this, so she didn’t have to send out any more postcards, the work just came to her, mostly unbidden, sometimes solicited when she knew someone was writing something she really liked. It is not the usual story of how literary magazines get started—by one person entirely on her own who wasn’t a writer and didn’t know many writers—but that is how it happened.

First Intensity was substantial from the beginning. Issue #1 included Andrei Codrescu, Stephen Ellis, Ted Enslin, Kenneth Irby, Robert Kelly, Duncan McNaughton, John Moritz, Stephen Ratcliffe, Chris Stroffolino, and John Yau, among many others (including, full disclosure, me). There was also art: etchings by Bill Murray—no, not that Bill Murray—and cover art by Lee’s daughter, Jessica Irving, which is not exactly nepotism because Jessica is a terrific artist. Good art remained a staple of First Intensity, one or two or more artists an issue.

Over time a kind of stable of writers developed, with generous helpings of work from others—Ken Irby appeared in fourteen issues, Barry Gifford and Ted Enslin in thirteen, Duncan McNaughton and John Moritz in twelve, John Olson and me in eleven, Nathaniel Tarn and Robert Kelly in ten. Six authors appear in seven issues, two in six, six in five, thirteen in four, thirty in three, sixty-eight in two, and 243 appear exactly once—380 authors in all. (I am including three translators in this count, along with their translatees, and—Lee is nothing if not quirky—Lord Byron, one of whose letters appears in #1.)

First Intensity: A Magazine of New Writing 14 (Spring 2000). Cover collage by Kenward Elmslie.

Reviews and occasional essays started appearing with #14. At first, most of the reviewers and reviewed were First Intensity authors (in issue #16 Dale Smith had a poem, a review, and was reviewed, an untypical trifecta) but the group of reviewers and reviewed soon broadened beyond the usual First Intensity suspects. The reviews were a substantial part of First Intensity—twenty books were reviewed in #17, eighteen in #18.

A few years after starting the magazine Lee established First Intensity Press, which published books by Lisa Bourbeau, Patrick Doud, Theodore Enslin, Barry Gifford, Kenneth Irby, John Levy, Duncan McNaughton, John Moritz, John Olson, Kristin Prevallet, Janet Rodney, James Thomas Stevens, and, full disclosure, me. (If I left someone out, apologies.)

Lee valued her independence perhaps more than is useful. She did not want to hook up with any institution. She did not want to answer to anybody. She refused to send in grant applications, fearing a grant would make her beholden in some way, force her to conform to someone else’s vision. Her friends kept telling her no no no that’s not how it works for God’s sake I’ll write the goddam grant for you, but she just wouldn’t do it. Her small inheritance was running out, maybe was already gone, and she was doing the magazine and press (she did everything—editorial, proofreading, typesetting, formatting, addressing, mailing—except the actual printing) on financial fumes until an angel stepped in somewhere around issue 17 or so. She refuses to this day to identify the angel. The angel didn’t last forever, Lee was running out of both money and energy, so the magazine stopped. The press went on a little longer, but then it stopped too.

First Intensity: A Magazine of New Writing 22 (Fall 2007). Cover painting by Claire Doveton.

Lee doesn’t regard the work she published as presenting a coherent aesthetic, but I think it does, at least the poetry: a kind of romantic postmodernism. There is a richness of tone and sound, a sense of the author—that is the romantic part. But also there are fragmentation, incoherence, juxtaposition, a sense of the author dissolving—that is the postmodern part. Lee doesn’t think of it that way. She thinks of the work she published in light of Ezra Pound’s dictum: “The work of art which is most ‘worth while’ is the work which would need a hundred works of any other kind of art to explain it … Such works are what we call works of the ‘first intensity’.” That’s Lee’s poetics, and it provided the name of the magazine and press.

Lee was not good at the interwebs. There are a few scattered reviews of the magazine online, but no samples/examples of work traceable to the magazine. And the press disappeared as a coherent entity—no list of books published. Maybe this is the way of the world, but it is a damn shame.

— Judith Roitman, Lawrence, Kansas,  June 2017


Magazines & Presses

Suction: The Magazine of the Actualist Movement

Darrell Gray and Henry Pritchett (1), Darrell Gray (2, 3)
Iowa City

Vol. 1, nos. 1–3 (May 1969–1973).

Subtitle “The Magazine of the Actualist Movement” was added with no. 3.

Suction, vol. 1, no.1 (May 1969).

Despite its rural situation, the Iowa Writers Workshop was a powerhouse in American letters. From Flannery O’Connor to Raymond Carver, many fine fiction writers have attended, and in poetry over eighteen alumni have won the Pulitzer Prize. One particular nexus was seen in the years 1968–73 when Ted Berrigan and Anselm Hollo taught poetry there (Berrigan only briefly) while Harry Duncan ran the Cummington Press from 1956 to 1972, numbering Kim Merker and Allan Kornblum among his students. Carroll Coleman of the Prairie Press was also an active presence on campus (and publisher of a famous spoof book of poetry, Oh Millersville! by Fern Gravel). In the early 1970s there was an explosion of mimeo magazines around the Iowa writers, including Allan Kornblum’s Toothpaste, George Mattingly’s Search for Tomorrow and Dave Morice’s Gum. Darrell Gray (who called himself a “sociopathic realist”) was an active participant in writing and publishing as well as Poets’ Theater, the casual group of players who staged his plays, some of whom (Bob Ernst, David Schein, John O’Keefe) would move to Berkeley from the Iowa Theater Lab and establish the Blake Street Hawkeyes. Darrell Gray is usually referred to as the “Godfather of Actualism,” a spoof literary movement he invented. “We hope to make everything a source of entertainment,” he wrote.

In May 1969 he published the first issue of Suction at 75 cents, with the note, “subscriptions $2 for 4 issues.” The cover is letterpress, probably by Kornblum. The TOC lists seventeen poets, including Ted Berrigan, Anselm Hollo, who also contributes Gunnar Harding translations (Harding, a Swede, was attending Iowa at the time), John Godfrey, Lewis MacAdams, James Tate, Tom Clark, John Clarke, George Mattingly, Aram Saroyan, Dick Gallup, Ray DiPalma, Merrill Gilfillan, and translations of Reverdy and Apollinaire by Jane Delyn. The charming contributors’ notes include “Aram Saroyan: his arm is warm,” “Jane Delyn is feminine, marvelous, and tough.”

Suction, vol. 1, no. 2 (1971). Photograph by Francis Hamit.

Issue 2 (1971) sees the price raised to $1, or $3 for 4 issues. The cover is a photo of an umbrella stuck in a hay bale by Francis Hamit. Mr. Gestetner’s 1881 invention is used for all but the first page: a reproduction of Gary Snyder’s calligraphy in “The Way is not a Way.” To the above roster is added Clark Coolidge, Dave Morice, Jack Marshall, Ramon Fernandez translated by Darrell Gray, Gerard Malanga, Ted Greenwald, Lewis Warsh, and Oger Mou, translated from the Icelandic by Anselm Hollo. It is my belief that Oger Mou was invented by Anselm and that Ramon Fernandez was invented by Darrell. There was a French poet named Ramon Fernandez but the dates and titles (“Where did the Carbon Sleep that it Awoke so Black?”) given here suggest Darrell was riffing off Lorca and other poets. This is a characteristic of his work: sometimes he would come up with a brilliant line, unaware that he had read it in Merwin or another poet, a consequence of his being rarely sober.

Suction: The Magazine of the Actualist Movement, vol. 1, no. 3 (1973). Cover drawing by Steve Shrader.

The third and final issue of Suction appeared in 1973 and is now subtitled “The Magazine of the Actualist Movement,” with an epigraph from W. C. Williams: “Actuality is never frustrated because it is always complete.” The cover is a high-contrast drawing of four nude women by Steve Shrader. In addition to the above we hear from Alice Notley, Steve Toth, Andrei Codrescu, Tom Veitch, Tomaž Šalamun translated from the Yugoslavian by the author and Anselm Hollo, César Vallejo translated by James Stephens, Octavio Paz, and more Ramon Fernandez translated by Darrell Gray. The last three pages are devoted to Joyce Holland, a concrete minimalist poet, who also featured in Gum. This is not the place to discuss Darrell’s sexuality but he enjoyed the female persona so much he hired an actress to appear and perform as his alter ego Joyce Holland, editor of Matchbook, a tiny conceptual magazine the size of a matchbook containing one-word poems.

Starting in Iowa City and continuing for many years in Berkeley—after many of the “Actualists” had actually moved to the Bay Area—the Actualist Convention was a day or weekend-long series of performances: readings, slide shows, films, music, and performances of actual plays. Morty Sklar is writing a book about the Actualist movement.

— Alastair Johnston, Berkeley, April 2017

Stony Brook

Magazines & Presses

Stony Brook

George Quasha
Stony Brook, New York

Nos. 1/2–3/4 (1968–69).

Stony Brook 1/2 (Fall 1968).

I began Stony Brook, “a journal of poetry, poetics and translation,” in 1968 at Stony Brook University (SUNY), where, since 1966, I’d been teaching full time in the English Department while doing graduate work at NYU. I was inspired both by the poetry energy of downtown New York and the great variety of international poets who came through Stony Brook. A special opportunity to launch the journal arose at the June 1968 Stony Brook international poetry festival, organized by faculty poets Jim Harrison and Louis Simpson, who invited some twelve foreign poets—including Francis Ponge, Zbigniew Herbert, Czesław Miłosz, Eugène Guillevic, Nicanor Parra, and Kofi Awoonor—and some seventy American poets to listen to those twelve, but not themselves give readings—including Robert Duncan, Jackson Mac Low, Allen Ginsberg, Clayton Eshleman, Jerome Rothenberg, Anselm Hollo, Denise Levertov, Gary Snyder, Ed Sanders, Joel Oppenheimer, Milton Kessler, Bill Corbett, Charles Simic, George Hitchcock, and James Tate. Roger Guedalla, a British friend of several years and a graduate student, served as managing/contributing editor for all issues, and J. D. Reed, a graduate student, and Eliot Weinberger, an undergraduate student, were contributing editors to the first issue (Eliot’s uncle became our printer and a board member).

Often referred to as Stony Brook Magazine, though not officially its name, it comprised two large double issues, 1/2 (1968, 258 pages, 6 x 9¼”) and 3/4 (1969, 400 pages, 7 x 9¼”), with a third double issue, 5/6 (same format as 3/4), fully edited and typeset but never printed (for lack of funds). The journal’s editorial concept was to connect the different poetry ecologies then active, along with their conflicting poetics. I had a Blakean, “without contraries no progression” view, related to my own intricate and often conflicting loyalties, and I wanted to juxtapose poets who rarely appeared in the same publication, as an “ideogram” of contemporary practice. I hoped the resulting “Mental Warfare” would produce an interesting poetics discourse. The two-year life of the journal was not enough to test the critical hypothesis very thoroughly, but certain tensions were activated. Stony Brook 3/4 opened with a full b/w facsimile of William Blake’s America a Prophecy (not easily available in 1969).

Stony Brook 3/4 (1969).

Stony Brook did assemble an array of unique texts and associations, as reflected by the diverse list of contributing editors: Lawrence Alloway (visual arts), David Antin (linguistics), Kofi Awoonor (African), Leopoldo Castedo (visual arts), Jorge Carrera Andrade (Latin American), Robert Duncan (poetry), Mathias Goeritz (concrete poetry), Michael Hamburger (German), Hugh Kenner (poetics), Daniel Mauroc (French), Enrique Ojeda (Spanish/Latin American), Nicanor Parra (Spanish/Latin American), M. L. Rosenthal (poetry), Jerome Rothenberg (ethnopoetics), Leif Sjöberg (Scandinavian), Charles Simic (Eastern European), Louis Simpson (poetry), Jack Thompson (poetics), and Wai-Lim Yip (Chinese).

Some sixty participants in the first double issue and over a hundred in the second, including poets, writers, artists, translators, critics, scholars, anthropologists, etc., contributed over six hundred pages of poetry, prose, translation (bilingual), visual art, reviews, and commentary from a dozen or so cultures. Notable texts included:

— The first publication since the war of new Cantos of Ezra Pound (made possible by James Laughlin’s personal support for the journal).

— A revival of the Objectivist Anthology poets (George Oppen, Lorine Niedecker, Carl Rakosi, and Charles Reznikoff, with commentary by Ezra Pound, Robert Creeley, and Kenneth Cox) in new work and documents.

— New poetry by Charles Olson (from Maximus), Muriel Rukeyser, John Wieners, Gary Snyder, James Laughlin, Joanne Kyger, Robert Creeley, Helen Adam, Clayton Eshleman, Jackson Mac Low, David Antin, Jerome Rothenberg, Armand Schwerner, Denise Levertov, Diane Wakoski, David Bromige, Eleanor Antin, Tom Pickard, George Stanley, Jim Harrison, Charles Bukowski, Geoffrey O’Brien, Charles Simic, George Bowering, Michael Hamburger, James Tate, Ifeanyi Menkiti, A. R. Ammons, M. L. Rosenthal, Tim Reynolds, Louis Simpson, Stuart Montgomery, Harold Dicker, George Quasha, Robert Vas Dias, Harold Dull, Willis Barnstone, Raphael Rudnik, and Howard McCord, among others.

— Wai-Lim Yip’s analytical presentation of ancient and modern Chinese poetry, with new translations along with Chinese originals.

— The first presentation of ethnopoetics (I invited Rothenberg to create a new word for the field and become the first editor, which evolved later into Alcheringa journal) by way of substantial excerpts from his forthcoming anthologies, Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania (1968) and Shaking the Pumpkin: Traditional Poetry of the Indian North Americas (1972).

— Robert Duncan contributed sections of The H. D. Book for the first time in a widely circulated literary journal, as well as a rather contentious piece, “A Critical Difference of View,” on reviews by Hayden Carruth and Adrienne Rich, disagreeing with their take, respectively, on Williams and Zukofsky.

— David Antin’s innovatively disruptive, linguistics-based attack on metrical notions in verse, “Notes for an Ultimate Prosody,” with its opening headline, “The contribution of meter to the sound structure of poetry has been trivial,” comprising Part One, but Part Two never appeared anywhere. (This had been a paper for a poetics theory graduate seminar at NYU under M. L. Rosenthal which we both attended, and I persuaded Antin to publish it—though he was hesitant—because it is a unique and challenging analysis of a major issue; apparently never reprinted.)

— Hugh Kenner, in addition to supplying a section of The Pound Era then in progress, gave a supportive response to Antin’s piece. William S. Wilson (writer, art and poetry critic/scholar) challenged Antin’s piece in his “Focus, Meter and Operations in Poetry” and defined an “operational” poetics with emphasis on concrete poetry. This exchange was the main instance of a generated poetics discussion we had hoped for.

— Translations from Francis Ponge, Robert Pinget, Robert Desnos, René Daumal, Eugène Guillevic, Yvan Goll, Daniel Mauroc, Nicanor Parra, Octavio Paz, Jorge Carrera Andrade, Gunnar Ekelöf, Czesław Miłosz, Vasco Popa, Tadeusz Różewicz, Momčilo Nastasijević, Antun Šoljan, Ivan V. Lalić, Branko Miljković, Aleksander Wat, Evgeny Vinokurov, and Miklós Radnóti, among others.

— Translators include Denise Levertov, Galway Kinnell, Muriel Rukeyser, Jerome Rothenberg, Richard Johnny John, Charles Simic, H. R. Hays, Robert Duncan, Raymond Federman, Richard Lourie, George Quasha, Edward Field, Stephen Dolgar, Stephen Berg, S. J. Marks, Victor Contoski, David P. McAllester, and Leif Sjöberg.

— Documents: Ezra Pound’s “How I began” (1913), Preface to Oppen’s Discrete Series (1934), and “René Crevel” (1939); W. C. Williams, letters to Denise Levertov, Yvan Goll, and William S. Wilson; George Oppen, “On Armand Schwerner”; Edward Dahlberg, Preface to The Flea of Sodom; Robert Creeley, “Basil Bunting: An Appreciation”; Serge Gavronsky, “Interview with Francis Ponge”; Denise Levertov, “Working and Dreaming”; Dell Hymes, “A Study of Some North Pacific Poems”; Louis Simpson, “The Anti-Theorist”; George Bowering, “On the Road: and the Indians at the end”; David P. McAllester, “The Tenth Horse Song: Translation, Comments, Text & Notes”; Richard Grossinger, “Oecological Sections Nos. 24 & 29.”

As a mechanism of underwriting Stony Brook I founded the Stony Brook Poetics Foundation as a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, hoping the university might eventually agree to support it, which never happened. When after five years my life took me away from Stony Brook, there was no possibility of continuing or publishing the third volume, which contained important work like Paul Blackburn’s Provençal translations (bilingual). Though the magazine could not be sustained, it nevertheless laid the groundwork for an anthology I was coediting at the time with Ronald Gross (subeditors Emmett Williams, John Robert Colombo, and Walter Lowenfels), Open Poetry: Four Anthologies of Expanded Poems (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973), and subsequently (with Susan Quasha), An Active Anthology (Fremont, MI: Sumac Press: 1974). It also initiated my collaboration with Jerome Rothenberg, which, in a couple of years, would lead to America a Prophecy: A New Reading of American Poetry from Pre-Colombian Times to the Present (New York: Random House, 1973).

— George Quasha, Barrytown, New York, April 2017

Hot Water Review

Magazines & Presses

Hot Water Review

Peter Bushyeager ([1]–[6]) and Joel Colten ([1]–3)
Philadelphia (1–5), New York ([6])

Nos. [1]–[6] (1976–88).

[No. 6] is devoted to publishing Shadow Blue by Phyllis Wat.

Hot Water Review [1] (1976). Cover drawing by Randal Rupert, logo design by Ed Yungmann.

Hot Water Review began during a wave of poetry activity in 1970s Philadelphia, when the American Poetry Review (APR), Painted Bride Quarterly (PBQ), the now-defunct Philadelphia YMHA Poetry Center, and numerous reading series and workshops were established. The city’s mass media began to acknowledge the poetry explosion; Philadelphia Magazine published a story about the local poetry scene, poets appeared on TV and radio, and the alternative weeklies regularly featured poetry.

Joel Colten and I created Hot Water to meet a need. APR primarily published national and Philadelphia poets with academic affiliations. PBQ published a wide range of poets and aesthetics and served as a sort of anthology of what was happening in various literary communities. But there was no venue for what interested us.

We wanted to explore visuals as well as poetry. Our interests included Pop and its attendant irony, the New York School and all its offshoots, and Conceptualism. We created Hot Water to showcase this sort of work. Through our involvement with the magazine we came in contact with like-minded people throughout the country. It was a very exciting time.

The first issue of our magazine, which appeared in 1976, had an anthology approach similar to PBQ’s. We published a significant cross section of fellow Philadelphia poets with various aesthetics, along with a smattering of people from the UK, New York, and Boston. After that we began to focus on our particular interests.

Hot Water Review 2 (1977). Front cover photograph by Joel Colten.

Issue 2 (1977) presented lots of visuals, including “snapshots” of poets, artists, and musicians; art, photography, and conceptual work by Annson Kenney, Anne Sue Hirshorn, Anthony Errichetti, Sue Horvitz, Stephen Spera, and others; and poetry/art collaborations by Joel Colten and Randal Rupert. The writing in this issue included work by Philadelphians Diane Devennie, Susan Daily, Jet Wimp, Maralyn Lois Polak, Jane Vacante, Otis Brown, Leonard Kress, Joel Colten, and me; Californians Ian Krieger and Pat Nolan; and New Yorkers Tim Dlugos, Andrei Codrescu, David Lehman, Michael Malinowitz, Gerard Malanga, and Dorothy Friedman. Our overall goal: to create a scrapbook representing a community of creative people who shared similar instincts.

Issue 3 (1980) was the peak of our Pop-inspired “ragged scrapbook” approach. The cover, which was designed by Stephen Spera, featured polka dots. There was another photo album of Hot Water contributors, friends, and family; a poem/memoir of a radicals’ party during the Vietnam War by playwright/poet Dennis Moritz; and work by Dennis Cooper, Opal L. Nations, Harrison Fisher, Jack Anderson, Michael Lally, Michael Andre, and Hot Water regulars Codrescu, Colten, Rupert, Spera, Bushyeager, Devennie, and Daily.

Hot Water Review 3 (1980). “The Polka Dot Issue.” Cover photograph and design by Stephen Spera.

Right before this issue was published, coeditor Joel Colten went on a cross-country trip and stopped to photograph the Mt. St. Helens volcano, which had recently become active. Unfortunately, he was one of the casualties of the May 18, 1980, eruption.

After considerable soul-searching, I decided to continue Hot Water but change its visual identity. The magazine’s previous iteration reflected Colten’s and my partnership and our youthful enthusiasms. It was difficult, but I recognized that times had changed and I needed to honor the past while moving forward. As the sole editor, I chose the writing that appeared in the magazine. However, I added seasoned NYC gallerist Richard Oosterom as art editor. For the first time, Hot Water engaged the services of a professional designer who gave the magazine a total, elegant makeover that included a sans serif typeface and a square format that worked better with visual art.

Hot Water #4 was published in 1981. It had a very simple cover: pink textured paper with red title lettering. The issue began with an in memoriam two-page frontispiece featuring a brief poem by Joel Colten accompanied by a Randal Rupert drawing of Colten among the stars with his dog, Phineas. In addition to more Colten/Rupert collaborations, there was a portfolio of work by New York artists Aileen Bassis, Patricia Caire, and Rupert. The writers included Harrison Fisher, Ron Padgett, Richard Kostelanetz, and Hot Water stalwarts Devennie, Colten, Krieger, and Codrescu.

Although I continued my involvement with poetry during the years immediately following Hot Water #4, I primarily focused on setting the stage for a move to New York by building a portfolio of freelance journalism and arts criticism. Although monetary resources were dwindling, I published a fifth issue of the magazine in 1983 that focused almost exclusively on writing by, in addition to some of the magazine’s regulars, Dennis Barone, Arthur Sabatini, and fiction writer Susan Schwartz.

In 1984 I moved to New York and took a job as a nonprofit editor whose tasks included responding to fan letters written to the comedian Jerry Lewis and writing scripts for his annual telethon (a curious job to be sure!). I continued to write freelance arts reviews, became intensely involved with the downtown poetry scene revolving around the Poetry Project, and took workshops with Alice Notley, Bernadette Mayer, Maureen Owen, and Lewis Warsh. This vibrant literary community revitalized me.

I published one last issue of the magazine in 1988. It was a single-artist issue: Shadow Blue, a chapbook by poet Phyllis Wat whose work I had admired for some time.

* * * *

I recently attended a small-press book fair on the NYU campus. There were many presses in attendance and excitement was in the air. The mostly young editors and publishers were proudly displaying their publications, which included a substantial number of poetry collections. The event took me back to the small-press book fairs of the seventies and the intense “alternative” energy that all of us had. I was reminded that new poets are constantly being brought into the world via the dedication of small-press editors and publications. I felt proud to be a part of this important tradition.

— Peter Bushyeager, New York, May 2017


Magazines & Presses


Timothy Rubald
Moorpark, California

Sole issue.

[No number] (1972).



(note: this word may be removed at your discretion, Tim)

An introduction should retreat with a dipping stride like Thomas Mann’s Magician as quickly as possible. I make it a promise.

A new poetry magazine ought to contain something new. Silver (as in apples of the moon, with Cynthia bending oblingingly [sic] so we can stroke her breasts) offers new texture, new sensations, and new teasings of the Veil. David Gitin’s poem (a poem without Wordsworthian arms to shake and shake us into numb prose sense) “No News” is a good example. It simply fuses us to its world with unprepossessing strength:

Angela Davis
in a building designed
by Frank Lloyd Wright

Or mounts and rides us into many corners, as in another Gitin poem:

the museum, the zoo—
we bind
the familiar
we succeed

There are burrs of unmistakable and irresistable [sic] humor. Page sculpture for ears as well as eyes:

[as John Perreault’s] “please fold”

and venom for the earth-beaters. Ron Schreiber speaking from “letter” where he is “stuck in the slime of a dying planet”:

…  Jerusalem ain’t tomorrow
Blake says     it’s step over that dead body     now.

Silver is for below the neck and anatomically elsewhere. It is quite distant from poetry whose experience suggests light knifing from hooded lids or luminous glazes of semen arranging themselves into maps of London.

Here are incisive and delicate poems by (almost to a name) people I had never read before. They are (almost to a name) people I wanted to read again immediately.

— Norman C. Mallory, Silver (1972)


Magazines & Presses


John Bennett
Munich; San Francisco; Redwood City, California; and later Ellensburg, Washington

Nos. 1–31 (1966–79).

Nos. 1–3 are also called vol. 1, nos. 1–3. No. 23/24 is a double issue.

Vagabond, vol. 1, no. 1 (January–March 1966).

Vagabond began in the fall of 1964 over a pitcher of beer at a place called Brownley’s in Washington, D.C. Brownley’s was located on M Street near the George Washington University. It drew a quasi-intellectual crowd from the university and featured cheap draft beer and booths with heavy wooden tables with the initials and slogans of several generations carved into them. It has since been torn down.

Grant Bunch and I were the parties drinking that pitcher of beer, the first of many together over the years, and we were experiencing a hard-to-pin-down dissatisfaction. The dissatisfaction was not new to us, and on this particular day it found a target in The Potomac, then and for all I know still the literary organ of George Washington University. ”What a piece of shit,” Grant said that day, thumbing thru the scant thirty-two pages of pretension and pretty much summing up the magazine. “Why don’t we start our own magazine?”

We spent the rest of that sunny fall afternoon fantasizing over what we could do with our own magazine, and then we ran out of money and the beer stopped coming and we were out on the street again.


Vagabond 5 (1967).

The scene jumps a year. It is late fall, 1965. I’m in Munich with my wife and son, studying at the university, and Grant is passing thru, on the road. The idea surfaces again, this time by candlelight under the gables of our single fifth-storey room, candlelight because the electricity isn’t hooked up, candlelight and a bottle of good wine and Radio Luxembourg in the background on the portable radio. We talked about the possibility of starting a magazine and the excitement built until names began fluttering around the room like fat gray moths. The Lost Muse, The Munich Quarterly, The Underdog, and why not call it Vagabond, my first wife says, and that’s it. A poem I’d written several years earlier. A rather tightly structured piece of poesy, hardly an indication of what we would soon be publishing, but for curiosity’s sake, here it is:


Cyclopean, wind-heaving sky up above
As we hie up with vigour
through galloping country.

Cresting a hill and caressing the heavens
Swoop down through the village streets
Rough-hewed and cobbled.

As snarling our cycle
Greets indolent structures
(Age-old Germanic. all somber about us)
Then out again, free again
France Spain who knows
Where the Vagabond wanders.

                                                             Tenacious of life.

So, Vagabond it was. I quit the university and went to work washing dishes and my wife became a German postal employee. Grant went off around the world on Norwegian freighters and Maria Spaans came down from the Netherlands to design the Vagabond logo and, along with Peter Halfar, take charge of layout and design. We located the Brothers Westenhuber, a sympathetic printer who did our printing at what must have been cost, and, in April of 1966, the first issue appeared. We published a total of five issues in Munich over the next fifteen months, and then our financial situation became so bad that we were forced to return to the States. We wound up in New Orleans.


Vagabond 14 (1972). Cover by Craig Okino.

It was in New Orleans that the personality of the magazine began to take shape. It took five or six issues to burn out the preconceptions, that many issues to begin to realize that whether the magazine was quarterly or annual or semiannual had nothing to do with good literature—you could bring the mag out twice in a month and then once in two years and everything would be fine if the stuff between the covers was good; you could bring it out on gloss paper using a letterpress or on a mimeo using recycled paper and it didn’t make any difference; my God, you could print the magazine with rubber stamps and that wouldn’t matter, that would not make it bad and it would not make it good, the method by which you got the word out was incidental, the important thing was to get it out, the important thing was to go after all those vague dissatisfactions, to get at the core of them, to not fall for the soft persuasions and rationalizations, to not cower in the foothills of the mountain of accumulated historical evidence that tells you you are wrong, to keep your eye on it and keep moving toward it until you hit it, you strike that chord that lies deep inside all of us and you say something that is true and always has been true and always will be true and is not and cannot be compromised and rationalized and frittered away, can only be lost from sight—you say it and do it and it is a poem, no matter what the form.

Vagabond 19 (1974). Cover design by Cindy Bennett, photography by George Stillman.

And so an editorial bias began to take shape. Glenn Miller, who became art editor in New Orleans, found a 1917 A. B. Dick open-drum mimeo in a spring-cleaning garbage heap. We tore it down, cleaned and repaired it, and for the next six years all issues of the magazine and all Vagabond books were printed on that mimeo. Since New Orleans we’ve operated out of San Francisco, Redwood City, and now Ellensburg, Washington. Since New Orleans our editorial policies haven’t changed. We don’t cater to fads, panaceas, revolutions, or movements. We don’t aim to make you happy just to let you down. We think that poetry is content, not form, form being incidental, the Cadillac in which the diplomat rides. We think poetry is potent, spiritual, and mysterious. It is not a plaything. It is as scarce and illusive as it has always been. Its only reward is in its discovery, and you discover it thru clear vision, a flash of insight in the vast black mystery of your very brief existence. This society and this species is optional. Other options do exist and still may be taken. Imagination is far more important than knowledge, Albert Einstein once said. What he did not say is that too much knowledge without enough imagination is a dangerous thing. A terminal thing. This anthology and the books and issues of the magazine that came before it and the books and issues of the magazine that will come after it are small black bombs for the playpen of the future. They are time capsule messages that may or may not do some good some day. Here, let Henry Miller wrap it up for me:


Anything less than a change of heart is sure catastrophe. Which, if you follow the reasoning, explains why the times are always bad. For, unless there be a change of heart, there can be no act of will. There may be a show of will, with tremendous activity accompanying it (wars, revolutions, etc.), but that will not change the times. Things are apt to grow worse, in fact.

To imagine a way of life that could be patched is to think of the cosmos as a vast plumbing affair. To expect others to do what we are unable to do ourselves is truly to believe in miracles, miracles that no Christ would dream of performing. The whole social-political scheme of existence is crazy—because it is based on vicarious living. A real man has no need of governments, of laws, of moral or ethical codes, to say nothing of battleships, police clubs, high-powered bombers and such things. Of course a real man is hard to find, but that’s the only kind of man worth talking about. It is the great mass of mankind, the mob, the people, who create the permanently bad times. The world is only the mirror of ourselves. If it’s something to make one puke, why then puke, me lads, it’s your own sick mugs you’re looking at!

That’s it. What we have in this anthology was culled from the first twenty-five issues and the first eleven years of the magazine. We hope you enjoy it.

— John Bennett
Vagabond Press
“Introduction” to The Vagabond Anthology (1966–1977), edited by John Bennett ([Vagabond Press], 1978).

Vagabond, vol. 1, no. 3 (1966).

Vagabond 21 (1975). Special Vagabond Poetry issue.

Vagabond 29 (1979). Cover by Jimmy Jet.





Poetry New York: A Journal of Poetry & Translation

Magazines & Presses

Poetry New York: A Journal of Poetry & Translation

Page Delano, Cheryl Fish, Halima Gutman, Emmy Hunter, Benjamin Sloan, Tod Thilleman, Robert Thomson, Robert Timm, Gyorgi Voros, Burt Kimmelman, and others
New York

Nos. 1–12 (1985–2001).

Subtitle “A Journal of Poetry & Translation” begins with no. 2 and varies slightly throughout.

Poetry New York [1] (1985).

Poetry New York: A Journal of Poetry and Translation grew out of a creative writing workshop being held at the CUNY Graduate Center in the mid-1980s, when I was a doctoral student there. William Elton, a Shakespearean scholar, composed poetry from time to time; he started the workshop then. Soon he got the idea to start a poetry magazine. In naming it what he did, he was not thinking of Poetry New York: A Magazine of Verse and Criticism—famous for having published Charles Olson’s game-changing essay “Projective Verse,” in 1950. Our magazine was meant, in Bill’s conception, to rival Poetry Chicago and other “Poetry [Name of Place]” journals.

Our first issue appeared in 1985. Our intention was that Poetry New York (PNY) would be an annual. It came out more or less yearly, for twelve issues, ending in 2001. Having worked on the magazine’s inaugural issue, I became its coeditor for the second number; after that I served as the editor, for a couple of issues, then as the senior editor until the tent folded. Coeditors included, variously: Page Delano, Cheryl Fish, Halima Gutman, Emmy Hunter, Benjamin Sloan, Tod Thilleman, Robert Thomson, Robert Timm, Gyorgi Voros, and others.

PNY featured, along with poets and translators still trying to make their mark, a great many bright lights.

Poetry New York: A Journal of Poetry & Translation 2 (1988). Cover photograph by Star Black.

We also featured compelling artwork. Equally notable, PNY became a destination for translations. Our editorial policy was skewed toward publishing more than the occasional translation, perhaps because we originated within a doctoral program—our thought being that translators did not get as much opportunity to publish as did mere poets, and translation was also a scholarly endeavor. So translators had us in their sights.

PNY didn’t set a pace. It was not especially the nexus of any conversation; after all, we were an annual. Nevertheless, we were involved in the conversations of the day, and poets were glad to be represented in our pages. We had a terrific distributor, Bernhard DeBoer; I always got a kick out of seeing our new issue magically appear one day in a bookstore or even on the occasional newsstand. My own proclivities affected what was, in the end, a collective editorial policy. Our taste was always open to the experimental—over time, it gravitated toward the increasingly edgy. Principally, PNY’s contribution of significance had most to do with supporting avant-garde initiatives.

Some years after we had gotten off the ground, Harvey Shapiro sent me a back issue of the Yale Poetry Review, whose editing he had taken over when he was young, turning the publication into the original Poetry New York. I was both amazed to learn from Harvey, and embarrassed to admit I hadn’t known, of the Olson essay’s first being published there. For me, quite a bit their junior, Olson was a god whom I first read in 1965.

Poetry New York: A Journal of Poetry & Translation 3 (1989). Artwork by Michele Spark.

The irony in all this had to do with the fact that the work of Olson, and of others who were part of the post–World War II avant-garde, was a guiding spirit for me and other young writers I was hanging around with, first in the sixties. It drove much of our editorial decision-making when we were putting out a college magazine titled Transition. In 1967 my coeditor, Sherry Kearns (née Moore), and I had some grant money that a faculty advisor, David Toor, made available to us to spend. We arranged for Olson to be the keynote speaker/reader at a poetry convocation we hosted in Cortland, New York; its participants, some of whom would appear in the later iteration of PNY, included many Beats, Black Mountaineers, and others.

Two decades after that gathering in Cortland, when I would become PNY’s senior editor, a fellow doctoral candidate, Cheryl Fish, took on the main editing duties. Soon thereafter the magazine relocated from the Graduate Center, with Tod Thilleman assuming the editing while Emmy Hunter became our associate editor. We had shifted our center of operations to my apartment in Brooklyn, while maintaining a Manhattan post office box. Later PNY would be set up in Tod’s apartment, when I moved to New Jersey. In order to support PNY, which was no longer getting help from CUNY, I applied for a grant from NYSCA (the New York State Council on the Arts). Successive annual grants from there carried us through the remaining issues until, perhaps out of exhaustion, Tod and I called it quits.

It was a great run.

— Burt Kimmelman, New York, May 2017

Contributors include

Mina Alexander
Karen Alkalay-Gut
Yehuda Amichai
Lew Asekoff
John Ashbery
Jane Augustine
Vyt Bakaitis
Michael Basinski
Kenneth Bernard
Charles Bernstein
Star Black
Yves Bonnefoy
Charles Borkhuis
William Bronk
John Cage
Nick Carbo
Robert Carnevale
Alex Cigale
Norma Cole
Wanda Coleman
Billy Collins
Clark Coolidge
Cid Corman
Robert Creeley
Enid Dame
Jordan Davis
Bei Dao
Robert Dana
Diane di Prima
Sharon Dolin
Joseph Donahue
Mark Ducharme
Denise Duhamel
Rachel Blau DuPlessis
Stephen Ellis
Ted Enslin
Zhang Er
Dan Featherston
Tom Fink
Norman Finkelstein
Ed Foster
Philip Fried
Chris Funkhouser
Madeline Gins
Andrey Gritsman
Rachel Hadas
Leigh Harrison
Michael Heller
Barbara Henning
Gerrit Henry
Robert Hershon
John High
Colette Inez
Rin Ishigaki
Ronald Johnson
Devin Johnston
Amy King
Basil King
Phyillis Koestenbaum
Richard Kostelanetz
Dean Kostos
Ann Lauterbach
David Lehman
Donald Lev
Joel Lewis
Jackson Mac Low
Gwynn McVay
Samuel Menashe
Henri Michaux
Stephen Paul Miller
Sheila E. Murphy
Eileen Myles
Valery Oisteanu
Peter O’Leary
Sharon Olinka
Joel Oppenheimer
Gordon Osing
Maureen Owen
Simon Perchik
Kristin Prevallet
Anna Rabinowitz
Carl Rakosi
Corinne Robins
Bertha Rogers
Jerome Rothenberg
Mark Rudman
Ed Sanders
Leslie Scalapino
Elio Schneeman
Leonard Schwartz
Hugh Seidman
Harvey Shapiro
Eleni Sikélianòs
Michael Stephens
Nikki Stiller
Stephanie Strickland
Chris Stroffolino
John Taggart
Nathaniel Tarn
Madeline Tiger
Shu Ting
Anne Waldman
Keith Waldrop
Rosmarie Waldrop
Mark Wallace
Lewis Warsh
Rosanne Wasserman
Tom Weatherly
Afaa Michael Weaver
Bruce Weigl
Hannah Weiner
Henry Weinfield
Ben Wilensky
Harriet Zinnes

Poetry New York: A Journal of Poetry & Translation 6 (Winter 1993/Spring 1994). Cover art and drawings by Tod Thilleman.


Magazines & Presses


Jonathan Greene and Bruce Marcus (1); Jonathan Greene (2)
New York

No. 1 is the “Mediaeval Issue.”

Gnomon 1 (Fall 1965).

No Man Is an Island

The word Gnomon is in the dictionary: it is the hand of the sundial, the pointer. Wider usage includes anything that casts a shadow, as in a skyscraper or a pyramid. But closer to our choice was its kinship in Greek to Gnosis, knowledge, to know and judge … I always imagined No Mon spoken tongue-in-cheek with a calypso accent, since no one knew how to pronounce the word and I would have to encourage those struggling to forget the G was there. There was a Hugh Kenner book of essays, Gnomon, and actually a German magazine with that name. A copy shop in Cambridge, MA, Gnomon Copy, threw a missile across our bow once and said they had patented the word Gnomon and we should stop using it immediately, even though our press existed before they did.

My coeditor, Bruce Marcus, and I met at Bard in 1960. I think he lasted only one semester, but our friendship continued. He was deep into things medieval and texts like Frederick II’s book on falconry. I became a card-carrying member of the Medieval Academy of America and still have back issues of Speculum here. Suddenly we found ourselves writing poems out of this world and knew other texts that would make up a small anthology of such, hence the first issue of Gnomon. For a while I had a rubber stamp which would announce MEDIAEVAL ISSUE on the front cover. Bruce’s sequence on Frederick II fit into our scheme. What a strange intrusion into the mix of what was being published in 1965.

Bruce and Susan then lived on Prince Street off of Thompson in what is now Soho (it wasn’t then). The poet Paul Blackburn lived right around the corner. His ongoing troubadour translation project was legendary, though only a small segment was published early on, by Creeley’s Divers Press. He supposedly had a contract with Macmillan for a larger volume, but that never happened until much later, with another publisher. Paul gave us a large selection of his versions of Marcabru, almost all his versions that did not appear in Angel Flores’s Modern Library An Anthology of Medieval Lyrics.

I was well aware of my lack of design/printing know-how. Some printer I guess Bruce knew gave us masters and my first wife typed the magazine up into those and the printer reduced it all and printed it. I have spent my life making up for the poor design of this first publication. Bruce and I had no stable address, so his folks’ address was used. The device on the cover and contents page was by my friend Manus Pinkwater, who became a children’s book writer known after his first book as Daniel Pinkwater.

Then we got Joan Ferrante to translate two sections of Alain de Lille’s Complaint of Nature in a version superior to any other I’ve seen in English. And a mystery no one has ever commented on: the version we published of Arnaut Daniel’s L’aura amara with alchemical commentary by someone hiding behind the pen name of Imal Ibn-Lami was actually by the poet David Rattray (1946–1993). As far as I know, this was never reprinted and no one knows of this translation, relying instead on Pound’s ancient versions of Arnaut. Charles Williams (with Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and others) was one of the Inklings and Bruce and I were both reading him at the time. Part of a Charles Williams text on his Arthurian poems was published in Williams’s The Image of the City, but ours was the first publication of the complete text.

Gnomon 2 (Spring 1967).

Before the second issue of the magazine came out, Bruce Marcus had dropped out of Gnomon and I had published two books (Fragments of a Disorderd Devotion by Robert Duncan and Charles Stein’s first book, Provisional Measures). I was starting to get a handle on book design and production. Both the second issue of the magazine and Chuck’s book were printed by Graham Mackintosh in San Francisco. He helped further my education in the world of printing and typography.

The second issue opened with a translation of an ancient Egyptian poem—R. W. Odlin had a knowledge of Egyptian and Guy Davenport fashioned the final language. They were supposed to do three of these and I promised to publish them as a chapbook. They never followed up. Odlin penned the glyphs and they stretched out for yards. I left this with Graham and do not know their fate.

This issue was more in the mainstream of contemporary poetry, with poems by Ted Enslin, Robert Kelly, and Robin Blaser, and reworkings of classical texts by Charles Stein and Harvey Bialy. I asked a scholar in Berkeley to translate an essay by Jorge Luis Borges that I don’t think appeared again in English until the big volume translated by Eliot Weinberger years later. I did an offprint for the translator that is scarce, though I still have most of the sheets for it. Pound’s two pages of gists he garnered from Richard of St. Victor I think were previously published in Italy and Germany but not in the States. In any case James Laughlin credited Gnomon in Pound’s Selected Prose, 1909–1965 (pp. 71–72) published by New Directions. The longer translation from Richard of St. Victor was not by Pound and should have been attributed to S. V. Yankowski.

Though Laughlin kindly gave credit to Gnomon for the Pound, the magazine was mostly a stealth publication in other regards: the eleven pages of Blackburn’s Marcabru were never credited when Paul’s full Proensa appeared, nor were the poems of Blaser or Enslin that appeared in Gnomon credited when they were later published in their books.

The import such a magazine might have had in the swift-flowing stream of literature is unknown.

— Jonathan Greene, Franklin County, KY, April, 2017

Sundial and SUN

Magazines & Presses

Sundial and SUN

Bill Zavatsky
New York

Editors of Sundial: Lawrence Susskind (vol. 1, nos. 1–3); William B. Bonvillian (vol. 2, nos. 1, 2); Richard Sulken (vol. 2, no. 3–vol. 3, no. 1).

, vol. 1, no. 1–vol. 3, no. 1 (Spring 1966–Spring/Summer 1969).
SUN, vol. 3, no. 2/3– vol. 5, no. 1 (Summer 1971–1983).

SUN supersedes Sundial with its Summer 1971 issue (vol. 3, no. 2/3) and continues its numbering sequence.

Five issues of Roy Rogers were published as giveaway spinoffs of Sundial between May 1967 and ca. May or June 1968. Two larger and unnumbered issues were later published in 1970 and 1974.

SUN, vol. 3, no. 2/3 (Summer 1971).

SUN—the magazine and the press (never “Sun Press” or “Sun Books” or “Sun magazine”)—emerged from the collapse of Sundial, a literary magazine started at Columbia University by undergraduate Lawrence Susskind in 1966. (The sundial at the center of 116th Street, which runs through the campus, offered its name as a hub of activity.)

Sundial, vol. 2, no. 1 (Winter 1968).

Sundial was funded by the Protestant Episcopal Office in Earl Hall, and featured dynamic graphic design and an eclectic approach that opened its pages not only to Columbia students but to anybody connected to the school. When the Rev. William Starr officiated at the marriage of two protestors occupying one of the university buildings in the spring of 1968, the Episcopal Diocese pulled the money for the magazine and other programs. I had come up through the ranks, from staff member to poetry editor to editor—but suddenly found myself without funds to bring out an issue.

Eventually I scraped up some money, changed the name of the magazine to SUN, and put out several more issues. After getting out numbers that each totaled 250 pages plus, I found myself perplexed when people asked me, “Hey, this is great! When’s the next issue coming out?” In 1972, while still doing the magazine, I began to think out loud about book publishing, bringing out Phillip Lopate’s collection of poems called The Eyes Don’t Always Want to Stay Open as a trial horse.

SUN, vol. 4, no. 1 (Spring 1974). Cover by Rudy Burckhardt.

My tastes ran to the New York School, but there was a lot to admire (and publish) all around. In 1975 I brought out four titles, including Lauds by Harvey Shapiro, my own Theories of Rain and Other Poems, and Trevor Winkfield’s translation of How I Wrote Certain of My Books by Raymond Roussel—and the press took wing. We did thirty-five books in all, sometimes in hardcover and with dust jackets—mostly books of poems, but here and there a novel, a book of nonfiction, and some translations: Max Jacob’s Dice Cup edited and translated by Michael Brownstein, Ron Padgett, John Ashbery, and Zack Rogow, and me; the aforementioned Roussel, in two editions; Jules Supervielle translated by George Bogin; Malcolm de Chazal translated by Irving Weiss; Francis Ponge translated by Serge Gavronsky; and Gorän Sonnevi translated by Robert Bly.

The SUN list included Phillip Lopate, Ron Padgett, Bill Knott, Marc Kaminsky, Greg Kuzma, Jaimy Gordon, Michael O’Brien, Marjorie Welish, Maureen Owen, Serge Gavronsky, Paul Auster, James Schuyler, Tony Towle, George Economou, Carolanne Ely, Robert Hershon, Barry Yourgrau, Andrei Codrescu, Peter Schjeldahl, Alan Feldman, and Paul Violi.

SUN, vol. 5, no. 1 (Winter 1983). Cover by Glen Baxter.

When in 1985 illness made it impossible for my wife Phyllis to continue working on SUN, I realized that I couldn’t support us on freelance poets-in-the-schools jobs. I found publishers for the several books that were in the works, began to empty the warehouse of backstock, returned manuscripts, and exhaled deeply as I closed up the shop. (I taught high school for the next twenty-four years.) The business side of publishing never thrilled me. Though the press and the magazine were generously supported by grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, when getting and spending and paperwork got me down I used to lament, “I started life as a poet and I’m ending it as an accountant.” Nevertheless I am very happy that I published so many wonderful books that I wanted to read.

— Bill Zavatsky, New York, March 2017

Sundial/SUN, 1966–83

Complete checklist with all contributors available as a PDF.

Roy Rogers, 1966–74

A spinoff of Sundial, Roy Rogers was first produced as a giveaway stapled-and-mimeographed publication to accommodate the fact that a number of writers on the Sundial staff were writing so prolifically. Five issues of the “giveway” were done between late 1966 (?) and 1967.

After I took control of Sundial and restamped the magazine with the name of SUN, I produced two much larger issues of Roy Rogers, described below.

Roy Rogers [1] (1970). An “All Roy Rogers” issue, in which all material pertains to the cowboy hero. Mimeographed/stapled, 44 pp.

Roy Rogers [2] (Winter1974). A “One Line Poems” issue, in which all contributions are of that genre. Offset/stapled, with a wraparound four-color cover designed by Hannah Wilke, 117 pp.

Roy Rogers, vol. 1, no. 1 (May 1967). A giveaway.

SUN Books, 1972–85 (complete)

Auster, Paul. The Invention of Solitude. 1982. 174 pp.

Codrescu, Andrei. Selected Poems 1970–1980. 1983. 139 pp.

de Chazal, Malcolm. Sens-Plastique. 1979. Edited and translated from the French with an introduction by Irving Weiss. 163 pp.

Economou, George. Ameriki: Book One, and Selected Earlier Poems. 1977. 102 pp.

Ely, Carolanne. Love Wounds & Multiple Fractures. 1975. 36 pp.

Feldman, Alan. The Happy Genius. 1978. 75 pp.

Gavronsky, Serge. The German Friend. 1984. 164 pp.

Gordon, Jaimy. The Bend, The Lip, The Kid: Reallife Stories. 1978. 66 pp.

Heller, Michael. Knowledge. 1979. 88 pp.

Hershon, Robert. How to Ride on the Woodlawn Express. 1985. 59 pp.

Jacob, Max. The Dice Cup: Selected Prose Poems. 1979. Edited and with an introduction by Michael Brownstein, with translations from the French by the editor, John Ashbery, David Ball, Ron Padgett, Zack Rogow, and Bill Zavatsky. 122 pp.

Kaminsky, Marc. A Table with People. 1982. 117 pp.

Knott, Bill. Selected and Collected Poems. 1977. 121 pp.

Kuzma, Greg. Of China and of Greece. 1984. 108 pp.

Lopate, Phillip. The Daily Round: New Poems. 1976. 90 pp.

Lopate, Phillip. The Eyes Don’t Always Want to Stay Open. 1972. 61 pp.

Lopate, Phillip. The Eyes Don’t Always Want to Stay Open. 1976. 61 pp. Redesigned and reprinted from 1972 edition.

O’Brien, Michael. Blue Springs: Poems. 1976. 90 pp.

O’Brien, Michael. Conversations at the West End 1966–1974. 1979. 176 pp.

Owen, Maureen. Zombie Notes. 1985. 64 pp.

Padgett, Ron. Toujours l’amour: Poems. 1976. 104 pp.

Padgett, Ron. Triangles in the Afternoon. 1979. 46 pp.

Ponge, Francis. The Sun Placed in the Abyss and Other Texts. 1977. Translated from the French with an essay and interview with Ponge by Serge Gavronsky. 101 pp.

Roussel, Raymond. How I Wrote Certain of My Books. 1975. Translated from the French with notes and a bibliography by Trevor Winkfield. 42 pp.

Continue reading

Roussel, Raymond. How I Wrote Certain of My Books. 1977. Translated from the French with notes and a bibliography by Trevor Winkfield. Includes two essays on Roussel by John Ashbery and a translation of Canto III of Roussel’s poem “New Impressions of Africa” by Kenneth Koch. 71 pp.

Schjeldahl, Peter. Since 1964: New and Selected Poems. 1978. 116 pp.

Schuyler, James. Freely Espousing. 1979. 92 pp.

Shapiro, Harvey. Lauds: Poems. 1975. 49 pp.

Shapiro, Harvey. Lauds & Nightsounds. 1978. 97 pp.

Sonnevi, Göran. The Economy Spinning Faster and Faster: Poems. 1982. Chosen and translated from the Swedish with an introduction by Robert Bly. Includes Swedish texts. 45 pp.

Supervielle, Jules. Selected Poems and Reflections on the Art of Poetry. 1985. Translated from the French with a preface by George Bogin. Includes French texts of poems. 172 pp.

Towle, Tony. “Autobiography” and Other Poems. 1977. Copublished with Coach House South. 68 pp.

Violi, Paul. Harmatan. 1977. 65 pp.

Violi, Paul. Splurge. 1982. 81 pp.

Welish, Marjorie. Handwritten. 1979. 60 pp.

Yourgrau, Barry. A Man Jumps Out of an Airplane. 1984. 99 pp.

Zavatsky, Bill. Theories of Rain and Other Poems. 1975. 91 pp.

The Alternative Press

The Alternative Press

Ann and Ken Mikolowski
Detroit; Grindstone City, Michigan; and later Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Alternative Press Subscription Mailings [Art, Poetry, Melodrama] [1]–[20] (Fall 1972–2006). No. 14/15 is a double issue.

Ted Berrigan, [Umbrella] hand-drawn postcard from the Alternative Press Subscription Mailing 12 (1983). One of 500 unique postcards that provided the basis for Berrigan’s A Certain Slant of Sunlight.


The experimental, innovative, and unpretentious links forged by the Alternative Press between poets and painters recall other legendary collaborations: the poets and painters of the Dada and Surrealist movements in the early part of this century, and, closer to our own time, poet Frank O’Hara and his connection with the New York School painters. The Mikolowskis have sought out contributions from the major figures in the country in contemporary poetry, as well as some of the finest artists. The layering of work by Detroit artists and by artists around the country lends the Press its luster as an important showcase for Michigan artists while disdaining any regional label. Its modest production and low-key approach masks a truly revolutionary spirit.
— Mary Ann Wilkinson, Curator of Modern Art, Detroit Institute of Arts

The Alternative Press began its thirty-year run in a Detroit inner city basement in 1969. Ann Mikolowski, an artist, and myself, a poet, were the recent purchasers of a 1904 Chandler & Price hand-set letterpress. We had never printed before. For us it was the cheapest, but not easiest, way to publish the work of our friends, the poets and artists of Detroit. We provided the labor and all that needed to be bought was paper and ink. But the 1,500-pound press was an intimidating presence and demanded we quickly get up to speed.

After more than a bit of trial and plenty of error we established our functional format of broadsides, postcards, bookmarks, and bumper stickers.

Diane di Prima, “Blame God” bumper sticker from the Alternative Press Subscription Mailing 19 (1997).

Until, one day, we upped the ante. We found an easy answer to our printing labors: we turned artists and poets loose with 500 blank postcards each, to do with as they pleased. Each card was handmade and unique, no two alike: poems, paintings, collages, photographs, even metal works and ceramics. Everyone brought whatever they had and gave everything they had.

Eileen Myles, “Spider Cider,” letterpress postcard sent out as part of the Alternative Press’s Poetry Postcards, Series 3 [1986].

I’m not real modest about the impact of this; there’s nothing like it in publishing history. Random House could never do this. In fact, neither did we. It was the artists and poets who did it, and we were the distributors, sending those cards on to our subscribers, generally other artists and writers, for over thirty years. It was fun.

Ann Mikolowski, 1992 [Calendar]. Included in the Alternative Press Subscription Mailing no. 17 (1992).

Robert Creeley, Alice Notley, Ted Berrigan, Joe Brainard, Anne Waldman, Joanne Kyger, and Bill Berkson were just a few who participated. Faye Kicknosway, Alice, and Bill did more than one set. Faye holds the record of four sets of 500 originals. Ted, Alice, and Faye all published books from their postcards, but Creeley deliberately did not make copies of his: each was a handwritten, numbered, and signed original. Whoever received that poem has the only one in existence. A bibliographer’s nightmare.

Ted Berrigan [Night-Fishing on St. Mark’s Place]. Hand-drawn postcard from the Alternative Press Subscription Mailing 12 (1983). One of 500 unique postcards that provided the basis for Berrigan’s A Certain Slant of Sunlight.

Each package from the Alternative Press contained these multiple-original postcards and a variety of new printed work from writers such as Jim Gustafson, Donna Brook, Ron Padgett, Sherman Alexie, Allen Ginsberg, Eileen Myles, and Andrei Codrescu.

Envelope for the Alternative Press Subscription Mailing [20] “Final Issue, Finally” (2006). Mailed to Jennifer Dunbar Dorn.

With Ann’s death in 1999 the press came to an end. But it was quite a run.

— Ken Mikolowski, Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 2017


Kevin Eckstrom, ed., Art Poetry Melodrama: 20 Years of The Alternative Press. Detroit Institute of Arts, 1990.

Tooth of Time Review

Magazines & Presses

Tooth of Time Review

John Brandi
Guadalupita, New Mexico

Nos. 1–7 (1974–78).

John Brandi, ed. Sol Tide: From Sunrise to Sunset: a Collective Wave (n.d.). Tooth of Time Review 3. Cover and illustrations by the editor.

The first chapbooks and broadsides published by Tooth of Time Books were printed on a 1903 Rotary Neostyle mimeograph, now in the archives of UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. Of those early editions, Sol Tide—an 88-page poetry anthology limited to 200 copies—is a favorite.

John Brandi at his Rotary Neostyle press, ca. mid-1970s.

Published in the mid-1970s, it sold for $2, plus a buck for postage, direct from my New Mexico mountain cabin. An iconic and classic counterculture production, Sol Tide’s contents were typed on waxed-paper stencils which were wrapped around the mimeo’s hand-inked rotating drum, into which sheets of paper were fed, then collated and bound—with staples, needle and thread, or by treadle sewing machine. Such was the manner of production for the early Tooth of Time editions. The routine included a healthy mix of work and play: nips of tequila, music, a domino game, cookouts, a dip in the spring, readings of Shakespeare under the pines. Many books featured hand-colored drawings: Emptylots, Field Notes From Alaska, A Partial Exploration of Palo Flechado Canyon—to name a few (they appeared under various imprints—Nail Press, Smokey the Bear Press, etc.—while I searched for a fitting name after moving from California to New Mexico).

Sol Tide featured one of the very first poems in English by Japanese poet-wanderer, Nanao Sakaki—whom I had met at Gary Snyder’s Kitkitdizee. The anthology featured works by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Simon Ortiz, Peter Blue Cloud, Charles Plymell, Janine Pommy Vega, Robert Peterson, David Meltzer, Jack Hirschman, Rachel Peters, Gary Paul Nabhan, Larry Goodell, Anaïs Nin, and others. Plus translations by Arthur Sze and Barbara Szerlip, and excerpts from writings by Lama Anagarika Govinda, Chögyam Trungpa, Walt Whitman, Leonardo da Vinci, and William Shakespeare.

Much has been written about Tooth of Time Books. How it was inspired by a hermit I visited in the Andes, mid-1960s. How, in exchange for the use of his mimeo machine, he had me tote buckets of “ink”—used crankcase oil—up a two-kilometer hill to his shack. How he advised me: “Do it yourself, don’t wait for someone from the mainstream to give you the go-ahead.” How I brought my own vintage mimeograph to New Mexico in 1971, setting it up (along with a 1940s Remington “noiseless” typewriter) inside a plastic-covered wikiup—a temporary shelter while a pole-frame cabin was being constructed.

Arthur Sze, Two Ravens (1976). Tooth of Time Review 4. Cover and illustrations by John and Gioia Brandi.

Tooth of Time Books was named after a domed-rock promontory north of the cabin site. Sol Tide’s colophon indicated “The press is devoted to journal jottings, poetry, prose, song/dance & alchemistic probings concerned with exploration/meditation/narration related to wanderings/settlings over/in astral & geographical hemispheres.” Manuscripts were solicited. Production relied “on maximum participation by songsters, usually in the form of typing, preparing stencils, & sharing paper costs.” This required authors to show up, albeit with a forewarning: “We do not operate a dude ranch, there is no electricity or plumbing, water is drawn from a spring, a small garden feeds us. As Jaime de Angulo would say: ‘if you are looking for comfort, don’t come here! You will have to sleep in a tent or under the stars. This place is far from civilization.’”

Tooth of Time Books has been featured in two Museum of New Mexico exhibitions, Lasting Impressions: The Private Presses of New Mexico and Voices of the Counterculture in the Southwest. As it developed from mimeo books to small-press trade editions (featuring such authors as Arthur Sze, Harold Littlebird, Luci Tapahonso, and Nanao Sakaki) the press garnered support from the National Endowment for the Arts. In the year 2000 Tooth of Time Books resumed as when first founded: limited-edition, hand-colored chapbooks and broadsides. The mimeograph days, however, have come to an end.

— John Brandi, El Rito, New Mexico, March 2017

Tooth of Time Publications (complete)


Baber, Bob Henry, ed. Time is an Eightball: Poems from Juvenile Homes & the Penitentiary of New Mexico. 1984.

Brandi, John. Poems from the Green Parade. 1990.

Brandi, John. River Following. 1997. Yoo-Hoo Press / Tooth of Time.

Brandi, John. Sky Hourse / Pink Cottonwood. 1980.

Brandi, John. Shadow Play. 1992. Light and Dust / Tooth of Time.

Brandi, John. Stone Garland. 2000.

Brandi, John. That Crow That Visited Was Flying Backwards. 1982.

Brandi, John. That Crow That Visited Was Flying Backwards. 1984. Revised edition.

Brandi, John. Visits to the City of Light. 2000. Mother’s Milk / Tooth of Time.

Brandi, John and Steve Sanfield. Postage Due. 2011. Backlog / Tooth of Time.

Brandi, John, ed. Dog Blue Day: An Anthology of Writing from the Penitentiary of New Mexico. 1985.

Catacalos, Rosemary. Again For The First Time. 1984.

Connor, Julia. Making the Good. 1988.

Crews, Judson. The Noose. 1980. Duende / Tooth of Time.

Kage. Only the Ashes. 1981. Translated by Steve Sanfield.

Lamadrid, Enrique, ed. En Breve: Minimalism in Mexican Poetry 1900–1985. 1988.

Lamadrid, Enrique and Mario Del Valle, eds. Un Ojo en el Muro / An Eye Through the Wall: Mexican Poetry 1970–1985. 1986.

Lau, Carolyn. Wode Shuofa (My Way of Speaking). 1988.

Littlebird, Harold. On Mountain’s Breath. 1982.

Noyes, Stanley. The Commander of Dead Leaves. 1984.

Noyes, Stanley. My Half-Wild West. 2012.

Sakaki, Nanao. Real Play. 1981.

Sanfield, Steve. A New Way. 1983.

Sanfield, Steve and John Brandi. Clouds Come and Go. 2015.

Sze, Arthur. Two Ravens. 1984.

Sze, Arthur. The Willow Wind. 1981.

Tapahonso, Luci. Seasonal Woman. 1982.

Tarn, Nathaniel. At the Western Gates. 1985.

Vega, Janine Pommy. Drunk on a Glacier, Talking to Flies. 1988.

Zarco, Cyn. Circumnavigation. 1986.

Early Tooth Of Time (the mimeograph days)
The following chapbooks were printed on the 1903 Rotary Neostyle mimeograph machine, given to John Brandi by Fred Marchman—painter, poet, and amigo from Peace Corps days, mid ‘60s. When Fred returned to the U.S. in 1968, he used the Neostyle to print his own books (Ecuadernos, and others) under the imprint: Nail Press. John Brandi eventually changed the name to Tooth of Time Books, after moving to New Mexico, Spring, 1971.

Brandi, John. Emptylots: Poems of Venice and L.A. 1971. Nail Press.

Brandi, John. Firebook. 1974. Smoky the Bear Press (a.k.a. Nail Press).

Brandi, John. A Partial Exploration of Palo Flechado Canyon. 1973. Nail Press.

Brandi, John. The Phoenix Gas Slam. 1974. Nail Press.

Brandi, John. San Francisco Lastday Homebound Hangover Blues. 1973. Nail Press.

Brandi, John. Smudgepots. 1974. Nail Press.

Brandi, John. Three Poems for Spring. 1975. Tooth of Time.

Continue reading

Brandi, John. Turning Thirty Poem. 1974. Nail Press (cover) / Duende (interior).

Brandi, John, ed. Sol Tide: From Sunrise to Sunset: a Collective Wave. 1976. Tooth of Time.

Brandi, John, ed. Poems and Storys: by Children of Coyote Valley School. 1975. Tooth of Time.

Curtis, Walt. Wauregon. 1974. Nail Press.

Felger, Richard. Dark Horses and Little Turtles. 1974. Nail Press.

Marchman, Fred. Dr. Jomo’s Handy Holy Home Remedy Remedial Reader. 1973. Nail Press.

Marchman, Fred. Ecuadernos, vols I, II, III. 1968. [Nail Press].

Martino, Bill. Fallen Feathers. 1973. Nail Press

The seven issues of the Tooth of Time Review monograph issues are

Bird, Leonard. River of Lost Souls. 1976. Tooth of Time Review 6.

Brandi, John. Andean Town: Circa 1980. 1978. Tooth of Time Review 7. Illustrated with photographs by John Powell.

Brandi, John, ed. Sol Tide: From Sunrise to Sunset: a Collective Wave. (n.d.). Tooth of Time Review 3. Cover and illustrations by the editor.

Felger, Richard. Dark Horses and Little Turtles. 1974. Tooth of Time Review 1. Cover and illustrations by the author.

Sanfield, Steve. Back Log: A Cycle of Hoops from the Sierra Foothills. 1975. Tooth of Time Review 2.

Sze, Arthur. Two Ravens. 1976. Tooth of Time Review 4. Cover and illustrations by John and Gioia Brandi.

Willems, J. Rutherford. Amidamerica. 1976. Tooth of Time Review 5.

Unmuzzled OX

Magazines & Presses

Unmuzzled OX

Michael Andre
Kingston, Canada, later New York

(Erika Rothenberg co-edited The Poets’ Encyclopedia and Charles Henri Ford edited no. 26)

Vol. 1, no. 1–vol. 15, no. 4 (1971–2001).

Unmuzzled OX, vol. 1, no. 1 (November 1970). Cover by R. Crumb.

400 Words

When the first plane hit the World Trade Center I was a few blocks away, xeroxing John Cage’s various contributions to Unmuzzled OX. The xerox joint shook. “Gas explosion,” I thought. “Someone’s been careless.” I glanced out the window and saw flames. “Damn careless,” I added mentally but continued xeroxing. Cage is complicated and I had to concentrate. I didn’t give the first explosion another thought until the second plane hit.

Unmuzzled OX, vol. 13 (1981). It As it by Michael Andre, illustrated by Brian Buczak.

I had an 11:00 a.m. appointment with Colette that morning. Her art had illustrated the last issue of Unmuzzled OX, an opera libretto by Carlos Goldoni translated by W. H. Auden. We were going to sign and number an edition of 100.  Colette and I cancelled. That, incidentally, was the second Auden OX. Laurie Anderson had illustrated the first; Laurie and I were friends at Columbia in 1972. But this was 2001. After talking to Colette, I stood on Hudson Street with a retired CIA agent who told me exactly what was happening. When the first tower fell, it scared the hell out of me. “Everything has changed,” I thought. “Things will never be the same.” And there would be no more Unmuzzled OX.

A few days later Daniel Berrigan, the Jesuit poet and activist, gave a speech in Washington Square. I had done a number of signed limited editions to raise money for Dan’s political endeavors. Allen Ginsberg regularly contributed his work and signature. The artist John Wesley did the covers and illustrations and also signed. In Washington Square Dan said, “Let’s rebuild the twin towers and call them Justice and Peace.” It sounded good at the time.

Unmuzzled OX, vol. 4, no. 4–vol. 5, no. 4 (nos. 16–20) (1979). The Poets’ Encyclopedia, edited by Michael Andre and Erika Rothenberg.

Unmuzzled OX began with interviews. In 1971 I interviewed Robert Creeley in Bolinas, CA, and gathered material from Charles Bukowski, R. Crumb, Gary Snyder, &c., for volume 1, number 1. Design was shaky. By the time I interviewed Andy Warhol in 1976 the design had begun to jump and dance. The best issue is generally considered to be The Poets’ Encyclopedia from 1979. “225 poets, artists, musicians & novelists transform the world’s basic knowledge.” Or so I wrote. Nobody in The Poets’ Encyclopedia mentioned Islam.

— Michael Andre, New York, February 28, 2017

Unmuzzled OX, vol. 15, nos. 1–4 (2001). Arcifanfaro, King of Fools; or It’s always too late to learn by Carlo Goldoni, translated and adapted by W. H. Auden. Cover by Colette.

Unmuzzled OX Checklist

Vol. 1, no. 1 (1971). No. 1. Cover by R. Crumb.

Vol. 1, no. 2 (February 1972). No. 2. Cover, logo, and illustrations by R. Crumb.

Vol. 1, no. 3 (Summer 1972). No. 3. Cover and stamps by Laurie Anderson.

Vol. 1, no. 3 (Autumn 1972). No. 4. Two editions: 1) One hundred copies in which Father Daniel Berrigan signs his suite of poems; John Wesley, the cover artist, signs his drawing; then signed and numbered on the last page by Father Berrigan, on 70-lb Kensington Laid-White paper. [Although not mentioned, Allen Ginsberg also signed.] 2) A second trade edition on regular offset paper in which the signature closing Father Berrigan’s poems is photomechanically reproduced.

Vol. 2, nos. 1/2 (1973). No. 5/6. Titled “Gregory Corso” on front cover. Two editions: 1) A first edition of thirty-five signed and numbered, with a drawing by Gregory Corso, and 2) a second trade edition.

Vol 2, no. 3 (1974). No. 7. Cover drawing is a sketch from a gouache by John Wesley.

Vol. 2, no. 4–vol. 3, no. 1 (1974). No. 8/9. The Japanese Notebook OX by Gregory Corso. Also known as Earth Egg. Accordion-fold booklet written and drawn by Gregory Corso, in cardboard box.

Vol. 3, no. 2 (1975). No. 10. Cover by Bockris-Wylie. [Note: p. 125 notes a signed limited edition of nos. 4, 5/6, and 8/9. Our 8/9 (second edition) does not mention the limited.]

Vol. 3, no. 3 ([1975]). No. 11. Yellow Flowers by Andrew Wylie. A flyer included with no. 11 reads “Before returning to our ‘review’ format, Unmuzzled OX is completing volume 3 with two books: Yellow Flowers by Andrew Wylie is no. 3 and Tropicalism by Kenward Elmslie is no. 4, or Unmuzzled OX 12.” Yellow Flowers was originally published by Dot Books, 1972; Tropicalism was originally published by Z Press, 1975.

Vol. 3, no. 4 (1975). No. 12. Tropicalism by Kenward Elmslie. Front cover by Joe Brainard, front cover photo by Gerard Malanga.

Vol. 4, no. 1 (1976). No. 13.

Vol. 4, no. 2 (1976). No. 14. Cover by Hannah Wilke.

Continue reading

Vol. 4, no. 3 (n.d.). No. 15. Cover incorporates a photo of Kiki by Brassaï. P. 135 notes limited edition of Earth Egg by Gregory Corso (8/9), edition of one hundred on special stock, signed and numbered by Corso with “Last Indian Poem.” Also indicates that no. 4 is signed by Allen Ginsberg, not mentioned in colophon of no. 4.

Vol. 4, no. 4–vol. 5, no. 4 (1979). Nos. 16–20. The Poets’ Encyclopedia. Available paperbound, in a hardcover library binding, and an edition of thirty-five signed by one hundred contributors. Edited by Michael Andre and Erika Rothenberg.

Vol. 6, no. 1 (Summer 1980). No. 21. “Unmuzzled OX removes a book’s cover, dresses it in a new jacket, and the book becomes a magazine. Mass publishers shred or dump in very little time the poetry they publish. It makes certain contemporary poets feel like Job.” No. 21 is Job Speaks, interpreted from the Original Hebrew Book of Job by David Rosenberg, Harper & Row, 1977. First edition, hardcover. From the back cover: “Job Speaks was printed by Harper & Row, neglected, then finally retrieved from that vast corporate state by Unmuzzled OX. The large publishers can sell any book that isn’t poetry. This ’recovery’ begins a series of ’recoveries.’ Job starts to speak: Rip up the day I was born.”

Vol. 6, no. 2 (Winter 1981). No. 22. Titled “Gregory Corso” on front cover. Edited by Michael Andre and Erika Rothenberg.

Vol. 6, no. 3–vol. 12, no. 1 (1984). No. 23. Back cover photo of Keith Richards by Gerard Malanga. The Cantos (121–150) Ezra Pound. [Note: The Cantos (121–150) Ezra Pound was available in three editions: four unbound tabloids, spiralbound, and casebound.]

Vol. 12, no. 2 (1986). No. 24. Cover portraits of Gerard Malanga and Cathy Aison, “waiting for Ezra Pound,” are by Diane Arbus. The Cantos (125–143) Ezra Pound.

Vol. 12, no. 3 (1988). No. 25. Cover by Gerard Malanga; other photos by Anne Turyn. “Ezra Pound’s Interview is Canto CXLV of The Cantos (121–150) Ezra Pound.”

Vol. 12, no. 4 (1988). No. 26. Cover, inside and out, by Mike Metz. Blues 10 CXLIV edited by Charles Henri Ford.

Vol. 13, nos. 1–4 (1990). No number. It As It by Michael Andre, illustrated by Brian Buczak.

Vol. 14, nos. 1–4 (1996). No number. Cover by John Wesley. “Jack Frost’s Canadian OX.” See “Catalogue Deraisonne” (p. 69) for useful listing of Unmuzzled OX publications, including Unmuzzled OX Festival at Attitude Art (a catalog) and Brian Buczak: A Memorial Exhibition catalog.

Vol. 15, nos. 1–4 (2001). No number. Arcifanfaro, King of Fools by Carlo Goldoni, translated and adapted by W. H. Auden. Front cover “The Death of Marat, After David” by Colette. Back cover by Sharon Gilbert, “Mad and crazy, all.”


The San Francisco Earthquake

The San Francisco Earthquake

Gail Dusenbery and Jan Herman (1, 2); Claude Pélieu (Grey Editor, 2); Claude Pélieu and Jan Herman (3); Jan Herman (4); and Jan Herman and Norman O. Mustill (5)
San Francisco

Vol. 1, nos. 1–5 (Fall 1967–1969).

The San Francisco Earthquake, vol. 1, no. 1 (Fall 1967). Cover collage by Norman O. Mustill.

We should have named it Earthquake, plain and simple. But we were in love with San Francisco, with the city as it was then in the mid-1960s. It’s not for nothing that the first issue, published in the fall of 1967, began with a swooning LSD-flavored prose poem, “First Evening in San Francisco.” The poet was a New Yorker, though: Jim Brodey. The second poem, “I’m Hunger,” was by Debi Ray. He lived in India. The third piece was an anarchist manifesto, “Intro to Provo,” by Roel van Duyn. He was Dutch. Experimental texts by William S. Burroughs were the heart and soul of the magazine through the entire run of five issues. Burroughs lived in London.

The San Francisco Earthquake, vol. 1, no. 2 (Winter 1968–69). Cover collage by Norman Mustill.

My chief collaborators were a German living in Heidelberg, Carl Weissner; a Frenchman who had recently moved to San Francisco, Claude Pélieu; an American expat who arrived with Claude after living for decades in Paris, Mary Beach; and a Canadian from Montreal who lived in Marin County: Norman O. Mustill. My other close associates were Nanos Valaoritis, who fled from Athens when the Greek military junta took over—he was living in Oakland—and Liam O’Gallagher, the one native Californian in the whole mishpucha, who lived in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

So it really would have been more accurate to call the magazine just plain Earthquake. But my original coeditor, Gail Dusenbery, a poet living in Berkeley, who chose the name for the magazine, decided that a photo of the city engulfed in flames during the 1906 earthquake belonged in that first issue. It was captioned “SAN FRANCISCO A BLAZING FURNACE.” Which more or less explains how the magazine got its full moniker.

A  close-up of one of the three unbound folded sheets, each 22½ x 30 inches, in the San Francisco Earthquake 5 (1969), the “VDRSVP issue.”

Admittedly, we published the usual suspects of the Bay Area lit scene (Ferlinghetti, Robert Duncan, Michael McClure, Charles Plymell); the not-so-usual (Stephen Schneck, Bob Kaufman, Herbert Huncke, Janine Pommy Vega, Bill Bathurst, Doug Palmer, Clemens Starck); but many more from elsewhere (Alan Ansen, Frank O’Hara, Dick Higgins, Richard Kostelanetz, Allen Ginsberg, Carl Solomon, Sinclair Beiles, Douglas Blazek, Ed Sanders, Ken Weaver, Dennis Jasudowicz, Tom Veitch, Ron Padgett, Alain Jouffroy, Ken Friedman, John Furnival, Ed Ruscha, Georges Bataille, Jean-Pierre Duprey, Christo, Jeff Nuttall, Harold Norse, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Jean-François Bory, Jochen Gerz, Wolf Vostell).

The roster of Beat, post-Beat, Fluxus, and otherwise-inclined contributors may have had something to do with the magazine’s wide recognition at the time. But it’s more likely the result of being included in the City Lights catalogue, which made the magazine available nationally and internationally. (I was Ferlinghetti’s assistant at the time.) Ironically, the best issue, the one that broke the most ground—the fifth and final issue, which consisted of three VDRSVP newsprint broadsheets folded within wraparound covers—never appeared in the catalogue. The broadsheets got the widest circulation, however, because they were reprinted by the New Orleans underground paper NOLA Express as literary inserts.

— Jan Herman, New York, March 2017

The San Francisco Earthquake, vol. 1, no. 3 (Spring 1968). Cover by Roy Lichtenstein.

The San Francisco Earthquake, vol. 1, no. 4 (Summer/Fall 1968). Cover by Roy Lichtenstein.

The San Francisco Earthquake 5 (1969).

VDRSVP #3 contained in the San Francisco Earthquake 5 (1969).



Magazines & Presses


David Glotzer, Basil King, and Harry Lewis
New York; Amherst and Northampton, Massachusetts

Vol. 1, no. 1–vol. 4, no. 1 (nos. 1–8/9) (April 1971–Spring/Summer 1976). 8 issues.

Mulch, vol. 1, no. 1 (April 1971). Cover by Basil King.

A Timeline for Mulch Magazine and Press

Basil King and I began talking about collaborating on a magazine around summer of 1968. I had in mind something that would be a cross between Kultur and Yugen. Basil was very clear that he wanted something different and not “following in” the wake of … We both wanted large sections of poetry and prose, and we wanted to be able to publish anything that interested us. And it certainly had to have an open and full visual feel with plenty of room for artwork and reviews; but early on Basil insisted it needed science and culture to be a regular part of the mix. I was particularly involved with anthropology at that time, and had close relationships with a number of younger anthropologists, who, it would turn out, became active in the gathering we set in motion.

Basil and I both wanted a third partner because it would make for a better balance, and I pointed out to Basil that we really needed someone who knew production. As it turned out I was working with a young guy who had dropped out of Columbia named David Glotzer. I was editing limited editions of small press books and magazines for a press that specialized in library sales. David was the head of production there, and he wanted desperately to be part of the literary scene that was still alive at that time. He wanted to join us as soon as he met Basil (and Martha).

Mulch vol. 1, no. 2 (October 1971). Cover by Jerry Shore.

By 1970 we had the basics together and had what looked like a strong first issue. BUT we still didn’t have a name. One late afternoon, on a weekend, I got a call from Basil and the only word he said was “mulch.” I laughed and knew we had it. He and Martha had been out at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and there was an exhibit on mulch and Basil knew immediately that was the name. David’s girlfriend at the time came up with the slogan for our venture—she said, “Mulch before the first hard freeze.” We all loved it and we were set.

We paid for the first issue with David’s credit card and in April 1971 the first issue appeared with Basil’s wonderful drawing of infant Carlos Blackburn’s face on the cover. The issue had poetry by Ted Enslin, Nicolas Gullen (translated by Paul Blackburn), Paul Pines, Toby Olson, and Paul Blackburn’s own work. There was a film script by Milton Moses Ginsberg (who made Coming Apart and later The Werewolf of Washington) and book reviews and photographs by Basil (most people are unaware of how good a photographer he was/is and that he was already connected to pigeons and was writing back then. He wrote the opening preface for the first issue, titled “Columbia Livia Domestica, the ordinary street pigeon … ”). We were on our way.

We did nine issues in all, closing the magazine with issue #9/10 in the summer of 1976. We published poetry by Martha King, Brian Breger, David Glotzer, George Economou, Susan Sherman, Harry Lewis, Toby Olson; fiction by Joan Silber, Merce Rodoreda; criticism and comment by Hayden Herrerra and Gene Swenson; documents by Hans Hoffman and John Graham; many reviews; art by Basil King, John Graham, Fritz Bultman, and others; and essays on anthropology by Marjorie Shostak and Melvin Conner. [Margie wound up developing what I edited with her, on the lives of !Kunk Bushwomen, into a wonderful and important book entitled Nisa: The Life of a !Kunk Bushwoman, and Mel wrote many books dealing with hunting and gathering cultures and lives and on human behavior and evolution. It was amazing that they both started in Mulch.] Every issue had a preface and one of Basil’s called “Spam” (in the last issue) stays with me to this day, as a point of cultural reference.

Mulch vol. 2, no. 1 (Spring 1972). Cover by Jerry Shore.

In 1972 we published our first book, Onion by Paul Pines, with drawings by Basil King. A strong and solid first book for Paul with drawings that were powerful and very memorable. We agreed that drawings for our books would not be illustrations or decorations but rather part of the whole. This had always been Basil’s intention about any art he did for books or magazines. In fact, integrating art became a defining part of Mulch magazine and the press, which we named Haystack Books. Books became more and more our primary focus; we finished the magazine in 1976 and by then had built a strong list of books by Paul Blackburn, Joel Oppenheimer, Allen Ginsberg, Susan Sherman, Harry Lewis, Paul Pines, and Michael Stephens.

Around 1975 we agreed to let David Glotzer take over the business, with Basil
remaining as art director and me as executive editorial consultant. David had hoped to make the press self-sustaining. It was not to be. Within two years he would decide to close the whole operation and move to San Francisco.

For me Mulch was my most intense period of education as a writer and thinker. I think it shaped all of us. The relationship, and what I learned from Basil, was defining and became a deep part of me, in more ways than can be covered here.

— Harry Lewis, New York, March 2017

Mulch, vol. 3, no. 3 (7) (Fall/Winter 1975). Cover by Fielding Dawson.


Mulch, vol. 3, no. 4/vol. 4, no. 1 (8/9) (Spring/Summer 1976). Cover by Basil King.


Magazines & Presses

Momentum and Momentum Press

Bill Mohr
Los Angeles

Nos. 1–8 (1974–78).

Momentum 2 (Summer 1974).

When I moved to Los Angeles in 1968, I didn’t expect to meet so many poets living outside of the realm of academic affiliations. The intermittent reading series at Papa Bach Bookstore had prompted me in the fall of 1971 to undertake being the first poetry editor of the store’s nascent magazine, Bachy, and I had gone out in search of poets who were interested in being more than local, especially given that we were living in a city globally renowned for its industrial production of culture. While many clusters of poets in L.A. were too small at the start of the 1970s to be called scenes, one of my first realizations of their potential for creating an alternative narrative to the corporate consciousness of the East Coast publishing world came about through my reading of Invisible City, which was edited by Paul Vangelisti and John McBride. Both of them had also started Red Hill Press as a book publishing project.

Momentum 5 (Summer 1975).

After meeting poets such as James Krusoe, Harry Northup, Kate Braverman, and Lee Hickman at Beyond Baroque’s Wednesday night poetry workshop, I started my own magazine as a way of contributing to this conversation, and started receiving poems from other young poets such as Garrett Hongo, who was then living in the San Gabriel Valley, and Wanda Coleman, who had grown up in Watts. The amount of poetry available to be published far exceeded what any one magazine could possibly hope to encompass, and I found it impossible to resist the temptation to publish books, too. Other institutions, such as the Woman’s Building, also served as sites of inspiration for manuscripts, such as Holly Prado’s Feasts, which I published along with a score of other titles between 1975 and 1985.

Momentum 7/8 (Fall 1976/Spring 1977). Cover photograph by Michael Mundy.

My poetry magazine, Momentum (1974–78), primarily focused on poets living in Los Angeles County, but I also featured poets such as Alicia Ostriker (New Jersey), Len Roberts (Pennsylvania), Jim Grabill (Ohio; Oregon), as well as Minnesota poets Patricia Hampl and Jim Moore; I went on to publish books by Ostriker, Roberts, Grabill, and Moore. The first of two anthologies I edited in this period, The Streets Inside, only partially caught the flourishing quality of the L.A. scene by the late 1970s. By the mid-1980s, other editors and publishers such as Dennis Cooper (Little Caesar) and Lee Hickman (Bachy and then Temblor) had firmly established Los Angeles as a setting that refused to settle for predictable literature. I edited a much more comprehensive anthology (Poetry Loves Poetry) in 1985, after which I only published a few chapbook projects and limited edition books.

It should be noted that not all those associated with the academy remained isolated from this effusive embodiment of imaginative writing in Los Angeles during this period. Clayton Eshleman’s Sulphur also challenged the poets living in Southern California to read with unwavering commitment to the Republic of Literature. Finally, it cannot be said often enough that Beyond Baroque’s willingness to serve as a production center for many of these editors and publishers was the single most important factor in all of this coming to pass, and that the independent bookstores such as Chatterton’s, Sisterhood, Either/Or, and George Sand, as well as Papa Bach, remain blissful legends in my memories.

— Bill Mohr, Long Beach, California, March 5, 2017

Momentum Press books (complete)

Barnes, Dick. A Lake on the Earth. 1982.

Braverman, Kate. Milk Run. 1977.

Castro-Leon, Sophia. Before the Hawk Gets Off My Head. 1977.

Ellman, Dennis. The Hills of Your Birth. 1976.

Ford, Michael C. The World Is a Suburb of Los Angeles. 1981.

Grabill, James. One River. 1986.

Hickman, Leland. Great Slave Lake Suite. 1980.

Hansen, Joseph. One Foot in the Boat. 1977.

Hansen, Joseph. The Dog and Other Stories. 1979.

Krusoe, James. Small Pianos. 1978.

Krusoe, James. Notes on Suicide. 1976.

Kincaid, Michael. Inclemency’s Tribe. 1990. Drawings by Robert Johnson.

Levitt, Peter. Two Bodies Dark/Velvet. 1975.

Metzger, Deena. Dark Milk. 1978.

Mohr, Bill. Penetralia. 1984.

Mohr, Bill, ed. “Poetry Loves Poetry”: An Anthology of Los Angeles Poets. 1985. Photographs by Sheree Levin.

Mohr, Bill, ed. The Streets Inside: Ten Los Angeles Poets. 1978.

Moore, James. What the Bird Sees. 1978.

Northup, Harry E. Enough the Great Running Chapel. 1982.

Northup, Harry E. Eros Ash. 1982.

Ostriker, Alicia. The Mother/Child Papers. 1980.

Prado, Holly. Feasts. 1976.

Roberts, Len. Cohoes Theater. 1980.

Roddan, Brooks. The Second Dream. 1986.

Thomas, Jack. Waking the Waters. 1978.

Thomas, John, and Philomene Long. The Book of Sleep. 1991.

Warden, Marine Robert. Beyond the Straits. 1980.


Bill Mohr’s book on the poets, small presses, and little magazines of the Invisible City is dense with ideas and information. Highly recommended.

Bill Mohr, Hold-Outs: The Los Angeles Poetry Renaissance, 1948–1992. University of Iowa Press, 2011.


Magazines & Presses


Alan Bernheimer
New York

Sole issue (May 1971).

Sunshine, sole issue (May 1971). Cover by Merrill Gilfillan.


In the spring of 1971, after a post-graduate year hanging around the Poetry Project and working part-time at East Side Books on St. Mark’s Place (the best location for mimeo and other small press publications, although the Phoenix and Eighth Street bookshops in the West Village and the Gotham Book Mart uptown had admirable troves), I was invited to edit a one-shot magazine at the Project.

I chose the name Sunshine and appropriated the lovely italic Sunshine Biscuits Co. (baker of Hydrox cookies and Vienna Fingers) logo with the help of tracing paper. The economical, hands-on, analog technology for text reproduction was, of course, mimeograph, with photocopiers still exotic and expensive. I cut stencils and ran them off on the Project’s workhorse mimeo machine under the watchful eye of Larry Fagin.

But I was stuck for cover art, until Merrill Gilfillan lifted the image of yachtsman Sir Thomas Lipton from the eponymous tea packaging, proffering a cuppa but minus facial features except mustache and otis. Merrill added a couple of his trademark gulls and a horizon line to complete the open-air, nautical setting.

The dozen contributors comprised my young poet friends—Rebecca Wright, Michael Waltuch, Alex Smith, Arlene Ladden, Kit Robinson, Bill Zavatsky, Steve Benson, Rodger Kamenetz, Pat Bizzell, Merrill, and Paul Violi. Avant-garde composer Humphrey Evans III contributed a political cartoon.

And then I turned up my nose at the chance to be editorial assistant to Michael Korda at Simon & Schuster or teach poetry to kids at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and instead hitchhiked to San Francisco. But that’s another story.

— Alan Bernheimer, Berkeley, February 2017

Long News in the Short Century

Magazines & Presses

Long News in the Short Century

Barbara Henning
New York

Vol. 1, nos. 1–5 (1991–94).

Long News in the Short Century, vol. 1, no. 1 (1991).

In 1990, after a fierce tenure battle, I decided to put all my efforts (outside of raising children and teaching at Long Island University) into poetry and poetic community. I remember sitting in a dark cubical at LIU planning this magazine with Lewis Warsh, and then in cafés at night with Michael Pelias, Don Dombowsky, and Sally Young. Long News was always a communal project. Tyrone Williams, Chris Tysh, and Paul Buck joined us as contributing editors. Tyrone came up with “Long News.” I believe Michael Pelias added “in the Short Century.”  Sally Young was art editor for the first issue and then contributing art editor thereafter, along with Rick Franklin. Miranda Maher was the art editor for issues 2 through 5. However, we all contributed visuals and writing. Right from the beginning the magazine had a strong Detroit connection—Miranda, Chris, Tyrone, Sally, and I had lived in Detroit. Sally, Tyrone, and I were born there.

The father of my children, Allen Saperstein, another Detroiter, donated the first issue; he was a printer in Brooklyn. I typeset the first issue in the back of his store, Copycat; Allen printed it on resume paper; then we collated it and took it to his friend Elliot’s shop on 4th Avenue for cutting and binding.

Long News in the Short Century 5 (1994). Cover by Carolee Schneemann.

I spent many weekends in galleries with Miranda looking for possible artists to invite; in our discussions and throughout the five issues, we learned to see writing as visual and visuals as writing. The dialogue and even arguments between editors was exciting and opened up intellectual awareness and creative possibilities. We dedicated the second issue to mourning the losses in the Gulf War. In the fourth issue, Michael Pelias and Charles Wolfe edited a section commemorating the life of Felix Guattari, radical psychoanalyst and theorist; included was a beautiful eulogy by Toni Negri and some poetic essays on the concept of the One. Shortly before issue 5, David Rattray died. We had published some of David’s poems in almost every issue; I remember several times going uptown to his office at Reader’s Digest to pick up poems. A homage to David was included in issue 5 with a photo of him on the cover from an installation by Carolee Schneemann.

For the most part, we published experimental art and writing that addressed tyranny, oppression, censorship, and that made a social commentary. We wanted to transgress static ideas about culture and language, engaging social and political transformation. We had grants from the Fund for Poetry and NY Council for the Arts. Each issue was longer, more focused, and more conceptual. Later issues also included philosophical essays.

Why did we stop? It was a tremendous amount of work; I was also a single mother with two teenagers. Five was enough. It was time to move on to something else.

— Barbara Henning, New York, March 2017


David Abel
Iris Adler
Stavit Allweis
Richard Armijo
Stanley Aronowitz
Danny Barak
Anna Barak
Stephen Barber
Barbara Barg
Christelle Barois
Todd Baron
David Barton
Martine Bellen
Charles Bernstein
Christian Boltanski
Bogdan Borkowski
Nicole Brossard
Laynie Browne
Paul Buck
Jeffrey Byrd
Sophie Calle
Tom Clark
Clark Coolidge
William Corbett
Lynn Crawford
Denise Columb
Chris Custer
Tina Darragh
Don David Dombowsky
Peter de Rous
Johan de Wit
Diane di Prima
Leonardo Drew
Lynne Dreyer
Johanna Drucker
Françoise Duvivier
Peter Edel
Barbara Einzig
Cheri Eisenberg
Elaine Equi
Elke Erb
Cheryl Fish
Tara Francalossi
Rick Franklin
Deborah Freedman
Aki Fujiyoshi
Christopher Gallagher
Q.E.D. Giguere
John Godfrey
Philip Good
Paul Green
Joe Groppuso
Felix Guattari
Robert V. Hale
Molly Hankwitz
Harriette Hartigan
John Hartigan
Barbara Henning
Jerry Herron
Betty Sue Hertz
Bob Holman
Eric Holzman
Shigeo Honda
Fanny Howe
David Humphrey
Kim Hunter
Jeffrey Jacques
Kate Johnson
Thom Jurek
Maho Kino
Julius Klein
Richard Kostelanetz
Kathe Kowalski
Bill Kushner
Michelle Kwiatkowska
Thomas Lail
Françoise Laruelle
Annette Lemieux
Gary Lenhart
Lisa Lesniak
David Letendre

Continue reading

Joel Lewis
Ross Bennett Lewis
Ruth Libermann
Glen Ligon
Robert Longo
Kimberly Lyons
Miranda Maher
Glen Mannisto
Joyce Mansour
Georgia Marsh
Harry Mathews
Bernadette Mayer
Rosemary Mayer
Jim McCrary
Renee McPhail
Kathleen McShane
Annette Messager
Michael Minelli
Glen Mott
Dennis Moritz
Sadiq Muhammad
Harryette Mullen
Steve Murakishi
Antonio Negri
John Newman
Alice Notley
Maureen Owen
Ron Padgett
Franc Palaia
Michael G. Pelias
Wang Ping
Adrian Piper
Allen Planz
Lucio Pozzi
Kristin Prevallet
David Rattray
Elaine Reichek
Patrice Repusseau
Virgilio Rizzo
Kit Robinson
Stephen Rodefer
Judy Roitman
Jacques Roubaud
Christopher Roule
David Rushmer
Stan Sadowski
Aram Saroyan
Tom Savage
Leslie Scalapino
Elio Schneeman
Carolee Schneemann
Brian Schorn
Spencer Selby
Homa Shojaie
Aaron Shurin
Beverly Semmes
Rick Shaefer
Kiki Smith
Mario Sostre
Don Stevenson
D. E. Steward
Gary Sullivan
Ian Taylor
Dennis Teichman
Lorenzo Thomas
Addison Thompson
Toyo Tsuchiya
Chris Tysh
George Tysh
Nancy Van Goethem
Anne Waldman
Rosmarie Waldrop
Lewis Warsh
Tenesh Webber
Margaret Wibner
Faith Wilding
Tyrone Williams
Aaron Williamson
Charles Wolfe
Donald Woods
John Yau
Sally Young
Saul Yurkievich



Magazines & Presses


John Fowler
Lawrence, Kansas

Nos. 2–14 (1964–67).
(Nos. 1 and 13 were not issued.)

Grist 2 (Spring 1964). Cover by Lee Payton.

John Fowler, editor and publisher of Grist magazine, came to Lawrence, Kansas, from southern Missouri in the early 1960s. He settled with his wife, Bernice, and two young sons. He soon opened a tiny bookstore, Abington Books, just off the University of Kansas campus atop Mount Oread. His store was next to a barber shop and bookended in the neighborhood by two bars, the Gaslight and the Rockchalk, which are infamous in Lawrence mid-century lore. The bookshop soon became a meeting place for activists and literary types … academic and from the street. The store was stocked with the literature of the day … City Lights books and little magazines and alternative newspapers from across the states as well as tobacco products and various smoking accessories of the day … zigzag papers for sure.

In 1964 he published the first issue of Grist and it was Number 2. He told me later that if the mag ever became famous he would print Grist #1 and sell it for a lot of money. That never happened. He did go on to publish twelve issues as Grist 2 thru 14 (there was no 13 either) that ran from 1964 thru 1967. The first five issues (#s 2–6) were true mimeograph print with construction paper covers. A long editorial opened issue #2 (Spring 1964) and claimed, among other things: “ … this magazine will offend and we will not defend it … ” and went on with a call for public support of all art and artists. Contributors to #2 were, for the most part, friends of Fowler’s from back in Missouri or KU students.

Grist 3 (1964).

Issue #3 (October 1964) shows the influence of NYC left-wing poet David Ignatow, who was a visiting writer at KU. He brought various friends to perform in Lawrence, including the Fugs (Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg—both became regular contributors to Grist), Jackson Mac Low, and David Antin. Issue #3 contained work by Carol Bergé, Kupferberg, William Wantling, and Eric Kiviat. Issue #4 (December 1964) indicates a wider connection in the mimeo world and contributors include Barbara Holland, Douglas Blazek, Judson Crews, and Irene Schram. A back cover drawing (which would become a regular part of the mag) was an ad for something called the Fat City Food Company and was drawn by Jon Gierlich who went on to achieve some fame in the Seattle area and as a collaborator with S. Clay Wilson in later years. Issues #5 and 6 finished the mimeo run, are dated 1965, and add some more local writers, including Lee Chapman, JoAnne Wycoff , Barbara Moraff, and myself, who would all continue to be regular contributors.

Grist 7 (1966). Guest editor, Charles Plymell, assistant editor, Pam Beach. This issue is dedicated to Julius Orlovsky.

Issue #7 is the first issue guest-edited by Charley Plymell and was printed on offset. This issue was dedicated to Julius Orlovsky, the brother of Allen Ginsberg’s lover, Peter. The centerfold contained illustrations by S. Clay Wilson and were dated 1966. Plymell included his Wichita, KS–based writer and artist friends and other Beat-related authors included Roxie Powell, Robert Branaman, Claude Pélieu, Mary Beach, and Glenn Todd. Wilson also had a back cover ad for “Fat City Burgers.” Plymell and another Lawrence resident, George Kimball, would continue to contribute to and guest-edit issues of Grist. Numbers 8 and 9 were New York–centered and included work by d.a. levy, Ignatow, Robert Creeley, and Bergé. Number 9 was dedicated to Frank O’Hara and included his famous poem “Joe’s Jacket” and a eulogy by Ted Berrigan; two full-frontal nude “beefcake” photos of Gerard Malanga graced the centerfold. Number 8 contained the full version of Ginsberg’s “Wichita Vortex Sutra.” Number 9 contained a poem by one Ronald Silliman. Wilson continued to contribute drawings and had not yet moved to San Francisco where he would become part of the Zap Comix team. Numbers 10 and 11 included Beat writers Jeff Nutall, Ginsberg, and Burroughs. Number 11 was done in a smaller size which mirrored Zap Comix size and may have been printed in San Francisco by Plymell, who printed the first Zap.

Grist 12 (1966).

Issue 12 was edited by George Kimball from NYC and featured photos of an NYC Be-In and works by David Antin, Ted Berrigan, Paul Blackburn, and Hannah Weiner. And finally #14, which was dated 1967. The front and back covers were by Wilson. Contributors included Ishmael Reed, Diane Wakoski, Hunter S Thompson, Joanne Kyger, Bill Berkowitz, Carl Weissner, and myself. This was to be the last issue of Grist in print. I must also mention that Grist published scores of “first-time” writers and also many letters, not to mention rants and reviews … which ranged from Tiger Beat Magazine to Fuck You/ A magazine of the arts. In its life, Grist, always shaped and powered by Fowler’s intent, brought together the message of a larger community which gathered across the USA. It delivered this message of counter- or experimental culture with no holds barred. It was a message of hope and change and revolution … as it was … with all its faults and foibles.

Fowler later moved from the Midwest to NYC and was an important contributor in the early days of poetry online, publishing Grist-On-Line in the 1990s. It didn’t last long but completed a circle from mimeo to digital that few magazines achieved. Grist may have been born and raised in the hills of eastern Kansas but it made very important contributions to the so-called mimeo revolution and the colorful past of the little magazine movement in the USA.

(Thanks to the folks at Spencer Research Library, Lawrence, which houses the Grist Archive, and Rick Ivonovich, who keeps important stuff. And to John Fowler, who remained a friend and in touch until his passing not so long ago.)

— Jim McCrary, March 2017, Lawrence, Kansas

Grist 14 (1967). Cover by S. Clay Wilson.

The Ant’s Forefoot

Magazines & Presses

The Ant’s Forefoot

David Rosenberg.
(Gerard Malanga edited no. 7.)
Toronto, later New York

Nos. 1–12 (Fall 1967–1974).

No. 7/8 is a back-to-back double issue; no. 10 is Night of Loveless Nights by Robert Desnos, translated and with collages by Lewis Warsh; no. 11 is The Necessity of Poetry by David Rosenberg; no. 12 is Brief Lives by Rebecca Wright, cover by Donna Dennis.

The Ant’s Forefoot 1 (Fall 1967).

In June of ‘67, in my draft-dodging last visit to NYC for several years, I walked into a letterpress outfit on lower Second Avenue to order stationery for The Ant’s Forefoot. I was twenty-three, a year removed from an MFA at Syracuse, where I’d oriented myself between Pound/Olson and the New York School. Before returning to Toronto, I went on to London and Paris, meeting up with contributors to the first issues—Lee Harwood, Tom Raworth, Andrew Crozier, Wendy Mulford, Jeremy Prynne, Peter Riley, George & Chris Tysh—handing each a personal note under the mag’s stationery subhead: “When the mind swings by a grass-blade / an ant’s forefoot shall save you” (from Pound’s Pisan Cantos). And before I’d left NYC I’d done the same with Ted Berrigan and Paul Blackburn, among others. Those two were my touchstones, encountering Ted at Gem Spa and Paul in his East Village apartment a couple blocks away, where I was treated to a recording of Pound reading that Canto.

I wrote on that letterpress stationery as well to potential funders of the mag and received back charter subscriptions from James Laughlin of New Directions, Lita Hornick of Kulchur, and Margaret Atwood. My perch in the English Department of Toronto’s York University covered mailing costs and correspondence for early issues—most copies went gratis to poets I was writing to and exchanging work with, including Lewis Warsh, Anne Waldman, Ron Padgett, Tony Towle, Ted Greenwald, Bernadette Mayer, Gerard Malanga, and Tom Clark. When I got back to Toronto in the fall of ‘67, I found enough in my mailbox for more than one issue. Complimented by Canadians like Victor Coleman, bpNichol, Michael Ondaatje, Nelson Ball, and George Bowering, the mag would represent, for a while, a transcontinental locus that extended to translations made by Jerome Rothenberg, Anselm Hollo, Ron Padgett, Jonathan Cott, Lee Harwood, Clayton Eshleman, Lewis Warsh, and myself.

The Ant’s Forefoot 5 (Winter 1970). Cover by Jim Dine.

One night at Coach House Press I sat across from Victor Coleman and Stan Bevington as they showed me how you could typeset directly on paper plates, saving costs of offset photography and paste-up. It was like a slightly upscale version of typing mimeograph stencils, and you needed a keen hand because one typo and the plate was ruined. It also limited the run to a few more than 300 copies, which was all that paper plates could tolerate. Still, The Ant’s Forefoot was a legitimate cousin of the mimeo revolution, from those in Canada run by bill bissett, bpNichol, and Nelson Ball, to those of the second-generation New York School and San Francisco Renaissance, among others. By the fourth issue, fortified by a Canada Council grant, we switched to offset in order to up the run to 500–1,000 copies, but the unique graphics remained constant, including different page color and paper texture per issue.

The mag was designed in particular for a shapely page size of 5¼ x 17 inches (the folded-over size of a paper plate). At a foot-and-a-half tall, this human forefoot equaled an ant’s shadow while passing in front of a searchlight. Such were the less off-color metaphors tossed around at Coach House while stripping negs at the light table or working the linotype (Victor taught me). Coach House work was largely donated by super-idealistic Canadian whole-earth type craftspeople. The Ant’s Forefoot covers were by Victor Coleman, Jim Dine, Rick/Simon, Michael Sowden, Donna Dennis, Arlette Smolarski, Lewis Warsh, and myself; illustrations for my “The Necessity of Poetry” (no. 11) by Rudy Burckhardt, Hannah Wilke, George Schneeman, Larry Rivers, et al.

I mailed in contents for issues 4–6 while I was living in Essex and Paris. Sharing a house with poet Paul Evans in Brightlingsea, we ran off a series of Voiceprint chapbooks at UEssex, offshoots of The Ant’s Forefoot and Paul’s Eleventh Finger. Back in Toronto, a back-to-back double issue 7/8 was coedited by Gerard Malanga and myself. Somehow, Gerry had collected unpublished chestnuts by Creeley, Olson, Wieners, O’Hara, Parker Tyler, and Jim Carroll, while Kenward Elmslie, Bill Berkson, Maureen Owen, Clark Coolidge, and Ray DiPalma joined the mainstays. It was now 1971, the year I received an envelope from my Buffalo draft lawyer containing a terse telegram from Attorney General John Mitchell: “Rosenberg charges dropped.” I was soon in NYC again, from where issues 9–12 were edited on St. Mark’s Place: 9 and 10 printed in Toronto, 11 and 12 at Brooklyn’s Print Center as books: Lewis Warsh’s translation of Desnos and Rebecca Wright’s Brief Lives. Offshoots at the time under the imprint Coach House South were made possible by a CCLM grant and printed in collaboration with Larry Fagin (Ted Berrigan’s Clear the Range) and Bill Zavatsky (Tony Towle’s Autobiography).

In ‘75, a few months after the last issue, Annabel Levitt Lee collated and edited my voluminous editorial correspondence and other materials into an archive that now resides at the University of Pittsburgh. By then I was deep into a five-book contract for A Poet’s Bible and soon off to Israel for a few years, to live immersed in the old/new Hebrew language. I edited a journal from Jerusalem called Forthcoming, including the NYC likes of Phillip Lopate, Ann Lauterbach, and David Shapiro.

— David Rosenberg, Miami, 2017

Ant’s Forefoot books (complete)

Clark, Tom. The No Book. An Ant’s Forefoot Eleventh Finger Voiceprint Edition, 1971.

Cott, Jonathan (After Guillaume Apollinaire). The Song of the Ill-Beloved. An Ant’s Forefoot Eleventh Finger Voiceprint Edition, 1970.

Evans, Paul. True Grit. An Ant’s Forefoot Eleventh Finger Voiceprint Edition, 1970.

Rosenberg, David. Excellent Articles of Japan. Coach House Press, 1969. An Ant’s Forefoot Chapbox.

Rosenberg, David. Night School. An Ant’s Forefoot Eleventh Finger Voiceprint Edition, 1970.

Tzara, Tristan. Destroyed Days a Selection of Poems 1943–1955. An Ant’s Forefoot Eleventh Finger Voiceprint Edition, 1971. Translated by Lee Harwood.

David Rosenberg, Excellent Articles of Japan. Coach House Press, 1969. An Ant’s Forefoot Chapbox.

The Ant’s Forefoot 9 (Spring 1972). Cover by Rick/Simon.

# Magazine

Magazines & Presses

# Magazine

Brian Breger, Harry Lewis,
and Chuck Wachtel
New York

Nos. 1–18 + 3 unnumbered issues: April 1978 (precedes # 1), El Clutch Y Los Klinkies by Victor Hernández Cruz, 1981, and “Infinite #,” September 1983 (1978–83).

# 1 (May 1978). Cover by Robin Tewes.

I met Brian Breger and Chuck Wachtel on a Friday sometime back in 1973 or ’74. I know it was a Friday afternoon, because I was tending bar at the Tin Palace (three days each weekend starting on Friday). They walked in: Brian, tall and lanky, and Chuck, small and wiry. They introduced themselves as young writers and students/friends of Joel Oppenheimer, whom they studied writing (and life…) with up at City College. Joel had told them to go and find me and “hang out.” We’ve been hanging out (one way or another) since then.

# [unnumbered] (April 1978). Cover by Basil King.

After a year, of hanging at the bar most afternoons, and talking poetry and life, we came up with the idea that we should publish a magazine. (I had just finished as one of the founders and editors of Mulch magazine and press.) We all knew and really liked Noose, edited and published by Joe Early and Sam Abrams. (Noose worked as a free mailed magazine and each issue had work by writers who had received two mimeograph stencils to do what they wanted with and send back to be in the next issue. It was wonderful and always surprising and fun as well and often just plain great to read.) The three of us really liked that idea but also wanted to do something that was a little more fixed and edited and produced. We came up with the idea of doing one issue a month, of about sixteen pages, and then doing a cheap offset printing with a cover and mailing it to as many writers and anyone else that was interested as possible. It was great fun and very free after years of careful and very demanding editing of Mulch (which was a very finely and clearly organized and edited operation, with my cofounder Basil King and our younger partner David Glotzer). # was a liberation for me and a chance to network; and I think it was the same for Brian and Chuck—but for them it was a chance to learn and develop as writers (which in the end was what we realized Joel meant when he told them to find me and “hang out”).

After a few years we started doing chapbooks and finally got a New York State Arts grant to keep publishing. By that time we had enough work for about another year, but we had each gone off in other directions and we just decided it was time to end it. We decided to do one last bigand then retire the project. But it has had a life of its own and still comes up in many different accounts of that time back then, back there—it has become HISTORY.

ONE LAST THING: the name of the mag is #, not number. The name was given to us by Ted Greenwald who simply said, one day, when we were all trying to come up with a name, “Here, this is it: #. Not the word, the sign—get it?” And we did.

Some More on #

When I look back at all that we did (History and Memory now) it seems hard to imagine that we did that much and it seemed—just what we did and just part of our lives …

I look at the list of contributors and each brings back a moment. That’s the great thing about doing a magazine that is so personal and a regular part of your routine.

We published almost everyone we were connected to as writers: Basil King (both as artist and writer: who he is), Martha King, Susan Sherman, Michael Stephens, Steve Vincent, Paul Metcalf, Toby Olson, Rochelle Owens, George Economou, Robert Kelly, Michael Lally, Richard Ellman, Ted Greenwald, Joel Oppenheimer, Hubert Selby, Joe Johnson, Hettie Jones, Maureen Owen, Oliver Lake (almost nobody knew he was a great poet as well as a world-class composer/musician—I had the great pleasure of performing with him and he was surprised when we wanted to publish him!), Allan Kaplan, Jack Marshall; and then we decided to do some chapbooks and they were really special and still hold up—particularly Paul Blackburn’s By Ear (the third time I was able to publish a book by the central figure in my own coming-of-age as a writer and translator). There were also translations: my Mayakovsky, George Economou’s Cavafy, Phileodemos, Armand Schwerner’s Max Jacob, and others.

AND Robin Tewes’s art and art direction and a wide range of artists who became part of the whole experience.

We decided to end things and were about to publish the last full collection of short stories by Hubert Selby Jr. when a major publisher decided to bring it out. The pleasure was in knowing that it was Chuck Wachtel and I that had edited and gotten the whole thing rolling; and finally that was what it was all about: getting the whole thing, that we were part of, rolling.

— Harry Lewis, New York, March 2017

# [unnumbered] (December 1978). By Ear by Paul Blackburn. Cover by Robin Tewes. This is a special unnumbered issue of # magazine.

Infinite # (September 1983). Cover by Robin Tewes. This is a special unnumbered issue of # magazine.

Search for Tomorrow

Magazines & Presses

Search for Tomorrow

George Mattingly
Iowa City

Nos. 1–4/5 (1970–72).

Plus Special Number A, Something Swims Out by Darrell Gray. No. 6, a set of 24 4 x 6-inch postcards, was announced but not completed.

Search for Tomorrow 1 (1970). Cover by George Mattingly.

A Short History of Search for Tomorrow, 1969–1973

I moved to Iowa City in autumn 1968, drawn by the university’s Writers Workshop. There I met lifelong friends Darrell Gray, Merrill Gilfillan, and Marc Harding, and later teachers (who also became lifelong friends) Ted Berrigan, Anselm Hollo, and Jack Marshall, among many others in what was an action-packed avant-garde literary, film, art, and music scene centered around the University of Iowa—whose academic authority the scene actively fought. (Irony and head-on contradiction were little barrier in 1968.) Did I forget sex drugs and rock & roll? It barely resembled “Iowa.”

Search for Tomorrow 2 (1971). Cover by George Mattingly.

In 1969, encouraged by photographer and writer Tim Hildebrand, with visual artist Deborah Owen, I started Search for Tomorrow (stealing the name from the hit TV soap opera), determined to leave no boundary uncrossed, no element of the culture too sacred or too banal to be fed to the surrealist engine of poetry and visual art I wanted to create.

The look and feel I sought was neither the staid, visually deprived authority of the academic literary journals nor the minimal mimeo esthetic of the “underground” little magazines. My idea (however naive it might seem in hindsight) was that a wider audience could be reached if the magazine had a richer, juicier surface. I wanted Search for Tomorrow to interest not just the In Crowd, not just those already in love with contemporary literature.

I was also determined that the publication not take itself too seriously. Sometimes this determination drifted off the reservation and risked seeming to not take the work itself seriously enough (that was the danger), but at the time it seemed most important to avoid the academics’ stentorian Voice of Authority.

Search for Tomorrow 3 (1970). Cover by George Mattingly. The cover was printed on four different colored stocks.

Publishing technology evolved quickly in the late sixties. The spread of inexpensive photocopying and falling prices for small-format offset presswork made it possible to reproduce anything that could be photographed. Search for Tomorrow took every advantage of that. Anything that could be pasted up on a flat sheet became camera copy: typescripts, found art cut from magazines and newspapers, cereal box art, line drawings, etchings from old magazines and books, even small objects. It was fun, but also took heat. (Years later when Blue Wind Press published Ted Berrigan’s selected poems, So Going Around Cities, he made me promise to “not put any fucking grandfather clocks on the pages.”)

Over four years I published a mix of midwestern, New York School, and over-the-transom poets, artists, and prose writers, some well known, most not. I became more interested in publishing books. Darrell Gray’s first book of poetry, Something Swims Out, was published as a Search for Tomorrow “special issue.” Then, after a move to Vermont (where I was hired as book designer for Dick Higgins at Something Else Press), the magazine was done.

— George Mattingly, Berkeley, March 2017

Darrell Gray, Something Swims Out (Blue Wind Press, 1972). Issued as Search for Tomorrow Special Number A. Cover by George Mattingly.

Search for Tomorrow 4/5 (Spring 1972). Front cover by Allan Kornblum.


Magazines & Presses


John Moritz (ed.), Lee Chapman (art ed.),
and others
Lawrence, Kansas

Nos. 1–5 (Spring/Summer 1970–Spring/Summer 1972).

Tansy 1 (Spring 1970). Front cover drawing by Lee Chapman.

In May 1968, John Moritz, a twenty-two-year-old student at the University of Kansas, wrote to poet Edward Dorn, whom he’d recently met in a writing workshop, about his plan to start an “art and poetry” magazine that would serve as “an extension of what we see and feel, capturing the electricity and energy of the moment.” The first issue of Tansy materialized two years later, in the spring of 1970, featuring work by (among others) Edward Dorn, Charles Plymell, Frank Stanford, George Kimball, David Antin, and a number of drawings by Lee Chapman. In all, nearly half of the contributors to Tansy 1 were either living in Kansas, or had at some point, and although the issue includes no editorial statement or any contributor biographies, the map of Lawrence (circa 1880) on its back cover, and the 1914 piece by Lincoln Phifer with which it begins—“beseech[ing] Kansans to break the literary domination of the East”—hint at the kinds of “extension” Moritz had in mind for Tansy to explore.

Tansy 2 ([1970]). Cover by John McVicker.

The word tansy comes from athanasia, Latin for “immortality.” Moritz intended the name as an homage to Charles Olson and his beloved “tansy city” (Gloucester, MA), but it had local roots too, as the name of the used bookstore run by Moritz and Chapman in Lawrence in the late ’60s and early ’70s. [1] Located above the once famously depraved, now largely forgotten, Rock Chalk Café—a hippie, biker, countercultural grotesque that served 3.2% beer until 4 a.m.—the Tansy Bookstore carried small-press editions from all over the country, displayed the work of local artists, and hosted readings and live music for a politically and psychedelically active literary community, helping to maintain Lawrence as a sympathetic outpost, a “friendly place for wayward freaks,” on that broad anvil of fanatical conservatism called the American Midwest. I say maintain because a century earlier Lawrence had been an abolitionist stronghold at the epicenter of what is now known as Bleeding Kansas, when radical abolitionist John Brown proselytized broadsword massacre on the front steps of the historic Eldridge Hotel, one of the many structures burned to the ground during an 1863 raid by William Quantrill and his pro-slavery marauders, who murdered over two hundred of the town’s residents. Dorn commemorated both the Rock Chalk and the Eldridge in late ’60s poems, and while poet-in-residence at the university in the spring of 1968, he held his office hours off-campus on the roof of the restored hotel. Those were formative afternoons for Moritz. Looking out over the bottomlands of the Kaw River Valley, he absorbed Dorn’s deep geographical sense of history and resistance in the Far West—inherited and modified from Olson’s sense of Gloucester—and began to modify it in turn, to dig the “electricity and energy” of Kansas. As he was compiling Tansy 2 over the summer of 1970, an arson attack destroyed the KU Student Union, local police murdered two unarmed young men on the street, and the National Guard descended to enforce a citywide curfew. This explosive recrudescence of an unrelieved historical struggle, brooding in the oceanic landscape, and the funky, idiosyncratic forms of resistance it called forth, shaped and refined Moritz’s conception of Tansy, which he expressed in an introduction to the second issue:

As many of our letters to the poets on the outside indicate, Tansy points—by that process of getting an issue together, getting it born—toward a set of lines & links, forces & signatures, to a locality we loosely call Kansas, & by the magnifying glass, Lawrence. Last May the Union burned. This summer two human beings were killed on the streets. The media came out with—“Shades of Quantrill.” We enter an age of struggle & adventure.

The first issue opened with a piece by Lincoln Phifer, written in 1914, when the fish were brain-food without the mercury connotation, and he beseeched Kansans to break the literary domination of the East, as they once broke the chains of the South. To seize the moment. We are at that moment in both time & geography. The work that appears beyond, is Now, as pulse, and Here, from a set of comparable meridians.

This issue opens with Jonathan Towers from Denver, at the end of the plains, not the beginning of the mountains. There are still the ghosts of riverboats that ran aground in Kansas City; then the horse, waiting on the railroad to lay out the prairie, the prairie commuted, then peopled. The Santa Fe tracks go west from Lawrence, first to Denver, then San Francisco. And the issue closes with the work of Richard Grossinger, whose Fredericton is a locality different, another place, than Lawrence, but still acting on & acted upon by the same elements & people trying to live there own life, determine their own power, their own chemicals of ingestion/digestion.

We learn by comparing/contrasting & this is—location. For the local, the sense isoutward, an introduction, and those of other directions are brought here, between these pages.

Shortly after the publication of Tansy 2—which also featured work by Clayton Eshleman, Jim McCrary, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Kelly, and Anselm Hollo—the sense of adventure within the struggle suffered another heavy blow, this one much closer to the Lawrence literary community. Max Douglas, a twenty-one-year-old student from St. Joseph, Missouri, close friend of Chapman and Moritz, and a remarkably precocious poet, died of a heroin overdose in October 1970. From this point forward, the story of Tansy (the magazine) is inextricably bound up with Douglas’s tragic fate.

The death of Max Douglas is first mentioned in the “Late News” at the back of Tansy 4, which section also explains the whereabouts of Tansy 3:

Tansy 3 is a joint publication with Peg Leg press who is Jim Schmidt and appears out of the bottoms as a long, beautiful poem by Ken Irby, A Poem for Max Douglas. Tansy 5 will carry a large portion of Max’s work. He was a young poet from St Joe who died last October. The only work of his available to date were printed in Caterpillar 7 & 10.

Tansy 4 ([Fall 1971]).

Published in the fall of 1971, Tansy 4 features a John McVicker painting of tansy blossoms on its cover, and includes writing by Theodore Enslin, Lindy Hough, Don Byrd, and Thomas Meyer, among many others. The fact that Moritz’s “Late News” misrepresents the title of Irby’s book suggests that the publication of Tansy 4 preceded that of Tansy 3 (i.e., To Max Douglas), and it seems more than likely that the confusion caused by this glitch also resulted in the colophon of To Max Douglas incorrectly claiming its issuance as Tansy 4, rather than Tansy 3. Whatever the case, Tansy 5 was published in mid-1972, and the tone of Moritz’s brief afterword to that issue stands in sharp contrast to that of his introduction to Tansy 2, written less than two years before:

This has been a particularly difficult issue of Tansy to get finished. Some of the material has been in my hands for over a year. There are several reasons for this. One, for the last year and also the next, I have been the poetry hour chairman for Kansas University. Not that this has been overly time consuming, which is hasn’t, but with the quality of last year’s readings, I could not help but ask for something from everyone. So, it’s a question of saying “it’s finished” for those of you who felt your work waiting at the station. I think I’ve learned the lesson. Another reason, at the beginning, I saw this issue as some kind of statement on the death of Max Douglas. I think a statement has been made in this issue but not the one I began with. There were to be works by several people who expressed a desire to tell their story, all relating to Max in very different ways, i.e., the young poet, the impossible person, the tragedy of heroin. Those pieces never materialized. Instead, like always the magazine grew out of itself. Like the first issue grew out of a bookstore, the second out of a conversation with Clayton Eshleman and the fourth out of the flower. Ken Irby’s chapbook of course, grew out of its own soil.

In the future, Tansy will rotate an issue with a chapbook. The magazine will be published in the spring/summer and the chapbooks in the fall/winter. The next book of this series will be a collection of poems by John Morgan.

In spite of these plans, Tansy 5 was Moritz’s final issue, but the press continued. Moritz published books, chapbooks, and broadsides for another two decades, sometimes collaborating with other small presses, near and far. The Tansy pamphlet series runs to sixteen volumes, from 1976 through 1982, including titles by Ken Irby, Paul Metcalf, Harvey Bialy, Stephen Sandy, Bob Callahan, Richard Blevins, and Bob Grenier. And Tansy printed a total of seventeen broadsides, over half of which were issued in conjunction with KU Friends of the Library on the occasions of readings that Moritz organized for visiting poets, including Alice Notley, Ed Dorn, Michael McClure, Joanne Kyger, Tom Raworth, Robin Blaser, and Duncan McNaughton. Overall, Tansy’s longevity and impressive catalog stand as a vivid testament to the thriving but under-recognized literary community in Lawrence, and to Moritz’s lifelong resistance to the cultural hegemony of the coasts.

— Kyle Waugh, Brooklyn, March 2017

[1] Lee Chapman would serve as art editor of Tansy 5, before moving to New York with Kenneth Irving (an assistant editor, along with Brian Sulkis, of Tansy 1), where the couple coedited American Astrology Magazine. In the early 1990s, after Chapman had returned to Lawrence, she founded First Intensity Press and First Intensity: a magazine of new writing, which remained active through the early 2000s.

Tansy Pamphlets, Books, and Broadsides

Pamphlet Series

Pamphlets measure 8½ x 5½ inches and are unpaginated. They include a short biography of the author on the illustrated verso of the final page, along with the following editorial statement:

The cover design is a collaboration between Lee Chapman and John Moritz. The original leaf of which the cover leaf is a reduction was sent to Tansy Press from Gloucester, Massachusetts. This series will appear randomly but, it is hoped, frequently and will be devoted to the work of a single artist.

Bialy, Harvey. From The Dance of the Fortune Chicken. September 1979. Tansy 11.

Blevins, Richard. Court of the Half-King. 1980. Tansy 13.

Callahan, Bob. At the Altar of the Fenians. 1979. Tansy 10.

Coues, Elliot (1842–1899), with an introduction and notes by Michael Brodhead. Two Fragments.
1978. Tansy 8.

Eshleman, Clayton. The Woman Who Saw through Paradise. N.d. [1976]. Tansy 2.

Grenier, Robert. Burns’ Night Heard. 1982. Tansy 15.

Gridley, Roy. PRC Diary – June 1982. 1982. Tansy 16.

Irby, Kenneth. For the Snow Queen. 1976. Tansy 1.

Irby, Kenneth. From Some Etudes. 1978. Tansy 9.

Kahn, Paul. Memorial Day [31 May–1 June 76]. 1976. Tansy 3.

Metcalf, Paul. Upriver Farming and Industry: an excerpt from Waters of Potowmack, A Documentary History of the Potomac River Basin. 1977. Tansy 5.

Metcalf, Paul. Where Do You Put the Horse? 1977. Tansy 6.

Meyer, Thomas. Beautiful Rivers. 1981. Tansy 14.

Morgan, John. Grand Junction. 1977. Tansy 4.

Moritz, John. From The Heart Too Is a Flower, A Leaf. April 1978. Tansy 7.

Sandy, Stephen. The Hawthorne Effect. 1980. Tansy 12.

Kenneth Irby, For the Snow Queen (1976). Tansy 1.

Books (1971–92)

Blevins, Richard. Taz Alago: Pursuing the Five Tribes of the Nez Perce, 1877/1983. 1984.

Braman, Sandra. A True Story. 1985. Note: Published in conjunction with Zelot Press.

Byrd, Don. Technics of Travel. 1984. Note: Published in conjunction with Zelot Press.

Irby, Kenneth. Call Steps: Plains, Camps, Stations, Consistories. 1992. Note: Published in conjunction with Station Hill Press.

Irby, Kenneth. Catalpa. 1977. Illustrations by the author; cover illustration by Lee Chapman.

Irby, Kenneth. A Set. 1983.

Irby, Kenneth. To Max Douglas. 1971. Cover illustration by Lee Chapman. Note: Issued as Tansy 3 (misprinted as Tansy 4). Published in conjunction with Peg-Leg Press.

Irby, Kenneth. To Max Douglas (enlarged edition). 1974. Introduction by Edward Dorn. Cover illustration by Lee Chapman. Note: Published in conjunction with Peg-Leg Press; also includes the poems “Jesus” and “Delius.”

McCrary, Jim. West of Mass: Poems 1988–1991. 1992.

Metcalf, Paul. The Island. 1982.

Metcalf, Paul. The Man Blinded: an excerpt from I-57, a work-in-progress. 1976. Note: Published in conjunction with Skop Press.

Metcalf, Paul. Zip Odes. 1979.

Morgan, John. Intersections. 1972.

Moritz, John. Consentryks. 1985. Note: Published in conjunction with Zelot Press.

Moritz, John. Crossings I–IV. 1972. Cover illustration by Lee Chapman.

Parker, Linda. Graphite. 1980.

Wilk, David. Sassafras. 1973.

Broadsides (1971–91)

Only two of the broadsides (as far as I know) are numbered: #5 and #6.

Blaser, Robin. “Muses, Dionysus, Eros.” 1990. Note: “31 January 1990. / Published by Tansy Press in conjunction with the Friends of the KU Poetry Collection reading series. / 100 copies have been printed of which 75 are for public distribution and have been signed and numbered by the author.”

Brotherston, Gordon. “Good Times at Tula.” 1973. Issued as Tansy 5.

Dorn, Edward. “Cocaine Lil.” 1975. Issued as Tansy 6. Note: Poem is not attributed to an author.

Dorn, Edward. “The Poem Called Alexander Hamilton.” 1971. Note: “From Book IIIIII / Chicago January / 1971 / Printed Lawrence / February 1971 / Tansy/Peg-Leg Press Publication.”

Irby, Kenneth. “[Planks turned to marble]: for Robert Kelly, for Ruth Palmer.” 1979.

Irby, Kenneth. “Restless, the rain returns …” 1980.

Irby, Kenneth. “Two Studies.” 1989. Note: “Published by Tansy Press in conjunction with the Friends of the KU Poetry Collection reading series. January 25, 1989.”

Kelly, Robert. “Whaler, Frigate, Clippership.” 1973.

Kyger, Joanne. “The phone is constantly busy to you.” 1989. Note: “Published by Tansy Press in conjunction with the Friends of the KU Poetry Collection reading series. March 29, 1989.”

Low, Denise. “Metamorphosis.” 1989. Note: “Published by Tansy Press in conjunction with the Friends of the KU Poetry Collection reading series. January 25, 1989.”

McClure, Michael. “99 Theses.” 1972. Note: “A Tansy/Wakarusa publication composed at The House of Usher 1 February, 1972, Lawrence, Kansas.”

McNaughton, Duncan. “The see you later library.” 1989. Note: “Published by Tansy Press in conjunction with the Friends of the KU Poetry Collection reading series. September 27, 1989. / 100 copies printed, of which 26 lettered and 50 numbered copies have been signed by the poet. Issued in conjunction with a reading by the poet.”

Moritz, John. “Cahokia Mounds” and “Reunion.” 1989. Note: “Published by Tansy Press in conjunction with the Friends of KU Poetry Collection reading series. January 25, 1989.”

Moritz, John, and Lee Chapman. “Poems” (w/ illustrations). 1989.

Moritz, John, and Lee Chapman. “On whether or not the pig is indigenous to the New World: from I hear America cooking.” 1990.

Notley, Alice. “For Al.” 1990. Note: “31 January 1990. / Published by Tansy Press in conjunction with the Friends of the KU Poetry Collection reading series. / 100 copies have been printed of which 75 are for public distribution and have been signed and numbered by the author.”

Peters, Robert. “There’s pain in gardening, as there is in writing poetry.” 1991. Note: “31 January 1991. / Published by Tansy Press in conjunction with the Friends of the KU Poetry Collection reading series. / 100 copies have been printed of which 75 are for public distribution and have been signed and numbered by the author.”

Raworth, Tom. “Eternal Sections: Three Poems from a Sequence.” 1989. Note: “Published by Tansy Press in conjunction with the Friends of the KU Poetry Collection reading Series. February 28, 1989.”

The Boston Eagle

Magazines & Presses

The Boston Eagle

William Corbett, Lee Harwood, and
Lewis Warsh

Nos. 1–3 (April 1973–November 1974).

The Boston Eagle [1] (April 1973). Cover photograph by Judith Walker.

Perhaps because the “mimeo revolution” did not fit Boston’s image of itself—sheets of paper stapled between covers! how flimsy!—the Hub produced but one mimeo magazine, The Boston Eagle. If there was another I never saw it. Lewis Warsh, a veteran of the Lower East Side mimeo scene, moved to Cambridge in 1973 and resumed his friendship with the English poet Lee Harwood, in Boston for a year. One bitterly cold February night they walked Boston’s Freedom Trail. They phoned hoping to find nourishment and warmth in our South End home where, after Beverly fed them, we began the friendship that led to the Boston Eagle. The first issue would be a foursome with John Wieners, whose work we revered, taking the fourth chair. I think I contacted John, but it may have been Lewis. He agreed to join us but when we assembled the contents of the issue we ran into a problem. None of us had access to an A. B. Dick machine. John’s friend, the poet, editor of Fag Rag, historian, and anarchist Charlie Shively, solved this. He had one in his Back Bay apartment not far from Fenway Park. I remember a German Shepherd, not all that friendly, and Charlie’s large library on metal industrial shelves. I see Lewis, his hair kept out of his eyes by a knotted blue bandana, bent to the task of cranking the pages off the machine. He exhorted us, “Totally no mistakes! Totally no mistakes!” We took these pages to 9 Columbus Square, collating the magazine in our kitchen. We aimed for three hundred copies, but I can’t remember if we achieved this or not. I do remember that, to mail the issue, a manila envelope—bought in bulk for pennies apiece—and a six-cent stamp was all we needed. We published three issues, adding Bill Berkson and Bernadette Mayer and, I think, Clark Coolidge, but having not had any issues for years I can’t be certain.

Back cover of The Boston Eagle [1] (April 1973). Photograph of John Wieners, Lee Harwood, Lewis Warsh, and William Corbett by Judith Walker.

The Eagle is alive today because of the back cover photo on the first issue. We four drove to Walden Pond with Lee’s wife, the photographer Judith “Jud” Walker. We posed on the shore of the pond. Our clothing and the leafless trees suggest late March or early April. A copy of that photograph is on the wall of our Brooklyn home, and a few years ago Kevin Ring ran a feature on it in his magazine, Beat Scene. The black-and-white photo does not do justice to John Wieners’s gold lamé jacket.

Footnote: Until a year and a half ago I did have a copy of the first issue. After Lee Harwood died in the summer of 2015, Beverly and I heard from his son Rafe, now living and working in Manhattan. We invited him for lunch and, thinking he ought to have a copy of the magazine that involved both his parents, I gave my copy to him.

— William Corbett, Brooklyn, January 2017

The Boston Eagle 2 (February 1974). Cover by Joe Brainard.

Streets and Roads

Magazines & Presses

Streets and Roads

Kit Robinson
San Francisco

No. 1 (Spring 1974). Sole issue.

Streets and Roads 1 (Spring 1974).

In the spring of 1974 I was twenty-five and living in San Francisco’s Mission District in a studio apartment with a bed that rolled out from the wall. Energized by poetry and friendship, I set out to publish a little magazine I called Streets and Roads. The title was taken from a reading textbook found in the supply room of the elementary school where I was working as a teacher’s aide. Larry Fagin’s Adventures in Poetry was a model for that kind of light-hearted appropriation.

I solicited work from a miscellaneous assortment of mostly new friends, Alan Bernheimer, Barrett Watten, Carla Harryman, Merrill Gilfillan, Andrei Codrescu, Robert Harris, Steve Benson, Dena Harris Harris, Ralph Gutlohn, and Bob Perelman. Of these only a few were then living in San Francisco, and most had yet to meet each other. Overall they had little in common.

I formatted the text on my Olympia manual typewriter and created a cover with snapshots of the neighborhood including shots of my then girlfriend, myself on a fire escape, and familiar locations like New China Restaurant, Altamont Hotel, and the El Capitan and York movie theaters. The magazine was photocopied, stapled, and distributed by hand and by mail. Several copies were placed at City Lights Bookstore.

Streets and Roads 2 (1975). Entire issue devoted to Kit Robinson’s The Dolch Stanzas. This issue was never released, but The Dolch Stanzas was published by This in 1976.

The following year, on my return from a few months in New York, I started work on issues two and three. Issue two was to be my poem sequence The Dolch Stanzas, written using sight word lists at my teacher’s aide job, with a cover graphic taken from a book on music theory. Issue three was The Slime of the Ancient Mariner by Tom Veitch with original cover art and illustrations by comic artist Greg Irons. Unfortunately my efforts to attain funding from the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines (CCLM) were unsuccessful, and the new issues went on the back burner.

Streets and Roads 3 (1975). Entire issue devoted to Tom Veitch’s The Slime of the Ancient Mariner. Cover art and illustrations by Greg Irons. This issue was never released.

Various changes precluded further efforts—a new relationship, an abortive attempt at earning a graduate degree in education, and a night shift at the Oakland Bulk Mail Center. In 1976, Barrett Watten’s This Press published The Dolch Stanzas as a chapbook. The Slime of the Ancient Mariner is as yet unpublished, but a photo of Irons at work on an illustration for the text appears in You Call This Art?: A Greg Irons Retrospective, by Patrick Rosenkranz.

Within a year or two, a number of the authors included in Streets and Roads were living in San Francisco, contributing to magazines such as This and Hills, congregating at the Grand Piano coffeehouse on Haight Street, and writing up a storm. Streets and Roads remains a little-known marker of the start of something big.

In 2015, I revived the Streets and Roads imprint to publish Catalan Passages, a chapbook containing nine poems and fourteen photos from a 2014 visit to Barcelona, printed in an edition of 150 copies and distributed hors commerce.

— Kit Robinson, Berkeley, January 2017


Kit Robinson, Catalan Passages (2015).

The Genre of Silence

Magazines & Presses

The Genre of Silence

Joel Oppenheimer
New York

The Genre of Silence (June 1967). Sole issue. Cover photograph by Joe Dankowski.

Some thirty years ago, Isaac Babel in addressing a congress of fellow writers said that since he could not write the way they wanted him to, he was now the master of “the genre of silence.” It seemed to the editor of this magazine that the title, THE GENRE OF SILENCE, would therefore be appropriate for a journal financed by a government grant.

The title became more pertinent when we in the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery began to realize that no real purpose would be served by a glossy little magazine and that, in fact, we would serve ourselves and our hoped-for public much better by concentrating on a mimeographed magazine already in publication called THE WORLD, A New York City Literary Magazine.

This then will be the first and last issue of THE GENRE OF SILENCE. The editor hopes that it is indeed to some extent a presentation of things they don’t want us to write and also a measure of where good writing is today. It is not easy to produce a magazine in these circumstances i.e. when you are not sure why the money is being given at all. The tendency is to cop out to either side. One falls back then on the old and valid concept of the poet as gadfly and lets him bite where he will.

The issue then contains such work by established writers and new ones as the editor has found exciting, competent, and important.

The editor wishes to thank Joel Sloman and Anne Waldman for invaluable service and help in both editing and production, and Father Michael Allen of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, who as overall head of the Projects at St. Mark’s has given not only a free hand, but also whole-hearted support to the Poetry Project.

— Joel Oppenheimer, prefatory essay from The Genre of Silence


Magazines & Presses


Jack Collom
Boulder, Colorado

Nos. 1–14 (1966–77).

the 9 (n.d.). Cover by Jo Bernofsky.

In the late 1950s and early ‘60s, I was a young poet living in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, open to rebellious art movements. Donald Allen’s The New American Poetry anthology converted me to the post-Beat side of Academics vs. Rebels. I was amazed that you “could” write about something happening right in front of you versus analyzing the Latinate Universal.

the 12 (n.d.). Cover by Jo Bernofsky.

I moved home (Boulder), became a messenger between plain and fancy poetics, started a “little” named the: fourteen issues from 1965 to 1975, all work done and costs paid (after issue 1) by my factory labor income (I was also raising a family). Editorially I strove for post-Olsonian (et al.) spare wildness. And for the best poets available. Olson himself sent a piece for number 3. Other published luminaries included Robert Kelly, Gary Snyder, Jerome Rothenberg, Rochelle Owens, Aram Saroyan, Ron Silliman, Ron Padgett, Denise Levertov, Kenneth Rexroth, Jackson Mac Low, Allen Ginsberg, Ed Dorn, John Giorno, Anne Waldman, and Bob Creeley.

the 14 [1977].

Because the was made with, simultaneously, great care and unlimited experimentalism, it was widely regarded as an excellent mag by the poetry generators.

A special feature of the was the stimulating variety of excerpts from the world at large (especially issue 6). Chunks of Columbus, Darwin, folk medical cures, and such world-chat melded with, while lighting up, the Vigils and Tarns.

Publication was quite simple physically. No ads; just selections from literary waters of the planet.

— Jack Collom, Boulder, Colorado, January 2017

Contributors include

Vito Acconci
Jayne Anne Phillips
David Ball
Carol Bergé
Ted Berrigan
George Bowering
Stan Brakhage
John Brandi
Charles Bukowski
Rex Burns
Reed Bye
Marc Campbell
Joe Ceravolo
Tom Clark
Juliet Clark
Clark Coolidge
Robert Creeley
Jane Creighton
John Curl
Alfred D. Kleyhauer III
Rubén Dario
Diane di Prima
Ed Dorn
Peter Douthit
Richard Duerden
Larry Eigner
Theodore Enslin
Clayton Eshleman
Zoltan Farkas
Max Finstein
Dick Gallup
Charley George
John Gierach
Allen Ginsberg
John Giorno
David Gitin
Maria Gitin
Sydney Goldfarb
Larry Goodell
Dick Higgins
Jack Hirschman
Anselm Hollo
Robert Kelly
James Koller
Opal L. Nations
Arlene Ladden
Denise Levertov
Ron Loewinsohn
Jackson Mac Low
Lewis MacAdams
Daphne Marlatt
Michael McClure
Duncan McNaughton
Janet McReynolds
David Meltzer
Charles Olson
Toby Olson
Rochelle Owens
Ron Padgett
Michael Palmer
Stuart Z. Perkoff
Margaret Randall
Kenneth Rexroth
Jerome Rothenberg
James Ryan Morris
Ed Sanders
Aram Saroyan
Ron Silliman
Gary Snyder
Charles Stein
Nathaniel Tarn
Marilyn Thompson
James Tipton
George Tysh
Anne Waldman
Keith Wilson

Sugar Mountain

Magazines & Presses

Sugar Mountain

Tom Clark and Lewis Warsh
Bolinas, California

Sugar Mountain (August 1970). Cover photograph of Alice Notley by Jayne Nodland. Sole issue.

Tom Clark and I edited the one-shot magazineSugar Mountain in the spring of 1970. We were both living in Bolinas, California, a small coastal village an hour north of San Francisco. Joanne Kyger and John Thorpe were there when I arrived from New York in October 1969; Bill Berkson, Jim Carroll, and Lewis MacAdams were soon to appear. Charlie Vermont, Clark Coolidge, Scott Cohen, and Harris Schiff were living in San Francisco and Berkeley and were frequent visitors; Anne Waldman, Joe Brainard, Alice Notley, and Ted Berrigan came for short periods. Suddenly there was a poetry community (by 1971, Robert Creeley, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Aram Saroyan, David Meltzer, Ebbe Borregaard, Philip Whalen, and Donald Allen were all semi-permanent residents) and Sugar Mountain reflects the beginning of it all.

It was a kind of miracle for so many poets of different stripes (Black Mountain, Beat Generation, New York School, San Francisco Renaissance) to interact and collaborate on a daily level, dissolving the borders between life and poetry, and much of it had to do with the magic of Bolinas, situated on a fragile cliff overlooking the Pacific with the lights of San Francisco blinking in the distance. The beautiful cover photo of the young Alice Notley evokes the feeling of freedom in the air. The title came from a song by Neil Young, with the enigmatic refrain, “You can’t be twenty on Sugar Mountain.” Bolinas was a place you never wanted to leave, but by the end of the 1970s many of the poets had moved away; On the Mesa, an anthology of Bolinas poets, published by City Lights, appeared in 1971, another glimpse of this short-lived but very lively and intoxicating world.

— Lewis Warsh, New York, January 2017


Magazines & Presses


Dean Faulwell, James Leonard, Paul Hoover, and Maxine Chernoff

Nos. 1–19 (1971–85). Superseded by New American Writing.

Dean Faulwell, James Leonard, and Paul Hoover (1–5); James Leonard and Paul Hoover (5–8); Paul Hoover and Maxine Chernoff (9/10–19).

Oink! 1 (1972). Cover by Evelyn Westermann.

The literary quarterly Oink! was founded by University of Illinois at Chicago graduate students Dean Faulwell, James Leonard, and Paul Hoover during their weekly Monday night meetings at Dean Faulwell’s apartment at 438 Belden Avenue #5. The first issue contained only the work of the three editors, and included a manifesto: “We like the paintings of Willem de Kooning. They’re so messy and delicate and, I don’t know, brilliantly stupid. Our motto is simply ‘oink.’ Our goal is to uncover the true dirt of the unconscious (‘in all of its purity’). Our favorite poets are Paul Hoover, James Leonard, and me (probably not in that order) … We feel that the microscope is a better instrument for exploring life than the telescope.” Evelyn Westermann’s emblematic cover drawing was of a dog barking “Oink!” The magazine was mailed out gratis to poets the editors admired, such as Peter Schjeldahl, Ron Padgett, and Anne Waldman. Almost immediately, the magazine received poems from all three, plus a work by Larry Fagin.

Oink! 3 (May 1972). Cover by Dean Faulwell.

The magazine’s design is that of 8½ x 14-inch paper sheets folded in half, stapled at the center and creased with the side of a coffee mug. The printing for the first four issues was carried out for free by using Melcheezadek Press, located in the Student Union of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The paper was purchased inexpensively in Chicago’s famous Printer’s Row neighborhood, delivered to UIC Student Services along with a typewritten mockup. Collation of the pages was accomplished by the editors during their Monday night meetings.

Oink! 5 (December 1972). Cover by Jim Leonard.

A production crisis occurred with issue five, when Dean Faulwell and Evelyn Westermann moved to Berkeley so that Evelyn could pursue a PhD in German at the University of California. Also, the remaining editors had taken their MA degrees and no longer could depend upon the printing services of Melcheezadek Press. They purchased a used desktop A. B. Dick offset printer from a Printer’s Row seller and began to do the printing themselves on Paul Hoover’s kitchen table, which shook with each rotation and rattled the room. They also had to create their own plates for printing by typing the text onto paper plates that would fit into a wide-body IBM Executive typewriter. This was a delicate task because errors in typing could not be corrected. The whole plate had to be scrapped when one occurred.

Also, Maxine Chernoff began to be involved in the magazine at issue five, not only for her poetry but also her assistance in production. Following issue six, James Leonard moved to Wisconsin to teach high school English. Maxine Chernoff joined Paul Hoover as coeditor with issue nine/ten. They continued as such through Oink! 19 and thirty-two issues of New American Writing.

Oink! issues cost $1 and were available at Chicago bookstores, such as Barbara’s Bookstore, where they were placed on consignment. Print runs were one hundred copies for the early sequence and no more than three hundred issues for the later sequence. At No. 11, we began to use professional printing services, and 11–14 were sent to local printers and staple-bound at the center. Beginning with Oink! 15, which consisted entirely of Peter Kostakis’s poetry volume, The Ministry of Me (1978), issues were perfect bound.

— Paul Hoover, Mill Valley, California, January 2017

Oink! 4 (August 1972). Cover by Jim Leonard.

Contributors include

Keith Abbott
Tom Ahern
Allan Appel
Glen Baxter (cover art)
Michael Benedikt
Brooke Bergan
Charles Bernstein
Ted Berrigan
Joe Brainard (cover art)
Alan Britt
Donald Britton
Michael Brownstein
Peter Bushyeager
Paul Carroll
Aimé Césaire (trans. Clayton Eshleman & Annette Smith)
Maxine Chernoff
Tom Clark
Andrei Codrescu
Marc Cohen
Billy Collins
Clark Coolidge
Robert Coover
William Corbett
Mark Cramer (translations)
Lydia Davis
Connie Deanovich
Donna Dennis (artwork)
Laura Dennison (translations)
Stuart Dybek
Russell Edson
Kenward Elmslie
Elaine Equi
Clayton Eshleman
George Evans
Larry Fagin
Harrison Fisher
Charles Henri Ford
Richard Friedman
Amy Gerstler
John Godfrey
Neil Hackman
Carla Harryman
Lee Harwood
Bobbie Louise Hawkins
Lyn Hejinian
Robin Hemley
Gerrit Henry
Avron Hoffman
Joyce Holland
P. Inman
Honor Johnson
Tymoteusz Karpowicz (trans. Larry Levis & Jan Darowski)
M. Kasper
Alex Katz (cover art)
Vincent Katz
August Kleinzahler
Arthur Winfield Knight
Bill Knott
Ron Koertge
Allan Kornblum
Peter Kostakis
Rochelle Kraut
James Krusoe
Art Lange
James Laughlin
David Lehman
Steve Levine
Frederick Lazarus Light
Gerard Malanga
Michael Malinowitz
Lee Mallory
George Mattingly
Bernadette Mayer
Lewis MacAdams
Jean McGarry
Sharon Mesmer
Douglas Messerli
Peter Michelson
John Mort
G. E. Murray
Eileen Myles
Opal L. Nations
Djordje Nikolic (trans. Charles Simic)
Pat Nolan
Charles North
Alice Notley
Maureen Owen
Ron Padgett
Simon Perchik
Bob Perelman
Deborah Pintonelli
Jacques Prévert (trans. Harriet Zinnes)
Ilmars Purens
Carl Rakosi
Kenneth Rexroth
John Rezek
Pierre Ronsard (trans. Tony Towle)
Ned Rorem
Bob Rosenthal
Jerome Sala
Sal Salasin
Dennis Saleh
Leslie Scalapino
Barry Schechter
Peter Schjeldahl
James Sherry
Charles Simic
Jack Skelley
Carl Solomon
Philippe Soupault (trans. Kirby Olson)
Arlene Stone
James Tate
Ken Tisa (artwork)
Lydia Tomkiw
Tony Towle
David Trinidad
Tom Veitch
Paul Violi
Anne Waldman
Lewis Warsh
Barrett Watten
Tim Weigl
Marjorie Welish
Eugene Wildman
Jeff Wright
Geoffrey Young
Barry Yourgrau
L. L. Zeiger
Larry Zirlin

Luna Bisonte Prods

Magazines & Presses

Luna Bisonte Prods

John M. Bennett
Columbus, Ohio

Ficus Strangulensis, Flaming Crust: Visual Poems & Cut-Ups (1999).

Luna Bisonte Prods really began around 1950, when I, as a child, made little book-like objects out of paper, matchboxes, and the like, and threw them into the Pacific Ocean on a return from Japan. There were other efforts of that type through the mid–1960s. That’s when I published some chapbooks, using mimeo and ditto machines, under the imprint of the Frustration Press. The name Luna Bisonte Prods came about in 1974 and became the portal through which I continued making small books, chapbooks, cards, labels, and other products, using rubber stamps, collage, photocopiers, and found materials. In 1975 the journal Lost & Found Times was born, which continued through 2005. Since that time in the mid-1970s, LBP has published or released thousands of broadsides, TLPs (“Tacky Little Pamphlets”), objects, one-of-a-kind books, chapbooks, artist’s books, Lost & Found Times and some other shorter-lived serials, audio and video works, print edition books, print-on-demand books, tons of mail art, and numerous stunts, gags, and performances.

John M. Bennett, La Vista Gancha (2010).

One critic referred to LBP’s vast array of formats and genres of poetry, word-art; visual, sound, video, and performance poetry; multiple languages, and collaborative and translinguistic writing and art as “bewildering.” The, hah, “mission statement” of LBP is to publish and distribute the unpublishable: important, beautiful, and essential work from around the world, with an emphasis on the use of language (defined in the broadest possible terms). LBP is also a platform on which I can publish some of my own work, when I want to have complete control over its presentation, content, and look. Most of LBP’s output resonates with the long, deep international tradition of avant-garde and outside art and literature. Luna Bisonte Prods provides an alternative and challenge to the vast world of stale, formulaic, and cliché-ridden writing that dries up the creative juices of the majority of writers and readers in the world today.

— John M. Bennett, Columbus, Ohio, January 2017

Contributors include

Blaster Al Ackerman
Sarah Ahmad
Stacey Allam
Reed Altemus
Hartmut Andryczuk
Ivan Argüelles
Ben Bennett
C. Mehrl Bennett
John M. Bennett
Carla Bertola
Luis Bravo
Thomas M. Cassidy
Jon Cone
Fabio Doctorovich
K. S. Ernst
Peter Ganick
Scott Helmes
Davi Det Hompson
Juan Ángel Italiano
Richard Kostelanetz
Paul T. Lambert
Jim Leftwich
Olchar E. Lindsann
Carlos Martínez Luis
Sheila E. Murphy
Rea Nikonova
Michael Peters
Javier Robledo
Marilyn R. Rosenberg
Serge Segay
Matthew T. Stolte
Thomas T. Taylor
Andrew Topel
Nico Vassilakis
Jack Wright

Lost and Found Times

Magazines & Presses

Lost and Found Times

John M. Bennett and Douglas Landies
Columbus, Ohio

Nos. 1–53/54 (1975–2005).

Nos. 1–53/54 in 51 items. Double issues: 6/7, 13/14, 17/18, 21/22. 53/54 is in two parts; no. 26 includes a cassette.

John M. Bennett and Douglas Landies (1–4); John M. Bennett (4–53/54)

Lost and Found Times 1 (August 1975).

Lost and Found Times had its origins in 1975 as a Fluxus and mail art stunt hatched by myself and the painter Douglas Landies. The first two issues consisted of fake “lost and found” notices printed on single sheets distributed through the mail and by being put under car windshield wipers in a shopping center parking lot. Landies died suddenly after the fourth issue, and I continued it until 2005, publishing exciting, outrageous, and unacceptable writing, art, and unclassifiable materials that I considered beautiful and vitally important. They were also materials that no one else would publish. Many of the contributors, first published in Lost and Found Times, have become prominent innovative and experimental writers and artists. The magazine is an unparalleled resource for understanding North American and International avant-garde cultures during the thirty years of its existence.

— John M. Bennett, Columbus, Ohio, January 2017

Lost and Found Times 6/7 (February 1979). Broadside Pak Issue.


“I consider the magazine one of most outstanding compendiums of international experimental literature and poetry. It is one of the few periodicals that I subscribe to in duplicate because I believe that it will have long-lasting importance as a poetic mark of our times.”

— Marvin Sackner

Contributors include

Blaster Al Ackerman
Reed Altemus
Ivan Argüelles
Guy R. Beining
C. Mehrl Bennett
John M. Bennett
Robin Crozier
K.S. Ernst
Charles Henri Ford
Peter Ganick
Scott Helmes
Bob Heman
Dick Higgins
Davi Det Hompson
Ray Johnson
Karl Kempton
Richard Kostelanetz
Jim Leftwich
Carlos M. Luis
Sheila E. Murphy
Opal L. Nations
Rea Nikonova
Bern Porter
Keith Rahmmings
Marilyn R. Rosenberg
Serge Segay
Andrew Topel
Nico Vassilakis
Christina Zawadowsky
and the editors

Lost and Found Times 49 (December 2002). Cover by Peter Ganick.


Ins & Outs: A Magazine of Awareness

Magazines & Presses

Ins & Outs: A Magazine of Awareness

Edward Woods

Nos. 1–4/5 (1978–80).

Ins & Outs 1 (1978).

When Jane Harvey and I found ourselves flat broke in Amsterdam, we couldn’t think of anything better to do than start a magazine. Actually there’s quite a lot of truth in that quip, even though the publication was initially someone else’s idea. A travel agent looking to emulate London’s highly successful Time Out with a smattering of feature pieces but mainly local events listings. Yet after a few months of trying, he simply couldn’t get his idea off the ground. Ultimately he encountered me, and insisted I take on the job of editing Ins & Outs in return for room, board, and pocket money. He hadn’t a clue what he was letting himself in for. I even signaled my intentions by adding the subtitle A Magazine of Awareness.

Ins & Outs 2 (1978).

The first three issues were produced in the most amazing manner. Together with Jane, I quickly gathered round me a slew of fascinating poets, writers, and photographers whose work went beyond the so-called cutting edge of artistic endeavor. Among those was Ira Cohen, whom we’d met two years earlier (1976) in Kathmandu. Along with writing for the magazine (Henry Miller was totally blown away by Ira’s “Kathmandu Dream Piece”), he set about connecting me with any number of literary people in various parts of the world. Meanwhile I had my own contacts. All of which in due course led to us publishing the likes of William Levy, Charles Henri Ford, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Bowles, Jack Hirschman, Heathcote Williams, Gregory Corso, Gerard Malanga, Mel Clay, et al. The illustrious list kept growing. Never mind that the creatively madcap 24/7 office scene had the travel agent diving for cover, Ins & Outs was well launched.

Ins & Outs 3 (1978).

By the time issue no. 4/5 appeared in mid-1980 (again with a 2,500-copy print run), the travel agent was out of the picture. Shortly thereafter we founded Ins & Outs Press and embarked on additional publishing activities (including books, postcards, audio cassettes, silkscreen prints, etc). We also ran a bookstore for a spell, until I converted the ground floor of the eventual Ins & Outs building into a gallery-cum-performance space where Jack Micheline, Harold Norse, and Herbert Huncke gave truly memorable readings that are now available on CD. In between these two “incarnations” of Ins & Outs, Ronald Sauer compiled a special poetry anthology entitled Crippled Warlords. It bore the Ins & Outs imprint and was dedicated to Eddie Woods and Jane Harvey.

Ronald F. Sauer, ed., Crippled Warlords (1979). Contributing editors: Charles McGeehan, Ira Cohen, William Levy, and Simon Vinkenoog. Cover photo by Ira Cohen.

I like to think that each of our four issues vibrates with intense doses of unforgettable experiences for the alert reader. Not just from the stories, poems, and frequently stunning visual artwork, but right down to the strangely timeless catalog of events, the adverts, letters to the editor, reviews, and so on. Raising awareness was our aim, and I believe we achieved that. In spades. Or as Charles Plymell put it, ”Ins & Outs is the only exciting mag going in underground literary tradition.“

— Eddie Woods, Amsterdam, January 2017

Ins & Outs (complete)

Cohen, Ira. Das Bauen im neuen Reich. 1980. Silkscreen print by Kirke Wilson, from a “bandaged poet” photograph of Jules Deelder by Ira Cohen.

Huncke, Herbert. Herbert Huncke—Guilty of Everything. 2012. Double CD. Live recording of Huncke’s 1987 reading at Ins & Outs Press. Coproduced with Unrequited Records, San Francisco.

Jones, Woodstock. Other World Poetry Newsletter. 1979.

Levy, William. Natural Jewboy. 1981. Illustrations by Peter Pontiac.

Micheline, Jack. Jack Micheline in Amsterdam. 1983. Audio cassette. Live recording of Micheline’s 1982 reading at Ins & Outs Press.

Micheline, Jack. Jack Micheline in Amsterdam. 2012. CD. Live recording of Micheline’s 1982 reading at Ins & Outs Press. Coproduced with Unrequited Records, San Francisco.

Norse, Harold. Harold Norse Of Course. 1985. Audio cassette. Live recording of Norse’s 1984 reading at Ins & Outs Press.

Norse, Harold. Harold Norse Of Course. 2010. CD and double LP. Live recording of Norse’s 1984 reading at Ins & Outs Press. Coproduced with Unrequited Records, San Francisco.

Sauer, Ronald. Manifesto: Cosa Nostra di Poesia. 1979.

Sauer, Ronald, ed. Crippled Warlords. 1979.

[Various artists]. Postcard series. 1980–81. Photographs and drawings by various visual artists, including fourteen of Ira Cohen’s “Bandaged Poets.”

Wilson, Kirke. Limited-edition silkscreen print of William S. Burroughs. 1985. From a photograph by Ira Cohen.

Wilson, Kirke. Limited-edition silkscreen print of Snuffie, the Gangster Woof of Amsterdam. 1987. From a photograph by Eddie Woods.

Wilson, Kirke. Limited-edition silkscreen print of Herbert Huncke. 1987. Copublished with Soyo Productions, Amsterdam. From a photograph by Peter Edel.

Wilson, Kirke. Limited-edition silkscreen print of Allen Ginsberg. 1992. Copublished with Turret Books, London. From a “bandaged poet” photograph by Ira Cohen.

Wilson, Kirke. Limited-edition silkscreen print of Xaviera Hollander. 1993. From a photograph by Tony Newitt.

Woods, Eddie. Dangerous Precipice. 2004. CD.

Woods, Eddie. Sale or Return. 1981. Dutch translations by Hans Plomp.

Woods, Eddie. Tsunami of Love: A Poems Cycle. 2005.

Woods, Eddie. Tsunami of Love: A Poems Cycle. 2007. CD.

Ins & Outs 4/5 (1980).


Magazines & Presses


Suzanne Zavrian and Joachim Neugroschel
New York

Nos. 1–8 (1968–74). 5/6 is a double issue.

Extensions 1 (1968).

I suppose when I think of people starting a literary magazine I think of it with a certain solemnity, such as for the exposition of a certain literary theory, or to give audience to a certain philosophy, or for other more esoteric reasons. Extensions started a bit differently.

It was the late sixties. Joachim Neugroschel (who, alas, died in 2011) was a noted translator; I was the managing editor of Pocket Books. We were sitting around one day talking when one of us, and I have no idea who, said, “Want to start a literary magazine?” and the other replied, “Sure.” And that was the philosophical ground from which Extensions was born.

Extensions 7 (1971). Cover image by Arakawa.

Totally different as people, we worked pretty well as a team. The ground rule that was laid down was that no work was accepted unless we both agreed. That worked out well since at the extreme of Joachim’s taste were things that were superficial and coy; at the extreme of mine, work that was conventional and banal. So all that was blocked. The real principles were that work should be adventurous and that we wanted to mix up all mediums: using musical scores as illustrative material; showing the metamorphosis of a symbol over time as a visual essay—basically, giving a venue to the experimental. The name we gave it was from Marshall McLuhan’s 1964 book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Although looking back, I think maybe the primary aim was for us to be able to read more work by writers we liked.

The division of work was perfect—Joachim loved going to readings, parties, events, so he met many new writers that way who he could solicit work from. I preferred to stay home and read, so i wrote people I came across whose work I liked and asked for work for the magazine. Since Joachim was a trilingual translator, he found all kinds of European work that had never been published in English that he could translate for us. Like a small catalogue for a Dubuffet exhibition that Dubuffet gave us to publish, along with photos of sculpture that we used for our front and back covers.

Extensions 8 (1974). Cover image by Aloísio Magalhães.

We paid for the magazine out of our pockets and through subscriptions and the occasional grant. And I corralled a couple of talented designers from Pocket Books to design and lay out the magazine. We used the Print Center for printing—since it was set up for that purpose, it was a cheap way to do it. In the beginning we took it around to Manhattan bookstores and left copies on consignment. Then later we got a distributor through my connections at Pocket Books. Strange as it seems, my connections through a big mass-market publisher were useful in various ways to a small experimental magazine!

I don’t think we ever talked about ending it, I think we just drifted out of it the same way we drifted in. It went along and then it stopped. We were proud of it, though.

— Suzanne Ostro (Zavrian), New York City, January 2017

Contributors (complete)

Vito Acconci
Lawrence Alloway
Jack Anderson
Roger Aplon
Allan Appel
H. C. Artmann
John Ashbery
Corrado Augias
Georges Badin
Carol Bankerd
Mary Beach
Max Bense
André Breton
Besmilr Brigham
Rebecca Brown
Paul Celan
René Char
Robert Chatain
Jean Chatard
Andrei Codrescu
Marvin Cohen
Robert Cohen
James Conley
Clark Coolidge
Stanley Cooperman
Jean Daive
Gail Deeb
Diane di Prima
André du Bouchet
Jean Dubuffet
Lane Dunlop
Denis Dunn
Jean-Pierre Duprey
Claude Esteban
Curtis Faville
Mary Ferrari
Peter Paul Fersch
Charles Henri Ford
Isabel Fraire
Dick Gallup
Charley George
Jochen Gerz
Madeline Gins
Dan Graham
Paul Grillo
Ron Gross
Annette Hayn
Piero Heliczer
Michael Heller
Peter Henisch
Wolfgang Hildesheimer
Ron Horning
Yuaka Ishii
Fayad Jamís
Allan Kaplan
Steve Katz
Robert Kern
Richard Kostelanetz
Karl Krolow
Reiner Kunze
Aloísio Magalhães
Gerard Malanga
Edward Marcotte
Donald McCaig
Tom McKeown
W. S. Merwin
Jerred Metz
Ursule Molinaro
Catherine Murray
Joachim Neugroschel
Seiichi Niikuni
Michael O’Brien
Sarah Plimpton
Raphael Oliva
Ron Padgett
Miodrag Pavlovich
Claude Pélieu
Tony Perniciaro
John Perreault
Carter Ratcliff
Albert René Ricard
Pierre Reverdy
Allan Rosen
Juliette Rossan
Nelly Sachs
James Sallis
Erling Salomsen
Peter Schjeldahl
George Schneeman
Hugh Seidman
David Shapiro
Michael Silverton
Michael Smith
Stephen Stepanchev
Robert Sward
Jaime García Terrés
Paul Thiel
Tony Towle
Georg Trakl
M. Trap
Paul Violi
Joseph Vojacek
Roy Walford
Hannah Weiner
Nathan Whiting
Oswald Wiener
Emmett Williams
Pete Winslow
Derk Wynand
Suzanne Zavrian


Scans of the complete run of Extensions can be found on the Eclipse website.

Dark Ages Clasp the Daisy Root

Magazines & Presses

Dark Ages Clasp the Daisy Root

Benjamin Friedlander and Andrew Schelling
Berkeley, and Boulder, Colorado

Nos. 1–8/9 (1989–93).

Dark Ages Clasp the Daisy Root 6 (2nd series, no. 1) (June 1991).

The title comes from Finnegans Wake though we drew it from Edith Sitwell. Up all night knowing we wanted a “flower” name we consulted the I Ching to find something from her anthology of flower phrases. We had signed off on the final issue of Jimmy & Lucy’s House of “K” telling its readers that we would probably found another journal, but needed to “rethink the labor intensive, almost paleolithic technology” we’d used up to 1989.

The flower title was a respectful homage to compost. We had written to friends saying, “out of the mulching of Jimmy & Lucy’s etc., etc.,” and received a dismissive note from a Marxist language poet telling us how that type of agrarian metaphor was obsolete, etc., etc., in the post-industrial landscape. Joyce’s phrase seemed apt, growing sunflower-sutra-like out of a seedbed from Edith Sitwell, and meant to charm the most dogmatic Marxist.

Dark Ages Clasp the Daisy Root 7 (2nd series, no. 2) (April 1992).

At first we moved from paleolithic technology to mimeo mag of the sixties production: typed 8½ x 11-inch pages. Writers sent their ready-to-photocopy poems. We only had to add page numbers, run it all through a photocopy machine, and insert staples. Personal computers emerged about issue 6 (June 1991). Now we could compile a single document, print it out, and run it through Xerox. We also readjusted the focus, away from language poetry of the Bay Area and toward a more international view and deeper sense of time. We included translations from the start. In 1989 Schelling moved to Colorado, so most issues were coedited, not in an apartment together and typed up over all-night coffee, but 1,200 miles apart. Always we ran a poem on the rear cover. The first issues had end-poems by Larry Eigner, Alice Notley, an anonymous Middle English lyric translated by Norma Cole, Hebrew translation by Peter Cole. Inside were Hannah Weiner, Susan Howe, Rachel Tzvia Back, Nathaniel Mackey, Joanne Kyger, Lorca, Pasolini, fifth-century BCE Sanskrit, Red Grooms and Anne Waldman, Paul Celan, Charles Baudelaire, and Ingebor Bachman. Comparing the contributors with Jimmy & Lucy’s shows instantly that the core of the magazine remained a few East Bay poets we knew closely, but the interests had shifted to myth, history, languages, peyote ceremonies, and the archaic.

Dark Ages Clasp the Daisy Root 8/9 (2nd series, nos. 3/4) (June 1993). Cover art by Anne Waldman and Andrew Schelling.

The final issue 8/9 held only translations. We drew some from faculty and students at Naropa, where I was now teaching. Anselm Hollo entered the mix with “Some Greeks,” back at the salty beginnings of Occidental poetry.

— Andrew Schelling, Boulder, Colorado, January 2017


Tables of content and scans of the complete run of Dark Ages Clasp the Daisy Root are available on Benjamin Friedlander’s website.

Chumolungma Globe

Chumolungma Globe

Benjamin Friedlander and Andrew Schelling

Chumolungma Globe (Halloween 1987). Sole issue.

The single issue of Chumolungma Globeproduced by Benjamin Friedlander and me is dated Halloween 1987. It is fifty-four pages long. We had two further volumes of Jimmy & Lucy’s House of “K” to complete, which must be why we never did a second Globe. I believe we had work in hand for no. 2, returned most of it to contributors, and kept a few items for our future enterprise, Dark Ages.

Chumolungma is the Tibetan name for Mt. Everest. I’d recently been up near base camp and returned to the States with a tube of Mt. Everest toothpaste, so we hit on the mountain, and added Globe to sound newspaper-like. “News that stays new.” Highlights of the issue: an interview with Larry Eigner by BF (“all that’s left of an hour tape accidentally erased.”). A few book reviews. The rest is poetry: Ronald Johnson’s “Ark 59, Spire of Liberty (Torch & Arm),” Fanny Howe, Laura Moriarty, Jean Day, Norman Fischer, P. Inman, and a Robert Grenier handwritten scrawl like bird tracks on a glacier.

One rule: editors should include their own writing. Ben and I contributed poetry. We did the book reviews. Then closed the issue with “Rules to get home safe,” nos. 1–17. “Don’t start off dreaming … Snap the wigwam shutters shut … Close the door, slap the dog & sleep peaceful in the fitful dark.” Looking at that final page I think we knew there would be no second Globe.

— Andrew Schelling, Boulder, Colorado, January 2017

Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion

Magazines & Presses

Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion

Franklin Rosemont

Nos. 1–4 (Autumn 1970–1989).

Editorial board for nos. 3 & 4 included Paul Garon, Joseph Jablonski, Philip Lamantia, Penelope Rosement, and Jean-Jacques Jack Dauben (3 only).

Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion 1 (Autumn 1970).

We’re at the foreplay of history.
— Philip Lamantia

Surrealism began, point blank, with life-and-death questions that everyone else ignored or pretended to ignore: questions of everyday life, suicide, madness, nature, poetry, love, language, and absolute revolt. The most audacious dreams of centuries suddenly were dreamed anew and brought to fruition in this new and unexpected “communism of genius” that plunged its roots deep in the manifold forms of outlawed subjectivity. Here was a dialectical leap of world-historical implications, transforming once and for all the conditions of thought, art, poetry, and life itself.

Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion 2 (Summer 1973).

And today? To the extent that the tentative answers to surrealism’s questions have been reduced to any of the numerous and all-too-usual evasions—for example: literature, art; or worse: literary criticism, art criticism; or worst of all: a political career—the superficial observer could conclude, as so many have concluded, that surrealism has failed. But can the viability of surrealist intervention, and surrealist solutions, today and here or anywhere, really be proved or disproved by such obviously backhanded book-juggling in the money­making ideological sideshows of the dominant culture? All these “surrealist” dictionaries, encyclopedias, doctoral dissertations, TV documentaries, and the whole insidious complex of hypernicious academicynicism and museumification are ridiculous, no doubt about it, but can such sorry displays of commercial confusionism truly be said to have silenced surrealism for all time, so that its own authentic voice can never again be heard?

Most assuredly, if surrealism continues to develop it will be because surrealists continue to develop it. And even if every one of those who call themselves surrealists today threw in the towel, the fight would hardly be over. Surrealism’s questions, in any case, remain defiantly and even horribly open—festering wounds all over the bloated body of christian-capitalist hypocrisy—and quite unphased by the would-be curative incantations of those whose job it is to reassure society’s self-appointed managers that surrealism, like working-class emancipation, is safely obsolete.

Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion 3 (Spring 1976).

Even were we to join the inane conformists’ chorus that sings surrealism’s death, it would make little difference, for those who resolve to pursue these questions must sooner or later discover for themselves that inevitably it lives again, albeit perhaps in forms not immediately apprehensible to the pontifically glib horn-tooters of total counterrevolution. As my footsteps carry me along the redbrick backstreets radiant with fallen oak leaves in the morning mist—a raven on the highwire glances down as I glance up: What can this meeting of eyes portend?—it is none other than the author of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell who speaks to me, in a voice clearer than any other, and with a tone of urgency that admits of no mistake:

Without contraries is no progression … Energy is Eternal Delight … Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained … The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom … He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence … All wholesome food is caught without a net or a trap … Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion … What is now proved was once only imagin’d …

To invoke Blake here reminds us that dialectics is not something to which Hegel was awarded an exclusive patent, but rather an insight, a gift of overflowing life, born and reborn ceaselessly in the fires of revolutionary thought and action. And so it is with the cause of poetry, love, and freedom—that is, with surrealism, in a word. In the exceptional and decisive moments and situations of daily life—breaking one’s fetters, falling in love, risking all—surrealism incessantly emerges anew, and ready for anything.

We are living, precariously enough, in a strange place called the United States, a nation founded on genocide, and whose government, the most murderous in history, is the deadliest enemy of human freedom in the world today. Eighteen years after the appearance of the first Arsenal, we surrealists are more than ever communists, anarchists, atheists, irreconcilable revolutionists, implacable enemies of things as they are, unrepentant seekers of a truly free society.

Surrealism continues to advance today, and to make a difference, because it refuses to compromise with unfreedom, because it holds true to its own irreducibly wild and untameable means, outside all repressive frameworks. Anti-statist, anti-sexist, anti-racist, anti­-religious, anti-anthropocentric, anti-academic, allergic to Western civilization and its values and institutions, surrealism passes with flying colors what John Muir, one of the greatest of American presurrealists, called the test of the wilderness.

“And how do we reach this truly free society?”
Start by dreaming.
Those who don’t know how to cross their bridges before they come to them will never get anywhere.

— Franklin Rosemont, “Now’s the Time.” Editorial in Arsenal 4 (1989)


Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion 4 (1989).

Ashen Meal

Magazines & Presses

Ashen Meal

Dafydd ap Eryri [David C. D. Gansz]
[Ann Arbor, Michigan]

Nos. 1–5 (1995–99).

Ashen Meal 1 (1995).

“That of the world of Matter is ashen”.
— Corbin, Temple and Contemplation, Paris, 1972

“… ash is the most precious thing and a great mystery … The mysterious earth or ash  which forms the basic stuff of the human body is, accordingly, the substance of the resurrected body or of the Second Adam …”
— von Franz, Aurora Consurgens, Zurich, 1957

“In other words, the ash is the spirit that dwells in the glorified body.”
— Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis, Zurich, 1955

“When I lay down like ashes under flame … from the abyss I come to the shining light …”
— Éluard, Tarnished Emblems of My Dreams, Paris, 1952

“… how necessary, for fresh life, ashes and bones are …”
— Powys, Porius, London, 1951

“I kept nothing of myself but the ashes.”
— Cocteau, The Difficulty of Being, Paris, 1947

“The angel of the gate is clad in the colour of ashes …”
— Williams, The Figure of Beatrice, London, 1943

“…and ashes to the earth / Which is already flesh …”
— Eliot, East Coker, London, 1940

“Man’s imperishable part, his ashes!”
— Mann, The Magic Mountain, Berlin, 1924

“… a ghostwoman with ashes on her breath”; “… and with a kiss of ashes hast thou kissed my mouth”; “Her face drawing near and nearer, sending out an ashen breath.”
— Joyce, Ulysses, Paris, 1922

“… we’ll return to earth as obscure ashes.”
— Khlebnikov, Cracking the Universe, (traveling in Persia), 1921

“Many things turn to ashes before we reach our own.”
— Waite, Strange Houses of Sleep, London, 1906

“… the body is changed, first into earth, then into dust and ashes …”
— attributed to Synon in A Very Brief Tract Concerning the Philosophical Stone, in The Hermetic Museum, Frankfurt, 1678

“… ashes are not to be despised, since they contain the Diadem of our King … the glorified body of its resurrection.”
— Vaughan, A Brief Guide to the Celestial Ruby, London, c. 1645

“… burn him entirely to ashes in a great fire. By this process the King will be liberated”; “If you do not possess the ashes, you will be unable to obtain … a bodily form …”
— Maier, The Golden Tripod, Frankfurt, 1678

Ashen Meal 5 (1999).

“What Fire, Air, Water, Earth could not rob from the holy ashes of our Kings and Queens, the faithful flock of alchemists has gathered  in his urn”; “… of these ashes … the dead bodies would be brought back to life.”
— Rosenkreutz, The Chemical Wedding, Strasbourg, 1616 (1459)

“Despise not the ash … it is the earth of thy body …”
— Morienus, Artis Auriferae …, Basel, 1593

“What does it say, this supper of ashes? … l ate ashes like bread?”
— Bruno, La Cena de Ia Cenari, London, 1584

“… burnt ash and the soul are the gold of the wise …”
— Senior, De Chemia …, Strasbourg, 1566

“… the ash of things that endure.”
Rosarium Philosophorum, in De Alchimia …, Frankfurt, 1550

“… commend … thy body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust …”
The Book of Common Prayer, London, 1549

“If a man lived a hundred thousand years, he could never sufficiently marvel at the wonderful manner in which this noble treasure is obtained from ashes and again reduced to ashes.”
— ‘Rugl,’ The Glory of the World … The Science of the Philosopher’s Stone, Amsterdam (?), 1526

“Once they have eaten the mother’s ashes, they will never taste any other food.”
— ‘Map,’ The Lancelot-Grail, ‘Paris,’ c. 1220

“… our body … is called the black ashes … in them is the royal diadem …”
— Artephius, The Key to Supreme Wisdom (?), c. 1100s

“The ash is all.”
— Zosimos of Panopolis (Egypt, third century) citing Agathodaimon, in Collection des Anciens Alchimistes Grecs

“Dissolve the ashes … into the Stone. Let this be done seven times.”
—attributed to Hermes (The Second Table) in The Glory of the World …

“I am Osiris, a god and the ashes of man. I am the skin he takes on and sheds”; “… ashes become god’s truth”; “She burns flesh into ash and light”; “The ashes of ancients rise again as children …”; “A phoenix asleep in the ashes of night, I rise anew each day.”
The Egyptian Book of Coming Forth By Day (aka The Book of the Dead)

Ashen Meal is a re-collected assemblage of “incarnational” (“embodi-mental”) poetics revealing glimpses of the soul in its matrix, becoming in its being, the heart and crux of the matter, passions exhumed, words fleshed out, the secret whispered.

Ashen Meal is supported by grace, indexed in the heart, and distributed by the wind. It is a free gift, and is not for sale. This, the only extant copy, will disseminate itself into select library repositories in the dead of night without a trace or sound.

Ashen Meal is assembled by Logres as an outreach organ of the Secret College. Authors (or the Trustees of their Literary Estates) hold exclusive copyrights to their own works (which are reproduced in compliance with “fair use”).

Ashen Meal encourages practitioners on the Quest to utilize this venue as an artery for new work which, due to its esoteric nature, they otherwise would not entrust to leaves falling on a more general readership.

— from Ashen Meal 5 (1999)


Contributors (complete)

Leonora Carrington
Paul Celan (translated by Pierre Joris)
Jean Cocteau (translated by Kristin Prevallet)
O. V. de L. Milosz (translated by Edouard Roditi)
Joseph Donahue
Patrick Doud
Robert Duncan
Anne Dykers
George Economou
T. S. Eliot
Stephen Ellis
Lawrence Fixel
Phillip Foss
David C. D. Gansz
Geoffrey Hill
Alexander Hutchison
Kenneth Irby
David Jones
Barbara Jordan
Robert Kelly
Gerrit Lansing
D. S. Marriott
Sorley McLean
Abdelwahab Meddeb (translated by Charlotte Mandell)
Thomas Meyer
David Miller
Charles Olson
Kristin Prevallet
Kathleen Raine
Jerome Rothenberg
S. Marriott
Edward Schelb
Cathleen Shattuck
Amie Siegel
Pat Smith
Charles Stein
Nathaniel Tarn
Gael Turnbull
Charles Williams
W. B. Yeats

Aion: A Journal of Traditionary Science

Magazines & Presses

Aion: A Journal of Traditionary Science

Charles Stein
New York

Aion: A Journal of Traditionary Science 1 (December 1964). Sole issue.

“AION is a Journal of the Traditionary Sciences which, in C. G. Jung’s phrase, include ‘Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self’ as understood in Alchemy, Astrology, Ceremonial Magic and related disciplines.

AION will serve as an exchange between purely ‘Occult’ and other concerns; literary, historical, scientific; thus, texts from, essays about, accounts of.

AION will be as open as possible in terms of doctrine, operating with few assumptions other than that these concerns are relevant now.

We would hope to effect an opening of the ‘occult’ to influences from without—at least an opening examination as well as presentation of ‘occult’ material in a more intellectually palatable form than in publications now out and correspondence courses generally available.”

Statement on the inside front cover of Aion

Contributors (complete)

Aleister Crowley
Robert Duncan
Robert Kelly
Gerrit Lansing
Charles Stein


Magazines & Presses


Founded by James Bertolino and Warren Woessner. Currently (2017) Ingrid Swanberg is editor-in-chief with Warren Woessner, senior editor.
Madison, Wisconsin

Nos. 1–49 (1968–2015). Ongoing.

James Bertolino (1, 2, 3, 5); Warren Woessner (1, 2, 4, 6–22); David Hilton (18/19); and Ingrid Swanberg (23–49).

As of 2017, the complete run comprises 49 numbers in 36 items, including no. 24A, “The Daily Fate,” and double issues nos. 14/15 (published jointly by Abraxas and Chowder Review, “Stairway to the Stars”), 16/17, 18/19, 21/22 (“Twelfth Anniversary Issue”), 23/24 (“Special Madison Issue”), 25/26 (“Special Wisconsin Issue”), 27/28, 29/30, 31/32, 35/36, 38/39 (“First Special Issue of Selections from Vallejo‘s Trilce”), 40/41 (“Second Special Issue of Selections from Vallejo‘s Trilce”), 42/43, and 44/45.

Abraxas 1 (1968).

Founded in 1968 by James Bertolino and Warren Woessner, Abraxas was one of Wisconsin’s first independent little magazines. Bertolino coedited Abraxas 1 and 2, edited 3 and 5, and discontinued his association after 5. Woessner edited numbers 4 and 6–10, when David Hilton joined as a contributing editor. Abraxas 14/15 was a joint effort by Abraxas and Chowder Review (edited by Ron Slate). Issues 16–22 featured reviews of small press poetry books (excluding Abraxas 20, Bright Moments: A Collection of Jazz Poetry, now in its third printing). Abraxas Press has also published 11 pamphlets, chapbooks, and books, including Essays and Dissolutions by Darrell Gray, Clinches by Ray DiPalma, The Moving Journal by Jim Stephens, and The Part-Time Arsonist by F. Keith Wahle.

Abraxas 11 [c. 1976].

In 1981 Ingrid Swanberg assumed editorship, returning Abraxas to a format primarily featuring poetry (from an all-reviews format). Woessner remains Senior Editor; the late David Hilton discontinued his association as an editor in the 1980s, although he continued to publish his poetry in Abraxas into the late ’90s. Swanberg edited Abraxas 23/24, the Special Madison Issue, and Abraxas 25/26, the Special Wisconsin Issue. Subsequently, she put together nos. 27/28 (1983), 29/30 (1984), 31/32 (1985), 33 (1985), 34 (1986), 35/36 (1987), 37, the Twentieth Anniversary Issue (1988–89), 38/39 (1990), 40/41 (1991), 42/43 (1997), 44/45 (2006), 46 (2007), and 47 (2010). Under Swanberg’s editorship the magazine’s format has expanded to include poetry in translation, a commitment fully developed with 38/39 and 40/41, in which Abraxas published a substantial selection of César Vallejo’s poetic sequence Trilce, taken from the only authorized edition published by Vallejo in Lima in 1922, and published in Abraxas for the first time since that year. Abraxas 38/39 and 40/41 present 52 of the 77 poems of Trilce in the original Spanish and in a new English translation, with a critical commentary, by translator próspero saíz. Since 1983, Abraxas has offered poetry in translation from Spanish, French, Portuguese, Swedish, German, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Chinese, and Sanskrit, including poems by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, Siv Arb, Homero Aridjis, Christian Arjonilla, Antonin Artaud, Stanisław Barańczak, Yolanda Blanco, Yves Bonnefoy, Antonio Cisneros, Sandor Csoori, Pablo Antonio Cuadra, Helen Dorion, Gunther Faschinger, Tu Fu, Thomas Jastrun, Margarita Leon, Antonio Machado, Pablo Neruda, Imre Oravecz, José Emilio Pacheco, Marcelin Pleynet, Hans Raimund, Liu Shahe, Yan Shih-Bo, Marie Uguay, Wang Wei, Yogeshvara, Zhu Xiao-Zang, and more.

Abraxas’s primary commitment is to contemporary American poetry, presenting work by both established and lesser-known writers.

Abraxas 13 [c. 1978].

Contributors over the years include A. R. Ammons, Michael Andre, Ivan Argüelles, marcia arrieta, John M. Bennett, Douglas Blazek, Jane Blue, Joseph Bruchac, Jeanne Bryan, Diane Burns, Charles Bukowski, Grace Butcher, David Chorlton, Leonard Cirino, Andrei Codrescu, Jack Collom, Mary Crow, Roselyn Elliott, David Lincoln Fisher, Stuart Friebert, Diane Glancy, Anselm Hollo, Albert Huffstickler, Will Inman, John Jacob, George Kalamaras, Maurice Kenny, T. L. Kryss, Denise Levertov, Philip Levine, d.a. levy, Duane Locke, Gerald Locklin, Jami Macarty, John McKernan, Andrea Moorhead, Sheryl L. Nelms, B. Z. Niditch, Achy Obejas, Theresa Pappas, Simon Perchik, John Perlman, Judith Roitman, próspero saíz, Joseph Stanton, Thoman R. Smith, D. E. Steward, Carl Thayler, William Stafford, D. R. Wagner, Marine Robert Warden, Roberta Hill Whiteman, A. D. Winans, William Winfield, Christina Zawadiwsky, et al. As ever, Abraxas seeks to discover new and authentic talent. Recognized across the country as one of the best of the literary independents, Abraxas continues to offer an increasingly rare opportunity to emerging writers for their work to be chosen on the basis of merit, and to be presented in the company of the best contemporary poetry.

— Ingrid Swanberg, Madison, Wisconsin, September 2010

Abraxas 49 (2015). Cover painting by Willard Markhardt.


Abraxas books and chapbooks (complete)

DiPalma, Raymond. Clinches. 1970.

[NA]. Abraxas Christmas Gift Catalog. ca. 1979.

Gray, Darrell. Essays and Dissolutions. 1977.

Kryss, T. L. The Secret of the Bodhi Tree. 2011. Broadside. Momentaneous Monograph no. 1.

Stephens, Jim, ed. Bright Moments: A Collection of Jazz Poetry. 1980. Abraxas 20.

Stephens, Jim. The Moving Journal. 1980. Published under the imprint Furious Alto Break.

Stephens, Jim. Posthumous Work. 1975.

Trudell, Dennis. Eight Pages. 1975.

Trudell, Dennis, ed. Wire in the Blood: Political Poems from Madison, Wis. 1982.

Vallejo, César. Trilce. próspero saíz, trans. 1992. Abraxas 38/39 and 40/41.

Wahle, F. Keith. The Part-Time Arsonist. 1971.

New American Writing

Magazines & Presses

New American Writing

Paul Hoover and Maxine Chernoff
Chicago, Illinois and Mill Valley, California

Nos. 1– (1986–). Ongoing.

Paul Hoover and Maxine Chernoff (1–32); Paul Hoover (33–).

New American Writing 1 (1986). Cover by Darragh Park.

Founded in 1986, New American Writing is a literary magazine emphasizing contemporary American poetry. Edited by Paul Hoover and Maxine Chernoff, it appears once a year in early June. The magazine is distinctive for publishing a range of innovative writing. Now in its thirty-fourth issue, it has been edited solely by Paul Hoover since issue 33 (2015).

New American Writing 2 (1987). Cover by Larry Rivers.

Issues have included cover art by leading artists, including Enrique Chagoya, Bill Viola, Alex Katz, Larry Rivers, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jennifer Bartlett, Elizabeth Murray, Fairfield Porter, and Joe Brainard. Contributors have included John Ashbery, Robert Creeley, Charles Simic, Jorie Graham, Barbara Guest, Fanny Howe, Rosmarie Waldrop, Nathaniel Mackey, Marjorie Perloff, Lyn Hejinian, Charles Bernstein, Cole Swensen, Elizabeth Robinson, Donald Revell, Hoa Nguyen, Claudia Keelan, Gillian Conoley, Karen Volkman, Ben Lerner, and Noah Eli Gordon, among others. (A more complete list of contributors follows.) Contributors have frequently been included in the annual anthology, The Best American Poetry (Scribners), edited by poet and critic David Lehman and a distinguished guest editor. Work from the magazine has also appeared in the distinguished Pushcart Anthology. In 1988 the magazine was named one of the nation’s ten outstanding literary magazines by the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines. In 2001, the magazine was honored at the National Arts Club in Gramercy Park for thirty continuous years of publication, including Oink!

The magazine has enjoyed partial financial support from Columbia College Chicago and San Francisco State University.

— Paul Hoover, Mill Valley, California, September 2016

New American Writing 29 (2011). Cover photo by Anna Gaskell.


Special Issues and Features

A supplement of Australian poetry edited by John Tranter (no. 4).

An issue on Censorship and the Arts (no. 5) at the time of Jesse Helms’s attempt to disband the NEA.

Innovative poetry from Great Britain edited by Ric Caddel (no. 9/10).

Modern and contemporary Brazilian poetry edited by Régis Bonvicino (no. 18), featuring work by Murilo Mendes, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, João Cabral de Melo Neto, Mário Faustino, Paulo Leminski, Julio Castañon Guimãres, Horácio Costa, Régis Bonvicino, Josely Vianna Baptista, Carlito Azevedo, Claudia Roquette-Pinto, Antonio Moura, Anibal Cristobo, and Tarso M. de Melo.

A special feature on Clark Coolidge, edited by Tom Orange (no. 19).

OBERIU: Russian Absurdism of the 1930s, edited by Eugene Ostashevsky and translated by Eugene Ostashevsky and Matvei Yankelevich, featuring Daniil Kharms, Alexandr Vvedensky, and Nikolai Zabolotsky (no. 20).

The Poetry of Tymoteusz Karpowicz, edited and with an introduction by Frank Kujawinski and Tomasz Tabako (no. 20).

Richter 858 Poets, edited by David Breskin: poems written on a series of eight abstract paintings by Gerhard Richter: W. S. Di Piero, Dean Young, Ann Lauterbach, Richard Howard, Paul Hoover, David Breskin, Connie Deanovich, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, Michael Palmer, James McManus, Edward Hirsch, and Jorie Graham, based on a show and public reading at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (no. 21).

Three Contemporary Chinese Poets, edited by Wang Ping: Che Qianzi, Yu Jian, Jia Wei, translated by Wang Ping and, in sequence, Ron Padgett, Lewis Warsh, and Alex Lemon (no. 22).

The New Canadian Poetry, edited by Todd Swift: Lisa Robertson, Jason Camlot, George Murray, Christian Bök, Sina Queyras, Tammy Armstrong, Carmine Starnino, Louise Bak, David McGimpsey, Jon Paul Fiorentino, Nathalie Stevens, John Stiles, Mark Cochrane, Paul Vermeersch, Lisa Pasold, Ken Babstock, Bill Kennedy, and Darren Werschler-Henry (no. 23).

Nine Contemporary Vietnamese Poets, edited by Nguyen Do and Paul Hoover: Dang Dinh Hung, Van Cao, Hoang Hung, Thanh Thao, Nguyen Do, Nhat Le, Nguyen Quang Thieu, Nhat Le, Vi Thuy Linh, and Nguyen Duy (no. 23).

Five Contemporary Greek Poets, edited by Valerie Coulton and Ed Smallfield: Mairi Alexopoulou, Phoebe Giannisi, Katerina Iliopoulou, Socrates Kabouropoulos, and Vassilis Manoussakis (no. 28).

Eleven Poets from Quebec, edited by François Luong: François Turcot, Renée Gagnon, Steve Savage, Annie LaFleur, Oana Avasilichioaei, Chantal Neveu, Alexis Lussier, Angela Carr, Alain Farah, Daniel Canty, and Hector Ruiz (no. 29).

Nine Mexican Poets (Alejandro Tarrab, Óscar de Pablo, Juan Carlos Bautista, Sara Uribe, Yaxkin Melchy, María Rivera, Óscar David López, John Gibler, and Cristina Rivera-Garza), edited by Cristina Rivera-Garza (no. 31).

Fire Exit

Magazines & Presses

Fire Exit

Fanny Howe, Ruth Whitman, William Corbett, and Ben E. Watkins

Nos. 1–4 (1968–74), plus five unnumbered foldout issues.

Unnumbered foldout issues identified by month only—four were published as April [ca. 1976] and one as July [ca. 1978].

Fanny Howe (1, 2), Ruth Whitman (1, 2), William Corbett (1–4, plus the 5 foldout issues), and Ben E. Watkins (associate editor) (2). No. 3 cover photograph by Rob Brown and back cover drawing by Gerald Coble. No. 4 cover by Robert Nunnelley. Foldout covers by Robert P. Brown, Gerald Coble, Robert Nunnelley, Philip Guston, Ray Kass, and David von Schlegell.

Fire Exit: The Magazine of the New Poet’s Theatre, vol. 1, no. 1 (1968).


Fire Exit began as the magazine of the New Poets’ Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the behest of Mary Manning, founder of the original Poets’ Theater, playwright, and Fanny Howe’s mother. The magazine took its name from the actress and playwright in the original Poets’ Theater V. R. Lang’s play Fire Exit and its mandate was to publish good writing, poetry or prose. Fanny Howe, Ruth Whitman, and I edited the first issue, the only one affiliated with the Theater; Howe, Ben E. Watkins, and I edited the second issue; and I edited the third and fourth issues, and the five foldout issues that followed. Issues three and four and the foldouts were published at 9 Columbus Square in Boston. The magazines appeared between 1968 and 1974; the foldouts between 1976 and 1978.

The idea for the foldouts came from Philip Guston, who showed me an essay—subject and author lost to history—printed and folded like a map. I adapted this so as to use a signature, not as pages, but as space. Fully open, eight “pages” could accommodate twelve or so pages of text. Front cover for art and back cover for Fire Exit address, contents, price—fifty cents—and room for recipient’s address. A first-class stamp, seven or eight cents, sent it through the mail. Foldouts proved too cumbersome for bookstores.

Fire Exit (April [ca. 1977]). Cover by Philip Guston.

Cover artists: Robert P. Brown, Gerald Coble, Robert Nunnelley, Philip Guston, Ray Kass, and David von Schlegell. Among the writers who appeared in Fire Exit: William Alfred, James Tate, Andrew Wylie, Paul Hannigan, Yvonne Ruelas, Grey Ruthven, Jim Harrison, Rebecca Newth, Sam Cornish, Sidney Goldfarb, Russell Banks, Susan Howe, Michael Palmer, Paul Metcalf, Clark Coolidge, Lee Harwood, Lewis Warsh, Calvin Forbes, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, John Yau, Charles Simic, Stratis Haviaras, Rebecca Brown, Jay Boggis, Charles Olson, John Wieners, and Musa Guston. Ninety-eight percent of the material that appeared in Fire Exit was solicited.

— William Corbett, Brooklyn, January 2017

From Issue No. 3 [1973?]

William Corbett on publishing Fire Exit

Fire Exit has had an unusual life even for a little magazine. Five years ago the first issue appeared as the magazine of the New Poets’ Theater. The New Poets’ Theater, which ran for a year, was a revival of the Poets’ Theater of the early 1950s. I was never certain why the Theater decided to start the magazine. There was talk of publishing plays and theater criticism, but the Theater provided neither of these. Fanny Howe, Ruth Whitman, and myself were asked to be editors, the magazine’s name was taken from V. R. Lang’s remark to the effect that art is life’s fire exit, and the Theater lent $250 toward the cost of the first issue. The $250 was paid back as copies of the magazine were sold at performances of Mary Manning’s adaptation of Finnegans Wake.

Editorially the first issue was a disaster. I think it safe to say that never has a magazine been published with so little evidence of editorial care and subsequently so many howlers. Somehow the editors failed to proofread the final page proofs. Pages were bound out of sequence, almost every page had a misprint and most several, writer’s names were misspelled, and the New Poets’ Theater was spelled four different ways. The night after the magazine appeared I received a telegram over the telephone, the phone waking me at 3 a.m., asking me to note line 5 page 30, line 7 page 30, etc. Most of the writers were irate and justifiably so. For all the editors’ incompetence the first issue held strong work by James Tate, Jim Harrison, and Paul Hannigan, and Ruth Whitman’s Jacob Glatstein translations.

Fire Exit risked a second issue primarily because the editors, now Fanny Howe and myself, sought redemption for the sins of the first and because a chance meeting with an old school friend of mine provided the money to continue. Ben Watkins worked on the second issue as proofreader, and improved the design in every way. He also got most of the words right. In the second issue there was good work by Richard Tillinghast, Ron Loewinsohn, J. D. Reed, and Sam Cornish. Plans were made for a third issue, manuscripts gathered, but there was no money, and the situation did not change for three years.

Late last summer Russell Banks, one of the editors of Lillabulero and at the time a member of the grants board of the Coordinating Council of Little Magazines, asked me if I had enough material for a third issue. He said that the Council had some extra money and advised me to apply for a grant. I consulted Fanny about another issue, but the pressure of a new baby and her own work forced her to leave the magazine in my hands. I made application, and in the fall of last year the Council awarded Fire Exit the $750 that makes this issue possible. I thank Russell for his help, and the Council for its generosity.

In the year I have worked on this issue I have developed a few general principles under which Fire Exit will, money willing. continue with a new and as yet undecided name. I plan to publish this magazine once a year, to print at least one long, more than seven pages, poem an issue, to print blocks of work by those poets and prose writers who interest me, and to publish criticism, long essays or short. I intend to gather the material slowly, and to make the focus of the magazine my own changing tastes and concerns. The magazines of the last twenty years that I admire are Kulchur, Corman’s Origin, Bly’s Fifties-Sixties-Seventies, Hitchcock’s Kayak, Donald Phelps’ For Now, and Banks’ and Matthews’ Lillabulero. That’s the company I would like to keep.

Fire Exit (April [ca. 1978). This whole issue is devoted to publishing Susan Howe’s Chanting at the Crystal Sea.

Jimmy & Lucy’s House of “K”

Magazines & Presses

Jimmy & Lucy’s House of “K”

Andrew Schelling and Benjamin Friedlander

Nos. 1–9 (1984–89).

Jimmy & Lucy’s House of “K” 1 (May 1984). Art by Nancy May.

Both language poetry and minimalism, with their attention to the small particles of writing, produced in the 1970s a lot of journals with names that were a single syllable or at least a single irreducible word. In 1984 that kind of title felt austere and predictable. We jammed together some little photocopy imprint titles and came up with Jimmy & Lucy’s House of “K.” It began as a journal for poets writing about other poets. It quickly fetched up all sorts of odd prose items: writing that wasn’t quite essay, or manifesto, or epistle. The content strayed too—pieces on contemporary music, obituaries (not just poets but astrologers, musicians, experimental filmmakers, Buddhist lamas), hashish in Afghanistan, animal rights, vinyl record collections, and military slang.

Since the journal ran hardly any poetry, but that’s what most of its contributors wrote, we began to include in each issue a fugitive little chapbook by individual authors. It was hard to keep track of these inserts, which got produced in different sizes and shapes, and on a different schedule than the magazine, so journal issues and their chapbook accompaniments often got separated. Let the bibliographers figure this one out, we said. We titled the inserts “Lucy Has More Fun.”

If the titles seem juvenile, the work of producing the magazines was anything but. Ben had an old IBM Executive typewriter, huge heavy machinery, its keys badly worn. Its chief virtue was that it laid out letters so they resembled typesetting. Most typewriters have a uniform width for every key, but the Executive had variable spacing, so thin letter i or l got two spaces, thick m or w got four. The rest of the production was Exacto knives, white-out, and rubber cement. Then we photocopied it on legal-size paper. The crew at Krishna Copy in Berkeley took a liking to us. They gave us very cheap prices for copies, and let us use their industrial paper cutter, saddle stapler, and other tools that we needed. There is no way to know how many copies of each issue we made. Typically we’d make a first batch to cover subscribers, which included some libraries, and a few to drop off at local bookshops. When we ran out we’d head down to Krishna and make up another ten or twenty. Surely no issue had more than two or three hundred copies.

Jimmy & Lucy’s House of “K” 7 (December 1986). Front cover by James Recht. This issue includes the insert Lucy Has More Fun that publishes Pat Reed’s 5 Poems from Qualm Lore.

Of the nine issues, each third one was a special theme issue. Number three greeted Robert Duncan’s return to publishing with Ground Work: Before the War, after his book moratorium of fourteen years. A review that the San Francisco Chronicle had requested from Ronald Johnson, then rejected as too esoteric, was emblematic of the kinds of things we could and did publish. Issue six commemorated the fifty titles Lyn Hejinian had published (and printed) under the Tuumba Press imprint. We got somebody to write on almost every one of the Tuumba chapbooks. Issue nine, our final one, carried the transcript of a weekend on Buddhism and poetry that Norman Fischer had put on at Green Gulch Zen Center. For this, “The Poetics of Emptiness,” David Sheidlower printed a letterpress cover, using Lyn Hejinian’s old Chandler & Price platen press.

Nada Gordon proofread with us. Pat Reed and Stephen Rodefer occasionally helped with typing, or cut and paste. Lots of the young experimental writers around the East Bay, alongside language poetry elders, contributed the writing. Some of the New American poetry generation gave us pieces as well. Larry Eigner, Leslie Scalapino, Charles Bernstein, Rachel DuPlessis, Philip Whalen, Nathaniel Mackey, Susan Howe, Carla Harryman, Bob Grenier, and always work by the editors, typists, and proofreaders. Nobody ever questioned how homemade, funky, or non-establishment the thing looked.

— Andrew Schelling, Boulder, Colorado, January 2017

Jimmy & Lucy’s House of “K” 6 (May 1986). Cover by Loughran O’Conner.

Swollen Magpie Press

Magazines & Presses

Swollen Magpie Press

Paul Violi, Charles North, and Allen Appel
Putnam Valley, New York

Joseph Ceravolo, Inri (1979). Cover and title by Mona da Vinci.


Paul Violi started Swollen Magpie Press in 1970 as a vehicle to self-publish two of his early poetry chapbooks: She’ll Be Riding Six White Horses and Automatic Transmissions. The press title (with its punning reference to “vanity press”) came from Ezra Pound’s famous lines toward the close of Pisan Canto LXXXI:

Pull down thy vanity
Thou art a beaten dog beneath the hail,
A swollen magpie in a fitful sun

In the following year, Swollen Magpie published Phillip Lopate’s novella In Coyoacan, and from 1970 to 1973 the press put out four issues of a poetry magazine (coedited by Violi and his friend Allen Appel) outrageously titled New York Times, with work by Jim Brodey, Dick Gallup, Ron Padgett, Carter Ratcliff, Peter Schjeldahl, Tony Towle, Bill Zavatsky, myself, and others, and covers by various artists, including Paula North.

Appel left Swollen Magpie in 1973, and the press was dormant until 1976, when I joined forces with Violi as coeditor. Over the next six years, Swollen Magpie published chapbooks by both Violi and me, Tony Towle, Joseph Ceravolo, Mary Ferrari, Yuki Hartman, and Martha LaBare—as well as a Towle/North collaboration, a monograph by Lita Hornick on the artist David Antin, and Broadway: A Poets and Painters Anthology, which I coedited with James Schuyler.

James Schulyer and Charles North, eds., Broadway: A Poets and Painters Anthology (1979). Cover by Paula North.

Broadway (which had a sequel published by Hanging Loose Press a decade later) included poems by fifty-one poets, including John Ashbery, Bruce Andrews, Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Joe Brainard, Jim Brodey, Michael Brownstein, Joseph Ceravolo, Douglas Crase, Ray DiPalma, Kenward Elmslie, Larry Fagin, Mary Ferrari, John Godfrey, Ted Greenwald, Barbara Guest, Vincent Katz, Kenneth Koch, John Koethe, Michael Lally, Frank Lima, Bernadette Mayer, Eileen Myles, Pat Nolan, Alice Notley, Maureen Owen, Ron Padgett, Anne Porter, Peter Schjeldahl, Elio Schneeman, David Shapiro, Towle, Violi, Anne Waldman, and Lewis Warsh; and drawings by Mary Abbott, Nell Blaine, Rudy Burckhardt, Robert Dash, Cornelia Foss, Jane Freilicher, Yvonne Jacquette, Alex Katz, Darragh Park, George Schneeman, and Trevor Winkfield. The cover was by Paula North, who also designed the Swollen Magpie logo that appeared on the title page, as well as on the title pages of subsequent chapbooks.

Although Swollen Magpie received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines, and the Kulchur Foundation, it mostly operated on a shoestring, and many expenses were routinely handled out-of-pocket. For Broadway, which included graphics as well as text (the cover was limited to one color), the editors secured a handful of private contributions to supplement the usual sources. All publications were produced at the nonprofit Print Center in Brooklyn, directed by the poet Robert Hershon; many of the chapbooks were hand-collated and stapled by the editors; distribution was entirely in-house. From 1976 on, editorial chores were performed at Violi’s house in Putnam Valley, N.Y.

— Charles North, New York City, January 2017

Swollen Magpie Press books (complete)

Ceravolo, Joseph. INRI. 1979.

Ferrari, Mary. The Mockingbird and Other Poems. 1980.

Hartman, Yuki. Red Rice. 1980.

Hornick, Lita. David Antin/Debunker of the “Real.” 1979.

LaBare, Martha. Shooting Star & Other Poems. 1982.

Lopate, Phillip. In Coyoacan. 1971.

North, Charles. Six Buildings. 1977.

Schuyler, James, and Charles North, eds. Broadway: A Poets and Painters Anthology. 1979.

Towle, Tony. Works on Paper. 1978; 2nd printing 1980.

Towle, Tony, and Charles North. Gemini. 1981.

Violi, Paul. Automatic Transmissions. 1970.

Violi, Paul. She’ll Be Riding Six White Horses. 1970.

Violi, Paul. Poems. 1976.

Paul Violi, Automatic Transmissions (1970).

North Country Medicine

Magazines & Presses

North Country Medicine

Albert Glover
Canton, New York

Nos. 1–6; Bulletins, nos. 1–3, and a “Christmas Letter” (1971)

North Country Medicine Bulletin 1 (n.d.). This issue was sent to Seamus Cooney and is postmarked August 17, 1972.


In the fall of 1970 I purchased a Gestetner 460 mimeograph machine, an electronic stencil maker, and a black IBM Selectric II typewriter with money provided by the Ford Foundation via the Dean’s Office at St. Lawrence University. With this equipment I planned to participate in “the mimeograph revolution” which had been underway for more than a decade. The first project I undertook was an occasional newsletter called North Country Medicine which appeared in six issues during the year. Printed in black ink on 8½ x 11 white duplicating paper, each issue was between 7 and 9 pages, folded in half, stapled, and mailed out to thirty or so friends.

A North Country Medicine mailing envelope.

A North Country Medicine mailing envelope.

Issue 1, “in the present cosmic epoch there is a creation of continuity,” contains a long passage from Briffault’s The Mothers which begins: “Words, then, are primitively regarded as much more than mere signs, and the power of speech is far from being but a means of communicating ideas….” The issue also contains Gary Snyder’s “A Curse / On the Men in Washington, Pentagon” and Suhrawardi’s “The Red Intelligence” translated by Michael Bylebyl.

Issue 2, “to a multiplicity of ways & a singleness of mind,” featured a reprint of Hans Guterbok’s “The Hittite Version of the Hurrian Kumarbi Myths: Oriental Forerunners of Hesiod” and R. Cumberland’s translation of “Sanconiatho’s Phoenician History” from the first book of Eusebius’s De Praeparations Evangelica.

Issue 4, “A Companion for Lovers,” presents Suhrawardi’s text “On the Essence of Love” translated by Michael Bylebyl.

Issue 5, “scholarship is what art and culture build on,” contains Don Makosky’s translation of Karl Meuli’s “Herodotus’ Account of Scythian Shamans” from Scythica (1935) and Anselm Hollo’s poem “that old sauna high.”

Issue 6, “Seven Akkadian Cylinder Seals at the Buffalo Museum of Natural History,” transcribed by Albert Glover with a cover image by Guy Berard, was never distributed.

North Country Medicine 6 (January 1972). This issue was never distributed.

North Country Medicine 6 (January 1972). This issue was never distributed.

Issues 1–5 were later gathered and bound together in wrappers printed by Roger Bailey from a photograph by Guy Berard. Very few made.

In addition to the newsletter, I printed and distributed three “Bulletins” and a “Christmas Letter” in the same format. Bulletin 1: two poems by John Clarke and an advertisement for A Curriculum of the Soul. Bulletin 2: “WEKWOM TEKS-“ a short dialog on etymology and language by “Jacob Lititz” (Jake Leed). Bulletin 3: a few sections from Loba by Diane di Prima. “Christmas Letter, 1971,” a reprint of a letter from D. H. Lawrence to Gordon Campbell, dated December 19, 1914.

Albert Glover, Canton, New York, 2016

The Magazine of Further Studies

Magazines & Presses

The Magazine of Further Studies

George Butterick, John Clarke, Albert Glover, and Fred Wah
Buffalo, New York

Nos. 1–6 (1965–69).

The Magazine of Further Studies 1 (1965).


The Institute of Further Studies emerged during the fall of 1965 in Buffalo, NY, when George Butterick, John Clarke, Albert Glover, and Fred Wah decided to continue their work with Olson after he had left SUNY-Buffalo and returned to Gloucester, Massachusetts. One result of their efforts was The Magazine of Further Studies, six issues of which appeared between 1965 and 1969. All issues were printed offset from stencils typed on an IBM Selectric typewriter on 8½ x 11 white stock and stapled within heavy paper covers cut from a roll of packing material. An image of some sort was then applied to the front cover. Issue no. 3 featured a patch of raccoon fur cut from an old coat; no. 6 presented one end of a piece of baling twine that led inside, etc. Contributors included the editors as well as Olson himself, Robert Duncan, John Wieners, Ed Sanders, Duncan McNaughton, Ruth Fox, Stephen Rodefer, Harvey Brown, David Tirrell, and others.

Albert Glover, Canton, New York, 2016

The Magazine of Further Studies 5 (n.d.).

The Magazine of Further Studies 5 (n.d.).

The Magazine of Further Studies 3 (1965).

The Magazine of Further Studies 3 (1965).

A Curriculum of the Soul

Magazines & Presses

A Curriculum of the Soul

John Clarke and Albert Glover
Buffalo and Canton, New York

Nos. 0–28 (1968–2002).

All covers are by Guy Berard.

A Curriculum of the Soul 0 (1968). First printing.

Sometime after Charles Olson’s death in January 1970, I told Jack Clarke I wanted to publish some kind of tribute to Olson. He responded by sending me a copy of “A Plan for a Curriculum of the Soul” which Olson had sent to us for publication in The Magazine of Further Studies no. 5. On the copy Jack had selected 28 terms as “subjects” and to each one he had written the name of a poet who might write a “fascicle” using the term as a title. We agreed that he would request the text and forward it to me and that I would publish and distribute it. I imagined that the project would take about two years, but in fact it took thirty. Many of the fascicles were printed mimeograph, texts and covers. But as the decades passed I began to employ commercial printers. The issues were sold by subscription or through book dealers. Press runs were usually close to 300 copies. After the final issue (“one’s own Language” by Lisa Jarnot) appeared in 2002, I began editing the whole toward a single volume limited edition of 51 copies designed and produced by Michael Russem at Kat Ran Press and bound in Japanese silk by Sarah Creighton. The book was released in 2010 at the Charles Olson Centennial celebration in Vancouver. In 2016 a two-volume trade edition was published by Spuyten Duyvil press.

Albert Glover, Canton, New York, 2016

A Curriculum of the Soul 23 (1983). Gerrit Lansing's Analytic Psychology.

A Curriculum of the Soul 23 (1983). Analytic Psychology by Gerrit Lansing.

A Curriculum of the Soul 5 (2002). Lisa Jarnot's one’s own Language.

A Curriculum of the Soul 5 (2002). one’s own Language by Lisa Jarnot.

The issues of A Curriculum of the Soul were

Billowitz, Edgar. American Indians. 1972. A Curriculum of the Soul 14.

Blaser, Robin. Bach’s Belief. 1995. A Curriculum of the Soul 10.

Boughn, Michael. one’s own Mind. 1999. A Curriculum of the Soul 4.

Brown, Harvey. Jazz Playing. 1977. A Curriculum of the Soul 15.

Butterick, George F. The Norse. 1973. A Curriculum of the Soul 12.

Bylebyl, Michael. Ismaeli Muslimism. 1972. A Curriculum of the Soul 18.

Clarke, John. Blake. 1973. A Curriculum of the Soul 7.

Dalke, Robert, trans. Novalis’ Subjects. 1973. A Curriculum of the Soul 11.

Duncan, Robert. Dante. 1974. A Curriculum of the Soul 8.

Glover, Albert. The Mushroom. 1972. A Curriculum of the Soul 1.

Grenier, Robert. Attention. 1985. A Curriculum of the Soul 28.

Hadley, Drummond. Vision. 1972. A Curriculum of the Soul 21.

Hollo, Anselm. Sensation. 1972. A Curriculum of the Soul 27.

Jarnot, Lisa. one’s own Language. 2002. A Curriculum of the Soul 5.

Kissam, Edward. The Arabs. 1972. A Curriculum of the Soul 13.

Koller, James. Messages. 1972. A Curriculum of the Soul 22.

Kyger, Joanne. Phenomenological. 1989. A Curriculum of the Soul 26.

Lansing, Gerrit. Analytic Psychology. 1983. A Curriculum of the Soul 23.

MacAdams, Lewis. Dance. 1972. A Curriculum of the Soul 16.

McClure, Michael. Organism. 1974. A Curriculum of the Soul 24.

McNaughton, Duncan. Dream. 1973. A Curriculum of the Soul 2.

Notley, Alice. Homer’s Art. 1990. A Curriculum of the Soul 9.

Olson, Charles. Pleistocene Man. 1968. A Curriculum of the Soul 0.

Sanders, Edward. Egyptian Hieroglyphs. 1973. A Curriculum of the Soul 17.

Thorpe, John. Matter. 1975. A Curriculum of the Soul 25.

Tirrell, David. Alchemy. 1972. A Curriculum of the Soul 19.

Wah, Fred. Earth. 1974. A Curriculum of the Soul 6.

Wieners, John. Woman. 1972. A Curriculum of the Soul 3.

Zimmerman, Daniel. Perspective. 1974. A Curriculum of the Soul 20.

All Area

Magazines & Presses

All Area

Roy Skodnick
New York

Nos. 1–3 (Spring 1980–1992).

Nos. 1 and 2, “From Gloucester out…,” designed by Bethany Jacobson. No. 3, “La Pelota Que Rebota, Santa Clara del Cobre,” designed by Yuri Yarmolinsky.

All Area 1 (Spring 1980).

All Area 1 (Spring 1980). Designed by Bethany Jacobson.

All Area grew out of Talking Wood, a bioregional journal about New Jersey, edited by video pioneer Paul Ryan, who worked with Peter Berg’s Planet Drum in California, the first publication to propose bioregion and watershed as forms of natural and cultural morphology. Ryan inspired me to put the work of Charles Olson into such terms. Ryan and Frank Gillette had already done that for Gregory Bateson in Radical Software. Thus in All Area 1, Ryan interviewed Bateson, Gillette mapped South Padre Island in Axis of Observation, and William Margolis recorded the geography of a Bedouin tribe in the Sinai. Paul Metcalf and Ken Irby were masters of landscape too. Charles Stein provided a reading of Olson’s alchemical landscape. David Finkelstein used Olson’s triad (topos, typos, tropos) to map space in terms of quantum theory.

Art, science, and technology intertwined. No. 2 put Olson in relation to Kenneth Burke and Julia Kristeva. Sherman Paul read Olson through Burke; and Gillette, my partner in the Burke interviews, engaged the earliest forms of the internet to attempt a “grammar” in dialogue with the noetics of Brendan O’Regan.

Bethany Jacobson and I published a graphically ambitious journal, mining archives of AT&T and Edison, as well as Charles and Ray Eames’s A Computer Perspective for the 1966 IBM exhibition. Thus Norbert Weiner, John Von Neuman, and Claude Shannon were put alongside Trent Shroyer’s Critique of the Domination of Nature.

No. 3 appeared “late in a slow time”: a catalog for sculptor Ana Pellicer’s La Pelota que Rebota that represented Mexico for the 1992 Quincentenary Celebration of El encuentro de dos mundos (Europe and the Americas).

Through All Area I met James Metcalf and Ana Pellicer, who invited me to document their work in Santa Clara del Cobre. From cod to copper: from the “Big O” to two revolutionary sculptors: from Gloucester to Michoacán.

— Roy Skodnick, New York City, October 2016

All Area 2 (Spring 1983). Designed by Bethany Jacobson

All Area 2 (Spring 1983).

All Area 3 (1992). Designed by Yuri Yarmolinsky.

All Area 3 (1992).


Magazines & Presses


Richard Brautigan and Ron Loewinsohn
San Francisco [1963].

Change vol. 1, no. 1 [1963]. Sole issue.


Joanne Kyger:

I remember, in the winter of 1964, coming back from Japan, where I had lived for four years, and realizing that Richard was almost a different person. He and Ron Loewinsohn had started a magazine, Change, in 1963, and I had sent them some poems to publish. Despite its title it was a very modest typing-paper size stapled publication with a photo of Richard and Ron looking very solemn. Only one issue came out.

The cover photograph is by Joan Gatten, the wife of Ron Loewinsohn; Brautigan was living with the couple at the time. Change included work by Philip Whalen, Bob Miller, Hugh Madden, Robert Duncan, Ken Irby,  Joanne Kyger, Gerald Gilbert, Richard Duerden, and the editors. According to Loewinsohn, the magazine folded after the first issue due to the difficulty of working with Brautigan.

Don Carpenter, one of Brautigan’s closest friends, wrote the following in an unpublished memoir:

Back then it seemed possible to take control of American literature by simply starting your own magazine, printing your friends, and letting the world come to you. City Lights bookstore was a tiny triangle of cramped space with Shigeyoshi (Shig) Murau at its center, behind the cash register. The front rack, under the window and to Shig’s left, was littered with hopeful new poetry magazines, ranging in price from FREE to $10.00. Brautigan and his friend Ron Loewinsohn decided to add to this blizzard of literature.

Change was the name of their magazine, a bold announcement of what was about to happen to the world of art and letters. Change was mimeographed on cheap 8 x 10 paper. It was priced at one dollar per issue and four dollars for a year’s subscription. Brautigan and Loewinsohn met me at a cafe on the corner of Columbus and Pacific. The place was shabby and full of poets, all glowering at each other and themselves. We sat near the window and glowered out at the citizens passing by. Ron Loewinsohn was and is a small handsome man with snapping eyes and a bright laugh, a poet with ambitions.

To keep us from being thrown out, I ordered coffee and probably paid for it, too. After all, they were poets and editors, and I was only a part-time teacher. Over coffee they talked and I listened. Their magazine was ambitious—they would be printing in their first issue Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Jack Spicer, Robert Duncan, and I don’t remember who-all. It sounded pretty good to me, and I said so.

“That’s just it,” Richard said, looking at me fondly. “We would like to offer you the position of first subscriber.”

I didn’t know whether to be flattered or insulted. Had they combed North Beach and discovered that I was the only person they knew with four dollars? Maybe so, but I decided to be flattered.

“Thank you,” I said, and forked over the money.

Some time later I got my copy of Change, volume one, number one. As advertised, it was full of poets who have now, with the passage of more than twenty years, become famous as the centerpieces of the Beat. I still have my copy, tucked away in lightsafe storage. Volume One, Number One was, of course, the only issue of the magazine to appear.

There is more to life than editing other people’s work, Brautigan and Loewinsohn must have decided. As for me, their only subscriber (it turned out), they owed me three dollars. At that time, three dollars was a hell of a lot of money, and I frankly never expected to see it again.

But no. These were honorable men. About three months after I had forgotten all about the whole thing, Richard came up to me on the street.

“Ah,” he said, “I’ve been looking all over for you. Where have you been keeping yourself?”

I explained that I had a wife and family over in Noe Valley, and that domesticity and work kept me out of the Beach, often for days at a time.

Not hearing the sarcasm, Richard pulled out an envelope and handed it to me. “This is yours,” he said. “Your refund from Change.”

I was very pleased. In the world of poetry, in the North Beach of then, money was a scarce item. This bit of businesslike honesty was endearing to me. I liked Brautigan better than ever.

The fact that the envelope contained three-cent stamps instead of cash was irrelevant. People can always use stamps.

Don Carpenter, My Brautigan: A Portrait from Memory. Quotation from John Barber’s website,


Magazines & Presses

Merlin: A Collection of Contemporary Writing

Alexander Trocchi

Merlin vol. 1, no. 1–vol. 3, no. 1 (Spring 1952–Spring/Summer 1955).

Merlin 1 (Spring 1952).


Alexander Trocchi was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1925. He studied literature with Edwin Morgan at Glasgow University and was greatly influenced by French existentialism, in particular Sartre’s concept of littérature engagée; to some extent, he invented himself as an engaged outsider. Trocchi moved to Paris in 1952 with his wife and children but left them there. He soon met and fell in love with a nineteen-year-old American, Alice Jane Lougee. Alice Jane was in discussion with Australian poet Alan Riddell about starting a magazine to be called Lines. After she met Trocchi, he was quickly brought in to be coeditor of Lines with Lougee as publisher (she regularly received a small sum of money from her father, a banker in Limerick, Maine). Trocchi soon split with Riddell—who went on to found the very successful Lines, which became Lines Review, in Edinburgh—and together with Lougee, founded Merlin: A Collection of Contemporary Writing. The first of seven issues came out on May 15, 1952. The name of the magazine was suggested by Christopher Logue, with reference to the falcon rather than the wizard. Merlin’s mission statement was articulated in a lengthy essay by Trocchi in no. 2, “MERLIN will hit at all clots of rigid categories in criticism and life, and all that is unintelligently partisan.”

Contributors to nos. 1–2 include: William Burford, Trocchi, Christopher Logue, Patrick Brangwyn, Alfred Chester, H. Charles Hatcher, James Fidler, Patrick Bowles, Richard Seaver, and A. J. Ayer (an essay on existentialism). Richard Seaver was on a fellowship in Paris, where he discovered the work of Samuel Beckett.

Seaver published an essay on Beckett in no. 2 and eventually brought Trocchi and Samuel Beckett together; Patrick Bowles would later, in collaboration with Beckett, translate Molloy. Beckett published a section of Watt (which was written in English) in no. 3. Trocchi, Seaver, Lougee, and others in the Merlin group were so taken with Beckett’s work they began the imprint “Collection Merlin” to publish Watt; they later published the first English-language edition of Molloy. Maurice Girodias took an interest in the publishing venture, as a result of which, “Collection Merlin” became an imprint of Olympia Press.

By vol. 2, no. 1, with Seaver as advisory editor and director, Merlin had contributions from Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Genet, Henry Miller, Eugene Ionesco, Ernst Fuchs, William Sansom, Alan Riddell, and Paul Éluard, among many others. Merlin published eight issues and ended in 1955.

Collection Merlin books include

Beckett, Samuel. Malloy: A Novel. 1955. Translated by Patrick Bowles.

Beckett, Samuel. Watt. 1953. 1,100 numbered copies were issued.

Broughton, James. An Almanac for Amorists. 1955. Designed and illustrated by Kermit Sheets in an edition of 676 copies of which 26 are lettered and 150 numbered and signed by the author.

Genet, Jean. The Thief’s Journal. 1954. Translated by Bernard Frechtman, foreword by Jean-Paul Sartre.

Logue, Christopher. Wand and Quadrant. 1953. Published in an edition of 600 copies of which 300 are numbered.

de Musset, Alfred. Passion’s Evil. 1953.

Wainhouse, Austryn. Hedyphagetica…. 1954.

Merlin, vol. 2, no. 2 (1953).

Merlin, vol. 2, no. 2 (1953).

The San Francisco Public Library: A Publishing House

Magazines & Presses

The San Francisco Public Library: A Publishing House

Richard Brautigan, Victor Moscoso,
and Jack Thibeau

San Francisco

The San Francisco Public Library: A Publishing House (1968). Sole issue.


It all started with an obituary. Richard Brautigan tore the column from the back pages of the San Francisco Examiner in September of 1968, another piece of found art. He kept it among his personal papers for the remaining sixteen years of his life. The headline read, ‘Mrs. Myrtle Tate, Movie Projectionist.’”

The cover was spontaneously created by poet and actor Jack Thibeau who carefully placed his hirsute belly upon the Vico-Matic copy machine located in the Reference Room of the Main Library at Civic Center. Victor Moscoso, Zap Comix and Family Dog artist, created the back page by placing Valerie Estes’s Siamese cat, Zenobia, on the machine. And Richard Brautigan copied his poem “Mrs. Myrtle Tate, Movie Projectionist” against the background of a newspaper’s movie ads. Edmund Shea photographed the event for posterity.

“Richard had prepared small slips of paper with a typed statement: ‘This is one of seven numbered and signed copies.’ The line below contained a typed number. These were printed on seven of Brautigan’s copies, and he signed them all. In addition, Thibeau and Moscoso each signed an undisclosed number of their own pages. According to librarian David Belch, no more than twenty copies were printed. Richard bound each one together with three staples.”

The statement on the front cover reads: “This magazine was created and Xeroxed at the Main Library in the Civic Center using their ten cent Xerox machine on December 5, 1968 by: Victor Moscoso Jack Thibeau Richard Brautigan.”

Due to the fragile nature of Thermofax, few copies have survived. Some claim that this book is the most rare of Richard Brautigan items.

Description adapted from:

William Hjortsberg, Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan (Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2012), pp. 375–76.


Magazines & Presses


Ron Caplan and John Sinclair

whe’re 1 (Summer 1966). Sole issue.


Page 96 of the magazine Work, no. 3 announces:

Magazine editors note: we will be starting a new magazine soon, called whe’re, which will be concerned with gathering & presenting all possible news of magazine & little presses’ activity, both current & what will happen in the next few mo[n]ths. Like advertising free of charge, & in depth.

In the announcement the editors are listed as Ron Caplan, Robin Eichele, and John Sinclair; the first issue was to appear in April [1966], along with Work, no. 4, “& simultaneously thereafter.”

whe’re no. 1 (the only issue) appeared in the summer of 1966, by which time Sinclair was serving a six-month sentence in the Detroit House of Corrections following his second conviction for marijuana possession. Kaplan was listed as editor and Sinclair as contributing editor.

The issue begins with “The Trial of Mamachtaga, a Delaware Indian, the First Person Convicted of Murder West of the Alleghany Mountains, and Hanged for His Crime” by Judge H. H. Brackenridge and continues with poems and notes on presses, magazines, and publications by Victor Coleman, Jonathan Williams, Gino Clays, Margaret Randall, Donald Allen, Andrew Crozier, Douglas Casement, T. David Horton, Artists’ Workshop, Stan Persky, and Jack Spicer.

There is a section on Haniel Long with contributors Ed Dorn, Henry Miller, Haniel Long, Howard McCord, and Lawrence Clark Powell; an interview with Robert Creeley by John Sinclair and Robin Eichele; a Robert Creeley Bibliography by Stephen Rodefer; an Index to Kulchur 1–20 by Rosalind Kass; and “rev-yous” including Malay Roy Choudhury on Subimal Basak (both members of the Hungry Generation; in December 1965 Choudhury would be convicted of obscenity in Calcutta), David Sinclair (John’s brother) on Max Finstein, Bill Hutton on the New Rand McNally World Pocket Atlas, David Franks on Robert Creeley, Jerry Younkins on Lew Welch and “The Free Poets,” George Tysh on Gary Snyder and Richard Duerden, Thomas Clark on Sam Abram, Andrew Crozier on George Stanley, Ron Caplan on Larry Goodell/Duende, John Sinclair on William S. Burroughs and LeRoi Jones (dateline Detroit House of Correction May 22, 23, 1966).


whe’re was printed at the Artists’ Workshop Press. The cover photograph of John Sinclair (wearing a sweatshirt custom made by Stanley Mouse) and the interior photograph of Robert Creeley (p. 47) were taken by Magdalene [Leni] Sinclair in 1965.

The issue pictured above contains two inserts:

1) “Artists’ Workshop Press Current Catalog” listing Work, nos. 2, 3; Change nos. 1, 2; whe’re, no. 1; “Workshop Books: first books by Detroit poets & writers” including George Tysh, John Sinclair, J. D. Whitney, Jim Semark, Jerry Younkins, Free Poems/Among Friends, vols. 1, 2, and The Fugs Songbook! (reprinted from the Fug Press edition). [8½ x 11 inches, folded]
2) A printed note from John Sinclair welcoming subscriptions and donations to the Artists’ Workshop Press. [8½ x 4 inches]


Magazines & Presses


Ira Cohen
Tangier, Morocco

Gnaoua 1 (Spring 1964). Sole issue. Cover by Rosalind Schwartz.


Poet, photographer, filmmaker, editor, and publisher Ira Cohen first arrived in Tangier in 1961 where he met William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Paul Bowles, and others in the Morocco expat community. Three years later he produced the classic one-shot magazine Gnaoua. According to Cohen’s introduction: “GNAOUA after Black African sect in Morocco known for ecstatic dancing and procession trances…The object is EXCORCISM.” There is a strong expatriate Beat flavor to the magazine; contributors include: Burroughs, Ian Sommerville, Gysin, Harold Norse, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, J. Sheeper [Irving Rosenthal], Jack Smith, Marc Schleifer, Mohammed Ben Abdullah Yussufi (translated by Rosenthal), J. Weir, Stuart Gordon, Tatiana, Alfred Jarry (translated by George Andrews), Gnaoua Song (translated by Christopher Wanklyn), and Rosalind Schwartz, who designed the cover. Irving Rosenthal, author of Sheeper (1967), edited Big Table 1 (1959) and introduced Cohen to Jack Smith.

A plate used for Jack Smith’s “Superstars of Cinemaroc” portfolio in Gnaoua.

A plate used for Jack Smith’s “Superstars of Cinemaroc” portfolio in Gnaoua.

The portfolio of Smith’s work in Gnaoua presents images from his infamous film Flaming Creatures (1963), in which Rosenthal appears. Marc Schleifer (later Professor S. Abdallah Schleifer) edited the first four issues of Kulchur, during which time he was married to Marian Zazeela, who appeared in the photographs of Smith’s The Beautiful Book. Rosalind [Schwartz] was Cohen’s then girlfriend; at the suggestion of Brion Gysin she wrote The Hashish Cookbook under the pseudonym Panama Rose.

Ira Cohen’s directions for printing the Gnaoua cover.

Rosalind Schwartz’s directions to the printer for the Gnaoua cover.

Gnaoua Press publications (complete):

Panama Rose. The Hashish Cookbook. 1966.

de Roussy de Sales, Aymon. The Founding Pig. 1966.

Panama Rose [Rosalind Schwartz], The Hashish Cookbook (1966).

Panama Rose [Rosalind Schwartz], The Hashish Cookbook (1966).

Contour Quarterly

Magazines & Presses

Contour Quarterly

Christopher Maclaine and Norma Smith

Nos. 1–4 (1947–49).

Contour Quarterly 1 (April 1947).


Filmmaker, poet, and editor Christopher Maclaine, together with Norma Smith, produced four issues of Contour Quarterly (1947–49). Filmmaker Jordan Belson was the art editor for no. 1. The magazine published such writers as Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer, Bern Porter, Chris Rambo (a San Francisco poet, he was among the conscientious objectors group at Waldport, Oregon), Philip Lamantia, Madeline Gleason, Curtis Zahn, James Schevill, Kenneth Patchen, and Denise Levertov. No. 3 included the first publication by photographer Charles Brittin (writing as C. William Brittin), who went on to become an important figure in Los Angeles documenting local Beat culture, Venice Beach, the Civil Rights Movement, antiwar activities, and much more. He exhibited at Wallace Berman’s roofless Semina Gallery in 1960. Maclaine published four books of poetry: The Automatic Wound (1948), The Crazy Bird (1951), Words (1954), and The Time Capsule (1960). His four films are The End (1953), The Man Who Invented Gold (1957), Beat (1958), and Scotch Hop (1959). He was a major catalyst in the early Beat days of San Francisco; according to J. J. Murphy in Film Culture, he was known as “the Antonin Artaud of North Beach.” After years of prodigious drug and alcohol use, Maclaine was institutionalized in the late sixties and died in 1975.


Contour Quarterly 2 (September 1947).

Big Table

magazines & Presses

Big Table

Irving Rosenthal, Paul Carroll

Nos. 1–5 (Spring 1959–1960).

Irving Rosenthal and Paul Carroll (no. 1), Paul Carroll (nos. 2–5)

Big Table 1 (Spring 1959)

Big Table was launched in spring 1959 following the suppression of the Winter 1958 issue of The Chicago Review. An exposé in the Chicago Daily News revealed editors Irving Rosenthal’s and Paul Carroll’s plans to publish work by William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and other Beat writers, and the administration quashed the magazine. Rosenthal and Carroll, along with other Chicago Review editors, resigned and with the suppressed material started Big Table. The first issue was edited by Rosenthal and Carroll, though Carroll had to withdraw his name in order to avoid being fired by Loyola University where he was employed. This issue contained work by Jack Kerouac (who named the magazine in a telegram: “CALL IT BIG TABLE”), Edward Dahlberg, and Burroughs (a section from Naked Lunch), and was summarily impounded by the US Post Office. The lawsuit was unsuccessful and Big Table continued through 1960 and five issues. Rosenthal left the magazine after the first issue and Carroll stayed on as editor for the duration, publishing such writers and artists as Paul Bowles, Antonin Artaud, Leon Golub, John Logan, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Robert Fulton, Harry Callahan, Douglas Woolf, Aaron Siskind, Paul Blackburn, Franz Kline, Diane di Prima, and Gregory Corso.

Aram Saroyan, Words & Photographs (1970). The cover photograph of the author and his father was taken by Archie Minasian.

Aram Saroyan, Words & Photographs (1970). The cover photograph of the author and his father was taken by Archie Minasian.

Big Table began publishing books in 1968 and continued through 1971, bringing out The Big Table Series of Younger Poets which included Bill Knott, Kathleen Norris, Dennis Schmitz, and Andrei Codrescu. Aside from poetry and fiction Big Table also published Claes Oldenburg’s Proposals for Monuments and Buildings 1965–69 and No One Was Killed: Documentation and Meditation: Convention Week, Chicago, August 1968, by novelist John Schultz who was covering the Democratic Convention for The Evergreen Review. The imprint was resurrected around 1991 and published three books by editor and poet Paul Carroll before his death in 1996.

Paul Carroll, ed., The Young American Poets (1968). Introduction by James Dickey.

Big Table books include

Carroll, Paul. Chicago Tales. 1991.

Carroll, Paul. Odes. 1969.

Carroll, Paul. Poems and Psalms. 1990.

Carroll, Paul. The Beaver Dam Road Poems. 1994.

Carroll, Paul. The Luke Poems. 1971.

Carroll, Paul. The Poem in its Skin. 1968.

Carroll, Paul, ed. The Young American Poets. 1968.

Codrescu, Andrei. License to Carry a Gun. 1970. Vol. 3 in the Big Table Series.

[Knott, Bill], writing as Saint Geraud. The Naomi Poems: Corpse and Beans. 1968. Vol. 1 in the Big Table Series.

Knott, Bill. Auto-necrophilia: The _____ Poems. 1971. Vol. 2 in the Big Table Series.

Norris, Kathleen. Falling Off. 1971. Vol. 4 in the Big Table Series.

Oldenburg, Claes. Proposals for Monuments and Buildings 1965–69. 1969.

Porchia, Antonio. Voices. 1969. Translated by W.S. Merwin.

Saroyan, Aram. Cloth: An Electric Novel. 1971.

Saroyan, Aram. Words & Photographs. 1970.

Schmitz, Dennis. We Weep for Our Strangeness. 1969.

Schultz, John. No One Was Killed: Documentation and Meditation: Convention Week, Chicago, August 1968. 1969.

Schultz, John. The Tongues of Men. 1969.