Category Archives: Black Mountain etc


magazines & Presses


Nathaniel Mackey
Santa Cruz, California

Nos. 1–21 (Spring 1974, 1982–2015).

Hambone is still in operation.

Hambone 1 (Spring 1974). Cover by Jim Mitchell.


Hambone’s lineage includes the poetry of Black Mountain, the San Francisco Renaissance, language poetry, and the myths and traditions of West and North Africa, Haiti, and Papua/New Guinea, as well as the history and rhythms of blues, jazz, and improvisatory music. Editor Nathaniel Mackey was born in Miami and grew up in Southern California, before attending both Princeton and Stanford universities. While at Stanford in 1974, he was one of the editors of the first issue of Hambone, which was not to appear again until 1982 when, as a better-established poet and scholar, Mackey revived the periodical (he has since gone on to publish a half dozen books of poetry, an anthology of jazz poetry, and, in 1993, a highly regarded critical work, Discrepant Engagement: Dissonance, Cross-Culturality, and Experimental Writing).

The revived Hambone reflects the wide interests of its editor in “cross-cultural” and experimental writing as well as writing by people of color (two of Mackey’s cultural heroes are Imamu Amiri Baraka and Guyanese novelist Wilson Harris). Mackey commented on his role as editor in an interview with Chris Funkhouser published in the print magazine Callaloo and at the Electronic Poetry Center from SUNY-Buffalo: “my idea was to simply put my sense of a community of writers and artists on a kind of map, in one place. So in Hambone 2, in which all of the material was solicited, that meant having a talk by Sun Ra and poems by Robert Duncan, poems by Beverly Dahlen, Jay Wright, fiction by Clarence Major, Wilson Harris, poems by Edward Kamau Brathwaite and so on. That issue was sort of saying, ‘OK, here’s my map, a significant part of it, and we’re going to call it Hambone.’ It seems to me that’s what little magazines do, and do best. They put out a particular editor’s sense of ‘what’s up’ out there—and you find out who ‘out there’ is interested in that.”

Hambone 2 (1982).

Hambone 2 (1982).

Hambone 3 (1983).

Hambone 3 (1983).


magazines & Presses


Thomas C. Dent, Calvin Hernton,
and David Henderson

New York

Vol. 1, nos. 1–5 (Winter 1963–74).

Umbra 2 (1963).


The first literary magazines of the 1960s published exclusively by black writers and for black readers were Soulbook, Black Dialogue, and The Journal of Black Poetry. Umbra (“shadow-region”), which chronologically preceded them, presaged and shared the excitement they generated. Founded by the Society of Umbra, a workshop of musicians, poets, fiction writers, and visual artists, the journal was, unlike the others mentioned above, not a black nationalist literary organ. Aesthetically, however, it was born of the black struggle, as evidenced by this statement in its first issue: “Umbra is not another haphazard ‘little literary’ publication. Umbra has a defined orientation: (1) the experience of being Negro, especially in America; and (2) that quality of human awareness often termed ‘social consciousness.’” The magazine was concerned primarily with issues facing African Americans as these were reflected in creative literature (“poetry, short stories, articles, essays”) and prided itself on its high standards, choosing carefully among a large number of submitted manuscripts. Politically, for Umbra was political, the magazine tended toward the left, “as radical as society demands the truth to be.” Umbra and its cousins Umbra/Blackworks and Blackworks from the Black Galaxy published many of the most important black writers of the sixties and seventies, including Dudley Randall, Ree Dragonette, Conrad Kent Rivers, Lorenzo Thomas, Ann Allen Shockley, Ishmael Reed, LeRoi Jones, Jayne Cortez, Nikki Giovanni, Bob Kaufman, Tom Weatherly, and Jay Wright. The periodical included writers from Africa, the Caribbean, Pasadena, Queens, New York, Illinois, West Africa, and elsewhere.

Wild Dog

Magazines & Presses

Wild Dog

John Hoopes, Ed Dorn, Drew Wagnon, and others
Pocatello, Idaho; Salt Lake City, Utah; and San Francisco

Nos. 1–21 (1963–66).

Wild Dog, vol. 3, no. 21 (March 1, 1966).


In many respects—name, form, and content—Wild Dog boldly embodies much of what we identify as the “mimeo revolution.” Preceded in Pocatello by A Pamphlet, Wild Dog, which joined the mimeograph revolution in April 1963, was the brainchild of Edward Dorn, who was familiar with the emergence of divergent American writing through his association with Black Mountain College, where he had studied under Charles Olson and Robert Creeley. The literary direction that Dorn brought to Wild Dog encompassed writing from diverse sources including, but not limited to, writers associated with The Black Mountain Review, the San Francisco Renaissance, the Beat generation, the New York School, and certain “hip” European and South American publications and poets. In its three-year history, Wild Dog moved from Pocatello, Idaho, to Salt Lake City, Utah, before ending its existence with number 21 of volume 3 in March of 1966, in San Francisco.

Max Finstein, The Disappearance of Mountains (1966). Cover and illustrations by Jorge Fick.

Max Finstein, The Disappearance of Mountains (1966). Cover and illustrations by Jorge Fick.

In January 1966, Wild Dog published a book of poems, The Disappearance of Mountains by Max Finstein. Wild Dog had several editors in its brief history. While in Pocatello, John Hoopes edited the first issue with Ed Dorn and then edited number 2 with Geoffrey Dunbar and numbers 3 and 4 with Drew Wagnon. Drew Wagnon joined Hoopes for number 5 and stayed with the magazine through its final issue. He joined Gino Clays (Sky) in Salt Lake City for number 10 and later went to San Francisco with Clays to edit numbers 11 through 18. A double issue, 19/20, and the last issue were edited by Wagnon and his wife, Terry. During the period of the magazine’s existence, there were also several guest editors. Some of the writers and poets who submitted original manuscripts to Wild Dog were LeRoi Jones, Douglas Woolf, Robert Kelly, Larry Eigner, Fielding Dawson, Charles Olson, Denise Levertov, Louis Zukofsky, Robert Creeley, Diane Wakoski, Stan Brakhage, and Joanne Kyger.

Wild Dog books published

Finstein, Max. The Disappearance of Mountains: Poems 1960–1963. 1966.

Wild Dog, no. 6, vol. 1 (February 1964).

Wild Dog, vol. 1, no. 6 (February  29, 1964).


magazines & Presses


Larry Goodell
Placitas, New Mexico

Nos. 1–14 (1964–66).

Duende 4 (April 1964). The Roadrunner Poem by Kenneth Irby. Cover by Signe Nelson (Stuart).

Duende 4

In the southwestern desert highlands of Placitas, New Mexico, flourished one of the most down-to-earth, and yet still lunar, of the mimeographed magazines of the 1960s, Larry Goodell’s Duende. Each of its fourteen issues published the work of just one poet (a separate anthology, entitled Oriental Blue Streak, was published in spring 1968 in Placitas without the Duende imprint). Among the individual titles were Ronald Bayes’s History of the Turtle (Book 1) as number 1, Kenneth Irby’s The Roadrunner Poem (number 4), Margaret Randall’s Some Small Sounds from the Bass Fiddle (number 5), Larry Eigner’s Murder Talk (number 6), Robert Kelly’s Lectiones (number 7), and Kenneth Irby’s Movements/Sequences (number 8). The final issue was devoted to Goodell’s own Cycles.

Detroit Artists Workshop Benefit: Seven Poets, Santa Fe-Albuquerque. Captain Mimeo and the Pepsi Shooter Press Book no. 1. [Duende Press], March 11, 1967.

Detroit Artists Workshop Benefit, Seven Poets, Santa Fe-Albuquerque. Captain Mimeo and the Pepsi Shooter Press Book no. 1. [Duende Press] (March 11, 1967). Cover by Joyce Finstein.

The press also published a series of half a dozen broadside poems. The press was named after the poetic view developed by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, whose “Theory and Function of the Duende” was widely influential among American poets of the ’60s and ’70s: “All through Andalusia, from the rock of Jaén to the shell of Cádiz, people constantly speak of the duende, and recognize it with unfailing instinct when it appears. The wonderful flamenco singer El Lebrijano, creator of the Debla, said: ‘When I sing with duende nobody can equal me.’ The old gipsy dancer La Malena exclaimed once on hearing Brailowsky play Bach: ‘Olé! This has duende,’ yet she was bored by Gluck, Brahms, and Darius Milhaud. And Manuel Torres, a man with more culture in his veins than anybody I have known, when listening to Falla playing his own ‘Nocturno del Generalife,’ made this splendid pronouncement: ‘All that has dark sounds has duende.’ And there is no greater truth.”

Duende 5 (September 1964). Margaret Randall's Some Small Sounds from the Bass Fiddle.

Duende 5 (September 1964). Some Small Sounds from the Bass Fiddle by Margaret Randall. Cover collage by Bobbie Creeley.

The fourteen issues of Duende were

Bayes, Ronald. History of the Turtle (Book 1). 1964. Duende 1. Cover collage by Bobbie Creeley.

Bayes, Ronald. History of the Turtle (Book 4). 1966. Duende 10. Cover by Signe Nelson (Stuart).

Dodd, William. Se Marier. 1965. Duende 9. Cover by William Taggart.

Eigner, Larry. Murder Talk; The Reception: (Suggestions for a Play); Five Poems; Bed Never Self Made. 1965. Duende 6. Cover photograph by Paul Saunders.

Franklyn, A. Frederic. Virgules and Déjà Vu. 1964. Duende 2. Cover collage by Bobbie Creeley.

Franks, David. Touch. 1966. Duende 13. Edited by Larry Goodell & William Harris. Cover by Joseph White.

Goodell, Larry. Cycles. 1966. Duende 14. Edited by William Harris.

Harris, William. Poems 1965. 1966. Duende 12. Edited by Larry Goodell and William Harris. Cover by John Czerkowicz.

Irby, Kenneth. Movements/Sequences. 1965. Duende 8. Cover by Joseph Stuart.

Irby, Kenneth. The Roadrunner Poem. 1964. Duende 4. Cover by Signe Nelson (Stuart).

Kelly, Robert. Lectiones. 1965. Duende 7. Collages, including cover, by Bobbie Creeley.

Randall, Margaret. Some Small Sounds from the Bass Fiddle. 1964. Duende 5. Cover collage by Bobbie Creeley.

Ward, Fred. Poems. 1966. Duende 11. Edited by Larry Goodell and William Harris.

Watson, Richard. Cockcrossing. 1964. Duende 3. Cover by Signe Nelson (Stuart).

Migrant Books

magazines & Presses

Migrant Books

Gael Turnbull
Worcester, England, and Ventura, California

Nos. 1–8 (July 1959–September 1960).

Superseded by: Mica. Santa Barbara, California; Helmut Bonheim and Raymond Federman, eds. Nos. 1–7 (December 1960–November 1962).

Migrant 1 (July 1959).


SCOTTish poet Gael Turnbull began Migrant Books by purchasing stock from several presses, including Origin, Jargon, and Divers Press, and his first solo publication was a single mimeographed sheet advertising these publications, which included Charles Olson’s Maximus Poems. In a personal memoir of the press, Turnbull comments on his first real book publication: “In the summer of 1957, I published The Whip, a small volume of selected poems by Robert Creeley, who arranged and managed the printing for me on Mallorca (with Mosen Alcover who had printed the Divers Press books). There were 500 copies in paper wrappers and 100 hard cover…the bulk of the edition went out through Jargon (Jonathan Williams) in the United States. (I did have the intention of publishing Olson’s O’Ryan Poem but it didn’t get further than ‘an intention’ because I never got myself together enough to actually approach a printer in Worcester.)”

Turnbull immigrated to the United States in 1958 and settled in Ventura, California, where he began to publish his books on a hand-operated Sears Roebuck duplicator. He used this machine to produce the little magazine entitled Migrant, which he sent to friends and colleagues, partly as a way to retain contact with England, where he returned in 1964. Eight issues of Migrant appeared over the course of a year, and then Turnbull began publishing pamphlets, including Scottish artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay’s The Dancers Inherit the Party, which was printed in two editions. Although it lasted only a few years, Migrant was an example to certain other presses in the United Kingdom, influencing (at least editorially) both Finlay’s Wild Hawthorn Press and the more mainstream Fulcrum Press in London. An unassuming, simple affair, each Migrant book was focused on providing a readable text in more ways than one. The last publication of the press was Few by Pete Brown in 1966: “It was our biggest in sheer size, and somewhere, somehow, 1,000 copies vanished into other bookshops and presumably into the hands of readers.”

Migrant Press: Bibliographical History (1965?). The inside of a single-fold brochure.

Migrant Press: Bibliographical History [1965?]. The inside of a single-fold brochure.

Migrant Books include

Adele, David. Becoming. 1980.

Brown, Pete. Few: Poems. 1966.

Creeley, Robert. The Whip. 1957.

Creighton-Hill, Hugh. Latterday Chrysalides. 1961.

Dorn, Ed. What I See in the Maximus Poems. 1960.

Finlay, Ian Hamilton. The Dancers Inherit the Party: Selected Poems. 1962. Woodcuts by Zeljko Kujundzic.

Hardiment, Melville. Doazy Bor. N.d.

Harrison, Tony, and Philip Sharpe. Looking Up. 1979.

Hollo, Anselm. & it is a song: Poems. 1965. Cover design and section plates by John Furnival.

Mead, Matthew. A Poem in Nine Parts. 1960.

Mead, Matthew. Identities. 1964.

Morgan, Edwin, trans. Sovpoems: Brecht, Neruda, Pasternak, Tsvetayeva, Mayakowsky, Martynov, Yevtushenko. 1961.

Pound, Omar S. Kano. 1971.

Shayer, Michael. Persephone. 1961.

Thayer, Michael. Poems from an Island. 1963.

Turnbull, Gael. Don’t Stop. 1980.

Turnbull, Gael. The Small Change. 1980.

Turnbull, Gael. To You, I Write. 1963.

Turnbull, Gael. Whitley Court Revisited. 1975. Broadside with drawings by Carey Blundun.

Turnbull, Gael. Twenty Words, Twenty Days: A Sketchbook & a Morula. 1966.

Anselm Hollo, & it is a song: Poems (1965). Cover design and section plates by John Furnival.

Anselm Hollo, & it is a song: Poems (1965). Cover design and section plates by John Furnival.

El Corno Emplumado

magazines & Presses

El Corno Emplumado

Margaret Randall and Sergio Mondragon
Mexico City

Nos. 1–31 (1962–69).

El Corno Emplumado 22 (1967).


In 1962, Sergio Mondragon and Margaret Randall, an expatriate American in Mexico City, founded El Corno Emplumado/The Plumed Horn (“the jazz horn of the U.S. and the plumes of Quetzal-coatl”), an international magazine that in its heart intended to help heal the break between the Americas, North and South. Randall wanted to provide “a showcase (outside politics) for the fact that WE ARE ALL BROTHERS.” About this use of gender, she later commented: “We really thought we could all be brothers. (We didn’t think, then, about being sisters. We were a few women, a minority among mostly men. Our intellectual pretensions took care of that ratio—women’s consciousness was not part of us then.)” In its thirty-one issues, El Corno Emplumado introduced Latin American literature to the North, printing English translations of work by Vallejo, Neruda, and Gabriel García Márquez, among many others (a generation of new Cuban writers in issue 7, for instance). Conversely, the magazine, under the direction of coeditor Sergio Mondragon, printed translations into Spanish of work by Hart Crane, Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Paul Blackburn. Increasingly political as the decade wore on, the magazine was vociferously opposed to US intervention in Vietnam and just as vociferously positive about the Cuban revolution.

El Corno Emplumado 27 (1968).

El Corno Emplumado 27 (1968).

Supported for its first seven years by various departments of the Mexican government as well as by private contributions from many Americans, the magazine was eventually harassed out of existence by the repressions of 1968–69, which culminated in the massacre of nearly a thousand students in Mexico City. In an eloquent description of her own magazine, Randall could well have been describing any number of other American little magazines of the period: “El Corno Emplumado was never just a magazine; it was never just a collection of words and images on paper, put together by two people (it was always only two people: editing, raising money, supervising the printing, handling the secretarial work and distribution). El Corno was a network—letters going back and forth between poets, between people. It was a meeting of poets like spontaneous combustion….”

“In the United States Black Mountain Review was already a classic, to be drawn upon. We saw ourselves connected in one way or another to Evergreen Review before it became slick, City Lights Journal, Trobar, George Hitchcock’s hand-wrought Kayak, Kulchur, the outer edges of Poetry, Robert Bly’s The Sixties for his concern with the great Latin voices, and many, many others. The radius included Duende in New Mexico, d.a. levy’s Renegade Press in Cleveland, Elizabeth in New Rochelle, and Leavenworth’s New Era (written and run by prisoners).”

— Margaret Randall, “El Corno Emplumado, 1961–1969: Some Notes in Retrospect, 1975,” TriQuarterly 43 (Fall 1978)

El Corno Emplumado books include

Note: some are in English, some in Spanish, and some bilingual

Bowering, George. The Man in Yellow Boots/El Hombre de las Botas Amarillas. 1965. Collages by Roy Kiyooka.

Enslin, Theodore. This Do and The Talents. 1966.

Greenberg, Alvin. The Small Waves. 1965. Drawings by Don McIntosh.

Kelly, Robert. Her Body Against Time. 1963.

Kelly, Robert. Weeks. 1966.

Kiviat, Erik. Museum of Memnon. 1966.

Lowenfels, Walter. Land of Roseberries. 1965. Drawings by David Siqueiros.

Mondragon, Sergio. Yo Soy el Otro; I Am the Other. 1965. Drawings by Arnold Belkin.

Moreno Colmenares, José. Prontuario [Compendium]. 1966.

Ossman, David. Set in a Landscape: Poems and Sequences 1960–1964. 1966. Drawings by Mowry Baden.

Randall, Margaret. October. 1965. Photographs, sculpture by Shinkichi Tajiri.

Margaret Randall, October (1965). Photographs, sculpture by Shinkichi Tajiri.

Margaret Randall, October (1965). Photographs, sculpture by Shinkichi Tajiri.

Rossi, Matti. The Trees of Vietnam. 1966. Translated from the Finnish by Anselm Hollo.

Rothenberg, Jerome. The Gorky Poems/Poemas a Gorky. 1966. Translated into Spanish by Sergio Mondragon.

Silva, Ludovico. Tenebra. 1964. Drawings by Julius Tobias.

Swaan, Silvia de. Dibujos de Vida y Muerte/Drawings of Life and Death. 1966.

Truesdale, Calvin William. In the Country of a Deer’s Eye. 1966. Drawings by Judith Gutierrez.

Something Else Press

magazines & Presses

Something Else Press

Dick Higgins
New York, and Barton, Vermont (principally)


Dick Higgins, Jefferson’s Birthday/Postface (1964). Cover photograph of the author by Wolf Vostell.

Something Else Press books

Designed, edited, and produced by Dick Higgins, the Something Else Press books contained offbeat and avant-garde writing in a neat and tidy, yet quirky and distinctive form. The press began in 1964 following Higgins’s break with Fluxus founder George Maciunas and embodied many of the concerns of the then nascent art movement. Early titles included Jefferson’s Birthday/Postface, Higgins’s collection of performance scores; mail art pioneer Ray Johnson’s The Paper Snake, Al Hansen’s A Primer of Happenings & Time/Space Art, and Romanian-born Nouveau réaliste artist Daniel Spoerri’s An Anecdoted Topography of Chance. Higgins’s foew&ombwhnw (a 1969 collection disguised as a prayer book) contains his important essay “Intermedia,” in which he describes artworks which “fall between media,” arguing that the social conditions of the time (early to mid-1960s) no longer allowed for a “compartmentalized approach” to either art or life.

Wolf Vostell, and Dick Higgins, eds. Fantastic Architecture [1970 or 1971]. Book jacket illustration: Richard Hamilton’s Guggenheim Collage, 1967.

Wolf Vostell and Dick Higgins, eds., Fantastic Architecture [1970 or 1971]. Book jacket illustration is Richard Hamilton’s Guggenheim Collage, 1967.

Indeed, the range of works published by Something Else exemplifies a very diverse approach: first American editions of several of Gertrude Stein’s works, including The Making of Americans; a reprint of Henry Cowell’s New Musical Resources; Merce Cunningham’s Changes: Notes on Choreography; John Cage’s anthology of unusual musical scores, Notations; Jackson Mac Low’s Stanzas for Iris Lezak; R[ichard] Meltzer’s The Aesthetics of Rock; One Thousand American Fungi by Charles McIlvaine and Robert K. Macadam; as well as Emmett Williams’s important Anthology of Concrete Poetry, among many others. Artists’ books, critical theory, conceptual art, amusement, back-to-the-land hippie culture—through the use of conventional production and marketing strategies, Dick Higgins was able to place unconventional works into the hands of new and often unsuspecting readers. Something Else Press had published more than sixty books when it ended in 1974, in addition to pamphlets, newsletters, cards, posters, and other ephemera.

“My job included copy editing, proofreading, managing the office and correspondence. I never knew what to expect, as Dick was always bursting with ideas…. My most vivid editorial memory concerns…Daniel Spoerri’s An Anecdoted Topography of Chance, translated from the French and anecdotally expanded by the author’s friend, the expatriate American poet/artist Emmett Williams. (Emmett, though still in Europe at the time, later came to New York to follow me as editor at the Press.) Due to Emmett’s professionalism, the Topography made for tricky proofreading. Unaware of Emmett and Dieter Roth’s mnemonic ‘the man with 5 A’s in his name,’ I removed what appeared to be extra letters from the name Aagaard Andersen. As the proofs traveled back and forth across the ocean in those pre-fax days, Emmett kept putting the A’s back in and I conscientiously kept removing them. I got my comeuppance on that one when about 12 or 15 years later, I was shackled with a typewriter that printed double A’s every time I hit the key.”

— Barbara Moore, from Some Things Else About Something Else (New York: Granary Books, 1991)

Wolf Vostell, dé-coll/age happenings (1966). Something Else Press books.

Wolf Vostell, dé-coll/age happenings (1966). Translated by Laura P. Miller. Wooden box with sliding plexiglass panel as cover. Contents include book plus 15 folded posters, silk-screen print, one package of Bromo-Seltzer mounted on mirrored Mylar, and one piece of matzoh.

Something Else Press books include

Cage, John. Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) Continued Part Three. 1967. A Great Bear Pamphlet.

Cage, John, with Alison Knowles. Notations. 1969.

Cowell, Henry. New Musical Resources. 1969.

Cunningham, Merce. Changes: Notes on Choreography. 1968.

Filliou, Robert. Ample Food for Stupid Thought. 1965.

Finlay, Ian Hamilton, and Gordon Hundy. A Sailor’s Calendar. 1971.

Gomringer, Eugen. The Book of Hours and Constellations. 1968. Translated and edited by Jerome Rothenberg.

Gysin, Brion. Brion Gysin Let the Mice In. 1973. Edited by Jan Herman with contributions by William S. Burroughs and Ian Sommerville.

Hansen, Al. A Primer of Happenings & Time/Space Art. 1965.

Higgins, Dick. foew&ombwhnw. 1969.

Higgins, Dick. Jefferson’s Birthday/Postface. 1964.

Johnson, Ray. The Paper Snake. 1965.

Kaprow, Allan. Some Recent Happenings. 1966. A Great Bear Pamphlet.

Knowles, Alison, Tomas Schmit, Benjamin Patterson, and Philip Corner. The Four Suits. 1965.

McLuhan, Marshall. Verbi-Voco-Visual Explorations. 1967.

Oldenburg, Claes. Store Days. 1967.

Porter, Bern. I’ve Left: A Manifesto and a Testament of SCIence and -ART (SCIART). 1971.

Bern Porter, I’ve Left: A Manifesto and a Testament of SCIence and -ART (SCIART) (1971).

Bern Porter, I’ve Left: A Manifesto and a Testament of SCIence and -ART (SCIART) (1971).

Roth, Dieter. 246 Little Clouds. 1968. Introduction by Emmett Williams.

Spoerri, Daniel. An Anecdoted Topography of Chance. 1966. Translated from the French, and further anecdoted at random by Emmett Williams. With one hundred reflective illustrations by Topor.

Stein, Gertrude. The Making of Americans. 1966.

Vostell, Wolf. dé-coll/age happenings. 1966. Translated by Laura P. Miller.

Vostell, Wolf, and Dick Higgins, eds. Fantastic Architecture. 1971.

Williams, Emmett. Anthology of Concrete Poetry. 1967.

Williams, Emmett. Sweethearts. 1967.


For a complete list of Something Else publications, the reader is referred to: Peter Frank, Something Else Press: An Annotated Bibliography (New Paltz, NY: Documentext/McPherson & Company, 1983).


Magazines & Presses


Gerrit Lansing
Gloucester, Massachusetts

Nos. 1–2 (1961–64).

SET 1 (1961–62).


In 1959, when I decided to produce a small magazine, I sent out a note (prodrome) about the magazine’s content and format to a number of poets and poet-friends. I said that SET would be photo-offset, appear irregularly. As to intent and content I wrote: “SET will be about the poetic exploration of the swarming possibilities occult and/or unused in American life, urban and local, here & especially now, at this moment of the Aeon, i.e. the Vulgar Advent.”

“The gates of memory and intuition, history and magic, open from a ‘windowless’ monad into Time,” I wrote to Kenward Elmslie, amplifying a sentence in my prodromic statement, “Thus its (i.e. SET’s) character will be dual historical & magical, the emphasized characters of Time.” (The last phrase delighted Robert Duncan.)

“In this time-moment poetry and science meet. Hence the manifesto states that SET is interested in material ‘relevant to the poetic-scientific study of American experience and nature…’” but “As I wrote to Frank O’Hara, ‘I don’t want SET to be polemick abt Amerika…will be more James Dean & Andrew Jackson Davis than Marcel Marceau or the Sar Peladan…’” I also wrote Frank, “Certainly I want neither the ‘monumental’ nor the ‘study’…the ‘study’: the nature-morte ou vivante of the Misses Moore, Bishop, Wilbur, etc.”

[the datedness of this now entertains me (1997)]

Around 1959 I wrote the poet Steve Jonas that the name of the proposed magazine come on like or in the places of its play, as:

(1) jazz (wch most readers will probably read primary)
(2) stance
(3) direction
(4) “theory of Sets” in mathesis
(5) (tennis, for those who like it)
(6) the God      — by the Chenoboskion gnostics identified w/ the Biblical Seth
— and and and
Shem Melchizedek      Christ / Antichrist      Saturn      Typhon      Mercury      Dionysius (sacred ass)      Capricorn

        “Enough ! or Too much” (Blake).

Gerrit Lansing, “Statement: how SET was conceived,” Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1997, at the Equinox of Fall.

SET 2 (1963–64)

SET 2 (1963–64).


magazines & Presses


Robert Kelly
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Nos. 1–4 (1963–68).

Matter 1 (1963).


Matter is when it is for the sake of the work, & is the work therein contained, no more…. That is my axe now, & I hope the chips fall in a pile fed by other wielders; to get some kindling these cold days,” says Robert Kelly in the editorial statement in the first issue. Overlapping only slightly with Kelly’s Brooklyn-published little magazine Trobar, Matter was a newsletter from up the Hudson River, created to produce a sense of literary community and to overcome the isolation created by distance. Matter was simply but elegantly produced in four issues of 16–22 pages each, mimeographed on yellow, white, and blue paper, and carefully designed with a poem to a page and spacious margins. The first, third, and fourth issues were printed at Bard College, where Kelly has taught for many years, and the second came out of Buffalo’s student bookstore (Kelly was a guest professor in the poetry program at the State University of New York at Buffalo). Like many mimeographed magazines, Matter was sold for a nominal amount ($1.00) at alternative bookstores such as the Eighth Street, Phoenix, and Peace Eye bookstores in New York, at City Lights Books in San Francisco, and at the legendary Asphodel Book Shop in Cleveland. The three New York bookstores no longer exist. Matter published a variety of material, including the anthropoetically influenced work of Clayton Eshleman of Caterpillar magazine and the deep-image/dream work of Kelly, Ted Enslin, Diane Wakoski, Rochelle Owens, and George Economou. Issue 2 includes Jackson Mac Low’s poem “TO SAVE/WILDLIFE AND AID US, TOO,” which consists of lines selected and arranged by schematic chance from a New York Times article by Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall. Issue 4 includes a three-page poem by the avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage (who had, at the age of nineteen, been a poet living in the basement of Robert Duncan and Jess Collins’s house). Matter Books, edited primarily by Joan Kelly, produced a dozen fine works, among them Gerrit Lansing’s first book, The Heavenly Tree Grows Downward, and Charles Olson’s long poem Apollonius of Tyana.

Gerritt Lansing, The-Heavenly Tree Grows Downward (1966). Preface by John Wieners.

Gerritt Lansing, The Heavenly Tree Grows Downward (1966). Preface by John Wieners.

Matter Books include

Alexander, D. Mules Balk. 1967.

Bialy, Harvey. Love’s Will: Poems 1967. 1968.

Enslin, Theodore. The Diabelli Variations and Other Poems. 1967.

Greene, Jonathan. The Reckoning. 1966.

Irby, Kenneth. The Flower of Having Passed Through Paradise in a Dream: Poems 1967. 1968.

Kelly, Robert. Twenty Poems. 1967.

Lansing, Gerrit. The Heavenly Tree Grows Downward. 1966. Preface by John Wieners.

Kenneth Irby. The Flower of Having Passed Through Paradise in a Dream: Poems 1967 (1968).

Kenneth Irby, The Flower of Having Passed Through Paradise in a Dream: Poems 1967 (1968).

Trobar, a magazine of the New American Poetry

magazines & Presses

Trobar, a magazine of the New American Poetry

George Economou, Joan Kelly,
and Robert Kelly

Brooklyn, New York

Nos. 1–5 (1960–64)

Trobar, a magazine of the New American Poetry 1 (1960).


Trobar magazine was published in Brooklyn in only five issues from 1960 to 1964, but it was tremendously influential in spreading knowledge about deep image poetry. Deep image poetry, according to Robert Kelly, is “poetry not necessarily dominated by the image, but in which it is the rhythm of the images which forms the dominant movement of the poem.” Of the three editors, Kelly has been the most tireless and enthusiastic poet, reader, and teacher, exerting a charismatic influence. He has published more than seventy-five volumes of poetry and prose (his first, Armed Descent, was published by Jerome Rothenberg’s Hawk’s Well Press) and was a founding editor of Chelsea Review and Matter and a contributing editor to CaterpillarAlcheringa, Sulfur, Conjunctions, and Poetry International. and guest editor to Los (new series, no. 1, 1975).

Trobar 2 (1961). Cover design from Abbe Breuil’s “Les Roches Peintes du Tassili-n-Ajjer.”

Trobar 2 (1961). Cover design from Abbé Henri Breuil’s Les roches peintes du Tassili-n-Ajjer (1954).

Kelly coedited, with Paris Leary, the paperback A Controversy of Poets (1965), which was an entrant in the poetry anthology wars of the 1960s. Kelly’s essay “Notes on the Poetry of Deep Image,” which appears in Trobar 2, is a provocative statement about an important thread in modern poetry and is central to the concept of Trobar (the name refers to the Troubadour tradition in Provencal poetry). The press also issued a series of books, which included works by Rochelle Owens, Jerome Rothenberg, Paul Blackburn, and Louis Zukofsky.

“…we have to try to see the world in all its natural and contemporary detail as if no differences existed between the seer and the things he sees. To see in this way—through the self (emotively)—results in certain necessary changes on the material emerging in the poem: “a heightened sense of the emotional contours of objects (their dark qualities, or shadows); “their free re-association in a manner that would be impossible to descriptive or logical thought, but is here almost unavoidable; “the sense of these objects (and the poem itself) being informed with a heightened relevance, a quickened sense of life; “the recognition of the poem as a natural structure arising at once from the act of emotive vision.”

Jerome Rothenberg, from “Why Deep Image?” in Trobar 3 (1962)

Paul Blackburn, The Nets (1961). Cover by Michelle Stuart.

Paul Blackburn, The Nets (1961). Cover by Michelle Stuart.

Trobar books include

Blackburn, Paul. The Nets. 1961. Trobar Books [2]. Cover by Michelle Stuart.

Eshleman, Clayton. Mexico & North. 1962. Distributed by Trobar Books.

Kelly, Robert. Round Dances. 1964. [No number, 5?]. Drawings by Josie Rosenfeld.

Owens, Rochelle. Not Be Essence That Cannot Be. 1961. Trobar Books 1.

Rothenberg, Jerome. The Seven Hells of the Jigoku Yoshi. 1962. Trobar Books 3.

Zukofsky, Louis. I’s (pronounced eyes). 1963. Trobar Books 4.


Magazines & Presses


John Taggart
Chicago, New York, and Newberg, Pennsylvania

Nos. 1–6 (1966–74).

Maps 6 (1974).


“One draws a map to show where one is” reads the motto of Maps, edited by poet, translator, and critic John Taggart. Number 1 was issued from Chicago in 1966 and includes an editor’s note that defines the purpose of the magazine: “In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant writes of the need for making new maps of man’s consciousness now, and of the past as seen from that now. The maps would be of those regions just discovered, somewhat known, but not to the extent of the older areas or of the most recent projections. MAPS, then, takes its tide and purpose from Kant’s observation. These poems are not on the furthermost borders of the avant-garde. They are of the now in the continuum sense of ‘being’—eyes open, perhaps screaming, but not leaping out of the present—and occasionally, they are of the past as renovated by those open eyes.” The work of Paul Blackburn, Ken Irby, and Clayton Eshleman was featured in the first small issue. Issue 2 (1967), from New York City, was a homage to the sculptor David Smith with contributions from Jerome Rothenberg, Joanne Kyger, Hannah Weiner, Douglas Blazek, Larry Eigner, and others. Issue 3 (1970), from Newberg, Pennsylvania, printed poems for John Coltrane. Issues 4–6 were devoted to Charles Olson, Louis Zukofsky, and Robert Duncan, respectively, with works by and about the poets. Contributors include Hugh Kenner, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Guy Davenport, Theodore Enslin, Ronald Johnson, Ron Silliman, and many others. Maps ceased publication in 1974 with number 6.

Maps 1 [1966]. Cover: Herbert Bayer, “Graphic Fragment #2.”

Maps 1 [1966]. Cover is Herbert Bayer’s “Graphic Fragment #2.”

Maps 3 [1970]: Poems for John Coltrane. Cover by Roger Shimomura.

Maps 3 [1970]. Poems for John Coltrane. Cover by Roger Shimomura.

Wch Way

magazines & Presses

Wch Way

Jed Rasula; later Jed Rasula and Don Byrd
Bloomington, Indiana; Los Angeles; and Albany, New York

Nos. 1–6 (1975–85).

Nos. 5 and 6 issued with New Wilderness Letter nos. 12 and 13.

Wch Way 2 (Spring 1976).


“BLOOMINGTON YOU ARE REAL DADA” reads the graffiti sign on the wall of an abandoned building in a photograph reproduced in Wch Way 1, and the magazine’s epigraph is from a 1940 movie starring Errol Flynn and Alexis Smith: “Ride ’em thru town!” Symbolic of postmodern, midwestern intellectualism, Wch Way was centered in a group of individuals associated with the venerable landgranted Indiana University who advocated a sophisticated, literary back-to-the-land approach to things poetic. The title of a poem/essay by David Wevill in issue number 1 says it: “We have lost our natural images. All the images we make are twisted, hammered, brilliant.” In its first four issues, the magazine presented a variety of long poems and prose works, including the romantic cavalier work of Tom Meyer (of Jargon) as well as selections from George Quasha’s poetic sequence “Somapoetics.” Transcriptions of discussions among the local members of the poetic community are included under titles such as “Multivocal Moontalk.” The third issue (also known as number 2²) includes one of Jackson Mac Low’s chance works from 1958, “Haiku, No Haiku,” based on a Funk & Wagnall’s dictionary and a poetry anthology edited by Louis Untermeyer.

By the fourth issue, Rasula had moved to Los Angeles and been joined by critic and language poet Don Byrd in his editorship; these two occurrences may explain the wild change in contributors for the issue, which includes Clark Coolidge, John Taggart, Barrett Watten, Charles Bernstein, and the Canadians Steve McCaffery and Christopher Dewdney. The issue begins with Robert Duncan’s poetic sequence “Santa Cruz Propositions,” prefaced by a statement by the poet: “The authentic text [is]…in my case, not the manuscript, which is conceived of as a prepositional sketch; and most certainly not the printed version, which represents the work and interpretational notion of someone else, but the present state of the typescript which comes from and is my own working hand and eye as concept ongoing.”

Wch Way 1 (Spring 1975).

Wch Way 1 (Spring 1975).

Wch Way 6 / New Wilderness Letter 13 (1985).

Wch Way 6 / New Wilderness Letter 13 (1985).


magazines & Presses


Clayton Eshleman
New York, and Sherman Oaks, California

Nos. 1–20 (1967–73). 20 issues in 19.

Caterpillar 1 (1967). Cover by Nancy Spero.


Caterpillar was started by Clayton Eshleman as a series of chapbooks by such writers as Jackson Mac Low, David Antin, Paul Blackburn, and Louis Zukofsky. “The Caterpillar Glyph,” an image of a small napalmed Vietnamese girl, was printed on the cover with the statement “until the end of the war this black caterpillar,” revealing the outspoken and controversial stance taken by Eshleman as an editor. Caterpillar, “a magazine of the leaf, a gathering of the tribes,” began publication in October 1967. Commercially produced and substantial in size, it provided considerable space, over the course of its twenty issues, for work by a wide range of younger writers and artists as well as many of those associated with its precursors, The Black Mountain Review and Origin.

Clayton Eshleman, ed., A Caterpillar Anthology: A Selection of Poetry and Prose from Caterpillar Magazine (New York: Anchor Books, 1971).

Clayton Eshleman, ed., A Caterpillar Anthology: A Selection of Poetry and Prose from Caterpillar Magazine (New York: Anchor Books, 1971).

Says Eshleman: “I saw a poetry magazine as a granary of sorts, where writing could be stored until it was to be consumed or consummated in a book, a midpoint between its inception and its ultimate form.” Caterpillar’s special attention to translation included a “test of translation” in which differing versions of a poem were set “side by side and with a minimum of comment, [to] encourage the reader to measure them as articulations of the original poem.” Works of Vallejo, Montale, Cavafy, and Rilke, among others, were thus presented. The magazine was also attuned to important work in film, visual art, music, and performance; it was not unusual to find film stills by Carolee Schneemann or Stan Brakhage; or drawings and collages by Nancy Spero, Jess Collins, Leon Golub, Robert LaVigne, or Wallace Berman. Issue 12 devoted some 150 pages to work by Jack Spicer. Other regular contributors included Gary Snyder, Robert Duncan, Margaret Randall, Cid Corman, Diane Wakoski, Robert Kelly, and Jerome Rothenberg. On the name of the magazine, Eshleman recalled, “That special word was given me by Will Petersen on a Kyoto street corner in 1963, when he quoted Blake’s couplet, ‘The Caterpillar on the Leaf / Repeats to thee thy Mother’s grief.’”

Caterpillar books include

Alexander, D. Terms of Articulation. 1967. Caterpillar 7.

Antin, David. Definitions. 1967. Caterpillar 6. Book design by Eleanor Antin.

Blackburn, Paul. Sing-Song. 1967. Caterpillar 4. Published with the Asphodel Bookshop, Cleveland.

Césaire, Aime. State of the Union. 1966. Caterpillar 1. Translated from the French by Clayton Eshleman and Dennis Kelly.

Eshleman, Clayton. Lachrymae Mateo: 3 Poems for Christmas 1966. 1966. Caterpillar 3.

Eshleman, Clayton. Walks. 1967. Caterpillar 10.

Mac Low, Jackson. August Light Poems. 1967. Caterpillar 9. Cover by Iris Lezak.

Sampieri, Frank. Crystals. 1967. Caterpillar 5.

Vas Dias, Robert. The Counted. 1967. Caterpillar 8.

Zukofsky, Louis. At: Bottom. 1966. Caterpillar 2.

David Antin, Definitions (1967). (Caterpillar 6.) Book design by Eleanor Antin.

David Antin, Definitions (1967). Caterpillar 6. Book design by Eleanor Antin.

New Wilderness Letter

magazines & Presses

New Wilderness Letter

Jerome Rothenberg
New York

Nos. 1–13 (1977–85).

Volume numbers are also used through vol. 2, no. 8. Nos. 12 and 13 issued with Wch Way nos. 5 and 6 respectively.

New Wilderness Letter 1 (1977).


A follow-up to Alcheringa and an offshoot of the New Wilderness Foundation (formed by Jerome Rothenberg and Charlie Morrow to “explore the relation between old & new forms of art-making”), New Wilderness Letter, edited by Rothenberg, offered the following opening statement: “The editor—a poet by inclination & practice—recognizes poesis in all arts & sciences, all human thoughts & acts directed toward such ends: the participation in what the surrealist master André Breton called a ‘sacred action’ or what Gary Snyder defined as the ‘real work of modern man: to uncover the inner structure & actual boundaries of the mind.’ The New Wilderness Letter will therefore not be specialized & limited by culture or profession but will be a report, largely through the creative work itself, of where that process takes us.” That process led to some very interesting places indeed. Issues were devoted to such topics as the “role of poets/artists as ‘technicians of the sacred,’” “writing and reading as co-existent with human origins,” “poetics and performance,” “dream-works,” and, for issue 11, coedited with David Guss, “The Book, Spiritual Instrument.” Among the diverse contributors to the various issues are Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Einzig, Allen Ginsberg, Pauline Oliveros, Michael McClure, Allan Kaprow, Edmond Jabès, Dick Higgins, David Meltzer, George Herms, Howard Norman, Linda Montano, and Jackson Mac Low. Eleven regular issues were published between January 1977 and December 1982, at which time New Wilderness Letter merged with Wch Way. Rothenberg characterized the role of New Wilderness Letter with these words: “There is a primal book as there is a primal voice, & it is the task of our poetry & art to recover it—in our minds & in the world at large.”

New Wilderness Letter 5/6 (vol. 1, no. 5, September 1978).

New Wilderness Letter 5/6 (vol. 1, no. 5, September 1978).

New Wilderness Letter 10 (September 1981). “Special Dream Work-Work Issue”edited by Barbara Einzig. Cover photograph of Carolee Schneeman by Lisa Kahane.

New Wilderness Letter 10 (September 1981). “Special Dream-Work Issue” edited by Barbara Einzig. Cover photograph of Carolee Schneemann by Lisa Kahane.

New Wilderness Letter 11 (The Book, Spiritual Instrument) (1982). Cover image by Michael Gibbs.

New Wilderness Letter 11 (1982). “The Book, Spiritual Instrument,” edited by Jerome Rothenberg and David Guss. Cover image by Michael Gibbs.

Also issued

Jerome Rothenberg. A Poem in Yellow After Tristan Tzara. Metal felt-tipped pen. Ca. 1980.


Scans of the complete run of the New Wilderness Letter are available on the New Wilderness page at Jacket 2.


Magazines & Presses


Jerome Rothenberg and David Antin
New York

Nos. 1–4/5 (1965–68).

Some/thing 1 (1965).


David Antin’s first separate book was in preparation at Hawk’s Well Press (Definitions was ultimately published by Caterpillar in 1967) when he joined with veteran poet and editor Jerome Rothenberg to create Some/thing. The first issue, published by Rothenberg’s Hawk’s Well Press in New York in the spring of 1965, leads off with “Aztec Definitions: Found Poems from the Florentine Codex,” translated from Bernardino de Sahagun’s General History of the Things of New Spain. The issue also includes work by Paul Blackburn, Anselm Hollo, Diane Wakoski, and Rothenberg, deep image poets all, and, on red paper, “The Presidents of the United States,” the first series, including Washington through Fillmore, of one of Jackson Mac Low’s chance compositions. Carolee Schneemann’s “Meatjoy,” with pictures from the performance at the Judson Memorial Theater in October 1964, is the highlight of the second issue, which includes a cover picture of a sculpture by Robert Morris.

Some/thing 3 (vol. 2, no. 1) (Winter 1966). Cover by Andy Warhol.

Some/thing 3 (vol. 2, no. 1) (Winter 1966). Cover by Andy Warhol.

Issue three, with a yellow perforated sticker cover by Andy Warhol, is devoted to “A Vietnam Assemblage.” Published in 1966, early in the Vietnam War, it includes Allen Ginsberg’s long poem “Who Be Kind To” (“Be kind to yourself, it is only one and perishable of many on the planet”) and works by Mac Low and others, interspersed with quotations from newspapers, magazines, and photo captions from the Associated Press and elsewhere. The last, double issue of Summer 1968, with a cover by Fluxus artist George Maciunas, integrated the deep image poets with the performance poets; it includes Clayton Eshleman’s “Travel Journal in Peru,” from October 1965, as well as five poems by Margaret Randall, editor of El Corno Emplumado, and one by Carol Bergé, editor of Center. It also contains Rothenberg’s “’Doings’ and ‘Happenings’: Notes on a Performance of the Seneca Eagle Dance.” All the issues of Some/thing feature a log taken from a Southwestern Indian drawing described by the editors as an emblem for the magazine: “a Pima drawing: of the pathways: searchings: stopping places: where the god has stopped: a wave length: energy: cessation: strife: emergence into: something.”

Some/thing 4/5 (1968).

Some/thing 4/5 (1968).

The Jargon Society

magazines & Presses

The Jargon Society

Jonathan Williams
Highlands, North Carolina, and Corn Close, Dentdale, England


Denise Levertov, Overland to the Islands (1958).
Jargon 19. Frontispiece by Robert Kresch.


Jonathan Williams describes himself as “a poet, essayist, publisher of the Jargon Society, photographer, occasional hiker of long distances, and aging scold.” Jargon’s first booklet, which contained a poem by Williams with an engraving by David Ruff, was published in San Francisco in 1951. The press blossomed at Black Mountain College where its peripatetic director moved to study photography with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. Jargon’s second publication was a poem by Joel Oppenheimer (“The Dancer”) with a drawing by Robert Rauschenberg. Over the next several years the press would publish Kenneth Patchen, Robert Creeley, The Maximus Poems by Charles Olson, more work by Williams, Louis Zukofsky, Denise Levertov, Michael McClure, Mina Loy, Robert Duncan, Fielding Dawson, Irving Layton, Guy Davenport, Paul Metcalf—the list goes on and on.

Paul C. Metcalf, Will West (1956). Jargon 25.

Paul C. Metcalf, Will West (1956). Jargon 25.

The Jargon Society married excellence in the art of book-making with important writing, to become what critic Hugh Kenner aptly called “the custodian of snowflakes.” When asked why he has published what he has, Williams replied, “For pleasure surely. I am a stubborn, mountaineer Celt with an orphic, priapic, sybaritic streak that must have come to me, along with H. P. Lovecraft, from Outer Cosmic Infinity. Or maybe Flash Gordon brought it from Mongo? Jargon has allowed me to fill my shelves with books I cared for as passionately as I cared for the beloved books of childhood—which I still have: Oz, The Hobbit, The Wind in the Willows, Dr. Doolittle, Ransome, Kipling, et al.”

Larry Eigner, *On My Eyes* (1960). Jargon 36. Photographs by Harry Callahan. Introduction byLarry Eigner, On My Eyes (1960). Jargon 36. Photographs by Harry Callahan. Introduction by Denise Levertov.

Larry Eigner, On My Eyes (1960). Jargon 36. Photographs by Harry Callahan. Introduction by Denise Levertov.

Mina Loy, Lunar Baedeker & Time-Tables (1958). Jargon 23.

Mina Loy, Lunar Baedeker & Time-Tables (1958). Jargon 23.

Louis Zukofsky, Some TIme (1956). Jargon 15. Cover image is a song setting by Celia Zukofsky.

Louis Zukofsky, Some TIme: Short Poems (1956). Jargon 15. Cover image is a song setting by Celia Zukofsky.

Jargon Society books include

Broughton, James. A Long Undressing: Collected Poems 1949–1969. 1971. Jargon 55. Cover photograph by Imogen Cunningham.

Creeley, Robert. All That Is Lovely in Men. 1955. Jargon 10. Drawings by Dan Rice.

Creeley, Robert. The Immoral Proposition. 1953. Jargon 8. Drawings by René Laubiès.

Davenport, Guy. Do You Have a Poem Book on E. E. Cummings. 1969. Jargon 67.

Davenport, Guy. Flowers and Leaves. 1966. Jargon 46. Cover photograph by Ralph Eugene Meatyard.

Duncan, Robert. Letters: Poems mcmliii–mcmlvi. 1958. Jargon 14. Drawings by the author.

Eigner, Larry. On My Eyes. 1960. Jargon 36. Note by Denise Levertov. Photographs by Harry Callahan.

Johnson, Ronald. A Line of Poetry, a Row of Trees. Drawings by Thomas George. 1964. Jargon 42. Drawings by Thomas George.

Johnson, Ronald. The Spirit Walks, the Rocks Will Talk: Eccentric Translations from Two Eccentrics. 1969. Jargon 72. Vignettes by Guy Davenport.

Levertov, Denise. Overland to the Islands. 1958. Jargon 19.

Loy, Mina. Lunar Baedeker & Time-Tables: Selected Poems. 1958. Jargon 23. Introductions by William Carlos Williams, Kenneth Rexroth, and Denise Levertov. Drawings by Emerson Woelffer.

McClure, Michael. Passage. 1956. Jargon 20. Cover by Jonathan Williams.

Niedecker, Lorine. T & G: The Collected Poems. 1968. Jargon 48. Plant prints by A. Doyle Moore.

Olson, Charles. Maximus 1–10. 1953. Jargon 7. Calligraphy by Jonathan Williams.

Olson, Charles. Maximus 11–22. 1956. Jargon 9. Calligraphy by Jonathan Williams.

Oppenheimer, Joel. The Dancer. 1951. Jargon 2. Drawing by Robert Rauschenberg.

Oppenheimer, Joel. The Dutiful Son. 1956. Jargon 16.

Patchen, Kenneth. Fables and Other Little Tales. 1953. Jargon 6.

Sorrentino, Gilbert. The Darkness Surrounds Us. 1960. (Not in series.) Cover by Fielding Dawson.

Williams, Jonathan. Garbage Litters the Iron Face of the Sun’s Child. 1951. Jargon 1.

Williams, Jonathan. Red/Gray. 1952. Jargon 3. Drawings and declaration by Paul Ellsworth.

Zukofsky, Louis. Some Time: Short Poems. 1956. Jargon 15.

Continue reading

Jargon also published the following, in association with Corinth Books:

Brown, Bob. 1450–1950. 1959. Jargon 29.

Bob Brown, 1450 – 1950 (1959). Jargon 29. Published in association with Corinth Books. Cover photograph by Jonathan Williams.

Bob Brown, 1450–1950 (1959). Jargon 29. Published in association with Corinth Books. Cover photograph by Jonathan Williams.

Creeley, Robert. A Form of Women. 1959. Jargon 33. Photograph by Robert Schiller.

Olson, Charles. The Maximus Poems. 1960.

Zukofsky, Louis. A Test of Poetry. 1964. Originally published in 1948 by the Objectivist Press.


For a more complete listing of the early Jargon publications, the reader is referred to: Millicent Bell, “The Jargon Idea,” Books at Brown 19 (May 1963, reprinted separately, 1963); and to J. M. Edelstein, A Jargon Society Checklist 1951–1979, published in conjunction with an exhibition of Jargon publications at Books & Co., New York City, March 15–April 14, 1979.


magazines & Presses


Cid Corman
Dorchester, Boston, and Ashland, Massachusetts; Orono, Maine; and Kyoto, Japan

Nos. 1–20 (Spring 1951–Winter 1957); second series, nos. 1–14 (April 1961–July 1964); third series, nos. 1–20 (April 1966–1971); fourth series, nos. 1–20 (October 1977–July 1982); fifth series, nos. 1–4 (Fall 1983–Fall 1984).

First series published from Dorchester, Mass.; second and third series from Kyoto, Japan; fourth series from Boston; fifth series from Orono, Maine.

Origin 1 (1951).


Around 1950, while living in New Hampshire, Robert Creeley abandoned plans for his yet-to-be-launched little magazine. Among the material he had already gathered was work from poet Cid Corman, who was then hosting a weekly radio show in Boston entitled “This Is Poetry.” Corman expressed his disappointment over the loss of the magazine to a listener, one Evelyn Shoolman, who responded by offering to back Corman in a magazine of his own if he wished. Thus began Origin: A Quarterly for the Creative. Material gathered by Creeley along with work brought in by Corman helped to establish, in Creeley’s words, “a Place defined by our own activity.” The first issue featured a major section of work by Charles Olson, then barely published, and established the presence of an important magazine for new writing. As Olson wrote to Corman, Origin gave him “the fullest satisfaction i have ever had from print, lad, the fullest. And i am so damned moved by yr push, pertinence, accuracy, taste, that it is wholly inadequate to say thanks.” The second issue featured Robert Creeley. Origin published a wide range of writers working in poetry and prose—contributions to the first series of issues included work by Paul Blackburn, Robert Duncan, Ed Dorn, Margaret Avison, Denise Levertov, Theodore Enslin, Larry Eigner, Irving Layton, William Bronk, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, and Gael Turnbull, and translations of Antonin Artaud, Gottfried Benn, Federico García Lorca, Henri Michaux, and Giuseppe Ungaretti, among many others. The possibilities for writing explored and enacted in the pages of Origin exerted considerable influence in the postwar literary scene—indeed, as Paul Blackburn wrote in the early 1960s, “Origin and The Black Mountain Review: What other solid ground was there in the last decade?”

Gary Snyder. Riprap (1959).

Gary Snyder, Riprap (1959).

Origin Press books include

Bronk, William. Light and Dark and Dark. 1956. Illustrations by Ryohei Tanaka.

Corman, Cid. Cool Gong. 1959.

Corman, Cid. The Descent from Daimonji. 1959.

Corman, Cid. For Good. 1964.

Corman, Cid. For Instance. 1962.

Corman, Cid. Hearth. 1968.

Corman, Cid. In Good Time. 1964.

Corman, Cid. In No Time. 1963. Illustrations by Will Peterson.

Corman, Cid. The Marches & Other Poems. 1957. Cover by Edwina Curtis.

Corman, Cid. The Responses. 1956. Cover by Stasha Halpern.

Corman, Cid. Stances and Distances. 1957. Cover by Edwina Curtis.

Corman, Cid. Sun Rock Man. 1962.

Corman, Cid. A Table in Provence. 1959. Drawings by Barnet Rubinstein.

Corman, Cid. Unless. 1975.

Enslin, Theodore. The Work Proposed. 1958.

Snyder, Gary. Riprap. 1959.

Turnbull, Gael. Bjarni Spike-Helgi’s Son and Other Poems. 1956.

Zukofsky, Louis. “A” 1–12. 1959. Essay on the poetry by the author and a final note by William Carlos Williams.

Zukofsky, Louis. It Was. 1961.

Origin 2 (Summer 1951).

Origin 2 (Summer 1951).


For further information on Origin, the reader is referred to: Cid Corman, ed., The Gist of Origin, 1951–1971: An Anthology (New York: Grossman Publishers, 1975).

Divers Press

magazines & Presses

Divers Press

Robert Creeley
Banalbufar, Mallorca


Paul Blackburn, The Dissolving Fabric (1955).


Raising pigeons and chickens on a farm in Littleton, New Hampshire, Robert Creeley heard, through “a fluke of airwaves,” poet Cid Corman’s weekly radio program from Boston, “This Is Poetry.” Inspired, Creeley read on the program during a weekend in 1950 when he was showing chickens at the Boston poultry show. And so began a network of literary friendships that inspired a generation of poets (“A knows B, B knows C, and there begins to be increasing focus. And I think that we were curiously lucky that that focus was not literally a question of whether we were all living together or not.”). Galvanized, Creeley tried unsuccessfully to start his own little magazine, but ended up giving Cid Corman at Origin much of the material he had collected, including work by Denise Levertov, Paul Blackburn, and Charles Olson, to whom the first issue of Origin was devoted.

Charles Olson, Mayan Letters (1953 [i.e., 1954].

Charles Olson, Mayan Letters (1953 [1954]).

Against this background it is not surprising that Creeley, called “The Figure of Outward” by Olson, whom he met through Corman, would himself venture forth as a publisher in 1953 with Martin Seymour-Smith’s All Devils Fading. In addition to two volumes by Paul Blackburn and one each by Larry Eigner and Robert Duncan, in 1954 Creeley issued a volume of poems by Canadian poet Irving Layton and Japanese poet Katué Kitasono’s self-translated poems, Black Rain. The last volume he published, in 1955, was American novelist Douglas Woolf’s “painful rite of passage,” The Hypocritic Days. Creeley published his own The Kind of Act of in 1953 and A Snarling Garland of Xmas Verses and The Gold Diggers, both in 1954. In 1982, Creeley wistfully remembered the serious, edgy nature of the press: “I don’t recall that the Divers Press paid anybody anything—it was my first wife’s modest income that kept any of it going—and so our choices had to be limited to writers as existentially defined as ourselves.”

“What I felt was the purpose of the press has much to do with my initial sense of [The Black Mountain Review] also. For me, and the other writers who came to be involved, it was a place defined by our own activity and accomplished altogether by ourselves—a place wherein we might make evident what we, as writers, had found to be significant, both for ourselves and for that world—no doubt often vague to us indeed—we hoped our writing might enter… there had to be both a press and a magazine absolutely specific to one’s own commitments and possibilities. Nothing short of that was good enough.”

— Robert Creeley, Introduction to the AMS Press reprint (1969) of The Black Mountain Review

Divers Press books include

Blackburn, Paul. The Dissolving Fabric. 1955.

Creeley, Robert. The Gold Diggers. 1954.

Creeley, Robert. The Kind of Act of. 1953.

Creeley, Robert. Printing Is Cheap in Mallorca. 1953.

Creeley, Robert. A Snarling Garland of Xmas Verses. 1954.

Duncan, Robert. Caesar’s Gate: Poems 1949–1950. 1955. Cover collage by Jess (Collins).

Eigner, Larry. From the Sustaining Air. 1953.

Kitasono, Katsué. Black Rain: Poems & Drawings. 1954

Layton, Irving. The Blue Propeller. 1955

Layton, Irving. In the Midst of My Fever. 1954.

Olson, Charles. Mayan Letters. 1953 [1954].

Robert Duncan, Caesar’s Gate: Poems 1949–1950 (1955). Collages by Jess Collins.

Robert Duncan, Caesar’s Gate: Poems 1949–1950 (1955). Collages by Jess.


Magazine & Presses


Jerome Rothenberg and Dennis Tedlock
New York and Boston

Nos. 1–5 (1970–73); new series, vol. 1, no. 1–vol. 4, no. 2 (1975–80).

13 issues. Some issues contain phonodiscs.

Alcheringa 1 (Fall 1970).


From the Arunta of Australia comes the word “Alcheringa,” “The Eternal Dream Time, The Dreaming of a sacred heroic time long ago when man and nature came to be, a kind of narrative of things that once happened.” The ethnopoetics magazine Alcheringa, “A First Magazine of the World’s Tribal Poetries,” was published from 1970 to 1980 and edited by Jerome Rothenberg and Dennis Tedlock (Rothenberg left the magazine in 1976 to found New Wilderness Letter). Their intention was to publish “transcriptions of oral poems from living traditions, ancient texts with oral roots, and modern experiments in oral poetry. There will be songs, chants, prayers, visions and dreams, sacred narratives, fictional narratives, histories, ritual scenarios, praises, namings, word games, riddles, proverbs, sermons. These will take the shape of performable scripts (meant to be read aloud rather than silently), experiments in typography, diagrams, and insert disc recordings.”

Alcheringa 2 (Summer 1971).

Alcheringa 2 (Summer 1971).

The editors encouraged against literal translation and toward innovation in transcribing what are often works located in an oral tradition. The first issue includes, in translation, work from the Seneca and the Quiche Maya; from New Guinea; and from the Serbo-Croatian. Over the years, contributors included Jackson Mac Low, Armand Schwerner, Jaime de Angulo, Anne Waldman, Gary Snyder, Charles Olson, Clayton Eshleman, W. S. Merwin, Nathaniel Tarn, Anselm Hollo, Simon Ortiz, and others, who presented their own work as well as transcriptions from a broad range of the world’s tribal poetries including Eskimo, Hebrew Tribal poetry, Black Oral poetry, hunting and gathering songs, songs of ritual license, and much more. As Rothenberg noted, “The poets of ALCHERINGA start with the voice. The essayists will look, ultimately, to the very origins of poetry. ALCHERINGA will be radical—that is, going to the center—in approaching the Word.”

“Ethnopoetics—my coinage, in a fairly obvious way, circa 1967—refers to an attempt to investigate on a transcultural scale the range of possible poetries that had not only been imagined but put into practice by other human beings. It was premised on the perception that western definitions of poetry & art were no longer, indeed, had never been, sufficient & that our continued reliance on them was distorting our view both of the larger human experience & of our own possibilities within it. The focus was not so much international as intercultural with a stress…on those stateless & classless societies that an earlier ethnology had classified as ‘primitive.’ That the poetry & art of those cultures were complex in themselves & in their interconnections with each other was a first point that I found it necessary to assert—There are no primitive languages.”

— Jerome Rothenberg, “Ethnopoetics & Politics/The Politics of Ethnopoetics” in Charles Bernstein, ed., The Politics of Poetic Form: Poetry and Public Policy (New York: Roof, 1990)

Alcheringa 3 (Winter 1971).

Alcheringa 3 (Winter 1971).

Also issued

Jerome Rothenberg. Gift Event 2: From Alcheringa. Midwinter Poem 1973. Illuminated by Michael Manfredo after a traditional Seneca Indian beaver clan mask. Folded sheet.


Scans of the complete run of Alcheringa are available on the Alcheringa Archive page at Jacket 2. Record inserts can be found on PennSound.



Hawk’s Well Press / Poems from the Floating World

magazines & Presses

Hawk’s Well Press / Poems from the Floating World

Jerome Rothenberg
New York

Nos. 1–5 (1959–63).

Poems from the Floating World 4 (1962).


Hawk’s Well Press, under the irrepressible Jerome Rothenberg, published five issues of Poems from the Floating World and half a dozen small books of big poetry, most of them printed in Ireland, including, amazingly, the first books of Rothenberg, Robert Kelly, and Diane Wakoski. Clues to the territory mapped by Poems from the Floating World are contained in the poems published, as well as in the short, unattributed statements (presumably the words of the editor) that appeared in each of the first three issues. For example, inside the front cover of issue 3 one reads: “The poem is the record of a movement from perception to vision. Poetic form is the pattern of that movement thru space and time. The vehicle of movement is passion-speaking-thru-things. The condition of movement is freedom. The deep image is the content of vision emerging in the poem.” The magazine’s five issues included work by James Wright, Gunnar Ekelof, Robert Bly, André Breton, Rothenberg, Paul Celan, Denise Levertov, Pablo Neruda, Robert Creeley, Gary Snyder, David Antin, Robert Kelly, Philip Lamantia, Robert Duncan, Anselm Hollo, and Jackson Mac Low. Rothenberg went on to become a fine and prolific poet, translator, and anthologist.

Martin Buber, Tales of Angels & Demons (1958). Translated by David Antin and Jerome Rothenberg. Cover design by Euclides Theoharides.

Martin Buber, Tales of Angels, Spirits & Demons (1958), translated by David Antin and Jerome Rothenberg. Cover design by Euclides Theoharides.

His first book, a collaboration with David Antin (who, along with David Witt, was a cofounder of Hawk’s Well), was a translation of Martin Buber’s Tales of Angels, Spirits & Demons. In this work, published by Hawk’s Well in 1958, one can see Rothenberg turning the ground that will result in the remarkable group of anthologies that have made him a major force in contemporary poetry; these include Revolution of the Word: A New Gathering of American Avant Garde Poetry 1914–1945 (1974) and, most recently, Poems for the Millennium: The University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry (edited with Pierre Joris; 4 volumes, 1995–2013). His sensitivity to a wide variety of traditions and enthusiasm for the “forgotten” have been motivating sources since his young adulthood, as he notes in the “Pre-Face” to Revolution of the Word: “It was 1948 & by year’s end I was seventeen. I had been coming into poetry for two years. My head was filled with Stein & Cummings, later with Williams, Pound, the French Surrealists, the Dada poets who made ‘pure sound’ three decades earlier. Blues. American Indian things from Densmore. Cathay. Bible, Shakespeare, Whitman. Jewish liturgies. Dalí & Lorca were ferocious possibilities. Joyce was incredible to any of our first sightings of his work. The thing was to get off on it, to hear one’s mind, learn one’s own voice. But the message clear & simple was to move. To change. To create one’s self & thus one’s poetry. A process.”

Poems from the Floating World 3 (1961).

Poems from the Floating World 3 (1961).

Hawk’s Well Press books include

Buber, Martin. Tales of Angels, Spirits & Demons. 1958. Translated by Jerome Rothenberg and David Antin.

Faust, Seymour. The Lovely Quarry. 1958.

Gunn, Thom. Fighting Terms. 1958.

Jess [Collins]. O! 1960.

Kelly, Robert. Armed Descent. 1961. Cover design by Jerome Rothenberg from an Aztec drawing in the Codex Mendoza.

Owens, Rochelle. Futz. 1961.

Rothenberg, Jerome. Black Sun, White Sun. 1960. Cover drawing by Mildred Gendell.

Rothenberg, Jerome. Sightings / Robert Kelly. Lunes. 1964. Drawings by Amy Mendelson.

Wakoski, Diane. Coins & Coffins. 1962.

Wheeler, Beate. Drawings by Beate Wheeler. 1963.

Beate Wheeler, Drawings by Beate Wheeler (1963).

Beate Wheeler, Drawings by Beate Wheeler (1963).

The Black Mountain Review

magazines & Presses

The Black Mountain Review

Robert Creeley
Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Black Mountain, North Carolina

Nos. 1–7 (Spring 1954–Autumn 1957).

The Black Mountain Review, vol. 1, no. 3 (Fall 1954). Cover by Katsué Kitasono.

The Black Mountain Review

From 1933 to 1956, Black Mountain College flourished as a unique experimental college and community in a remote North Carolina valley. A local resident remembered the college people as “Godless eccentrics who lived in open dormitories and ran around in shorts and blue jeans,” but poet Robert Creeley recalls the openness and self-determination of those at the school, where there was often a one-to-one ratio of students to teachers. Charles Olson, Josef Albers, Eric Bentley, Buckminster Fuller, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Duncan, Fielding Dawson, and Francine du Plessix Gray were only some of those.

The Black Mountain Review, no. 6 (Spring 1956).

The Black Mountain Review 6 (Spring 1956). Cover by Dan Rice.

The Black Mountain Review, printed in Palma de Mallorca where Creeley was producing his Divers Press books, developed from the friendship in daily correspondence between Creeley and Black Mountain Rector Charles Olson, who thought a quality literary journal might help increase enrollment. Editorially, Creeley followed advice given him earlier by Ezra Pound: “He suggested I get at least four others, on whom I could depend unequivocally for material, and to make their work the mainstay of the magazine’s form. But then, he said, let the rest of it, roughly half, be as various and hogwild as possible….” Olson’s poem “On First Looking Out of La Cosa’s Eyes” led off the first issue, which also included Olson’s long essay on Robert Duncan, entitled “Against Wisdom as Such,” and poems by Paul Blackburn, who, along with Louis Zukofsky, Denise Levertov, and Robert Duncan, became the core of the magazine. Distribution was difficult, and effected mainly by Jonathan Williams, who hauled the Review around with his Jargon publications, or by Blackburn, who pushed it on vendors in New York. A dramatic feature of all seven issues of The Black Mountain Review was the inclusion of reproductions of visual work.

Each issue included at least one portfolio (8 pages out of 64 for each of the first four issues, for instance). The second issue included “Mayan Heads” by Charles Olson, which introduced photographs of exquisite Mayan pottery (“because they refresh us”). Other issues reproduced work by Franz Kline and Jess Collins, as well as photographs by Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan. The standard cover for the first four issues was designed by Katsué Kitasono, with Black Mountaineers John Altoon, Dan Rice, and Edward Corbett being responsible for the final three issues (these latter in a smaller and thicker format of over 200 pages each). The seventh and prophetic last issue included work by Allen Ginsberg (“America”), Jack Kerouac, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, and Gary Snyder, and a chapter from “William Lee’s” Naked Lunch.

“It is difficult…to appreciate the excitement (in certain very limited circles, of course) produced by the appearance of the Review. Today ‘The Black Mountain Poets’ have far less trouble getting their work published: and their counterparts in unfashion among more recent generations of poets have such a variety of mimeographed (sometimes even glossy) outlets, that it’s hard to recall the lack of reputation and lack of publishing opportunities characteristic of the literary scene during those damp, encased, mid-fifties McCarthyite years. Yes, there had been Origin—and after The Black Mountain Review folded in 1957, there was again to be an outlet for innovation: Gil Sorrentino’s Neon, LeRoi Jones’s Yugen, Ron Padgett’s White Dove Review. But not until the early sixties—coincidentally with the breaking open of so many areas of American life—was there to be a variety, happily almost a tumult, of corresponding energies and outlets.”

Martin Duberman, Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community (New York: Dutton, 1972)

Charles Olson, San Francisco, ca. 1956. Photograph by Harry Redl.

Charles Olson, San Francisco, ca. 1956. Photograph by Harry Redl.