Category Archives: Magazines & Presses

Home Planet News

Magazines & Presses

Home Planet News

Enid Dame and Donald Lev
High Falls, New York

Nos. 1–68 (1979–2018).

Home Planet News, no. 51. 2004.


Donald Lev and Enid Dame began publishing Home Planet News in 1979, after meeting at the New York Poets Cooperative in 1976. At the time, Dame was working on her Ph.D. in English at Rutgers University, and Lev had been working on a small literary tabloid called Poets with Michael Devlin, publishing many of the contributors that would continue on with HPN, including Tuli Kupferberg (whose cartoons became a regular fixture of the magazine from 1983 onward), Harold Goldfinger, Emilie Glen, Barbara Holland, Ree Dragonette, Bob Kramer, Bob Holman, and of course, Enid Dame. When Devlin indicated that he would not be able to continue supporting Poets, Dame and Lev asked “Could we start a magazine of our own? Could it combine Poets’ funky vision and mad energy with a more settled political and communal commitment? A place where the new feminist poetry (this was 1978) could share space and dialogue with neo-Beat bardic effusions?”[1]

The answer was yes, and Dame and Lev moved into together, “procured an electronic typewriter in a Bleeker Street shop, got as many files from the Union Square office as [they] could carry out before the landlord locked the door, and [they] were in business.” They called the tabloid after a poem of Lev’s titled “Fragment of a Letter from One’s Home Planet,” which was also the name of a bookshop on East 9th Street that he ran in 1971. The first issue was published in March 1979, with jazz poets Steve and Gloria Tropp on the cover, inaugurated at West End Bar on upper Broadway.

Home Planet News, no. 60. 2008.

Specific focuses of issues included cronyism at the National Endowment for the Arts (1982), the AIDS crisis (1995), Yiddish poetry in translation (1982), a festschrift for Enid Dame (2005), reflections on Woodstock (2009), prison writing (1999), computer/desktop publishing (1993), progressive arts (1991), a festschrift for Harold Goldfinger (1990), an index of the first 24 issues (1988), and a variety of other political and artistic themes. In 2004, HPN published an index of contributors to the first 50 issues (pictured at top), which stretched for six pages of three columns each, containing hundreds of contributors and the titles of their works within.

As one of the longest-running literary tabloids in the United States, HPN was jointly edited by Dame and Lev until Dame’s death in 2003, at which point Lev continued to publish the tabloid until his death in 2018. The circulation of each issue was approx. 1000 copies, with the goal of three issues per year (though this varied over time), and it was published in High Falls, New York. A digital offshoot of the print publication, titled Home Planet News Online, continues today and is edited by Frank Murphy.

[1] Citations are from a typescript titled “The Story of HPN,” which was included in the Home Planet News Archive.

Home Planet News, no. 45. 2008.

Home Planet News, no. 50. 2004.

Home Planet News, no. 46. 2000.


Gare du Nord

Magazines & Presses

Gare du Nord

Alice Notley and Douglas Oliver
Paris

Five issues from 1997–1999, including vol. 1, nos. 1–vol. 2, no. 2.

Gare du Nord, vol. 1, no. 1. 1997.


A “magazine of poetry and opinion from Paris” that would fill a gap between more well-known print magazines and the rise of online literary journals, Alice Notley and Douglas Oliver began publishing Gare du Nord five years after the final issue of their first co-edited magazine Scarlet. Named after the famous train station near their apartment, where the couple had lived since 1992, Gare du Nord extends the “right spirit” of Scarlet by publishing writers such as Etel Adnan, Edwin Denby, Joanne Kyger, and Renee Gladman as well as artwork by Jane Dalrymple-Hollo, Rudy Burckhardt, George Schneeman, Yvonne Jacquette, and William Yackulic. As Notley and Oliver write in the editorial in the first issue:

Since Britain, the U.S. and France travel to us here beside the Gare du Nord, we’ll do our best to act as a rail-crossing point, providing a good mix of work from as many different cultures as we can find, with a proper balance of gender (of course) and genre (less obvious). Easily bored, we’d like to be bratty and funny, as well as serious. Easily put off by the merely shallow, we’d like to present the linguistically complex too.

Appearing in five issues, each side-stapled with a cover by Laurent Baude, Gare du Nord combines the design capabilities of desktop publishing with the material aesthetics of the little magazines of the 1960s and ‘70s. As Notley describes, “Doug wanted our magazine to have production values. [He] had journalist experience and so he wanted to do these beautiful magazines although we still stapled them.”

Also like Scarlet, the design and editing of Gare du Nord lends itself to conversation, experimentation, and a gathering of communities. Serial features such as Notley’s “Cosmic Chat” written in the style of Disobedience, a reader inquiry feature designed by Oliver, an ongoing “Books We’re Reading” list, and a series of “chats” between Notley and Oliver as the interlocutors “X” and “Y” about topics like syntax, chauvinism, tone, and politics make Gare du Nord a rich, complex window into the intellectual and imaginative world of Notley and Oliver’s shared life in Paris. A stance described by “X” in the magazine’s final issue embodies Notley and Oliver’s shared vision and disobedience:

I want to say one more thing which is that human societies and politics are tremendously various, and they go from areas that can only be discussed in the mode of high intelligence to areas that can only be discussed from the viewpoint of this immense emotional response that you’re talking about to areas that can also be discussed with humour and generosity, which we’ve also mentioned. And why the hell we don’t understand that poetry must have all those aspects, I don’t know. And I despair, because you cannot mention this, you cannot proclaim this without people looking at you as though you’re saying something unwelcome and irrelevant.

In a 1997 interview, Notley describes the deeply collaborative aspect of the magazine:

At the moment I work most in conjunction with Doug. We’re interested in the same kinds of forms and share so many of the same concerns, but speak so differently from each other, being American and English, that we’re enriched by the different textures of our languages. And also the differing textures of the ways in which we think. I also always want to know what people like Ron Padgett, Lorenzo Thomas, Anne Waldman, Anselm Hollo, etc. think about things. I continue to be interested in the work of Leslie Scalapino, Eileen Myles, Joanne Kyger, Lyn Hejinian. I want to know how mature minds are dealing with what’s going on in the world. And I’m waiting to see what the very young will come up with in terms of forms and techniques.

— Nick Sturm, Atlanta, May 2021

Gare du Nord, vol. 1, no. 2. 1998.

Gare du Nord, vol. 1, no. 3. 1998.

Gare du Nord, vol 2. no. 1. 1998.

Gare du Nord, vol. 2, no. 2. 1999.


Chicago

Magazines & Presses

Chicago

Alice Notley
Chicago and Wivenhoe, Essex, UK

Six issues published in Chicago (Feb. 1972–Mar. 1973) from vol. 1, no. 1, to vol. 6. See image captions below for complete enumeration.

Three issues published as “European Edition,” nos. 1–3 in Wivenhoe, Essex, UK (Oct. 1973–June 1974).

All covers by George Schneeman.

Chicago, vol. 1, no. 1. Feb. 1972.


CHICAGO is one of the most important mimeograph magazines of the 1970s, not only for being edited by Alice Notley during the beginning of her career but also for how it traces the movement of New York School-style poetics between the Midwest and England. Published shortly after her graduation from the Iowa Writers Workshop and marriage to Ted Berrigan, a time when, as Notley writes, “I was in danger—I saw it that way—of not becoming a poet,” Chicago offered a publishing context in which to maintain a necessary autonomy as a woman and artist and to trace her own sense of overlapping aesthetic lineages as she, Berrigan, and their children followed a migratory teaching circuit. As poet and scholar Stephanie Anderson writes in Mimeo Mimeo No. 5 (Fall 2011), “For Notley, the magazine becomes a way to keep the participants of various geographically scattered communities in communication.”

Characterized by Notley’s interest in publishing large collections of poems by individual writers, sometimes over 20 poems, and an art gallery-like approach to how pieces sit on the page, Chicago is a record of the aesthetic experimentation and associations in the early 1970s that bend outside standard narratives of the New York School. It is also a record of Notley’s establishment of her editorial vision that would extend into the editing of Scarlet and Gare du Nord with Douglas Oliver. The magazine’s run of nine issues is composed of two distinct publishing formats: six legal-size mimeographed issues published in Chicago, with the fifth issue guest-edited by Berrigan, followed by three 8.5 x 11 in. mimeographed “European Editions” published in Wivenhoe while Berrigan was teaching at the University of Essex in Colchester. Poets such Tom Clark and Ed Dorn had previously taught at Essex, making the small riverside town of Wivenhoe—Doug Oliver called it the “campus village”—an unlikely but vital outpost in the transnational networks of American avant-garde poetry. As Berrigan wrote jokingly to Bill Berkson soon after he began teaching at Essex, “Wivenhoe is enrolling en masse in the 2nd (3rd?) Generation NY School, as you must know by now.” Notley and Berrigan befriended poets such as Pierre Joris, Gordon Brotherston, Ralph Hawkins, Charlie Ingham, Simon Pettet, and Doug Oliver during their time in England, the latter four of whom edited the magazine The Human Handkerchief from 1973­–1975.

George Schneeman contributed cover art to all nine issues of Chicago, including a series of interconnected collage covers for the first six issues that offer a stunning visual unity to the magazine. Berrigan handled mimeographing, but Notley was completely in control of the rest of the magazine. Recalling the process of assembling the early issues, Notley notes, “I remember collating right before I gave birth to Anselm, just having all of the pages spread throughout the room and walking around pregnantly and collating everything and doing all the writing.” Highlights from throughout the magazine include poems by Lorenzo Thomas, Bill Berkson, Bernadette Mayer, Clark Coolidge, Maureen Owen, Joe Ceravolo, and F.T. Prince, textual-visual work by Philip Whalen, Joe Brainard’s comic strip collaborations with John Ashbery and Kenneth Koch, over 50 pieces by Notley herself, Ron Padgett’s translation of “Zone” by Guillaume Apollinaire, Anne Waldman’s 1964 “From the Egypt Journal” documenting a trip to Egypt with Brainard, and a conversation between George Oppen, Mary Oppen, and Berrigan arranged by Ruth Gruber. Poems by Berrigan’s students at Iowa and Chicago also appear, including work by George Mattingly, Neil Hackman, Henry Kanabus, Merrill Gilfillan, Art Lange, and Richard Friedman.

— Nick Sturm, Atlanta, May 2021

Chicago, European Edition, no. 2. Feb. 1974.

Chicago, European Edition, no. 3. June 1974.

Chicago, vol. 2, no. 2/3. Mar.–Apr. 1972.

Chicago, vol. 3, no. 4/5. May 1972.

Chicago, vol. 4, no. 6. Summer 1972. Cover only.

Chicago, vol. 5, no. 1. Nov. 1972.

Chicago, vol. 6. Mar. 1973.

Chicago, European Edition no. 1. Oct. 1973.


Little Light

Magazines & Presses

Little Light

Susan Cataldo
New York City

Nos. 1­–6 (1980–1984).

Covers by Tina Swanson, Louise Hamlin, Steve Levine, and others.

Little Light, no. 2. 1980.


Named after the poem “Little Light” by Jim Brodey, Susan Cataldo’s Little Light, alongside magazines like Blue Smoke, Telephone, and Tangerine, was one of the little magazines that carried on the tradition of mimeograph publishing into the early and mid 1980s. By publishing a higher percentage of women poets per issue than many peer publications, Cataldo’s magazine also offers a more equitable view of the community of poets who had grown up around The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in the 1970s and were then taking on vital leadership roles in maintaining and supporting that community.

With striking covers by Tina Swanson, Louise Hamlin, Steve Levine, and others, each issue of the magazine begins with a significant portfolio of work by a featured poet, including Eileen Myles, Susie Timmons, and Jim Brodey. Other contributors include Alice Notley, Rochelle Kraut, Daniel Krakauer, Kathy Foley, Hannah Weiner, Helena Hughes, and a young Edmund Berrigan. Ted Berrigan’s In A Blue River was published by Little Light Books in 1981 with cover art by Cataldo.

— Nick Sturm, Atlanta, May 2021

Little Light, no. 4. 1981.

Little Light, no. 1. 1980.

Little Light, no. 3. 1980. Cover by Tina Swenson.

Little Light, no. 5. 1982.


Scarlet

Magazines & Presses

Scarlet

Alice Notley and Douglas Oliver
New York
City

Nos. 1­–5 (Sept. 1990–Sept.1991), and nos. 6–8 published as The Scarlet Cabinet: A Compendium of Books by Alice Notley & Douglas Oliver (Mar. 1992).

Scarlet, no. 1. Sept. 1990.


Published out of Alice Notley and Douglas Oliver’s apartment at 101 St. Mark’s Place in New York City in five issues from 1990 to 1991, Scarlet defiantly embraced a mixture of experimentation, politics, and obsolescence. As they state in the inaugural issue’s editorial, “Editorials in this kind of newspaper being out of fashion, that’s the first point. We don’t much like the fashion in poetry/literary magazines which aims for wimpish purity of text: too boring.” Driven by the call to “be guided by right spirit,” a tacit reference to the political party “Spirit” founded by Will Penniless and friends in Oliver’s Penniless PoliticsScarlet’s “emphasis will be upon that spirit in a work which unites vision to concern—whether political, social, personal, or fantastical.”

Publishing writers associated with the afterlives of the New American Poetry, especially New Cambridge and New York School poets, as well as younger writers influenced by these lineages, Scarlet includes work by Anselm Hollo, Amiri Baraka, Barbara Guest, Pierre Joris, Denise Riley, Susie Timmons, Elio Schneeman, Eileen Myles, and many others, as well as artwork by Joe Brainard, Rudy Burckhardt, Yvonne Jacquette, and George Schneeman. Notable contributions include the earliest publication of excerpts from Notley’s The Descent of Alette, then identified as “An Untitled Long Poem”; a regular “Dream Gossip” column; a fiery set of editorials; Steve Abbott’s “A house on fire” article about the ongoing AIDS crisis; and Notley’s essays “Women & Poetry” and “What Can Be Learned From Dreams?”

The column-based “newspaper” format of Scarlet, similar to both The Poetry Project Newsletter and Kathleen Fraser’s HOW(ever), creates a non-linear, generative reading experience, as works in different genres and of different lengths extend over multiple pages in a variety of columns, side-bars, and sections, producing a visual-textual arrangement that sparks convergences of voices and ideas. For example, in Scarlet no. 2, a conversation between Leslie Scalapino and Philip Whalen extends over four pages alongside a section from The Descent of Alette, a convergence that places Whalen’s humorously disparaging description of Charles Olson’s “Projective Verse,” what he calls “that God-awful essay that everyone just loves to death,” alongside a section of Notley’s feminist epic that up-ends Olson’s masculine-civic founding of a new poetics of the syllable and the line.

In a 1997 autobiographical essay, Oliver remarks on the origins and work of Scarlet:

Alice had been working on several poem sequences, including her now-celebrated The Descent of Alette. I had a Robert Louis Stevenson pastiche ready—Sophia Scarlett, a feminist version of a novel Stevenson had projected before his death. And we had begun a newspaper-style poetry magazine, Scarlet. It was Gulf War time, so we had plenty to editorialize—and agonize—about; Alice ran a ‘Dream Gossip’ column, which printed everyone’s scandalous dreams; Anselm Hollo had a regular filler feature of aperçus called Hollograms; and we were called one of the brightest new small poetry reviews for a while. We serialized The Descent of Alette and Penniless Politics and our final issue was a fat book, called, to continue our scarlet thematics, The Scarlet Cabinet.

Published in March 1992 as three-issues-in-one, The Scarlet Cabinet: A Compendium of Books by Alice Notley & Douglas Oliver contains three works by Oliver—Penniless Politics, Sophia Scarlett, and Nava Sūtra—and four works by Notley—The Descent of Alette, Beginning With A Stain, Twelve Poems Without Mask, and Homer’s Art. Framed as an act of resistance against conservative aesthetics and a homogenous publishing industry, the aim of work in The Scarlet Cabinet was to, as Notley writes, “pay attention to the real spiritual needs of both her neighbors (not her poetic peers) & the future.” As Oliver writes in his introduction:

Why not, we thought, publish a book rather like a chance collection of Medieval manuscripts bound into one volume, a book which thumbs its nose at all this? We only care about the spirit of what we write anyway: we don’t care about the business-suited poetic world, or the NEA – any of that. So why not have some fun?

— Nick Sturm, Atlanta, May 2021

Scarlet, no. 2. Fall 1990.

Scarlet, no. 3. Winter 1991.

Scarlet, no. 4. Spring 1991.

Scarlet, no. 5. Sept. 1991.

The Scarlet Cabinet: A Compendium of Books by Alice Notley & Douglas Oliver. Scarlet Editions, 1992.


Underwhich

Magazines & Presses

Underwhich Editions

Michael Dean, Brian Dedora, Paul Dutton, Steve McCaffery, bpNichol, John Riddell, Steven Smith, Richard Truhlar
Toronto, Ontario

1978–1998.

Steve McCaffery & bpNichol, eds. Sound Poetry: A Catalog. (1978).

Steve McCaffery & bpNichol, eds. Sound Poetry: A Catalog. (1978).


jwcurry writes:

Underwhich Editions was/is a multiply-unique publishing coöperative that issued primarily from Toronto (with some blurts from Saskatoon & Sault Sainte Marie) into & throughout the 198os, its final(?) publication released in 1998.

bpNichol, artist. [Underwhich Editions 10th Anniversary Gala Poster]. The Music Gallery, June 5, 1988.

in 1978, a consortium of Toronto publishers conspired to produce the 3rd volume of Bob Cobbing’s collected poems, a peal in air. bpNichol had been running Ganglia Press since 1965; Steve McCaffery’s Anonbeyond Press had released a handful of fugitive publications since 197o; Michael Dean’s Wild Press had just gotten going early in 1975; Richard Truhlar’s Phenomenon Press began its series of remarkable releases in 1976. the Cobbing collection came out with all imprints attached – bibliographically clunky perhaps but a fine way of citing a group effort of support.

simultaneous with this, preparations were underway for the 11th International Festival of Sound Poetry in Toronto. previous festivals had generated some extravagant productions, primarily in the form of posters & programmes, with Michael Gibbs’ anthology Kontextsound accompanying the 1oth in Amsterdam (i can find no references to any previous anthological souvenirs). McCaffery & Nichol kicked things up several notches with the preparation of Sound Poetry: A Catalogue: 111 pages of scores, essays, photographs & capsule biographies, all stunningly designed by master typographer Glenn Goluska. this was going to want something a little more deliberate by way of an imprint in stead of the hodgepodge of Presses decorating the colophon of the Cobbing book.

Bob Cobbing and Steven Ross Smith. Ballet of the Speech Organs: Bob Cobbing On Bob Cobbing. Underwhich Editions, 1998.

John Riddell had been involved in both Ganglia & Phenomenon, & Brian Dedora & Paul Dutton were in the middle of it all with no imprints of their own but hot to participate. as the anthology grew toward completion, the question became: “under which imprint do we release this beast?”, thus providing its own answer in the very statement of the problem. with an intentionality toward producing things other than standard small press fare (the cover of the first catalogue pronounces “a fusion of high production standards and top-quality literary innovation”), the word “editions” was chosen as most representative of that focus & Underwhich Editions was launched at the festival with not only the anthology but a catalogue listing a further 4 print titles (by Rafael Barreto-Rivera, Dedora, McCaffery & R.Murray Schafer) & 2 cassettes (by McCaffery).

Underwhich Editions, formed in exigency at a critical period in & when Toronto had a greater complement of so-called “experimental” writers than anywhere else on the planet, grew quickly into the gap left by Coach House Press’s domestication. the only other Canadian publishers that paid primarily lipservice to the more challenging areas of literary production didn’t go very far outta their way to support the avant garde, gasping out a title or 2 every coupla years orso (witness Oberon, who made a splash in 197o with 2 bpNichol titles, instigated their own attempt at a series focussing on concrete/visual poetry with the release of Four Parts Sand, then bailed & went back to storytelling & conservative criticism). besides a smattering of the what’re now called “micropresses” (& it is to be remembered that micropresses are just as much part of the problem as any other demographic, serving primarily to further their own interests in the face of the greater disdain, most of anything that gets published usually wallowing in much-trampled LCD mud), noöne else seemed to give a shit about the vast amount of worldclass material being produced in Canada, much less anything beyond the pond. & while some of the micropresses maintained a respectably constant engagement in making challenging work available, few of them had the budget for grander gestures, nor the patience for building larger structures over time.

bpNichol. First Screening: Computer Poems. Underwhich Editions, 1984.

with its conspiratorial core of 8 (Dean, Dedora, Dutton, McCaffery, Nichol, Riddell, Smith, Truhlar), all given editorial independence in a spirit of mutual trust & understanding of the underlying mandate (again from the cover of the first catalogue: “…dedicated to presenting, in diverse and appealing physical formats, new works by contemporary creators, focusing on formal invention and encompassing the expanded frontiers of literary endeavour.”), Underwhich virtually exploded into action with an initial series of smaller works from almost all editors, each given the physical attention they deserved to become fully-realized works of book art in addition to their values as literary artefacts. editors were free to do what they wanted & could also join forces to pool resources for the production of more involved titles.

i vividly remember the first Underwhich book i saw: a little pile of LeRoy Gorman’s Whose Smile The Ripple Warps (198o) stacked face-up somewhere in Paul Stuewe’s Nth Hand Books on Harbord Street, Toronto, in later 198o. consisting entirely of typestract miniatures that function somewhat on the level of haiku, the small book gives each piece ample room without dwarfing them in a slender, perfectbound volume that suggests, through its very simple cover, “here is something beautiful”. the only thing it lacked was ostentation, which was in far greater unwanted supply elsewhere. it was, in fact, beautiful; in further fact, it still is beautiful & never won’t be. what the fuck more could one possibly ask for? (i suppose a signed copy…)

Four Horsemen. Bootleg. Underwhich Editions, 1981.

almost all the material coming outta Underwhich provoked further investigation of the press itself & those whose work it produced (& those who produced it). it also provoked interest in others in joining in its collective identity, all of whom came to Underwhich through an active editor’s kind-of-sponsorship & bringing with them their own experience with publishing through their own imprints. over the years, other active participants were jwcurry (of Curvd H&z, Industrial Sabotage, et al), Beverley Daurio (Mercury Press, Paragraph), Frank Davey (Massassauga Editions, Open Letter), Mary Stevens Grace, Karl Jirgens (Rampike), & Jim Smith (The Front Press).

except for a brief flirtation with a distributor, Underwhich advertised its material primarily by mail &, lesserly, at various book fairs. it also began promoting publications from other publishers that they felt fit their evolving model.

Richard Truhlar, ed. Five on Fiche. Underwhich Editions, 198o. Issued as Microfiche Series 1.

Underwhich Editions was an absolutely unique occurrence in Canadian publishing history. its dissolution occurred following the slow dispersion of many of its constituents: curry to Ottawa, Davey to London, Dedora to Vancouver, Jirgens to Sault Sainte Marie, McCaffery to Buffalo, Nichol’s death, & Steven Smith to Saskatoon (where he gamely continued on for awhile as the “prairie branchplant”). apparently, Lucas Mulder & Lia Pas also supplemented the skeleton with Dutton & Smith at the end of its active phase.

its many accomplishments are unique figures on the mulched ground of Canadian literature.

[18 regular-issue catalogues]. Underwhich Editions, 1979–1996.

Underwhich Editions include (cont’d from right)

ITWARU (Arnold). The Sacred Presence (my father, my mother, long dead). Underwhich Editions, 1986.

LEFLER (Myrna) stones. [2nd edition. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 3 july 1985. 2oo+ copies issued as part of Heads & H&z; not released separately. 4 pp/3 printed, photocopy. 2-3/4 x 4-1/4, leaflet. a poem.

McCAFFERY (Steve) Epithalamion for the marriage of Marjeceta Cujes to Salvatore Incardona. Mono Hills, Dufferin County 3o September 1978. [Toronto], Underwhich Editions, january 1979. 3oo #d copies. 4 pp printed, offset. 5 x 1o, leaflet. an uncommonly subjective lyricism to this poem for 2 friends that McCaffery refuses to talk about (& which he attempted to destroy the run of), braced by 2 anagrammatical concrete cover tableaux. one of the 1st batch of Underwhich publications.
McCAFFERY (Steve)  & bpNichol, eds Sound Poetry: A Catalog. (1978).

NICHOL (bp) FIRST SCREENING. Computer Poems. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 28 september 1984. 1oo copies #d & signed, issued as Software Series #1. a 5-1/4 x 5-1/4 plastic floppy disc (compatible with Apple 2e of ago) in paper pocket, both with dotmatrix labels, in 8-11/16 x 11-15/16 pocketed folder with interior & exterior labels & 8-1/2 x 11 photocopied broadside A Few Notes opposite. animated concrete poetry. this was posthumously reprinted by Red Deer College Press as a now equally-obsolete miniharddisc; “for the collection”.

NICHOL (bp) [Underwhich Editions 10th Anniversary Gala Poster]. The Music Gallery, June 5, 1988.

OWEN SOUND (Michael Dean, David Penhale, Steven Smith, Richard Truhlar) SIGN LANGUAGE. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 1985. 1oo #d copies issued as Audiographic Series #22. 4-1/4 x 2-3/4 x 5/8, 6o min. audiocassette with 6 pp offset J-card in hinged plastic box. sound poetry. includes a version of Robert Ashley’s She Was A Visitor with the added voices of Paul Dutton, Steve McCaffery & bpNichol.

PAUL (David J) FLOOD. [2nd edition. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 3 july 1985. 2oo+ copies issued as part of Heads & H&z; not released separately]. 4 pp/2 printed, rubberstamp. 3-7/16 x 1-1/4, leaflet. a concrete poem.

PHENOMENØNSEMBLE (Kathy Browning, Nick Dubecki) NON. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, may 1986. 1oo #d copies issued as Audiographic Series #28. 4-1/4 x 2-3/4 x 5/8, 6o min.audiocassette & 8pp offset J-card in hinged plastic box. music. with contributions by Anne Bourne, Stephen Donald, Jeff Packer, Rik Sacks, Richard Truhlar.

RIDDELL (John) D’Art Board. Toronto, Underwhich Editions,1987. not released separately. 6 pp printed, photocopy. 3-3/4 x 8-1/2, leaflet. the instruction sheet for Riddell’s version of a game of darts, which had been issued by Underwhich as a large broadside. this accompanied that but also accompanied a small mini-darts desk set that he issued privately in a very small edition of one-off constructions for friends.

ROSS (Stuart) ” “Definitely not “. [2nd edition. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 3 july 1985. 2oo+ copies issued as part of Heads & H&z; not released separately]. 4 pp/2 printed, photocopy. 3-1/2 x 3-1/4, leaflet. a poem.

RUNNING HEAD. poetry/graphics. edited by jwcurry. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 7 december 1983. 5o #d copies signed by all contributors: Joe Brouillette, curry, Mark Laba, Peggy Lefler, bpNichol, George Swede. 5-1/2 x 8-1/2, 6 silkscreen broadsides & rubberstamp colophon leaf with tissue interleaving in plain sleeve with acetate window. poetry, concrete poetry & graphics.

SCARBOROUGH SOUND SYMPHONY (conducted by Michael Dean) SCARBOROUGH BLUFFS. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, [1985?]. 1oo #d copies issued as Audiographics Series #23. 4-1/4 x 2-3/4 x 5/8, 6o min.audio cassette & 8 pp photocopy J-card with colour photocopy cover panel in hinged plastic box. sound poetry. the choir is composed of Dev Balkissoon, Shanti Balkissoon, Koula Bouloukos, Eika Dirsus, John Garbuio, Josh Greer, David Holmes, Joelann Irving, Cathy Kirkness, Tom McAuliffe, Phil Robson; supplemented on 3 works by Owen Sound (Dean, Steven Smith, Richard Truhlar). includes versions of Robert Ashley’s She Was A Visitor & Truhlar’s Glass On The Beach.

SHIKATANI (Gerry) THE BOOK OF TREE: a cottage journal. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, september 1987. 15o #d copies. 48 pp/42 printed, offset. 8 x 8, japanese-sewn card covers. prose.

SILVERWIND (Jasmine) ” what buisness has th butter being melted, when “. [2nd edition. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 3 july 1985. 2oo+ copies issue as part of Heads & H&z; not released separately]. 4 pp/2 printed, rubberstamp. 7 x 2-1/4, leaflet. a poem.

SMITH (Jim) VIRUS. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 1983. 275 trade copies of an edition totalling 3oo. 32 pp/2o printed, offset. 7 x 5, stapled wrappers. prose.

SMITH (Steven [Ross])(with Richard Truhlar) from within. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 1o october 1982. 2oo #d copies. 4 pp printed, photocopy. 5-1/2 x 8-1/2, leaflet. poetry, with a cover photograph by [André Kertesz]. issued in conjunction with a reading at The Abbey Bookshop, Toronto.

SOUTHWARD (Keith) WIND CHIMES. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 1981. 25o copies. 36 pp/17 printed, offset. 3-15/16 x 2-1/2, stapled wrappers. poetry.

SWEDE (George) FLAKING PAINT. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, april 1983. 3oo copies. 2o pp/16 printed, offset. 5-5/8 x 3, perfectbound wrappers. poetry. cover typography by bpNichol.

TEKST (Glenn Frew, John Korcok, Richard Truhlar, Mara Zibens) AVATAMSAKA’S WAVE PACKET. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, october 198o. 1oo #d copies issued as Audiographic Series #9. 4-1/4 x 2-3/4 x 5/8, 6o min.audiocassette with 6 pp offset J-card in hinged plastic box. electronic music.

TRUHLAR (Richard) ” Dear : “. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, nd [early 198os]. 8-1/2 x 11, photocopy & rubberstamp broadside. prose open letter of rejection for the press prepared by Truhlar & used by all(?) editors.

____ GROWLING IN THE ROOFBEAMS. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 1984. 1oo #d copies issued as Audiographic Series #1o. 4-1/4 x 2-3/4 x 5/8, 45 min.audiocassette with 8 pp photocopy J-card in hinged plastic box. sound poetry.

TRUHLAR (Richard) Kali’s Alphabet. Underwhich Editions, 1982. Issued as Audiographic Series #14.

UU (David) High C. Selected Sound and Visual Poems 1965-1983. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 19 august 1991. 3oo #d copies. 9o pp/8o printed, offset & silkscreen. 7 x 1o, perfectbound wrappers with 5 tipped in leaves & 2 interior labels. frontis & (invisible) restorations by jwcurry.

VALOCH (Jiri) HAIKU. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, april 1983. 3oo copies. 2o pp/9 printed, offset. 5-5/8 x 5-9/16, perfectbound wrappers. poetry.

VAN DUSEN (Kate) but but. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 1988. 68 pp/57 printed, offset. 5-1/4 x 8, perfectbound wrappers. poetry, with a cover sculpture by Tom Burrows.

VENRIGHT (Steve) VISITATIONS. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 1986. 68 pp/49 printed, offset. 5-3/8 x 7-3/4, perfectbound wrappers. prose, with 3 collages by the author. Venright’s first book.

WALDROP (Keith) WATER MARKS. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, [late october] 1987. 5oo [ie 538 orso] copies. 36 pp/29 printed, offset. 5-1/2 x 5-1/2, perfectbound wrappers. poetry, with cover, halftitle, & title page lettering by bpNichol.

ZIBENS (Mara) TRANCE RESISTANCE. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, january 1986. 1oo copies issued as Audiographic Series #24. 4-1/4 x 2-3/4 x 5/8,  6o min.audiocassette with 8pp offset J-card in hinged plastic box. music. cover frottage by Richard Truhlar.

Underwhich Editions include

AUDIOTHOLOGY 2. “Electroacoustics”. edited by Richard Truhlar. Toronto, Underwhich Ediitons, 1989. 2oo copies issued as Audiographics Series #35. 9o min.audiocassette in 4-1/4 x 2-3/4 x 5/8 hinged plastic box with 12pp offset J-card. sound poetry & music. the contributors are Michael Chocholak, Misha Chocholak, “colette”, Victor Coleman, Robert Creeley, Don Daurio, Paul Dutton, Jeff Greinke, Michael Horwood, David Lee, Allan Mattes, Chris Meloche, David Myers, bpNichol, John Oswald, Randall A.Smith, Truhlar, Hildegard Westerkamp & Mara Zibens.

BARLOW (John) the space near sudbury. Toronto, Underwhich Renegade, 18 march 1995. of an edition totalling 67, 36 trade copies #d 31-66. 12 pp/6 printed, rubberstamp & photocopy. 6 x 4, sewn wrappers with flaps tipped in. a poem; cover photograph (of jwcurry in Sudbury) by Gio Sampogna.

BARRETO-RIVERA (Rafael) HERE IT HAS RAINED. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, fall 1978. 5oo copies. 2o pp/16 printed, offset. 5-1/2 x 8-7/16, stapled wrappers. prose, cover & design by Glenn Goluska.

BARWIN (Gary) ukiah poems 4. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 23 february 1988. 15o #d copies issued as 1cent #197. 4 pp/3 printed, rubberstamp & silkscreen. 4 x 6-1/4, leaflet. a poem.

BEATTY (Patricia) Form Without Formula. A Concise Guide To The Choreographic Process. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 1985. 68 pp/57 printed, offset. 5-1/2 x 8-1/2, perfectbound wrappers. prose as titled, with a cover painting (detail) by William Ronald, introduction by Danny Grossman, photos by Graham Bezant & Andrew Oxenham, cartoon by Edward Koren. this first edition occurred thanks to bpNichol’s interest in the problems of notating performance instructions. it has since become a standard text & been reprinted many times.

BERTRAND (Denise) KHRONIKA. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 1984. 25o #d copies. 24 pp/12 printed, offset. 4-9/16 x 7-151/16, stapled wrappers in loose-fitting dj. prose.

BROCK (Randall) ” deep “. [2nd edition. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 3 july 1985. 2oo+ copies issued as part of Heads & H&z; not released separately]. 4 pp/2 printed, photocopy & rubberstamp. 4-1/4 x 5-1/4, leaflet. a poem.

CHOCHOLAK (Michael) OWL MAN DREAMS. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, september 1986. 1oo #d copies issued as Audiographics #29. 4-1/4 x 2-3/4 x 5/8, 6o min.audiocassette with 8-panel offset J-card in hinged plastic case. music.

CLARK (Thomas A) ON GRETA BRIDGE. Nailsworth (England) & Toronto, Moscharel Press & Underwhich Editions, 1984. 5oo copies. 12 pp/8 printed, offset. 5 x 6, stapled wrappers. prose.  

COBBING (Bob) Ballet of the Speech Organs: Bob Cobbing On Bob Cobbing. as interviewed by Steven Ross Smith. Saskatoon & Toronto, Underwhich Editions,1998. 15o #d copies. 48 pp/41 printed, offset. 5-3/8 x 8-1/2, stapled wrappers. with an introduction by Smith, 9 sound texts by Cobbing (dating back to 1942!), & 5 uncredited photographs, including one of bpNichol toasting Cobbing in Toronto in 1986 (Stephen Scobie in fuzzy foreground?).

COLEMAN (Victor) FROM THE DARK WOOD. Poems 1977-83. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 18 december 1985. of an edition totalling 526, 5oo trade copies, 1/26 copies #d & signed. 4o pp/3o printed, offset. 8-1/4 x 1o-3/4, stapled wrappers. with cover & 3 interior illustrations by Robert Fones.

CURRY (jw) 2 attentions. [2nd edition, revised, of dear diary revised attentions. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, for 3 july 1985. approx.21o copies issued for inclusion in Heads & H&z; not released separately]. 4 pp printed, rubberstamp in photocopy covers. 4-3/8 x 5-1/4, leaflet. a severe reduction of curry’s 2nd collection of poetry.

____(with Peggy Lefler) Logical Sequence 1o. [3rd edition. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 3 july 1985. 21o copies issued as part of Heads & H&z; not released separately]. 4 pp/2 printed, photocopy in rubberstamp cover. 5-1/2 x 2-1/4, leaflet.   a concrete poem. 1st released as a leaflet by Curvd H&Z (198o), subsequently included as a broadside in Lefler’s Different Tenses (Curvd H&z, 198o).

DEAHL (James) LISTENING TO TAKEMITSU AFTER A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, [1987]. 174 trade copies of an edition totalling 2oo. 6 pp printed, offset. 4-5/8 x 8-1/2, leaflet. poetry.

DEAN (Michael) HEADS & H&Z. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, for 3 july 1985. 2oo #d copies issued for inclusion in Heads & H&z, an overrun of un#d copies not released. 8 pp/4 printed, offset in silkscreen cover with rubberstamp addition to last page. 8-1/2 x 11, 4 leaves grommetted at corner. prose introduction to the anthology by Dean with letter in response by jwcurry & his title page design & typography.

DEDORA (Brian) he moved. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 1979. 28 pp, all except endleaves printed offset rectos only. 1o-1/2 x 7, stapled wrappers. a poem in translations [Erse by John Doyle, Ukrainian by Marco Carynnyk] that switch sides of the page as the sequence progresses, the english coming from between as they cross over each other. an elegant poem & concrete sequencing & one of the 1st batch of Underwhich titles.

DUDLEY (Michael) ” the heat… “. [2nd edition. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 3 july 1985. 21o copies issued as part of Heads & H&z; not released separately]. 4 pp/2 printed, rubberstamp with perforated ellipsis p.3. 4-5/16 x 1-15/16, leaflet. a poem.

DUTTON (Paul) ” BROWSE “. [Toronto], Underwhich Editions, [199-?]. 8-1/2 x 5-1/2, laser broadside. a flier made primarily as a handout at bookfairs.

FENCOTT (Clive) NON HYSTERON PROTERON. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, summer 1984. 5oo copies. 5-1/2 x 8-1/4, perfectbound wrappers. a visual novel.

FIVE ON FICHE. Prose and poetry. edited by Richard Truhlar. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 198o. [25o copies?] issued as Microfiche Series #1. 5-13/16 x 4-1/8, photographic acetate broadside in 6 x 4-1/8 pocket printed offset recto only. the contributors are Michael Dean, Brian Dedora, John Riddell, Steven Smith & Truhlar. anyone with an old ‘fiche reader stashed in their walk-in closet? excited by the low cost of production of a single microprint acetate rather than an 84pp book, Truhlar plotted a series of such anthologies (it was to’ve been followed by Langscapes, an anthology of concrete/visual poetry coëdited by Riddell) but the idea petered out in the face of sparse orders: if people were going to have to go to a library to read it, let the library order it (few did).

FOUR HORSEMEN. Bootleg. Underwhich Editions, 1981.

FRATICELLI (Marco) ” Lights in the distance – “. [2nd edition. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 3 july 1985. 2oo+ copies issued as part of Heads & H&z; not released separately]. 4 pp/2 printed, rubberstamp. 4-1/4 x 3-1/2, leaflet. a poem.

FREW (Glenn) full circle. A performance for two male voices with cultured British accents. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 1983. 1oo #d copies; this copy out of series, not #d. 24 pp/18 printed, offset. 8 x 5, stapled wrappers.

GARNER (Don) ROACHES. [2nd edition. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 3 july 1985. 2oo+ copies issued as part of Heads & H&z; not released separately]. 4 pp/3 printed, photocopy. 2 x 3-1/4, leaflet. a poem. anonymous wraparound cover collage by jwcurry.

GILBERT (Gerry) year of the rush. Saskatoon & Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 1994. 78 pp/73 printed, offset. 5-1/2 x 8-3/4, perfectbound wrappers. poetry & prose, with cover photo by Majka Miozga.

GORMAN (LeRoy) Whose Smile The Ripple Warps. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 198o. 3oo copies. 2o pp/16 printed, offset. 5-3/4 x 5-3/4, perfectbound wrappers. visual poetry.

GRACE (Susan Andrews) WEARING MY FATHER. Saskatoon, Underwhich Editions, july 199o. 2oo #d copies. 24 pp/16 printed, offset. 5-1/4 x 4-1/4, sewn wrappers. poetry.

GUNNARS (Kristjana) water, waiting. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 17 june 1987. 15o #d copies. 12 pp/8 printed, offset with silkscreen cover graphic by jwcurry. 5-1/2 x 7, sewn wrappers. poetry.

HANSON (R.D) Cafeteria Scriptures. [2nd edition. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 3 july 1985. 2oo+ copies issued as part of Heads & H&z; not released separately]. 4 pp/2 printed, photocopy. 4-1/4 x 5-1/2, leaflet. a poem.

HEADS & H&Z. edited by jwcurry & Michael Dean. Toronto, Underwhich Editions, 3 july 1985. 2oo unique copies #d & signed by the editors. 36o pp/213 printed, photocopy, rubberstamp, offset, silkscreen, typescript & holograph. 9 x 11-1/2 x 1-1/2, 68 leaves, leaflets, envelopes & variously-bound pamphlets in box with separate lid & cover label (some copies have an interior ISBN label). primarily, poetry, concrete poetry & graphics, a collection of reïssues of early Curvd H&z publications (march 1979–april 1982), many in revised formats. contributors include Gregg Andely, David Aylward, Dave Beach, Brian Dedora, Don Garner, R.D.Hanson, Mark Laba, Peggy Lefler, Steve McCaffery, Bonnie McDowell, bpNichol, Jasmine Silverwind & David UU, among many others. approximately a third of the copies were destroyed in a flood while in storage.

(cont’d left)

 

Myrna Lefler. stones. Underwhich Editions, 1985. 2nd edition.

Richard Truhlar. Kali’s Alphabet. Underwhich Editions, 1982. Issued as Audiographic Series 14.

Scarborough Sound Symphony, conducted by Michael Dean. Scarborough Bluffs. Underwhich Editions, [1985?]. Issued as Audiographics Series #23.

jwcurry & Michael Dean, eds. Heads & H&z. Underwhich Editions, 1985.

Arnold Itwaru. The Sacred Presence (my father, my mother, long dead). Underwhich Editions, 1986.

 


Hornswoggle

Hornswoggle/Boondoggle/Whooskow/Absquatulate/Floccinancininibibipilification/Tremendulate/Scrambola

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…

CHEERS & FUTURITY

— 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


Suction

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


Silver

Magazines & Presses

Silver

Timothy Rubald
Moorpark, California

Sole issue.

[No number] (1972).

 


INTRODUCTION

(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
locked
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
forms
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)


Vagabond

Magazines & Presses

Vagabond

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:

VAGABOND

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:

THE TIMES ARE ALWAYS BAD …

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
Editor
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
Sparrow
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.


Gnomon

Magazines & Presses

Gnomon

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).

Sundial
, 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

Resource

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


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).

 


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.”

 


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)

Books

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.


# 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.


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.


Grist

Magazines & Presses

Grist

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.


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

Contributors

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

 


Momentum

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.


Resource

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.


Mulch

Magazines & Presses

Mulch

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.


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.


Sunshine

Magazines & Presses

Sunshine

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


Tansy

Magazines & Presses

Tansy

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
(1976–82)

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
Boston

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


the

Magazines & Presses

the

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


Oink!

Magazines & Presses

Oink!

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

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
Baron
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
jwcurry
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
Amsterdam

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).


Extensions

Magazines & Presses

Extensions

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
Arakawa
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

Resource

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

Resource

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
Berkeley

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


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
Zosimos


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


Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion

Magazines & Presses

Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion

Franklin Rosemont
Chicago

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).


Abraxas

Magazines & Presses

Abraxas

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
Boston

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
Berkeley

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.

north-coutry-medicine-bulletin-1


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).

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).


Change

Magazines & Presses

Change

Richard Brautigan and Ron Loewinsohn
San Francisco [1963].

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

change


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, BRAUTIGAN.net.


Merlin

Magazines & Presses

Merlin: A Collection of Contemporary Writing

Alexander Trocchi
Paris

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

Merlin 1 (Spring 1952).

merlin-1-1952


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.

richard-brautigan-san-francisco-public-library


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.


whe’re

Magazines & Presses

whe’re

Ron Caplan and John Sinclair
Detroit

whe’re 1 (Summer 1966). Sole issue.

where-n-1-r


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).

Details

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]


Gnaoua

Magazines & Presses

Gnaoua

Ira Cohen
Tangier, Morocco

Gnaoua 1 (Spring 1964). Sole issue.

gnaoua-r


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. 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.

Ira Cohen’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
Berkeley

Nos. 1–4 (1947–49).

Contour Quarterly 1 (April 1947).

contour-quarterly-1-1947


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-no-2-1947

Contour Quarterly 2 (September 1947).


Big Table

magazines & Presses

Big Table

Irving Rosenthal, Paul Carroll
Chicago

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.


Tuumba Press

magazines & Presses

Tuumba Press

Lyn Hejinian
Willits and Berkeley, California

1976–1984

Carla Harryman, Percentage (1979).


I founded Tuumba Press in 1976. It was a solo venture in that I had no partner(s) or assistant(s) but it was not a private or solitary one; I had come to realize that poetry exists not in isolation (alone on its lonely page) but in transit, as experience, in the social worlds of people. For poetry to exist, it has to be given meaning, and for meaning to develop there must be communities of people thinking about it. Publishing books as I did was a way of contributing to such a community—even a way of helping to invent it. Invention is essential to every aspect of a life of writing. In order to learn how to print, I invented a job for myself in the shop of a local printer. The shop was in Willits, California—a small rural town with an economy based on cattle ranching and logging; the owner of the shop (the printer, Jim Case) was adamant that “printing ain’t for girls,” but he took me on three afternoons a week as the shop’s cleaning lady. A year later I moved to Berkeley, and purchased an old Chandler-Price press from a newspaper ad. I knew how to run the press but not much about typesetting; friends (particularly Johanna Drucker and Kathy Walkup) taught me a few essentials and a number of tricks. The first eleven chapbooks (printed in Willits in 1976–77) had a slightly larger trim size than those I did myself (in a back room of the house in Berkeley)—I was using leftover paper in Willits, but in Berkeley I bought paper from a local warehouse and used the trim size that was the most economical (creating the least amount of scrap).

Dick Higgins, Cat Alley: A Long Short Novel (1976). (Tuumba 5).

Dick Higgins, Cat Alley: A Long Short Novel (1976). Tuumba 5.

The list of authors of the first books makes it clear that for the first year and a half I was looking to various modes of “experimental,” “innovative,” or “avant-garde” writing for information; the subsequent chapbooks represent a commitment to a particular community—the group of writers who came to be associated with “Language Writing.” The chapbook format appealed to me for obvious practical reasons—a shorter book meant less work (and expense) than a longer one. But there were two other advantages to the chapbook. First, most of the books I published were commissioned—I invited poets to give me a manuscript by a certain date (usually six months to a year away)—and I didn’t want to make the invitation a burden. And second, I wanted the Tuumba books to come to people in the mode of “news”—in this sense, rather than “chapbook” perhaps one should say “pamphlet.” It is for this reason, by the way, that I didn’t handsew the books; they are all stapled—a transgression in the world of fine printing but highly practical in the world of pamphleteering.

Lyn Hejinian, Berkeley, California, September 1997

Ted Greenwald, Smile (1981). (Tuumba 31.)

Ted Greenwald, Smile (1981). Tuumba 31.

Alice Notley, Doctor Williams’ Heiresses (1980). (Tuumba 28.)

Alice Notley, Doctor Williams’ Heiresses (1980). Tuumba 28.

Tuumba publications

Tuumba issued fifty pamphlets and a poster. In addition the press issued numerous small broadsides, cards, and other ephemera.

What follows is a complete checklist of the pamphlets and poster:

Andrews, Bruce. Praxis. 1978. Tuumba 18.

Armantrout, Rae. The Invention of Hunger. 1979. Tuumba 22.

Baracks, Barbara. No Sleep. 1977. Tuumba 11.

Benson, Steve. The Busses. 1981. Tuumba 32.

Bernheimer, Alan. State Lounge. 1981. Tuumba 33.

Bernstein, Charles. Senses of Responsibility. 1979. Tuumba 20.

Bromige, David. P-E-A-C-E. 1981. Tuumba 34.

Coolidge, Clark. Research. 1982. Tuumba 40.

Day, Jean. Linear C. 1983. Tuumba 43.

DiPalma, Ray. Observatory Gardens. 1979. Tuumba 24.

Dreyer, Lynne. Step Work. 1983. Tuumba 44.

Eigner, Larry. Flat and Round. 1980. Tuumba 25.

Eisenberg, Barry. Bones’ Fire. 1977. Tuumba 7.

Eshleman, Clayton. The Gospel of Celine Arnauld. 1977. Tuumba 12.

Faville, Curtis. Wittgenstein’s Door. 1980. Tuumba 29.

Fraser, Kathleen. Magritte Series. 1977. Tuumba 6.

Greenwald, Ted. Smile. 1981. Tuumba 31.

Grenier, Robert. Cambridge M’ass. 1979. Poster.

Grenier, Robert. Oakland. 1980. Tuumba 27.

Hall, Doug. Beyond the Edge. 1977. Tuumba 8.

Harryman, Carla. Percentage. 1979. Tuumba 23.

Harryman, Carla. Property. 1982. Tuumba 39.

Hejinian, Lyn. Gesualdo. 1978. Tuumba 15.

Hejinian, Lyn. The Guard. 1984. Tuumba 50.

Hejinian, Lyn. A Thought Is the Bride of What Thinking. 1976. Tuumba 1.

Higgins, Dick. Cat Alley: A Long Short Novel. 1976. Tuumba 5.

Howe, Fanny. For Erato: The Meaning of Life. 1984. Tuumba 48.

Howe, Susan. The Western Borders. 1976. Tuumba 2.

Inman, P. Ocker. 1982. Tuumba 37.

Irby, Kenneth. Archipelago. 1976. Tuumba 4.

Kahn, Paul. January. 1978. Tuumba 13.

Kostelanetz, Richard. Foreshortenings, and Other Stories. 1978. Tuumba 14.

Lipp, Jeremy. Sections from Defiled by Water. 1976. Tuumba 3.

Mandel, Tom. EncY. 1978. Tuumba 16.

Mason, John. Fade to Prompt. 1981. Tuumba 35.

Melnick, David. Men in Aida: Book One. 1983. Tuumba 47.

Notley, Alice. Doctor Williams’ Heiresses. 1980. Tuumba 28.

Palmer, Michael. Alogon. 1980. Tuumba 30.

Perelman, Bob. a.k.a. 1979. Tuumba 19.

Perelman, Bob. To the Reader. 1984. Tuumba 49.

Price, Larry. Proof. 1982. Tuumba 42.

Robinson, Kit. Riddle Road. 1982. Tuumba 41.

Robinson, Kit. Tribute to Nervous. 1980. Tuumba 26.

Rodefer, Stephen. Plane Debris. 1981. Tuumba 36.

Seaton, Peter. Crisis Intervention. 1983. Tuumba 45.

Silliman, Ron. ABC. 1983. Tuumba 46.

Silliman, Ron. Sitting Up, Standing, Taking Steps. 1978. Tuumba 17.

Watten, Barrett. Complete Thought. 1982. Tuumba 38.

Watten, Barrett. Plasma / Paralleles / “X”. 1979. Tuumba 21.

Wilk, David. For You/For Sure. 1977. Tuumba 9.

Woodall, John. Recipe: Collected Thoughts for Considering the Void. 1977. Tuumba 10.

Resource

Scans of the complete run of Tuumba are available on the Eclipse website.


Sun & Moon

magazines & Presses

Sun & Moon

Douglas Messerli
College Park, Maryland, and Los Angeles

Nos. 1–18 (1976–86).

Sun & Moon 1 (Winter 1976).


Sun & Moon magazine ran from 1976 to 1986, publishing eighteen issues, and Sun & Moon Press began in College Park, Maryland, in 1978 with the publication of poet Charles Bernstein’s Shade, with a cover by Susan B. Laufer. The press and magazine soon moved to Los Angeles. It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of Sun & Moon to the community of experimentally minded writers in the United States, West or East Coast. A vibrant and flourishing publishing concern, continuing in the footsteps of New Directions, Sun & Moon effectively established a new avant-garde tradition for the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. The press and the magazine mixed cultures past and present. The books were beautifully and carefully produced and printed in runs of 1,000 to 2,000 copies, which, according to proprietor Messerli, kept the unit costs down. Among the many avant-garde and experimental writers Sun & Moon has published are Henry James, André Breton, Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, Jackson Mac Low, Barrett Watten, Lyn Hejinian, and Charles Bernstein in the Classics series, Lewis Warsh, Johnny Stanton, Curtis White, and Paul Auster in the New American Fiction series, and Rae Armantrout, Clark Coolidge, and Dennis Phillips in the New American Poetry series.

Charles Bernstein, Shade (1978). Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series no. 1. Cover by Susan B. Laufer.

Charles Bernstein, Shade (1978). Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series no. 1. Cover by Susan B. Laufer.

David Antin, whos listening out there (1979). Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series no. 4. Cover by the author.

David Antin, whos listening out there (1979). Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series no. 4. Cover by the author.

Sun & Moon Press books include

Ahern, Tom. Hecatombs of Lake. 1984. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 21.

Antin, David. whos listening out there. 1979. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 4.

Bernstein, Charles. Content’s Dream: Essays 1975–1984. 1986.

Bernstein, Charles. Shade. 1978. Cover by Susan B. Laufer. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 1.

Brownstein, Michael. Oracle Night. 1982. Cover drawing by the author. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 13.

Cory, Jean-Jacques. Particulars. 1980. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 8.

Darragh, Tina. on the corner   to   off the corner. 1981. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 10.

DiPalma, Ray. Cuiva Sails. 1978. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 2.

Frank, Peter. The Travelogues (1971–1977). 1982. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, No. 12.

Greenwald, Ted. Word of Mouth. 1986.

Hejinian, Lyn. The Cold of Poetry. 1994.

Herbert, F. John. The Collected Poems of Sir Winston Churchill. 1981. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 9.

Inman, P. Platin. 1979. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 5.

Mac Low, Jackson. From Pearl Harbor Day to FDR’s Birthday. 1982. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 14.

Messerli, Douglas. Dinner on the Lawn. 1979; revised edition 1982. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 7.

Messerli, Douglas, ed. Contemporary American Fiction. 1983. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 18.

Sherry, James. In Case. 1981. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 11.

Stehman, John. Space Dictation. 1978. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 3.

Vance, Ronald. I Went to Italy and Ate Chocolate. 1979. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 6.

Warsh, Lewis. A Free Man. 1991.

Warsh, Lewis. Methods of Birth Control. 1983. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 16.

Weinstein, Jeff. Life in San Diego. 1983. Cover and artwork by Ira Joel Haber. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 17.

Wine, James. Longwalks. 1982. Sun & Moon Contemporary Literature Series, no. 14.


Là-Bas, experimental poetry and poetics

magazines & Presses

Là-Bas, experimental poetry and poetics

Douglas Messerli
College Park, Maryland

Nos. 1–13 (1976–79).

Là-Bas 9 (November/December 1977).

la-bas-9-november-december-1977


The thirteen mimeographed issues of the newsletter Là-Bas were published with great style and verve (as well as care and continuity). Editor Messerli described its mission in the first issue: “Là-Bas is sent free to poets who in their poetry have shown an interest in a poetry which (as Harold Norse in a letter to Là-Bas recently described) is not ‘poured into moulds,’ and whose poetry has reflected a valuing of the poetic process over artifact. Certainly Là-Bas is not entirely a new idea; the great mimeo magazines such as 0 to 9, “C,” The Floating Bear, the Once series, Open Space and The World have all in the past supported similar principles. But there is always a need for such publications to remind us that poetry is a force as much as a form.

And, currently—while there are many ‘little’ magazines publishing exciting poetry—there are very few publications intrinsically involved with the necessary interchange between the individual poet and the poetry community at large. Moreover, Là-Bas is something new, one hopes, not merely a new version of an old idea. Là-Bas prints not only new poetry, but revisions and reactions (response to poetry, theory, news of interest to poets—whatever). And, most importantly, because it is a poet’s publication, not a publisher’s, Là-Bas seeks new ideas and suggestions…. Like the poetry it publishes, Là-Bas will not be poured into moulds.”

la-bas-7-may-1977

Là-Bas 7 (May 1977).

Là-Bas 11 (March–April, 1978) This issue guest edited by Phyllis Rosenzweig and Bernard Welt.

Là-Bas 11 (March–April 1978). This issue guest-edited by Phyllis Rosenzweig and Bernard Welt.


Roof

magazines & Presses

Roof

James Sherry and Tom Savage; later James Sherry
New York

Nos. 1–10 (1976–79).

Roof Books continues to publish.

Roof 1 (Summer 1976).

roof-1-1976


Roof was to hold all the different writing tendencies under it. The first issue included many of America’s best-known writers of the time: Ashbery, Creeley, Duncan, and Ginsberg to name a few. It also contained many new writers who were at Naropa for that session. The well-known writers were supportive of what I was doing so long as it furthered the aims of their writing, but they were not supportive of alternative tendencies in writing that cut across the grain of the established conflict in American letters. (At the time, the conflict was between the day-to-day personism of the New York School/Beat group against the “Academic” modernism. Looking back on it today, we see the conflict as the two sides of the Objectivist tendency, but then it was a serious cultural conflict between liberal academics and the counterculture.) I did not feel that the established writers were interested in the same issues as the younger writers, so for the second issue of Roof I put out the word that I was publishing new writing by new writers. I met and published Bruce Andrews, Charles Bernstein, and Ron Silliman, and others of what was to become language poetry.

Robert Grenier, A Day at the Beach (1984). Co-published with the Segue Foundation.

Robert Grenier, A Day at the Beach (1984). Copublished with the Segue Foundation.

Soon after I published the third issue of Roof, Andrews and Bernstein started L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, a magazine devoted to critical writing by poets. The energy of the moment swung decisively in the direction of a more complex and political prosody as opposed to simplified prosody with political or personal content. The tendency included a group of about ten poets in New York, twenty in the Bay Area, five in D.C., and a few others scattered about the country and in Canada who began to read each other in a different way than we read any other poetry. In the beginning of language writing, there were public “Talks” and private meetings to discuss what poetry might be, and publications like Roof, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, This, Hills, and Sun & Moon to publish and promote it. People began to derisively call it a school and attack both its methods and its politics, but it was clear that most, not all, of the talented younger writers were interested in these issues. I began to publish longer sections of people’s work at the same time that the poets were writing longer pieces, and grouping poets by geography. In 1978, I began to publish books, with my own Part Songs. Since then, Roof has published about one hundred books, including several by Ron Silliman, Bruce Andrews, Hannah Weiner, Kit Robinson, Bob Perelman, Jackson Mac Low, Nicole Brossard, and Diane Ward. Roof is also known for critical books such as Bernstein’s edited The Politics of Poetic Form: Poetry and Public Policy, Alan Davies’s Signage, Steve McCaffery’s North of Intention, and Ron Silliman’s The New Sentence.

— James Sherry, New York City, November 1997

Roof books include

Andrews, Bruce. Wobbling. 1981. Copublished with the Segue Foundation.

Bernstein, Charles. Controlling Interests. 1980. Copublished with the Segue Foundation.

Davies, Alan. Active 24 Hours. 1982. Copublished with the Segue Foundation.

Day, Jean. A Young Recruit. 1988.

Gottlieb, Michael. Ninety-six Tears. 1981. Copublished with the Segue Foundation.

Grenier, Robert. A Day at the Beach. 1984. Copublished with the Segue Foundation.

McCaffery, Steve. North of Intention: Critical Writings 1973–1986. 1986.

Seaton, Peter. The Son Master. 1982.

Sherry, James. Part Songs. 1978.

Silliman, Ron. The Age of Huts. 1986. Cover drawing by Lee Sherry.

Silliman, Ron. The New Sentence. 1987.

Weiner, Hannah. Little Books/Indians. 1980. Copublished with the Segue Foundation.

Resource

Scans of the complete run of Roof are available on the Roof page at Jacket 2.


The Figures

magazines & Presses

The Figures

Geoffrey Young and Laura Chester; later Geoffrey Young
Berkeley, and Great Barrington, Massachusetts

1975–2005

Lydia Davis, Story and Other Stories (1985).

lydia-davis-story-and-other-stories-the-figures-1985


Geoff Young and Laura Chester began The Figures in 1975 in Berkeley, claiming the name of the press from Charles Olson’s Maximus Poems. Young and Chester had earlier edited Stooge magazine, which had provided them with the experience in publishing they needed to begin their small press. The Figures grew to be one of the three or four most important publishers of experimental writing in the country, publishing some 135 titles. Its first publication, Mixed Doubles: Fifteen Poems by Artie Gold and Geoff Young, was an elegant limited edition.

Jack Collom and Lyn Hejinian (2000).

Jack Collom and Lyn Hejinian, Sunflower (2000).

But the press really hit its stride three years later, in 1978, with a host of titles by younger language-centered writers in simpler but carefully produced “trade” editions with good covers. Among the important books The Figures published in 1978 are Steve Benson’s As Is, Kit Robinson’s Down and Back, Rae Armantrout’s Extremities, Christopher Dewdney’s Spring Trances in the Control Emerald Night, and Bob Perelman’s 7 Works. Although never again equaling in one year this annus mirabilis of language writing, the press went on to achieve a solid list including, among other important works, Lydia Davis’s Story and Other Stories; Clark Coolidge’s The Crystal Text; Johanna Drucker’s Italy; Steve Benson’s Blue Book; Lyn Hejinian’s Oxota: A Short Russian Novel; and festschrifts for James Schuyler in 1991 and Bernadette Mayer in 1995; as well as Ted: A Personal Memoir of Ted Berrigan by Ron Padgett (1993). Young informally closed The Figures in 2005, although he has published a couple of titles under the imprint since: his own The Point Less Taken (2013) and Michael Gizzi’s Complete Poems (2015).

Kathleen Fraser, Each Next: Narratives (1980).

Kathleen Fraser, Each Next: Narratives (1980).

The Figures books include

Auster, Paul. Wall Writing. 1976.

Benedetti, David. Nictitating Membrane. 1976. Prints by Allen Schiller.

Benson, Steve. As Is. 1978.

Benson, Steve. Blue Book. 1988. Published in association with Roof. Cover image by Ross Bleckner.

Bernheimer, Alan. Cafe Isotope. 1980.

Chester, Laura. My Pleasure. 1980. Cover reproduction of a painting by Guy Williams.

Clark, Tom. Baseball. 1976. Cover and other illustrations by the author.

Collom, Jack, and Lyn Hejinian. Sunflower. 2000.

Davidson, Michael. The Prose of Fact. 1981. Cover reproduction of a painting by Richard Diebenkorn.

Davis, Lydia. Story and Other Stories. 1983. Cover photograph by Lizbeth Marano.

Dewdney, Christopher. Spring Trances in the Control Emerald Night. 1978.

Drucker, Johanna. Italy. 1980. Cover and drawings by the author.

Einzig, Barbara. Disappearing Work: A Recounting. 1979. Cover by Mercy Goodwin.

Fraser, Kathleen. Each Next: Narratives. 1980.

Gold, Artie, and Geoff Young. Mixed Doubles: Fifteen Poems. 1975.

Hejinian, Lyn. Writing Is an Aid to Memory. 1978.

Perelman, Bob. 7 Works. 1978. Cover by Francie Shaw.

Raworth, Tom. Ace. 1977. Illustrations by Barry Hall.

Rice, Stan. Some Lamb. 1975.

Robinson, Kit. Down and Back. 1978.

Rodefer, Stephen. The Bell Clerk’s Tears Keep Flowing. 1978.

Silliman, Ron. Tjanting. 1981. Introduction by Barrett Watten.

Young, Geoff. Subject to Fits. 1980. Cover by Mel Bochner.


Hills

Magazines & Presses

Hills

Bob Perelman and Michael Waltuch
Iowa City, Cambridge, San Francisco and Berkeley

Nos. 1–9 (March 1973–Spring 1983).

Bob Perelman and Michael Waltuch (1); Bob Perelman (2–9).

No. 6/7 is the double issue “Talks.” Covers by Francie Shaw (1, 2, 4, 6/7), Francis Shaw and John Bakti (3), and John Winet (5).

Hills 2 (March 1973). Cover by Francie Shaw.


Edited by Bob Perelman, and following him all over the country, Hills was the sweetest of all language-centered journals, with covers often resembling cows. The first issue, from Iowa City, was coedited with Michael Waltuch and included the work of Iowa poet Darrell Gray, as well as some experimental and exotic work by Kit Robinson and Josephine Clare. Included also are some of the earliest translations (by Anselm Hollo, Eliot Anderson, and editor Perelman) of the Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun. All the work in this first issue is clustered toward the top of the page, leaving white space below. Hills 2 is typed on a more elegant typewriter (perhaps by Bob Grenier) and some of his Sentences appear within, for instance: “SWEET / expect accept object.” Hills 4 was typeset by Barrett Watten, and includes work by Ron Silliman, Carla Harryman, Bruce Andrews, and Fanny Howe, as well as Iowan and Poetry Comics editor Dave Morice. With issue 5, Perelman and the magazine moved to San Francisco, and the cover is appropriately reproduced from a photo by Jon Winet of Center Ice, The Cow Palace.

Hills 2 (n. d.). Cover by Francie Shaw.

The very famous and important double issue 6/7 prints a number of the “Talks” then given in different San Francisco venues (including the San Francisco Art Institute, 80 Langton Street, and various lofts and apartments). According to Perelman, the talk series began in 1977 and numbered nearly forty over the next five or so years: “A ‘talk’ is a broad designation—was the situation educational, creational, dramatic? Was information to be presented or were values to be embodied: was the focus on the speaker or the community or the speaker and audience? The answers varied. All speakers were presented with a common problem: to say something in public. In various cases this meant talking spontaneously, referring to notes and texts, reading written out essays, or abandoning written essays in midstream.” Talkers included Bill Berkson, Barrett Watten on “Russian Formalism and the Present,” Steve Benson with “Views of Communist China,” Bob Perelman on “The First Person,” Michael Davidson on “The Prose of Fact,” and Ron Silliman on “The New Sentence.” Hills 8 includes a play by Carla Harryman entitled The Third Man. Its cast included Steve Benson and Kit Robinson.

Hills 3 (April 1976). Cover by John Batki and Francie Shaw.

Hills 3 (April 1976). Cover by John Batki and Francie Shaw.

Resource

Scans of the complete run of Hills are available on the Eclipse website.


Vort

magazines & Presses

Vort

Barry Alpert
Silver Spring, Maryland

Vol. 1, nos. 1–3; vol. 2, nos. 1–3; vol. 3, nos. 1–3 (1972–76).

Vort, vol. 1, no. 1 (Fall 1972).

vort-no-1-fall-1972


For all but one of its nine issues, Vort followed the same pattern in its plain, large-format issues, creating a little critical universe for each of two authors. The sole divergence from the pattern was the fifth issue, which was devoted wholly to Robert Kelly and his work. Perhaps more an encyclopedia in parts than a magazine or journal, the issues included a photograph of each author, a small collection of each author’s work, three or four critical studies, homages, commentaries, and long and detailed interviews with each author by editor Alpert. Throughout its existence, Vort covered the following writers: Ed Dorn and Tom Raworth, Anselm Hollo and Ted Berrigan, David Bromige and Ken Irby, Fielding Dawson and Jonathan Williams, Robert Kelly, Gilbert Sorrentino and Donald Phelps, David Antin and Jerome Rothenberg, Jackson Mac Low and Armand Schwerner, and, in the last issue, Guy Davenport and Ronald Johnson. Planned but never completed were issues on the work of John Ashbery, John Cage, Jack Hirschman, David Meltzer, and Something Else Press alumni. Vort is an unfortunately unfinished encyclopedia of the New American Poetry, but is still very useful for the information it contains and still a relevant model.

Vort vol. 3, no. 2 (no. 8) (1975).

Vort, vol. 3, no. 2 (no. 8) (1975).


Tottel’s

magazines & Presses

Tottel’s

Ron Silliman
Oakland and San Francisco

Nos. 1–18 (1970–81)

Tottel’s 1 [1970].

tottels-1-nd-1970


Named after the first anthology of English poetry, Tottel’s Miscellany of 1557, Ron Silliman’s mimeo Tottel’s published mostly controversial and always innovative work. In each of eighteen issues, with contributors including Bruce Andrews, Rae Armantrout, Clark Coolidge, Ray DiPalma, Larry Eigner, David Gitin, Robert Grenier, David Melnick, and Thomas Meyer, Silliman printed the most radically disjunctive work he could find. One of the original San Francisco language poets, he seemed driven by his own catholic and authentic background to organize (he has been a prison and tenants rights organizer, editor of the Socialist Review, a lobbyist, and teacher). Silliman’s biographical statement in Michael Lally’s anthology None of the Above: New Poets of the U.S.A. (1976) can serve as a good introduction to Tottel’s: “I started out as a conventional writer of lyrical poems, but, as the forms I’d inherited, common to any writer circa ’65/’66, had no more reason or meaning for their existence than conformity & habit, I became quickly frustrated & bored. I wanted something more than a half-art.

Tottel’s 17 (1978). Cover: “Philip Whalen models ‘Fat Pants’ made by Alaya Stitchery.”

Tottel’s 17 (1978). On the cover, “Philip Whalen models ‘Fat Pants’ made by Alaya Stitchery.”

The pseudo-formalist approach of the post-Projective writers, with which I experimented for a time, offered no real solution. At best, the equation of the page to ‘scored speech’ was a rough metaphor & it excluded more of the world than it could bring in…. Thus when Coolidge & then Grenier extended the definition of language beyond discourse, it seemed that a reinvestigation of the whole act of writing was not only possible, but necessary. Any other tendency now is mere decoration.” Silliman has published an influential collection of essays, The New Sentence (1987), and edited a defining anthology of language writing, In the American Tree (1986). Two of his own volumes, Ketjak (1978) and Tjanting (1981), are widely respected for their radical experimentation and lively rebelliousness. He has taken as his literary mothers Gertrude Stein and Laura Riding, which helps explain his conflation of politics and poetics: “poetics must be concerned with the process by which writing is organized politically into literature” and “there can be no such thing as a formal problem in poetry which is not a social one as well.”

Tottel's 3 (June1971). This whole issue is devoted to publishing the poems of Rae Armantrout.

Tottel’s 3 (June 1971).

Resource

Scans of the complete run of Tottel’s are available on the Eclipse website.


This

magazines & Presses

This

Barrett Watten and Robert Grenier;
later Barrett Watten

Lanesville, Massachusetts; Iowa City; Franconia, New Hampshire;
San Francisco and Oakland

Nos. 1–12 (Winter 1971–Fall 1982).

No. 5 includes a 16 page card insert by Robert Grenier. All covers are by Barrett Watten, except no. 1 (Amy Grenier) and no. 4 (Louise Stanley).

Barrett Watten and Robert Grenier (1–5); Barrett Watten (6–12).

This 1 (Winter 1971). Cover by Amy Grenier.

this-1-winter-1971


In his landmark critical history, The Marginalization of Poetry: Language Writing and Literary History, Bob Perelman stressed the importance of the creation of literary venues (magazines and small presses) for the nurturing of new writing, singling out This for particular attention, as “the first self-conscious journal of what would become known as language writing. The name and character of the movement were uninvented at the time, nor were many of the future participants in touch yet, but the magazine was clearly motivated by a sense of literary progress.” In his discussion, Perelman places This and language writing in the context of literary history, providing for it a distinguished genealogy: “At the time there were many writers, involved in different social formations and providing various formal models, from which language writing would arise.

This, 9 (Winter 1978–79) Cover and photographs by Barrett Watten.

This 9 (Winter 1978–79). Cover and photographs by Barrett Watten.

A short list would include figures associated with Black Mountain, the New York School, the San Francisco Renaissance: Charles Olson, Frank O’Hara, and Jack Spicer, each of whom had recently died but whose work was still appearing; Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Larry Eigner; the aleatory work of Jackson Mac Low and John Cage; John Ashbery, Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, Clark Coolidge, Bernadette Mayer, and Ron Padgett; Tom Raworth, David Bromige, and Michael Palmer. The Objectivists were still active and were in fact a much stronger presence than they had been in prior decades: George Oppen had just won the Pulitzer Prize and Louis Zukofsky was in the process of finishing “A.” …Compared to the range of formal possibilities and social groupings and postures this partial list includes, the work and literary information in This 1 was quite limited. But [the magazine was] important in its positing of literary space. It established, at least in embryonic form, a way of connecting private reading and writing desires with some sense of public consequence and thus with a future. All the above writers could conceivably be used, not simply read.”

“One could see, without reading any of the words in the issue, that This 1 issued a double appeal to fresh beginnings and revered ancestors. The cover displays drawings by Grenier’s very young daughter Amy done at the stage when signification was just beginning to emerge from marks on paper (i.e., when big circles first mean heads and two smaller circles with centered dots mean eyes). Balancing this originary gesture, inside were photos of the masters: one of Charles Olson, who had died the previous year, and one shot from street level of the very old Pound…. The issue’s simultaneous claim to originariness, a tradition, and a productive future follows the basic patterns of Pound’s, Zukofsky’s, and Olson’s manifestos.”

Bob Perelman, The Marginalization of Poetry: Language Writing and Literary History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996)

Barrett Watten, Decay (1977).

Barrett Watten, Decay (1977).

This Press books include

Andrews, Bruce. Sonnets (Momento Mori). 1980.

Coolidge, Clark. The Maintains. 1974.

Coolidge, Clark. Quartz Hearts. 1978.

Eigner, Larry. Country / Harbor / Quiet / Act / Around: Selected Prose. 1978. Introduction by Douglas Woolf. Edited by Barrett Watten.

Greenwald, Ted. You Bet! 1978.

Grenier, Robert. Series: Poems 1967–1971. 1978. Cover by Francie Shaw.

Harryman, Carla. Under the Bridge. 1980.

Perelman, Bob. Primer. 1981.

Robinson, Kit. The Dolch Stanzas, 1976.

Silliman, Ron. Ketjak. 1978.

Watten, Barrett. Decay. 1977.

Watten, Barrett. 1–10. 1980.

This 4 (Spring 1973). Cover by Louise Stanley.

This 4 (Spring 1973). Cover by Louise Stanley.

Resource

A scan of Barrett Watten’s index to the complete run of This is available on the Eclipse website.

 

 


Joglars

Magazine & Presses

Joglars

Clark Coolidge and George [Michael] Palmer
Cambridge, and Providence, Rhode Island

Nos. 1–3 (1964–66).

Joglars 3 (1966). Cover by John Furnival.

joglars-vol-1no-3-1966


The first push toward Joglars came in the summer of 1963 at Vancouver in Warren Tallman’s kitchen. Charles Olson was telling a bunch of young poets how we ought to start a magazine to publish poets’ correspondence, specifically that between Charles and Bob Creeley. So Fred Wah, Michael Palmer, and I began discussing a possible three-way editorship. But when we all got home the plan broke in two, Fred starting Sum in New Mexico and Michael and I Joglars from Cambridge (MP) and Providence (CC). We did the first two issues together and then I did the third one myself when Michael went to Europe. The title came from Michael, and his interest in the Troubadours. Like most starting poets I think we wanted primarily to find and show more of the work we were fascinated with (it was such a rich period, compared to now) plus get in touch with the poets who were writing it. Issue 3 shows my increasing interest in the younger New York School poets, and a brief brush with the Concrete movement. And now it strikes me as odd that we didn’t publish Olson in the magazine. Or Creeley. A life of its own.

— Clark Coolidge, The Berkshires, Massachusetts, September 23, 1997

Joglars, vol. 1, no. 2 (Winter 1964).

Joglars 2 (Winter 1964).

Joglars, vol. 1, no. 1 (Spring 1964).

Joglars 1 (Spring 1964).


L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E

magazines & Presses

L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E

Charles Bernstein and Bruce Andrews
New York

February 1978–October 1981.

Vols. 1–3 consist of thirteen issues (9 and 10 were a double issue), three supplements, and one table of contents for vols. 1–4. Vol. 4 was published as an issue of the Canadian journal Open Letter (Fifth Series, no. 1, Winter 1982). Open Letter is edited by Frank Davey; the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E issue was edited by Charles Bernstein and Bruce Andrews.

L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E 1 (February 1978).

language-vol-1-no-1-feb-1978


The early to mid-1970s marked a rising ferment of experimental activity in the poetry world: the most extreme texts of the previous decade tumbling out, the coming (or returning) into print of earlier radical modernist works shaking up the apparent canon, the development of new preoccupations and modes of working that could not be contained within the mainstream or even within the available (and established) alternatives, and cross-pollinations with other art forms confronting similar problems and opportunities—all against a backdrop of political and social unsettling, at home and abroad. Face-to-face communities of aesthetically radicalized poets sprang up in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and Washington, D.C., where new reading series, presses, and magazines set the stage for intense discussions of new poetic possibilities as well as critical and historical thinking about poetry by the poets themselves (rather than by scholars or critics). Animated discussion of poetics went on in letters, in conversation, and in public talks, but there was no print forum for these ongoing exchanges.

Announcement for the publication of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, ca. 1977.

Announcement for the publication of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, ca. 1977.

And so, in 1977, in consultation with Ron Silliman in California, we sketched out plans for a New York–based, self-produced magazine of information and commentary, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. The first issue appeared in February 1978 and went out to our initial subscribers—about 200 by the end of the first year—and was also distributed through a few bookstores. The first three volumes were typed on legal-size sheets on an IBM Selectric typewriter, sprayed to prevent smearing, and then pasted into our format by our designer, Susan Bee. The initial run was offset printed, although we often produced additional copies by photocopying. We stopped publishing the magazine in 1981, with our fourth volume, a perfect-bound book copublished with the Toronto magazine Open Letter. In 1984, Southern Illinois University Press published an anthology, The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book, including about half of what we had published; this anthology was reissued by the press in 1997.

— Bruce Andrews and Charles Bernstein, New York City, September 1997

Bruce Andrews, Charles Bernstein, Ray DiPalma, Steve McCaffery, and Ron Silliman. Legend (1980) L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E / Segue,. Cover by Betsi Bradfass.

Bruce Andrews, Charles Bernstein, Ray DiPalma, Steve McCaffery, and Ron Silliman, Legend (1980). Cover by Betsi Brandfass.

Also issued

Legend, collaborations by Bruce Andrews, Charles Bernstein, Ray DiPalma, Steve McCaffery, and Ron Silliman. 1980. Copublished with the Segue Foundation.

Resource

Scans of the complete run of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E are available on the Eclipse website.


Mag City

magazines & Presses

Mag City

Gary Lenhart, Gregory Masters,
and Michael Scholnick

New York

Nos. 1–14 (1977–83).

Covers by David Borchard (10), Rudy Burckhardt (14), Louise Hamlin (9), Yvonne Jacquette (6), Alex Katz (14, back cover), Barry Kornbluh (2, 13), Rochelle Kraut (11), Steve Levine (4), George Schneeman (12), and Lee Sherry (3).

Mag City 10 (1980). Cover by David Borchard.

mag-city-no-10-1980


Mag City was a party in print. It was started to give a form to a literary scene that existed in the East Village, disenchanted with mainstream values. In the mid-’70s this neighborhood provided for a confluence of young artists, poets, musicians. The workshops led by Ted Berrigan and Alice Notley at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church were where the third generation of New York School poets began to develop. Everyone attended the Monday and Wednesday night readings at the Project and would then convene in various bars afterward—Les Mykta, Grassroots, Orchidia, El Centro. Most of the poets worked part-time jobs or worked a few months and took off a few months. We wanted to be ready for the poem. We lived for poetry and were grateful to have discovered there were others like us out there whose priorities were complementary.

Mag City 12 (1981). Cover by George Schneeman.

Mag City 12 (1981). Cover by George Schneeman.

Michael Scholnick, Gary Lenhart, and I lived in a tenement on East 12th Street. Other poets had preceded us there. We had no heat or hot water for two very cold winters. We didn’t know to be outraged. We assumed that was part of our training for being poets. The three of us were together a lot and we went to The Poetry Project and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in its early days on East Sixth Street. Michael had had Miguel Algarín as a teacher at Rutgers so we were welcomed there and encouraged to get up and read our poems. The tradition of small press publishing emboldened us to publish our poems ourselves. But by the time we got Mag City going in 1977, offset printing was cheap enough and then the Xerox copier became available. Michael came up with the name and we asked our comrades for their poems. From the beginning our idea was to publish hefty chunks of work, as no other magazines were doing that.

At a typical meeting, we’d read each poem aloud and come to a consensus. There were never any arguments. If one of us believed strongly enough in a work, the others usually trusted enough to defer. We usually drew from the locals and then sent off letters to others whose work we admired. Sometimes we received material from as far away as China, where our friend Simon Schuchat was sojourning. We were honored to also publish Allen Ginsberg, Edwin Denby, Rudy Burckhardt, Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, Ed Sanders, James Schuyler, Ron Padgett, and Bonnie Bremser in our pages. Publishing precedents were Lewis Warsh and Anne Waldman’s Angel Hair Press, Ted Berrigan’s “C” Press, Ed Sanders’s Fuck You/ a magazine of the arts, Larry Fagin’s Adventures in Poetry, and Lewis Warsh and Bernadette Mayer’s United Artists magazine and books.

Among our friends, Simon Schuchat’s 432 Review, Eileen Myles’s dodgems and the one-shot Ladies Museum, Elinor Nauen, Maggie Dubris, and Rachel Walling’s KOFF magazine, Jeff Wright’s Hard Press poetry postcard series, Tom Savage’s Gandhabba, Tom Weigel’s Tangerine magazine and anthologies, served up similar delights. The work printed in the fourteen issues of Mag City is too diverse to classify. It’s mostly confessional and personal. The work is decidedly unacademic, meaning the poems’ emphasis is content, not form, leaving rough edges, all the more for impact. If the work wasn’t always politically engaged, it offered reactions and responses to the malaise in this company. We were weathering a decade of Republican leadership that was contemptuous of free expression, individual peculiarities, social justice, and fun. The poems were often chatty and attempted to be accessible and entertaining by discoursing in common speech. They celebrated the common, the daily, and the immediate.

Greg Masters, New York City, November 1995

Mag City 4 (1978). Cover by Steve Levine.


Remember I Did This For You/A Power Mad Book

magazines & Presses

Remember I Did This For You/A Power Mad Book

Steve Levine and Barbara Barg
New York

1978–1979

Bob Holman, Tear to Open (this this this this this this) (1979).

bob-holman-tear-to-open-this-this-this-this-this-this-power-mad-press-1979


Remember I Did This For You press was conceived for reasons I am unable to fully recall. But seriously, its aim was essentially like that of most other mimeograph poetry presses: to publish the then younger poets whose work was worthy and unavailable in book form, to further establish those writers’ (and the publisher’s) reputations in the community of poets, and to reach out to whatever audience for their work might exist. The name of the press was a tongue-in-cheek one; it was meant to reflect the somewhat self-serving nature of such publishing. Three of the Remember I Did This For You books were brought out simultaneously, with seemingly identical covers. This was an attempt to create interest in the books and present them as parts of an ongoing series, to distinguish them from the mass of similar productions, and to establish a visual identity for the press. Unfortunately, unlike the more notable mimeo presses of the time, Remember I Did This For You was short-lived and had only four terrific publications to its name.

Steve Levine, Brooklyn, New York, October 1997

Eileen Myles, A Fresh Young Voice from the Plains (1981). Cover photograph by Irene Young.

Eileen Myles, A Fresh Young Voice from the Plains (Power Mad Press, 1981). Cover photograph by Irene Young.

Remember I Did This For You/A Power Mad Book books include

Lenhart, Gary. Drunkard’s Dream. 1978. Cover by Rae Berolzheimer.

Masters, Gregory. In the Air. 1978. Cover by Rae Berolzheimer.

Myles, Eileen. A Fresh Young Voice from the Plains. 1981. Cover photograph by Irene Young.

Scholnick, Michael. Perfume. 1978. Cover by Rae Berolzheimer.

Wright, Jeff. Charges. 1979. Cover by Jim Moser.


Clothesline/Jim Brodey Books

magazines & Presses

Clothesline/Jim Brodey Books

Jim Brodey
New York

Vol. 1, no. l–vol. 2, no. 2 (September 1965–1970).

James Brodey, Fleeing Madly South (Clothesline Editions, 1967).

jim-brodey-fleeing-madly-south-clothesline-editions-1967


Clothesline was edited by young poet Jim Brodey, whose charm and wit were winning enough to secure the likes of Frank O’Hara (his teacher at the New School), Kenneth Koch, Tony Towle, John Giorno, John Perreault, Kathleen Fraser, Michael Goldberg, and Bill Berkson for the magazine, which lasted for only two (very distant from each other) issues (1965 and 1970). Brodey returned the graciousness of his own elders when he was barely an elder himself, and became an important force for poetry in the 1970s, as suggested by poet John Godfrey in his preface to Brodey’s Heart of the Breath, Poems 1979–1992: “On several occasions he directed workshops at The Poetry Project, and his hour-long visits to fellow poets could, on a good day, be workshops in themselves. North America contains reams of collaborations aired-out during such visits.

Eileen Myles, The Irony of the Leash (1978). Jim Brodey Books. Cover by Steve Levine.

Eileen Myles, The Irony of the Leash (1978). Jim Brodey Books. Cover by Steve Levine.

Brodey could be extremely sensitive to and appreciative of the poems of others, and his encouragement led many younger poets to publish and often edit their own magazines. He could be an intense and inspiring friend.” Jim Brodey Books was personal and very small, publishing only four books, including Brodey’s own Piranha Yoga (published to coincide with a reading Brodey gave with Allen Ginsberg on December 8, 1977) and Eileen Myles’s The Irony of the Leash. Jim Brodey Books was occasional in the best sense of the word, belonging as it did to the core of the poet/publisher’s life (“…there is one poem we all write out of our entire existence alive. There is also the poem in the air we breathe, its vapors and juices renew us always.”). There were always, after all, newer and more exciting things to be done.

Jim Brodey, Piranha Yoga (1977). Jim Brodey Books. Introduction by John Godfrey. Photographs by James Hamilton.

Jim Brodey, Piranha Yoga (1977). Jim Brodey Books. Introduction by John Godfrey. Photographs by James Hamilton.

Jim Brodey Books/Clothesline Editions books include

Brodey, Jim. Fleeing Madly South. 1967. Cover by Bill Beckman.

Brodey, Jim. Piranha Yoga. 1977. Introduction by John Godfrey. Photographs by James Hamilton.

Myles, Eileen. The Irony of the Leash. 1978. Cover by Steve Levine.

Savage, Tom. Personalities. 1978. Cover by Alice Notley.


Telephone

magazines & Presses

Telephone

Maureen Owen
New York

Nos. 1–18 (1969–83).

Covers by Joe Brainard (3), Donna Dennis (6), Sonia Fox (2), Joe Giordano (11), John Giorno (7), Hugh Kepets (12, 14), Dave Morice (13, 16), Paula North (6, 9), Lauren Owen (4), Charles Plymell (8), Emilio Schneeman (5), George Schneeman (1), and Britton Wilkie (10).

Telephone 13 (1980). Cover by Dave Morice.

maureen-owen-telephone-no-16


I came to the Lower East Side by way of San Francisco, Japan, and Bronson, Missouri. I was with Lauren Owen at the time, and when we got to New York, we stayed at the apartment of his friends from Tulsa, Ron and Patty Padgett. Ron and another pal, Johnny Stanton, told me about the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s. I immediately took myself over there and began going to readings and meeting other poets. Anne Waldman was bringing out The World, and it was very exciting. I started thinking about doing books and putting a magazine of my own together. I went over to St. Mark’s and asked Anne if I could use the Gestetner to launch my new press. She and Larry Fagin instructed me in the use of stencils, which was not as easy as it sounded, a tricky business at best. I added illustrations.

Howe, Susan. Hinge Picture. 1974.

Susan Howe, Hinge Picture. 1974.

My light table was a window. I would hold the stencil up against the window and trace the drawing I wanted to use. Tom Veitch, whom I barely knew, volunteered to run the Gestetner for me and show me how to actually mimeograph. I’ll never forget that first page coming off the big roller. Like a miracle, the dark stencil had yielded up a page bright white with words embossed in shiny black ink. Mimeo is the greatest way to do a publication. It’s immediate, streetwise, hands on, open to change to the last second before the machine starts to hum, and the ink sits up on the page like art. It’s sensual and sexy, raw and real. Alone in the big empty church of St. Mark’s late into the night with only the sound of the mimeograph “kachucking” and the pages swishing down. Although I went on to mimeo on my own, on long late nights in that big church, Tom Veitch will always be a saint to me. After we ran off the pages we stacked them to dry, and some days later I gathered every friend I’d made and their friends and we collated. One of the beautiful things about mimeo is the sense of community. People collated and stapled and took copies to hand around. In that beginning time, I did two Telephone Books: Rebecca Wright’s Elusive Continent and David Rosenberg’s Frontal Nudity, and a first issue of the magazine Telephone. I was hooked.

Maureen Owen, Guilford, Connecticut, September 1997

Telephone Books include

Bennett, Will. Zero. 1984. Cover by George Schneeman.

Berrigan, Sandy. Summer Sleeper. 1981.

Brodey, Jim. Last Licks. 1973.

Brown, Rebecca. The Barbarian Queen. 1981.

Brown, Rebecca. The Bicycle Trip. 1974.

Brown, Rebecca. 3-way Split. 1978.

Cataldo, Susan. Brooklyn Queens Day. 1982.

Friedman, Ed. The Telephone Book. 1979.

Hamill, Janet. The Temple. 1980.

Hartman, Yuki. Hot Footsteps. 1976.

Howe, Fanny. The Amerindian Coastline Poem. 1975. Cover and centerfold drawing by Hugh Kepets.

Howe, Fanny. Fanny Howe’s Alsace-Lorraine. 1982. Cover and drawings by Colleen McCallion.

Howe, Susan. Hinge Picture. 1974.

Howe, Susan. Secret History of the Dividing Line. 1978.

Nolan, Pat. Drastic Measures. 1981.

Norton, Joshua. Pool. 1974. Cover by Charles Plymell.

Plymell, Charles. Over the Stage of Kansas. 1973. Cover by the author.

Pommy-Vega, Janine. Morning Passage. 1976. Cover drawing by Martin Carey.

Rosenberg, David. Frontal Nudity. 1972. Cover by George Schneeman.

Torregian, Sotère. Amtrak Trek. 1979. Cover drawing and calligraphy by the author.

Weigel, Tom. Audrey Hepburn’s Symphonic Salad and the Coming of Autumn. 1980. Covers by Monica Weigel.

Weigel, Tom. Twenty-four Haiku after the Japanese. 1982.

Wilkie, Britton. The Celestial Splendor Shining Forth from Geometric Thought, & On the Motion of the Apparently Fixed Stars. 1977.

Wright, Rebecca. Ciao Manhattan. 1977.

Wright, Rebecca. Elusive Continent. 1972. Cover and drawings by Denise Green.


Vehicle Editions

magazines & Presses

Vehicle Editions

Annabel Lee [née Levitt]
New York

1976–

Simon Pettet, Conversations with Rudy Burckhardt About Everything (1987).

simon-pettet-conversations-with-rudy-burckhardt-about-everything-vehicle-1987


I started Vehicle Editions as an enthusiastic cottage industry, working out of a railroad flat in Little Italy, printing by letterpress at Center for Book Arts a couple of blocks away, binding in the kitchen, storing the books under the bed, making limited editions by hand. I had already worked in publishing uptown as well as in a union offset printing shop as an AB Dick 360 operator and as a computer and hot-lead typesetter. Authors, artists, craftspeople, apprentices, and the publisher worked in close collaboration to ensure that the format of each book reflected its contents. As one reviewer wrote, “Each book is custom designed to fit its contents.” Score, a score of the dance piece Lazy Madge with writings by choreographer Douglas Dunn, was the first “commercially” produced Vehicle Edition. Published in 1977 in an edition of about 500 copies, it served both the dance and the literary communities as a document of multidisciplinary collaborative work.

Ted Berrigan’s Train Ride was produced with materials tested for at least 250 years. The edition is 1,500 copies printed letterpress—the typeface is monotype Gill Sans, the same used throughout the British railway system. Artist Joe Brainard not only designed the cover but also contributed to the overall design and editorial decisions. Smithsonian Depositions & Subject to a Film by Clark Coolidge was produced on a Xerox machine using a high grade of bond paper in an almost square format to achieve a unique book object containing most unusual essays on subjects that might otherwise seem mundane: the making of the movie Jaws and the work of sculptor Robert Smithson. Instead, these are a couple of Coolidge’s most intriguing works.

Annabel Lee, Ancram, New York, September 1997

Franco Beltrametti, Airmail Postcards (1979). Cover and drawings by the author.

Franco Beltrametti, Airmail Postcards (1979). Cover and drawings by the author.

Vehicle Editions (complete)

Allen, Roberta. The Traveling Woman. 1986. Cover and drawings by the author.

Beltrametti, Franco. Airmail Postcards. 1979. Cover and drawings by the author.

Berrigan, Ted. Train Ride. [1978]. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Coolidge, Clark. Smithsonian Depositions & Subject to a Film. 1980.

de Winter, Leon. The Day Before Yesterday: Six Stories. 1985. Translated from the Dutch by Scott Rollins.

Dunn, Douglas, Annabel Levitt, and Lazy Madge. Score. 1977; second printing 1999. Cover by Nat Tileston.

Guest, Barbara. Quilts. 1980.

Hell, Richard. Hot and Cold. 1998. Cover, drawings, and photos by the author.

Knowles, Christopher. Typings 1974–1977. 1979.

Lally, Michael. Just Let Me Do It: Love Poems 1967–1977. 1978.

Levitt, Annabel. Calisthenics of the Heart. 1976.

Levitt, Annabel. Continental 34s. 1977.

Levitt, Annabel. The Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Train Poem. 1979. Broadside.

Mar Shimun, Surma D’Bait. Assyrian Church Customs and the Murder of Mar Shimun. 1983. With an introduction by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Notley, Alice. When I Was Alive. 1980. Cover by Alex Katz.

Pettet, Simon. Conversations with Rudy Burckhardt: About Everything. 1987.

Phillips, Jayne Anne. Counting. 1978; second printing 1982. Cover by Rae Berolzheimer.

Phillips, Jayne Anne. Fast Lanes. 1984. Cover and drawings by Yvonne Jacquette.

Ratcliff, Carter. Give Me Tomorrow. 1983. Portraits by Alex Katz.

Schuchat, Simon. Light & Shadow. 1977. Cover by Rochelle Kraut.

Schuchat, Simon. Wushan Gorge. 1979. Broadside.


dodgems

magazines & Presses

dodgems

Eileen Myles
New York

Nos. 1–2 (1977–79).

The issues are unnumbered; no. 1 has nuns in dodgem cars on the cover, no. 2 a woman holding a can.

dodgems [1] (1977).

dodgems


I’ve never liked mimeo. Sure, it’s fast and it’s cheap but it doesn’t look like a book. If you can do it yourself, why bother? Why not just xerox your favorite new poems from time to time and hand ’em to your friends? Or better still, why not stylishly fold your latest into your back pocket and show it to the several people who matter? How many people’s taste do you trust? I mean, who actually understands poetry? I publish my poems in mimeo magazines. I like to see them breathe beyond my own typewriter though I’m much happier when they’re typeset….

Dodgems [2], 1979.

dodgems [2], 1979.

Somebody once described mimeo publication as “punk publishing” and that made it work for me for awhile. But not really. When someone asks me if I’ve got a book I say Yeah…but it’s just mimeo. That usually means you can’t get it, it’s not available, or else Sure, but I don’t like it anymore. Was the ’60s the Golden Age of Mimeo? That makes me think it’s a dated idea. Mimeo. But I think it’s too late for all that. The best poems should be well packaged, I’m not even thinking about big-house books (oh, sure), it’s not even like comparing cable to prime-time teevee, it’s like comparing—there’s no comparison—view-master to movies—no comparison. I just mean mimeo vs. a book-book. A nice shiny book-book. Doesn’t money make money? Won’t people take your poems more seriously in a great typeface with a far-out cover, expensive, in color. Wouldn’t this here ratty publication be more “influential” (influential on what—Genius critic Denis Donoghue says poetry now occupies a “marginal” place. Like the funniest lines in Mad magazine?) if it was typeset? Wouldn’t I be more excited about writing for it? You go to the New York Small Press Book Fair and see endless publications, books & magazines in full glossy grandeur, nice commercial high-production values.

You say Wow, don’t these books look pretty! Pick one up & sniff the nice new cover—but don’t look inside—pure dreck…. But I like these shiny books: they look commercial, real, they look American. If only the stupid publishers and the brilliant poets could get together. Mimeo skirts all that so the publisher is the poet’s best friend or even the poet and that’s that. Your family won’t believe it’s a book but so what. They also are unable to read your poems. So I have only set my hand once to mimeo publishing but it was an act of revenge in my heart—we did an anthology of poems ourselves in response to another slicker inferior one. Mimeo was effective in this case—fast & cheap. It wasn’t like killing someone, it was like throwing a beer in their face.

— Eileen MylesThe Poetry Project Newsletter (March 1982)

[Neither issue of dodgems was produced via the mimeo machine.]

“The nuns came first in 1977 and the woman holding a can was 1979. The third issue would have been great with Mae West holding the torch instead of the statue of liberty but I decided to go on a drunken voyage with my girlfriend instead and kill the magazine. A sorrow. I’m always wanting to bring dodgems back and maybe I will.”

Eileen Myles, 2013


Siamese Banana

magazines & Presses

Siamese Banana

Johnny Stanton
New York

1972–1978

The Siamese Banana Rhinelander Newspaper 4 (n.d.).

siamese-banana-4


First it was a NEWSPAPER,

Then it was a PRESS,

Then it was a GANG.

I worked at a neighborhood youth center and one day our fearless director barked at me, “Jumping butterballs, you’re supposed to be a writer, why don’t you start a center newspaper.”

“You betcha,” I meowed. This idea for a newspaper collected a bunch of oddball kids: Fat John, Ginzo, Pokey, Caggie, Lilley, et al. The painter Joe Brainard had suggested the newspaper’s name in another context: The SIAMESE BANANA from Vol. XXVII of Ripley’s Believe It or Not. The paper’s motto became: If the Facts Don’t Fit, Change Them. After that it was easy to start up an artsy-literary press. The philosophy was simple: Writers and Artists, you have nothing to lose, so unite in the SB Press. The technology was easy: electronic stencils. Meanwhile, back in the ’hood, wiseguy newspaper kids got infected by literary bugs. But these kids were from the TV dope fiend generation. They wanted to form a gang. “How about a name?” “Exterminator Angels?” “No way!” “Military Gangsters from the Super Id?” “Fuck off, Mr. Stanton.” “Please, you guys, just call me Stanton.” “Okay Stanton, how about the SBG?” “Right on! The SBG. I’m a member.” We tore up and down every house we performed in. Kicked ass and then some. Ahead of our time and underneath it.

— Johnny Stanton, New York City, November 1997

Tom Veitch, Death College (1970). Cover by the author.

Tom Veitch, Death College (1970). Cover by the author.

Siamese Banana books include

Anderson, David. Under Western Eyes. 1970.

Auster, Paul, trans. A Little Anthology of Surrealist Poems. 1972. Cover by George Schneeman.

Brainard, Joe. The Banana Book. 1972. Cover and drawings by the author.

Brainard, Joe. The Friendly Way. 1972. Cover and drawings by the author.

Brainard, Joe. Some Drawings of Some Notes to Myself. 1971.

Brainard, Joe, ed. The Cigarette Book. 1972. Cover by the editor.

Brainard, Joe, and Anne Waldman. Self Portrait. 1972.

Brown, Rebecca. Mouse Works. 1971. Cover and illustrations by Martha Diamond.

Cohen, Keith. Madness in Literature. 1970.

Obenzinger, Hilton. Thunder Road. 1970.

Stanton, Johnny. The Day Our Turtle Was Kidnaped—. 1978.

Veitch, Tom. Death College. 1970. Cover by the author.

Weingarten, Don. Lord Scum’s Hotel. 1971. Cover and illustrations by the author.

Joe Brainard, The Banana Book (1972). Cover and drawings by the author.

Joe Brainard, The Banana Book (1972). Cover and drawings by the author.


Frontward Books

magazines & Presses

Frontward Books

Bob Rosenthal and Rochelle Kraut
New York

1976–1979

Susie Timmons, Hog Wild (1979). Cover and illustrations by the author.

susie-timmons-hog-wild-frontward-books-1979


A part of the third wave of New York School poetry, Frontward Books began life in 1976 with the publication of a collaborative performance novel, Bicentennial Suicide, by Nuyorican Poets Cafe stalwart Bob Holman and Bob Rosenthal. In all, the press published nine mimeographed books, noteworthy for their often hand-colored covers with drawings by Rochelle Kraut. Rosenthal, later to become Allen Ginsberg’s assistant, reminisces in “Mimeography: Friends Forever”: “In some ways, mimeo publishing poetry books was an outgrowth of the War in Korea, where corporal Ted Berrigan had run the mimeo machine in his unit, later producing his own magazine “C” using the new skill of mimeography. I was in Chicago just starting to write poetry and Ted was teaching at Northwestern University, where I sat in somewhat shyly on his classes but didn’t really get to know him until he was told that I had a car.

Bob Holman and Bob Rosenthal, Bicentennial Suicide (1976). Cover art and graphics by Rochelle Kraut.

Bob Holman and Bob Rosenthal, Bicentennial Suicide (1976). Cover art and graphics by Rochelle Kraut.

He told me he needed someone to drive him and the stencils for his wife’s (Alice Notley’s Chicago) mimeo magazine over to a little church. I obliged and he taught me to use the mimeo. I can’t forget him taking off his pants and running the machine wearing his skivvies, a Pall Mall hanging off his lips. So my friends and I started our own mimeo mag (the Milk Quarterly) and later Rochelle Kraut and I published a series of mimeo books under the imprint of Frontward Books, which eventually banded together to combine our bookrate mailings, calling themselves Packet Poets. I eventually taught dozens of people how to use the mimeo machine and spent light-years walking around in collating circles reading the works of poets from all across the country…. Everyone felt that these books were merely holding space on the shelves until the major publishers picked them up and brought out ‘real’ editions. But the publishing boom of the time was soon over, and these books were really for real.”

“Susie Timmons goes nutso genius and what appears looks like a poem and it’s definitely okey-doke. ‘We are the Spanish Harps / Vwing Vwing Vwing.’ ‘Keep on going old sappy head.’ More than okey-doke. As good as going to see Superman or eating breakfast.”

— Ed Friedman, review of Hog Wild in L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E 11 (January 1980)

Frontward Books include

Berrigan, Ted. A Feeling for Leaving. 1975. Hand-colored cover by Rochelle Kraut.

Friedman, Ed. The Black Star Pilgrimage/The Escape Story. 1976. Front and back covers by Ed Bowes.

Hackman, Neil. Small Poems to God. 1979. Cover by Rudy Burckhardt.

Holman, Bob, and Bob Rosenthal. Bicentennial Suicide. 1976. Cover art and graphics by Rochelle Kraut.

Kraut, Rochelle. Circus Babys. 1975.

Notley, Alice. A Diamond Necklace. 1977. Hand-colored cover by Rochelle Kraut.

Rosenthal, Bob. Lies About the Flesh. 1977. Cover by Rochelle Kraut.

Timmons, Susie. Hog Wild. 1979. Cover and drawings by the author.

Toth, Steve. Rota Rooter. 1976.

alice-notley-a-diamond-necklace-frontward-books-1977

Alice Notley, A Diamond Necklace (1970). Hand-colored by Rochelle Kraut.


Little Caesar

Magazines & Presses

Little Caesar

Dennis Cooper, with Jim Glaeser, Gerard Malanga and Ian Young.
Monrovia and Los Angeles, California

Nos. 1–12 (1976–82).

Jim Glaeser coedited no. 1; Gerard Malanga guest-edited no. 9, and Ian Young no. 12.

Little Caesar 9 (1979). The Piero Heliczer issue, edited by Gerard Malanga.

little-caesar-9-r


Despite its visual resemblance to the teen idol magazine Tiger Beat (the covers tell the story, featuring images of Adolphe Menjou, John F. Kennedy, Jr. at age sixteen, Arthur Rimbaud, Warhol star Eric Emerson, poet John Wieners, and completely naked rock star Iggy Pop), Little Caesar was a very serious attempt to widen the subjects of and audiences for poetry: “We want a literary magazine that’s read by Poetry fans, the Rock culture, the Hari Krishnas, the Dodgers. We think it can be done, and that’s what we’re aiming at…. We have this dream where writers are mobbed everywhere they go, like rock stars and actors. People like Patti Smith (poet/rock star) are subtly forcing their growing audiences to become literate, introducing them to Rimbaud, Breton, Burroughs and others. Poetry sales are higher than they’ve been in fifteen years.

Dennis Cooper, Tiger Beat (1978).

Dennis Cooper, Tiger Beat (1978).

In Paris ten-year-old boys clutching well-worn copies of Apollinaire’s Alcools put their hands over their mouths in amazement before paintings by Renoir and Monet.” Running along pretty much like a “punk poetry ’zine” for its first three issues, Little Caesar then shifted gears a bit, devoting issue 4 to Rimbaud, 5 to poet, filmmaker, and photographer Gerard Malanga, 6 to John Wieners, and 9 to Piero Heliczer. With issue 8 it was back to a neo-punk look and sported a “new wave rock theme,” including an interview with Johnny Rotten and an article by Jeff Goldberg, himself the editor of the rock music–influenced Contact. Goldberg wrote on the Ramones and the “Origins of the New Wave: Forest Hills.” The Saroyan/Wylie/Bockris Telegraph Books series provided both a visual and literary model, but Little Caesar was strikingly of its time, perfectly Californian, new wave, and queer without providing a manifesto for anything, being in your face about most things and up front about few. In addition to the anthology Coming Attractions, books published by Little Caesar Press included Tim Dlugos’s Je suis ein Americano, Ronald Koertge’s Sex Object, a newly translated version of Rimbaud’s Voyage en Abyssinie et au Harrar, Gerard Malanga’s 100 Years Have Passed, and editor Cooper’s collection of poems Tiger Beat. Cooper went on to organize the fantastically successful Beyond Baroque Readings in Venice, California, and is a novelist of some power, grace, and controversy.

Little Caesar books (complete)

Brainard, Joe. Nothing to Write Home About. 1981. Cover art by the author.

Britton, Donald. Italy. 1981. Cover by Trevor Winkfield.

Blakeston, Oswell. Journeys End in Young Man’s Meeting. 1979. Cover photograph by Peter Warfield.

Clark, Tom. The End of the Line. 1980. Cover art by the author.

Congdon, Kirby. Fantoccini: A Little Book of Memories. 1981. Cover photograph by Nita Bernstein.

Cooper, Dennis. Tiger Beat. 1978.

Cooper, Dennis, ed., assisted by Tim Dlugos. Coming Attractions: An Anthology of American Poets in Their Twenties. 1980. Cover art by Duncan Hannah.

Dlugos, Tim. Entre Nous: New Poems. 1982. Cover photograph by Rudy Burckhardt.

Dlugos, Tim. Je suis ein Americano. 1979. Cover photograph by Richard Elovich.

Equi, Elaine. Shrewcrazy. 1981. Drawings by Steven F. Giese.

Gerstler, Amy. Yonder. 1982. Cover photographs by Judith Spiegel.

Gooch, Brad. Jailbait and Other Stories. 1983. Cover photography by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Hall, Steven. New and Improved. 1981. Cover photography and design by Sheree Levine.

Koertge, Ron. Sex Object. 1979.

Koertge, Ron. Dairy Cows. 1982. Cover art by Bill Womack.

Krusoe, James. Jungle Girl: Poems. 1982. Cover art by Henri Rousseau.

Lally, Michael. Hollywood Magic. 1982. Cover photograph by Lynn Goldsmith.

MacAdams, Lewis. Africa and the Marriage of Walt Whitman and Marilyn Monroe. 1982. Cover art and design by Henk Elenga. Small poster laid in.

Malanga, Gerard. 100 Years Have Passed: Prose Poems. 1978. Cover photograph by the author.

Continue reading

Myles, Eileen. Sappho’s Boat. 1982.

Rimbaud, Arthur. Travels in Abyssinia and the Harar. 1979. Translated by Scott Bell.

Schjeldahl, Peter. The Brute: New Poems. 1981. Cover and drawings by Susan Rothenberg.

Skelly, Jack. Monsters. 1982. Cover designed by Stephen Spera from a photograph by Sheree Levin.

Jack Skelly, Monsters (1982). Cover designed by Stephen Spera from a photograph by Sheree Levin.


Contact

magazines & Presses

Contact

Jeff Goldberg
Philadelphia

Nos. 1–7 (1972–73).

Contact 4 (January 1973). Cover photograph of Larry Fagin by Bockris-Wylie.

contact-4-january-1973


Published over the course of only two months in the winter of 1972–73, Contact consisted of seven issues and was the creation of poet-lyricist-musician Jeff Goldberg, egged on by a combine known as Bockris-Wylie (Andrew Wylie and Victor Bockris, recently formerly of Telegraph Books). The attitudes and poses of the cover stars gave the magazine a tinge of rock glory or Rimbaudian flair, most evident in the first three issues, which focus on the work of Goldberg (“A Week in Philadelphia” in all three) and his friends Ken Bluford and Marty Watt, Philadelphians all. These issues of the magazine are graced with the New York savoir faire of a great number of collaborations between Bockris and Wylie (culminating in a long review article on Wylie by Ken Bluford in issue 3).

Contact 7 (April 1973). Cover photograph of John Weiners by Bockris-Wylie.

Contact 7 (April 1973). Cover photograph of John Wieners by Bockris-Wylie.

With number 4, the Larry Fagin issue, the magazine changes course, devoting most of its nearly thirty pages to one poet, a formula it continued using to great effect. The Fagin issue includes tributes by friends in prose and poetry, and a sampling of Fagin’s own poetry. The cover of the issue is, of course, a photograph of Fagin with a typewriter. The next and final three issues follow the same format (as does Opal Nations’s London-based Strange Faeces, which came out at this time, and with a Larry Fagin issue too). Contact ends with issues devoted, respectively, to Anne Waldman, British poet Tom Pickard, and John Wieners. This last issue (number 7) includes an excellent survey of Wieners’s work by the late Burroughs scholar Eric Mottram that was also published in Poetry Information (employing another important strategy developed by entrepreneurial little magazine publishers of the 1970s: reprinting).

Contact 4 (February 1973). Cover photograph of Tom Pickard by Bockris-Wylie.

Contact 4 (February 1973). Cover photograph of Tom Pickard by Bockris-Wylie.


Telegraph Books

magazines & Presses

Telegraph Books

Victor Bockris, Aram Saroyan,
and Andrew Wylie

New York

1971–1973

Victor Bockris, In America (1972).
Cover photograph of the author by Aram Saroyan.

victor-bockris-in-america-telegraph-r


Born in Harvard Square, Telegraph Books were edited from Cambridge, Massachusetts, printed and perfect-bound in Philadelphia, and published in New York (essentially from Andrew Wylie’s bookstore on Jones Street in Greenwich Village). They were, and still are, instantly recognizable. Aram Saroyan and Wylie first discussed the series after they had both read at a benefit for a socialist bookstore in Cambridge, and Saroyan describes the purpose behind their project in Friends in the World (Coffee House Press, 1992): “We wanted to do something specifically for our own generation along the lines of what Ferlinghetti had done for the Beat Generation with his City Lights Books.

Tom Weatherly, Thumbprint (1971). Cover photograph by Elsa Dorfman.

Tom Weatherly, Thumbprint (1971). Cover photograph by Elsa Dorfman.

We spent a lot of time talking about the poets we would publish and also decided that, like City Lights’s Pocket Poets series, the books should have a standardized size and format….Victor [Bockris] had a working partnership with a printer outside Philadelphia and handled the nuts-and-bolts work of seeing that the books looked the way we wanted them to: mass paperback dimensions with a photograph, usually of the author, on the cover. When the first copy of my collection, The Rest, arrived, Gailyn and I were both amazed at the care and professionalism of the product. It was a real new book we held in our hands. After titles by Andrew and me, Victor went on to produce books by Tom Weatherly, Gerard Malanga, a memoir by Ron Padgett, Tom Clark, and Ted Berrigan, and Seventh Heaven by Patti Smith, her first poetry collection. She had been recommended to Andrew by Malanga, and Andrew, who had a quick eye for new talent, had been immediately won over both by her work and her tough-girl street style with its undercurrent of sweetness.”

Patti Smith, Seventh Heaven (1972). Cover photograph by Judy Linn.

Patti Smith, Seventh Heaven (1972). Cover photograph by Judy Linn.

Telegraph Books (complete)

Bockris, Victor. In America. 1972. Cover photograph of the author by Aram Saroyan.

Clark, Tom, Ron Padgett, and Ted Berrigan. Back in Boston Again. 1972. Introduction by Aram Saroyan. Cover photograph by Rudy Burckhardt.

Malanga, Gerard. Poetry on Film. 1972. Cover photograph by the author.

Polk, Brigid. Scars. 1972. Cover by the author.

Saroyan, Aram. Poems. 1972. Cover photograph by Gailyn Saroyan.

Aram Saroyan, Poems (1972). Cover photograph by Gailyn Saroyan.

Aram Saroyan, Poems (1972). Cover photograph by Gailyn Saroyan.

Saroyan, Aram. The Rest. 1971. Cover photograph by the author.

Smith, Patti. Seventh Heaven. 1972. Photograph by Judy Linn.

Weatherly, Tom. Thumbprint. 1971. Cover photograph by Elsa Dorfman.

Wylie, Andrew. Gold. 1972. Cover photograph by Gerard Malanga.

Wylie, Andrew. Tenderloin. 1971. Cover photograph by Aram Saroyan.

Note: Books by Victor Bockris, Otis William Brown, Lee Harwood, Davi Det Hompson, Tom Pickard, and Tom Raworth are mentioned in the press’s list but there is no evidence that they were published by Telegraph. The Pickard and Raworth titles came out later from other publishers.


Lines

magazines & Presses

Lines

Aram Saroyan
New York

Nos. 1–6 (September 1964–November 1965).

Covers by Joe Brainard (2), Fielding Dawson (5), Richard Kolmar (4), and Aram Saroyan (1, 3, 6).

Lines 1 (September 1965).

lines-no-1


Aram Saroyan, the son of one of America’s most beloved novelists, grew up on New York’s West End Avenue and attended Trinity School, a private prep school in the same neighborhood. He attended the University of Chicago for a while and had his first poem published in the Nation. Returning to New York, he worked at Bookmasters bookstore near Times Square and at Virginia Admiral’s Academy Typing Service (she was a painter and the mother of actor-to-be Robert De Niro). After traveling cross-country to show his poems to Robert Creeley, then in Placitas, New Mexico, Saroyan was finally ready, at age twenty-one, to start his own little magazine, Lines, in 1964.

Richard Kolmar, Games (1966). Cover by Larry Zox.

Richard Kolmar, Games (1966). Cover by Larry Zox.

In Friends in the World (Coffee House Press, 1992), he recalled: “I was eager to make contact with my literary contemporaries, and the little magazine was a nice entrée into the milieu. Young poets need a place to publish, and the magazine gave me an excuse to make contact with anyone whose work I liked.” As it turned out, he published the work of at least four of the most talented male poets of his generation: Ted Berrigan with his aggressively mimeo “C” magazine; Ron Padgett with his delicately weird and offset White Dove Review; Tom Clark, poetry editor of the prominently nonmimeo Paris Review; and Clark Coolidge, whose first book, Flag Flutter & U.S. Electric, was published by Lines in 1966. Saroyan joined Berrigan when he visited Jack Kerouac in Lowell, Massachusetts, for his legendary Paris Review interview. The look of mimeo was perfect for Saroyan and for Lines, which published the community of poets whom he admired, in their more “abstract” or minimalist moments.

The strikingly simple covers and the carefully composed pages make Lines among the most elegant of all the 1960s mimeograph magazines. Saroyan published six issues of the magazine and several books (including Ted Greenwald’s Lapstrake and John Perreault’s Camouflage), before leaving New York, and the ’60s, to begin a different life: “When I started to write again in Bolinas, California, it wasn’t minimal poetry anymore, but a long poem about my life, marriage, and fatherhood. Strawberry Saroyan had been born at the hospital in Stoneham, Massachusetts, on October 20, 1970.”

Lines books (complete)

Berrigan, Ted, with Ron Padgett. Noh. 1965. Lines Broadsheet No. 1.

Coolidge, Clark. Clark Coolidge. 1967.

Coolidge, Clark. Flag Flutter & U.S. Electric. 1966. Cover design by the author.

Greenwald, Ted. Lapstrake. 1965. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Kolmar, Richard. Games. 1966. Cover by Larry Zox.

Perreault, John. Camouflage. 1966.

Saroyan, Aram. Aram Saroyan. 1967.

Saroyan, Aram. Works. 1966.

Stein, Gertrude. Gertrude Stein. 1967.

Clark Coolidge, Flag Flutter and U.S. Electric (1966). Cover design by the author.

Clark Coolidge, Flag Flutter & U.S. Electric (1966). Cover design by the author.

Resource

Scans of the complete run of Lines are available on the Eclipse website.


0 to 9

magazines & Presses

0 to 9

Bernadette Mayer and Vito Hannibal Acconci
New York

Nos. 1–6 (April 1967–July 1969), and Supplement to No. 6, entitled Street Works (1969).

0 to 9 4 (1968).

1f-0-to-9-no-4-1968


“What is a body artist? Someone who is his own test tube,” quips painter David Salle about performance artist, filmmaker, and writer Vito Hannibal Acconci, probably the prime example of an artist who experiments on himself and his own life, using his body and its movements as his materia artistica. Born in New York City in 1940, Acconci returned to the Lower East Side in 1964 to teach at Brooklyn College and the School of Visual Arts after graduating from Holy Cross College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Acconci was first a writer, and with his sister-in-law, Bernadette Mayer, edited one of the most experimental of all the early mimeo magazines. 0 to 9 included works by a phalanx of literary experimentalists, including the minimalist works of Aram Saroyan and Clark Coolidge, along with the graphic works of artists Sol LeWitt, Michael Heizer, and Robert Smithson, and performance-oriented work by Jackson Mac Low, Steve Paxton, and Acconci himself.

Art historian Kate Linker places Acconci’s earliest language-oriented work as a poet, including 0 to 9, in the perspective of his later accomplishments: “Zeroing in on or ‘targeting’ language, the works attempt to materialize language, to give words body and weight—substance but not depth. Throughout the pieces, language points to itself, reflexively describing its motion over the page along with its capacities for accumulation, juxtaposition, and interplay. These early poems comprise a series of ruthlessly logical operations on poetic space. Although the literalism of the language indicates an assault on the ‘expressive’ author or self, the poems reinforce the modernist prescription to acknowledge the limits of the medium. They renounce language’s referential function, its ability to evoke a world off the page; instead their aim, Acconci has written, was to ‘Use language to cover a space rather than uncover a meaning.’” In the tradition of little magazines of the 1960s, 0 to 9 published a supplement and several books in addition to the magazine.

In “A Lecture at the Naropa Institute, 1989,” Poetics Journal (1990), Bernadette Mayer discusses the conception and structure of Story:

“This is the first book I ever published. I published it myself. It’s called Story. It has no page numbers. It’s about thirty pages. The way it came into being was I wrote a story that was about falling down, tripping and falling down. It was nicely written, experimentally so, but it seemed dull. So I tried to figure out what to do with it; and being a twenty-year-old person at the time, I went overboard and made a structure that is like a diamond shape where I accumulated other texts. I was very interested in American Indian myths at that time so I included a Kwakiutl myth about hats and about smoking; their description of a hoop and arrow game; and then an Italian folk tale about fourteen men who went to hell; another Italian tale about a man who sold cloth to a statue; then from Coos myth texts, a story of the five world makers, and the man who became an owl. Then I accumulated some lists from the dictionary of other words for beginning, middle and end. There’s a recipe for true sponge cake, there’s a 19th-century letter about etiquette, a couple of quotes from Edgar Allan Poe, and an article by the biologist Louis Agassiz about coral reefs.

Each of these things I thought was relevant to the diamond-shaped nature or accumulation of the story…. As I was saying to Clark Coolidge, there is some aspect of this work that I can’t remember (as to how I did it). I took the longest work which was the story I’d written about falling, and I made that begin at the beginning and end at the end. Everything was going on in the exact middle of the work, and at the beginning and end only one thing was going on and it was gradually accumulating and decreasing. To make things worse, I decided to interrupt the text at random moments with all the words I could think of that would mean story…. There are fifty-one…anecdote, profile, life-story, scenario, love-story, lie, report, western, article, bedside reading, novel, thumbnail sketch, talk, description, real-life story, piece, light reading, confessions, dime novel, narrative poem, myth, thriller. It was interrupted at random. The confluences were amazing. All of a sudden it would say detective story, and the section that was randomly chosen to be a detective story really became one. Or could become one in the reader’s mind. Probably more so than in my mind.”

0 to 9 Books (complete)

Acconci, Vito Hannibal. Book / Transference: Roget’s Thesaurus. 1969.

Acconci, Vito Hannibal. Four Book. 1968.

Mayer, Bernadette. Story. 1968.

Mayer, Rosemary. Book: 41 Fabric Swatches. 1969.

Piper, Adrian. Three untitled booklets. 1968.

Saroyan, Aram. Coffee Coffee. 1967.

 

vito-acconci-book-4-0-to-9-1968

Vito Hannibal Acconci, Four Book (1968).

bernadette-mayer-story-0-to-9-books-1968

Bernadette Mayer, Story (1968).

 


Center

magazines & Presses

Center

Carol Bergé
Woodstock, New York, and Santa Fe, New Mexico

Nos. 1–13 (1970–84), and Supplement: Special Issue, vol. 1 (1983).

Center 1 (1970).

center-no-1


My career as a writer burgeoned as one of the LIGHT YEARS poets who met at the Deux Mégots Coffeeshop in the East Village in the 1960s. We read our work aloud weekly and were published in early magazines of the “Mimeo Revolution,” as well as in traditional media. By 1970, I knew that half of us had moved into prose, with a plethora of eager experimentation in modes hitherto unexplored, and I sensed there was a place for a magazine to represent this new writing. The first issue of Center set the tone: I invited friends to send me “non-form prose from known writers, exciting work unacceptable in the usual media”…Susan Sherman produced number 1 on a mimeo machine: thirty-four pages; the response was so enthusiastic that numbers 2 and 3 went to fifty-two and sixty-two pages, which established the median size of issues. I printed an issue when I’d received “enough” interesting manuscripts. If a piece excited me, I felt it would interest, excite, and challenge my peers to try new ways to create, to innovate. Center became a forum for writers whose avant-garde ideas have become, over the ensuing years, part of the tradition in literature.

Center 2 (July 1971). Cover photograph by Tobe J. Carey.

Center 2 (July 1971). Cover photograph by Tobe J. Carey.

Of the 150 writers published in Center, about sixty have produced books since 1970 containing material which was first seen in its pages. Writers wanted to be published in it. The print run was always tiny, from 200 to 450 copies, yet the circulation was triple that, because copies circulated hand-to-hand, mind-to-mind, in a flurry of excitement. Editing and publishing Center, from 1970 to 1984, was a joy: the energy produced by the writing coming to my desk in Woodstock (1970–74) and five subsequent loci was an intensely stimulating ingredient in my life. I met many incredibly talented people through their writings, many of whom became close friends. Generous grants to publish plus pay the authors came from the NEA through the Coordinating Council of Little Magazines starting with number 2, and I went to offset and saddle-stitch or perfect-binding through number 13 (the “Final Issue”). In the 1980s there were two Center Chapbooks of new prose, and in the early 1990s Center Press published two books of innovative fiction by other writers, and copublished with Tribal Press my own collected fiction, Zebras, or, Contour Lines—these are all Center magazine offshoots. It has been a steady stream for twenty-seven years of applied devotion to adding to the literature, with lovely perks alongside.

— Carol Bergé

Center 9 (December 1976).

Center 9 (December 1976).


Portraits and Home Movies

Magazines & Presses

Portraits & Home Movies

Larry Fagin
New York
Fall 1968–Spring 1969

Clockwise from top left: Anne Waldman and Lewis Warsh, Larry Fagin, Ted Berrigan, Gerard Malanga, Joan Fagin, the lake at Central Park.


During the Fall of 1968 and through the next spring, I fooled around with a cheap Super 8 movie camera, making three-minute portraits of poet friends. I completed seven of these, planned others, and hoped to add music. I also shot some rolls of “our gang” goofing off at a beautiful pink house on Long Island, which belonged to Bill Berkson’s mother. Another roll shows the ongoing poker game at Dick Gallup’s apartment. This ritual was eventually moved to George Schneeman’s and had a fifteen-year run. Hannah Weiner took the wedding footage. Joan Inglis and I were married by Michael Allen, the pastor of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery. Both the ceremony and the reception were held in the Schneemans’ large apartment on St. Mark’s Place. Lewis Warsh was my best man and Anne Waldman was the bridesmaid. Attendees were a who’s who of the East Village poetry and art scene. In spite of (or because of) social upheaval and the war in Vietnam, it was a time of giddy, even joyful, group activity: collaborative writing, little magazines and pamphlets, weekly poetry readings, endless parties, rock concerts, dope smoking, wild sex, and political protests. You can look it up. Twenty-eight year later, these little reels of film turned up in a box in my closet. There were some exposure problems (I never really knew what I was doing), but much of the footage was presentable. Julie Harrison cleaned it up and transferred it to videotape, then we set about editing and laying some music for the portraits. Ron Padgett did the commentary for the group scenes in his inimitable, down-home manner.

Larry Fagin, New York City, 1997

Portraits & Home Movies: 1968–1969 by Larry Fagin and Julie Harrison. Produced by Julie Harrison. Edited by Julie Harrison and Larry Fagin. Original footage by Larry Fagin. Music selected by Larry Fagin. Narration by Ron Padgett.


United Artists

magazines & Presses

United Artists

Lewis Warsh and Bernadette Mayer
Lenox, Massachusetts, and New York

Nos. 1–18 (November 1977–December 1983)

Covers by Louise Hamlin (16), Yvonne Jacquette (17), and Rosemary Mayer (18).

United Artists 8 (October 1979).

united-artists-no-8-oct-1979


Bernadette Mayer and I cofounded United Artists magazine in 1977. We were living in relative isolation in Lenox, Massachusetts, and editing a magazine put us in touch with poets and friends we had left behind in New York. We managed to buy an inexpensive mimeo machine in Pittsfield and we produced the magazine in the living room of our large apartment on the main street of Lenox. The beauty of mimeographing is that we could control every aspect of production ourselves, that I could stay up all night and produce a new issue by morning if I wanted. The first issue reflects our geographical shift and contains work by ourselves and our immediate neighbors, Clark Coolidge and Paul Metcalf. Our idea was, whenever possible, to publish large amounts of a few poets’ work in each issue, as opposed to one or two poems by a lot of people. Among the regular contributors to subsequent issues were Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, Diane Ward, and Bill Berkson. United Artists was probably the last of the great mimeo magazines, since by the mid-eighties everyone had computers and all the magazines became perfect-bound with glossy covers so the bookstores would distribute them. We published eighteen issues, from 1977 to 1983, and during this time we returned to New York City and began publishing United Artists Books, which I continue editing into the present.

Lewis Warsh, Brooklyn, New York, September 1997

United Artists books (complete)

Altmann, Ruth. Across the Big Map. 2004. Cover by Carol Altmann Pinsky.

Berrigan, Ted. The Sonnets. 1982. Cover by Louise Hamlin. Frontispiece portrait by Joe Brainard.

Berrigan, Ted, and Harris Schiff. Yo-Yo’s with Money. 1979. Front cover by Rosina Kuhn. Photographs by Rochelle Kraut.

Brodey, Jim. Judyism. 1980. Cover by Martha Diamond.

Bye, Reed. Join the Planets. 2005. Cover by Donna Dennis.

Carey, Steve. The California Papers. 1981. Cover by Peter Kanter.

Carter, Charlotte. Personal Effects. 1991. Cover by Angela Fremont.

Collom, Jack. The Fox. 1981. Covers by Annie Hayes and William Kough.

Continue reading

Frym, Gloria. Solution Simulacra. 2006. Cover by Amy Trachtenberg.

Greenwald, Ted. Clearview/LIE. 2011. Cover by Hal Saulson.

Hawkins, Bobbie Louise. Absolutely Eden. 2008. Cover by Jane Dalrymple-Hollo.

Henning, Barbara. Love Makes Thinking Dark. 1995. Cover by Hariette Hartigan.

Henning, Barbara. My Autobiography. 2007. Cover by Miranda Maher.

Henning, Barbara. Smoking in the Twilight Bar. 1988. Cover by Hariette Hartigan.

Highfill, Mitch. Liquid Affairs. 1995. Cover by Mimi Fronczak.

Iantosca, Tony. Shut Up, Leaves. 2015. Cover by Zachary Cummings.

Krakauer, Daniel. Poems for the Whole Family. 1994. Cover by Dave Barkin.

Kushner, Bill. Head. 1986. Cover photograph by Bernadette Mayer.

Kushner, Bill. Love Uncut: Poems, 1986. 1990. Cover by Louise Hamlin.

Kushner, Bill. That April. 2000. Cover by Donna Cartelli.

Lenhart, Gary. One at a Time. 1983. Cover by Louise Hamlin.

Mayer, Bernadette. Another Smashed Pinecone. 1998. Cover by Sophia Warsh.

Mayer, Bernadette. Red Book in Three Parts. 2002. Cover by Ed Bowes.

Moritz, Dennis. Something To Hold On To. 1995. Cover by Pamela Lawton.

Notley, Alice. Songs for the Unborn Second Baby. 1979. Cover by George Schneeman.

Owen, Daniel. Toot Sweet. 2015. Cover by Pareesa Pourian.

Rogal, Lisa. Morning Ritual. 2015. Cover by Leo Madriz.

Savage, Tom. Political Conditions/Physical States. 1993. Cover by George Schneeman.

Schiff, Harris. In the Heart of the Empire. 1979. Cover by George Schneeman.

Schneeman, Elio. Along the Rails. 1991. Cover by Pamela Lawton.

Tysh, Chris. Continuity Girl. 1998. Cover by Janet Hamrick.

Tysh, Chris. Night Scales. 2010. Cover by Christian Boltanski.

Tysh, George. Echolalia. 1992. Cover by George Tysh.

Tysh, George. The Imperfect. 2010. Cover by Janet Hamrick.

Vermont, Charlie. Selected Poems. 1980. Cover by Alice Notley.

Waldman, Anne. Blue Mosque. 1988. Cover by Louise Hamlin.

Wallen, Sarah Anne. Don’t Drink Poison. 2015. Cover by Alyssa Matthews.

Warsh, Lewis. Hives. 1979. Front and back covers by Rosemary Mayer.

Warsh, Lewis. Information from the Surface of Venus. 1987. Cover by Louise Hamlin.

Warsh, Lewis. Reported Missing. 2002. Cover by Emilie Clark.

Wat, Phyllis. The Influence of Paintings Hung in Bedrooms. 2007. Cover by Noam Scheindlin.

Wat, Phyllis. WU going there. 2015. Cover by Noam Scheindlin.

Weiner, Hannah. The Fast. 1992. Cover by Anne Tardos.

Yankelevich, Matvei. Alpha Donut. 2012. Cover by Nora Griffin.


Z Press

magazines & Presses

Z Press

Kenward Elmslie
Calais, Vermont

Nos. 1–6 (1973–77): Z (1973), ZZ (1974), ZZZ (1974), ZZZZ (1974), ZZZZZ (1976), ZZZZZZ (1977).

Z (1973). Cover by Trevor Winkfield.

z-no-1-1973


Z Press produced the eponymous one-shot magazines Z, ZZ, ZZZ, ZZZZ, ZZZZZ, and ZZZZZZ in the 1970s, perhaps following in the footsteps of the Once series edited in England in the early 1960s by Tom Clark (Once, Twice, Thrice, Thrice and a 1/2Frice, etc.). Z, for which Trevor Winkfield drew the logo and cover, also included other work by him, including prose poems. It also had poems by Ted Berrigan, Michael Brownstein, Pat Nolan, Keith Abbott, and Charles North, and by Brad Gooch, who was to become a successful novelist and the biographer of Frank O’Hara. The third issue, printed by the Poets Press, included work by John Ashbery, Paul Violi, Trevor Winkfield, Douglas Crase, Ann Lauterbach, Tim Dlugos, John Wieners, Kenward Elmslie, Lorenzo Thomas, and Joanne Kyger. The cover and logo were by Donna Dennis, and the issue included “Hotels,” a portfolio of eight of her images, printed on glossy paper. The cover for ZZZZ was a drawing by Joe Brainard of Beetle Bailey, in homage and bagging Z’s, and with the sixth issue the last Z could be found hidden on the moose’s nose, drawn by Alex Katz. This issue included some of the usual suspects (Kenneth Koch, Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, and Frank O’Hara) but added some experimentalists such as Barrett Watten, Bob Perelman, and Paul Hoover. Z Press continues to publish books, broadsides, records, and cassettes from time to time (including work by Joe Brainard and Kenward Elmslie) and keeps most of its publications in print and well distributed, being in this way a little unusual or lucky.

John Godfrey, Where The Weather Suits My Clothes (1984). Edited by Kenward Elmslie. Cover photograph by Jean Boulte.

John Godfrey, Where the Weather Suits My Clothes (1984). Edited by Kenward Elmslie. Cover photograph by Jean Boulte.

Cover notes:

Covers by Joe Brainard (ZZZZ), Donna Dennis (ZZZ), Alex Katz (ZZZZZZ), Ron Padgett (ZZ), Karl Torok (ZZZZZ), and Trevor Winkfield (Z).

Z Press books and other publications include:

Ashbery, John, and James Schuyler. A Nest of Ninnies. 1975.

Brainard, Joe. 29 Mini-Essays. 1978.

Brainard, Joe, Anne Waldman, and Michael Brownstein. Almost Heaven. 1973. Poster.

Brownstein, Michael. Strange Days Ahead. 1975. Cover photograph by August Sander.

Bye, Reed. Border Theme. 1981.

Denby, Edwin. Miltie Is a Hackie. 1973.

Elmslie, Kenward, and Donna Dennis. 26 Bars: A Collaboration. 1987.

Finlay, Ian Hamilton. Heroic Emblems. 1978.

Godfrey, John. Where the Weather Suits My Clothes. 1984. Edited by Kenward Elmslie. Cover photograph by Jean Boulte.

Mathews, Harry. Selected Declarations of Dependence. 1977. Illustrated by Alex Katz.

Padgett, Ron. Tulsa Kid. 1979.

Waldman, Anne. Cabin. 1984. Cover photograph by Cynthia MacAdams.

Winkfield, Trevor. Nativity. 1974. Drawings by Karl Torok.

For a more complete listing of Z Press publications, the reader is referred to: William C. Bamberger, Kenward Elmslie: A Bibliographical Profile (Flint, MI: Bamberger Books, 1993).


The Poetry Project Newsletter

magazines & Presses

The Poetry Project Newsletter

Ron Padgett, Ted Greenwald, Bill Mackay, Frances LeFevre, Vicki Hudspith, Ed Friedman, and others
New York

Nos. 1 (December 1972)–

The Poetry Project Newsletter is still in operation.

The Poetry Project Newsletter, vol. 150, no. 1 (April/May 1994). This issue includes a facsimile of the Poetry Project Newsletter 1 (December 1, 1972).

newsletter-of-the-poetry-project_1994_vol_150_no_1


Begun in 1972, the Poetry Project Newsletter was mimeographed on the Gestetner machine in the Project’s office; its corner-stapled pages listed new publications and upcoming events of interest to the Project’s community. Most of these had to do with poetry, but there were also announcements of plays, performances, and art exhibits, as well as an occasional plea for a cheap apartment to rent or kittens in need of a home. Early issues made almost no mention of Poetry Project events, since at that time, the Project’s mailing list of 250 or so received weekly flyers publicizing the programs at St. Mark’s. Over the years, the newsletter expanded to include poems, articles, columns, reviews, comics, ads, and calendars of Project events, becoming—and, sadly, remaining—one of the few publications that regularly list and review poetry books from small- and medium-sized presses. During the 1980s, typed stencils and mimeography gave way to typesetting and offset printing. Then, as personal computers became affordable, typesetting and paste-up gave way to desktop publishing. Today, each thirty-two-page issue is mailed to a list of over 3,500 and is distributed nationally for sale at newsstands and bookstores; subscriptions are available to institutions and individuals. Although it continues to draw upon the Project for its sense of locale, the publication also addresses the interests of a national (and somewhat international) community of readers who share an interest in the more communicative and adventurous aspects of contemporary poetry.

— Ed Friedman, New York City, October 1997

Poetry Project: The Newsletter of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery 114 (May 1985).

Poetry Project: The Newsletter of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery 114 (May 1985).


The World

magazines & Presses

The World

Edited by Joel Sloman, Anne Waldman, and others
New York

Nos. 1–58 (January 1967–2002).

Covers by Bill Beckman (7), Jack Boyce (5), Joe Brainard (9, 14, 25), Tom Clark (11), Fielding Dawson (6), Donna Dennis (4, 13), Bruce Erbacher (18), Larry Fagin (10), Cliff Fyman and others (41), John Giorno (22), Mimi Gross (26), Philip Guston (29), Louise Hamlin (36), Jean Holabird (33), Yvonne Jacquette (21), Alex Katz (28), Rochelle Kraut (35), Linda Lawton (31), Rosemary Mayer (45), Rory McEwen (27), Pat Padgett (24), Larry Rivers (30), George Schneeman (3, 8, 19), Rick Veitch (15), Tom Veitch (20), Britton Wilkie (23), and Trevor Winkfield (32), among many others.

Anne Waldman, ed., The World Anthology: Poems from the St. Mark’s Poetry Project (Bobbs-Merril, 1969).

anne-waldman-the-world-anthology-1969


In the Spring of 1966, I couldn’t wait to graduate from Bennington, and get back “home” (which meant Macdougal Street and subsequently St. Mark’s Place) and the “literary life.” I had edited Silo magazine at school, and Lewis Warsh and I had founded Angel Hair magazine and books at the Berkeley Poetry Conference in the summer of 1965. The fall of 1966 was a critical time for me with Frank O’Hara’s tragic death, but I was also hired as an assistant to the newly christened Poetry Project, a place where “only” poets could get jobs. Troubadour translator and New York poet Paul Blackburn had hosted open readings in the Parish Hall at St. Mark’s the previous year, after moving the scene from the Metro coffeehouse. Joel Oppenheimer, another poet, was named director. He had worked as a printer and wrote columns for the Village Voice in characteristic lowercase. Younger poet Joel Sloman, who’d been a protégé of Denise Levertov, came on as primary assistant. We were being funded by Lyndon Johnson’s Office of Economic Opportunity through a sociologist from the New School who had raised funding specifically to “benefit alienated youth on the Lower East Side.” He would interview the staff, the participants, do a “study.” So, a pilot project. We were “all” guinea pigs. We took the command seriously. When we started The World, there had been a lull in the little magazine blitz, di Prima and LeRoi Jones’s Floating Bear was subsiding, Ed Sanders’s Fuck You/ a magazine of the arts and “C” magazine, edited by Ted Berrigan, weren’t coming out regularly. Carpe diem! A not-so-efficient brainstorm as it turned out, Joel Sloman and I sent out stencils to our desired contributors in mailing tubes that were to be returned with hot-from-the-muse in-progress works.

They came back mangled, or improperly typed. Banged out in creative fervor. Holes for “o’s” from those with expressive macho typewriters. No, that sheet has to go under the blue part shiny side up, you dummies! Exasperation, but soon it started to look good in the tradition, as we in the Mimeo Revolution say. Long hours late at night in the office minding the machines. Then we’d have a collation party the next day with the heavy-duty stapler. The overinked pages had a certain charm. A page of an Edwin Denby play we printed, still readable but mottled, turned into a gorgeous work. George Schneeman often added color and visual flair to the magazine, and one of his works hangs over the peripatetic desk still. The other covers were fabulous! Artists Joe Brainard, Philip Guston, Yvonne Jacquette, Larry Rivers, Alex Katz, and others joined the mix. Joel’s issue number one included work by Jack Anderson, Ted Berrigan, Jim Brodey, Michael Brownstein, Ruth Krauss, Gerard Malanga, Joel Oppenheimer, John Perreault, Carol Rubenstein, Rene Ricard, Peter Schjeldahl, Anne Waldman, Lewis Warsh, Gary Youree, and others. I took over from Joel Sloman after the first issues, which had a number edited by Sam Abrams.

I think I was “in chief” by the end of 1967 and was then named director of the Project in 1968 and continued the magazine through the next decade, which included some fine guest editorships: Tom Clark, Lewis Warsh (the Prose Issue), Ron Padgett (the Translation Issue), to name a few. Bernadette Mayer was a stalwart coworker in 1974. The magazine was always too big, messy, uneven, democratic, inclusive, raw, and even boring at times. Hundreds of writers appeared in its 8½ x 11 pages. The impulse was always toward the immediate community, so it covers most of the so-called New York School plus what comes after, with a bow toward Black Mountain, the Beats, San Francisco Renaissance, and the New York Scene (not “school”), as well as many independent folk and younger writers from workshops. It was arty, political, experimental, classy, corny, unaligned. In 1976 or so after many issues, when I headed out West with Allen Ginsberg to start up the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, the first thing I did was purchase a mimeo machine at a used office equipment store in Denver for $38 so I’d feel more at home.

— Anne Waldman, “Running off The World”

The World 32 (1979).

The World 32 (1979).

The World 39 [1983?].

The World 39 [1983?].

 


The Poetry Project

Magazines & Presses

The Poetry Project

Allen Ginsberg reads in St. Mark’s Church Sanctuary, ca. 1976 (Maureen Owen sits on the steps to his right).

Allen Ginsberg reads in St. Mark's Church Sanctuary, ca. 1976 (Maureen Owen sits on the steps to his right). Courtesy The Poetry Project.


Insane Podium: A Short History
The Poetry Project, 1966–

by Miles Champion

The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery was founded in the summer of 1966 as a direct successor to, and continuation of, the various coffeehouse reading series that had flourished on the Lower East Side since 1960. The first of these, at the Tenth Street Coffeehouse on the gallery block between Third and Fourth Avenues, moved to Les Deux Mégots on East Seventh Street in 1962 (both establishments were co-owned by Mickey Ruskin, who would later open Max’s Kansas City); from March 1963, readings were held at Moe and Cindy Margules’s Café Le Metro at 149 Second Avenue, where the 13th Step sports bar is now.

Allen Ginsberg has traced the lineage back further, to the readings at the MacDougal Street Bar (later the Gaslight Café) in the late 1950s, which were prompted by the popularity of readings organized earlier in that decade on the West Coast by poets associated with the San Francisco Renaissance and the Berkeley Renaissance of the 1940s. Before that, Ginsberg suggests, there was the Paris of the Existentialists (the name Les Deux Mégots—The Two Butts or Fag-Ends—was, after all, a play on Les Deux Magots, the famous Left Bank café), and, predating that by some 2,000 years, the Forum of Ancient Rome.

Broadly contemporary with the Poetry Project’s founding were the Sunday afternoon readings hosted by Ted Berrigan at Izzy Young’s Folklore Center on Sixth Avenue at Third Street; Joe Brainard, Joseph Ceravolo, Dick Gallup, Gerard Malanga, Ed Sanders, and Aram Saroyan read there, among others, and Clark Coolidge gave his first-ever reading there in July ’66.

A snapshot of the relevant poetry landscape in the years immediately prior to the Project’s founding would include the publication in 1960 of Donald M. Allen’s groundbreaking anthology The New American Poetry (with its five groupings of Black Mountain, San Francisco Renaissance, Beat, New York School, and Other), and the Vancouver and Berkeley poetry conferences of, respectively, 1963 and 1965.

Flyer for a reading by Aram Saroyan at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, January 31, 1968. Date and location is on the flyer's verso.

Flyer for a reading by Aram Saroyan at the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, January 31, 1968. Date and location are on the flyer’s verso.

When the readings at Café Le Metro came to an end in late 1965, the poets—Paul Blackburn, Carol Bergé, Jerome Rothenberg, and Diane Wakoski among them—found themselves temporarily without a home. Various tensions—racial, political—had pulled the Metro series apart; Moe Margules was a Goldwater Republican, and the already strained relations between him and the Umbra poets—a collective of predominantly African-American writers living on the Lower East Side, including Steve Cannon, Tom Dent, David Henderson, Calvin C. Hernton, Lenox Raphael, Ishmael Reed, Rolland Snellings (later known as Askia M. Touré), Lorenzo Thomas, and Brenda Walcott—had become outwardly hostile by the fall. Also, the going rate for a cup of coffee in 1965 was a dime, and Margules had instituted an unpopular 25¢ minimum. St. Mark’s Church was only a half-block away, and the church’s rector, the Reverend Michael Allen, was very much a community figure on the Lower East Side. (Realtors had yet to coin the term “the east village,” although the bohemian drift east was already underway, having been occasioned by rising rents west of Broadway.) Indeed, Allen had gone so far as to claim artists and writers as his allies, for being among the very few in society who were, as he put it, “doing theology.”

St. Mark’s Church itself had a long history of social activism, and had championed the arts since the 1800s, a commitment that would only intensify in the years 1911–37, under the unorthodox rectorship of the decidedly modernist Dr. William Norman Guthrie. Guthrie was a collaborator of Frank Lloyd Wright’s whose enthusiasm for dance (and incorporation of it into his services) did not sit well with all of his parishioners, or the wider Episcopal Church. For Guthrie, dance—or “eurythmic ritual”—was the earliest art form as well as the most direct language of religion.

In 1919, Guthrie assembled an Arts Committee comprised entirely of people who lived locally, including Kahlil Gibran, Vachel Lindsay, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. Martha Graham danced at the church in 1930, as did Ruth St. Denis in 1933, with Guthrie reciting St. Denis’s poems between what the New York Times described as her “exotic religious dances.” (Isadora Duncan almost danced at the church in 1922, but the event was canceled at the last minute—as was a later talk Duncan was scheduled to give—due to the intervention of William T. Manning, the Bishop of New York; the bare feet of certain dancers, it seems, were less acceptable than others.) William Carlos Williams lectured in the Sunday Symposium series in April 1926, and incoming rector in 1943, the Reverend Richard E. McEvoy, introduced a visual arts program. When Reverend Allen arrived in 1959, W. H. Auden was a parishioner (he lived two blocks south on St. Mark’s Place and had a favorite pew at the back of the church) and the Civil Rights Movement was at its height, active nearby in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. (Allen rode the “freedom buses” through the South in the early sixties, and in late 1972—two years after stepping down as rector at St. Mark’s—he visited North Vietnam as part of a peace delegation invited by the Vietnam Committee of Solidarity with the American People to address human rights issues in the area.)

Flyer for a reading by Anne Waldman and Kenward Elmslie at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, May 28, [1969].

Flyer by Joe Brainard for a reading by Anne Waldman and Kenward Elmslie at the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, May 28, [1969].

In 1961, Archie Shepp—also a member of Umbra—began organizing free jazz concerts in the church’s West Yard on Sunday afternoons. In July 1963, the Umbra collective held a “Freedom North” arts festival at St. Mark’s, saluting the Freedom Movement and showcasing the work of African-American painters, sculptors, photographers, poets, and musicians, including Shepp, Lloyd Addison, Tom Feelings, Al Haynes, Joe Johnson, Charles Patterson, Norman H. Pritchard, Freddie Redd, and Edward Strickland. The first issue of the collective’s magazine, Umbra, had come out in March (edited by Dent, Henderson, and Hernton), one of the first instances of the marriage of aesthetics and militant separatism that would later be associated with the Black Arts Movement.

In 1964, Ralph Cook, a young playwright who had struck up a friendship with Reverend Allen—and who was head waiter at the Village Gate restaurant, where Sam Shepard was working as a busboy—founded the experimental playwrights’ workshop, Theater Genesis, which would go on to be one of the very first off-off-Broadway theaters (along with Caffe Cino, Judson Poets’ Theater, and La MaMa), operating out of St. Mark’s for the entirety of its fourteen-season run, until its closure in 1977 (Cook’s friendship with Reverend Allen led to him becoming Lay Minister for the Arts at St. Mark’s).

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In 1965, Allen invited John Brockman—a young businessman with an office uptown, who was attending Theater Genesis events in the evenings—to coordinate screenings of experimental films at the church, a well-attended series that culminated in Brockman organizing the monthlong Expanded Cinema Festival in November ’65 at the Filmmakers’ Cinémathèque, based on an initial idea of Jonas Mekas’s and featuring performances/screenings by Claes Oldenburg, Nam June Paik, Robert Rauschenberg, Carolee Schneemann, Jack Smith, Andy Warhol, La Monte Young, and many others. (It’s worth noting that Allen issued his invitation to Brockman at a time when the City had banned so-called “underground” films.)

In January 1966, Reverend Allen gave the displaced poets from Café Le Metro a characteristically enthusiastic welcome. A Reading Committee was formed, comprised of Carol Bergé, Paul Blackburn, Allen Planz, Paul Plummer, Jerome Rothenberg, Carol Rubinstein, and Diane Wakoski (George Economou joined later in the year, although the committee was largely a nominal body by then). It would not be contentious to state that, if it were possible to single out just one person as having particularly nurtured the community and context out of which the Poetry Project grew, then that person would be Paul Blackburn. Blackburn had been organizing and attending readings in New York for a decade, often passing the hat to make sure whoever was reading got paid something, and also lugging his Wollensak reel-to-reel tape machine to readings to record them, creating a unique and irreplaceable audio archive in the process (Blackburn’s tapes are now housed in the Archive for New Poetry at UCSD). Jerome Rothenberg has called Blackburn the “moving force” of the readings at Le Metro, and Anne Waldman has described him as the Poetry Project’s “subtle father.”

Various poets read at St. Mark’s in the months leading up to the Poetry Project’s official founding: Harold Dicker, Ree Dragonette, Anselm Hollo, David Ignatow, Jackson Mac Low, Frank Murphy, M. C. Richards, and, on April 28, 1966, John Ashbery, who had recently returned from a ten-year sojourn in Paris, and was introduced by Ted Berrigan.

The task Reverend Allen had set himself was to provide an institutional framework in which both arts and community projects could flourish; he knew funding was necessary if the church’s arts programs were to survive. A month or so after Ashbery’s reading, Reverend Allen received a phone call: Harry Silverstein, a professor of sociology at the New School for Social Research, wanted to know if St. Mark’s could use $90,000.

The improbable story of how the incipient arts programs at St. Mark’s would come to receive a two-year grant of a little under $200,000 from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare under President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration is related in Bob Holman’s much-quoted (if still-unpublished) “History of the Poetry Project,” which contains transcripts of the oral testimonies of thirty-five people that Holman began interviewing in spring 1978, when the Poetry Project’s director at the time, Ron Padgett, was able to hire him thanks to funds from the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, a federally funded reeducation program. The basic facts are outlined in Daniel Kane’s book All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s, and run as follows. In May 1966, the Health, Education and Welfare Office of Juvenile Delinquency and Development found itself with funds earmarked for the socialization of juvenile delinquents—funds that it needed to allocate by the end of the fiscal year, or risk losing entirely. Federal employee Israel Garver called his friend Harry Silverstein to ask if Silverstein had any ideas.

Silverstein’s first call went out to the Judson Memorial Church, which already had a prominent arts program in place; but it turned out that Al Carmines (of the Poets’ Theater) didn’t particularly care for sociologists, and didn’t want them snooping around. And so it came about that the Reverend Allen’s phone rang. Allen couldn’t quite believe it, but Silverstein seemed to be in earnest, and before they knew it they were in discussion with Ralph Cook, Robert Amussen—who was on the Vestry of St. Mark’s and the Board of Theater Genesis, and who also happened to be editor-in-chief at Bobbs-Merrill—and several others. One week later, a grant proposal for a multi-arts project with a full schedule of readings, workshops, screenings, and theater performances (as well as a budget for publications) landed on a desk in Washington. Its title: “Creative Arts for Alienated Youth.”

These various strands shook out into three distinct arts projects. Theater Genesis was, of course, already in place at St. Mark’s, and the poets, as we know, chose the name The Poetry Project (the Olsonian echo was intentional). The third project, the Film Project, proved to be the shortest-lived (under the aegis of St. Mark’s and the New School, at least), due in part to the high cost of rental equipment, the frequency with which this equipment was stolen, and the 16mm equivalent of “musical differences” between its co-runners, Ken Jacobs and Stanton Kaye. Before it fell apart, the Film Project and its equipment were housed in the old Second Avenue Courthouse building (where Anthology Film Archives is now), which St. Mark’s had leased from the City for $100 a year. This was also where the Poetry Project held its first workshops, and where the Project’s first secretary, Anne Waldman, had a satellite office (Lewis Warsh had a desk and phone there, too: he took reservations for Theater Genesis). Jacobs left St. Mark’s after a year, and took the Film Project off in his own direction—as the Millennium Film Workshop—soon after that; the workshop is still running on East Fourth Street today. St. Mark’s held onto the Old Courthouse lease for a number of years, sponsoring Peter Schumann and his Bread & Puppet Theater’s activities there, and giving up the lease when Schumann decided to move on.

The idea, then, was a simple one: the arts projects would run, “youth” would hopefully gravitate toward them (and away from the streets), and the sociologists—Silverstein and his colleague Bernard Rosenberg—would observe and take notes. To quote Michael Allen (from his 1978 interview with Holman): “We were not out to reform kids. It was our commitment that people find their own identities. What we were after was the opposite of juvenile delinquency: a serious, meaningful, committed community.” As it turned out, the New School’s involvement only lasted for a year (it was bureaucratically slow, administratively inefficient), although Silverstein did eventually publish his report in 1971.

The grant allowed for three salaried positions for the poets, and the Project’s first office staff was Joel Oppenheimer (Director), Joel Sloman (Assistant), and Anne Waldman (Secretary). The first official reading at St. Mark’s under the Poetry Project’s newly minted auspices was, fittingly, a solo reading by Paul Blackburn on Thursday, September 22, 1966. When it became apparent that some audience members were unable to get fully behind the idea of readings on Tuesday and Thursday nights (plus there was a clash with a series at the Guggenheim on Thursdays), the Project adopted a format that was well known from Café Le Metro days: open readings on Mondays and featured readers on Wednesdays. The first Wednesday-night reader was Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who read to an audience of 1,200 (with 500 turned away at the door) on October 19. The Reading Committee that had been formed at the start of the year gradually melted away.

The HEW grant included funds earmarked for workshops and a journal to be published three times a year. Sam Abrams, Ted Berrigan, Joel Oppenheimer, and Joel Sloman taught the first workshops; the journal didn’t quite turn out as planned. A professionally printed, perfect-bound journal, edited by Oppenheimer and titled The Genre of Silence, proved to be a one-off (its title was a reference to the muzzling of Isaac Babel’s authorial voice by Joseph Stalin, a clear if clunky sign that the Poetry Project felt somewhat conflicted about the source of its funds, as well as related expectations as to what the journal should be).

The Project and its community found its needs better met by a proposal of Joel Sloman’s: the quicker and cheaper publication of an in-house mimeographed magazine. The first issue of The World was edited by Sloman and appeared in January 1967, some months before the already assembled Genre of Silence, publication of which had been variously held up. Dan Clark provided the cover art, and the issue contained work by Ted Berrigan, Jim Brodey, Michael Brownstein, Marilyn Hacker, John Perreault, Carol Rubinstein, and Michael Stephens, among others.

This is an an abridged version of Miles Champion’s history of the Poetry Project. The complete essay can be found on the Poetry Project website.

Flyer for a reading by Larry Goodell and Stephen Rodefer at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, September 26, [no year].

Flyer for a reading by Larry Goodell and Stephen Rodefer at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, September 26, [no year].


The Paris Review

Magazines & Presses

The Paris Review

Poetry editor, Tom Clark
New York

1964–1974 (nos. 32–56).

The Paris Review 35 (Fall 1965).

the-paris-review-43-fall-1965


One of the great literary magazines of the latter half of the twentieth century, The Paris Review was founded in 1953 by novelist Peter Matthiessen and Harold Hume. The model for the magazine was Ford Madox Ford’s Transatlantic Review, especially as it fell under the influence of Ezra Pound, and the idea was to recapture the Paris of the 1930s and the aura of explosive experimentation of that time. Soon after its founding, Matthiessen asked George Plimpton to edit and serve as the public relations arm of the magazine. The first poetry editor was Donald Hall. The Paris Review has been remarkably astute in predicting literary success and has indeed published most of the important fiction writers and poets of our time.

The Paris Review interviews, entitled either The Art of Fiction or The Art of Poetry, have become known worldwide and have been influential in establishing almost a new literary genre, the author interview. Issue 31 (Winter/Spring 1964), edited by the second poetry editor, X. J. Kennedy, was devoted to an anthology of “Poets of the Sixties” that included, among others, John Hollander, James Dickey, Robert Bly, W. S. Merwin, and James Wright. However, with issue 32 (Summer/Fall 1964), Tom Clark assumed the poetry editorship and began publishing two generations of the New York School in the issues beginning with number 35 (which included Ron Padgett, Aram Saroyan, and an interview with William S. Burroughs). Issue 36 added Barbara Guest, and issue 40 printed three of Ted Berrigan’s Sonnets and two poems by John Ashbery (“The Bungalows” and “The Chateau Hardware”). Poems in issue 41 were almost all by poets associated with the New York Schools, including Ashbery, Berkson, Coolidge, Gallup, Koch, Lima, Padgett, Schuyler, and Towle. Issue 43 contains the famous interview with Jack Kerouac by Ted Berrigan, witnessed by Aram Saroyan. Clark was poetry editor for ten years and twenty-five issues, until 1974 and issue 56, which contained his own “At Malibu” as well as work by Anne Waldman, Lewis MacAdams, and Alice Notley, and a portfolio of “Imaginary Drawings for Book Covers” by George Schneeman.

The Paris Review, vol. 9, no. 35 (Fall 1965).

The Paris Review 43 (Summer 1968).


Living Hand

magazines & Presses

Living Hand

Paul Auster, Lydia Davis, and Mitchell Susskind
Paris and New York

Nos. 1–8 (1973–76).

Two periodical issues [nos. 1 and 4] and six monographs.

Living Hand 3 (1974), Unearth by Paul Auster.

living-hand-3-1974-paul-auster-unearth


Both a little magazine and a small, independent publishing house, Living Hand, which took its name from Keats (“This living hand, now warm and capable”), was started in Paris by Paul Auster (The New York Trilogy, The Music of Chance, The Art of Hunger, The Invention of Solitude), who was then working as a telephone operator for the Paris Bureau of the New York Times and translating French poetry. Living Hand, which included a great number of Auster’s translations, numbered eight issues, with numbers 1 and 4 being the most conventionally magazine-like; the other numbers were monographs. They included translations of Paul Celan, Georges Bataille, Edmond Jabès, Maurice Blanchot, and other modern European writers, alongside original work in English by editors Auster and Davis (who were then married), Allen Mandelbaum, Sarah Plimpton, Russell Edson, and Rosmarie Waldrop, among others.

Living Hand published two volumes of translations by Auster, Jacques Dupin’s Fits and Starts: Selected Poems (issue 2) and The Uninhabited: Selected Poems of André du Bouchet (issue 7), as well as Auster’s own first collection of poetry, Unearth (issue 4). Living Hand 3 was The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories, a sparkling collection of short works by Lydia Davis. Leaves of Absence, a collection of poems by Allen Mandelbaum, an award-winning translator (of Ungaretti and the Aeneid, for instance), was Living Hand 6, and a collection of work by Sarah Plimpton was Living Hand 8. Living Hand did not accept unsolicited submissions and was, in the most positive way, the product of an intellectual community intensely dedicated to avant-garde (in the sense of on the edge, ahead of its time) writing. In this, and in its concern for the friendship of French and American letters, Living Hand is also, and paradoxically, part of a century-long tradition of ultramodernism.

The six Living Hand monograph issues are

Auster, Paul. Unearth. 1974. Living Hand 4.

Davis, Lydia. The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories. 1976. Living Hand 3.

Du Bouchet, André. The Uninhabited: Selected Poems of André du Bouchet. 1976. Living Hand 7. Translated and with an introduction by Paul Auster.

Dupin, Jacques. Fits and Starts: Selected Poems of Jacques Dupin. 1974. Living Hand 2. Translated by Paul Auster.

Mandelbaum, Allen. Leaves of Absence. 1976. Living Hand 6.

Plimpton, Sarah. Single Skies. 1976. Living Hand 8.

 

Living Hand 2 (1974). Fits and Starts by Jacques Dupin, translated by Paul Auster.

Living Hand 2 (1974), Fits and Starts: Selected Poems of Jacques Dupin, translated by Paul Auster.


Art and Literature

Magazines & Presses

Art and Literature

John Ashbery, Anne Dunn, Rodrigo Moynihan, and Sonia Orwell
Paris

Nos. 1–12 (1964–67).

Art and Literature 1 (1964).

art-and-literature-1-1964


Very high style, intense, and European, following on the heels of Locus Solus, Art and Literature was published in Switzerland by the painters Anne Dunn and Rodrigo Moynihan, and primarily edited by poet John Ashbery, who relocated to New York from Paris soon after the journal was launched. (Sonia Orwell—George Orwell’s widow—was a contributing editor to the first six issues.) Ashbery produced a remarkable blend of poetry, fiction, and commentary dealing not only with the world of poetry and literature, but with avant-garde art, theater, film, performance, and installation art. In addition, Art and Literature ranged geographically and chronologically over a wide variety of literatures. Issue 11 alone, for instance, included Rilke, Kenneth Koch and James Schuyler, Iannis Xenakis (Greece), Witold Gombrowicz (Poland), Cyril Connolly (England), Caspar David Friedrich (Germany), Miroslav Holub (Czechoslovakia), Gunter Kunert (East Germany), and Adrian Stokes (England). The last and twelfth issue of Art and Literature has a section dedicated to Frank O’Hara as well as a portfolio of work by Lucian Freud, a group of prose poems by Francis Ponge, a long poem by Barbara Guest, minimalist work by Aram Saroyan and Clark Coolidge, and a portfolio of work by sculptor Ronald Bladen with an essay by Bill Berkson. A remarkably integrated magazine despite its wide range of subjects and sympathies, Art and Literature was an elegant showcase for important new work from a variety of sources.

Art and Literature 4 (Spring 1965).

Art and Literature 4 (Spring 1965).


Fuck You/ a magazine of the arts

magazines & Presses

Fuck You/ a magazine of the arts

Edward Sanders
New York

Nos. 1–4 and no. 5, vol. 1–no. 5, vol. 9 (February 1962–June 1965).

Fuck You 1 (February–April 1962).

ed-sanders-fuck-you-1-feb-april-1962


In February of 1962 I was sitting in Stanley’s Bar at 12th and B with some friends from the Catholic Worker. We’d just seen Jonas Mekas’s movie Guns of the Trees, and I announced I was going to publish a poetry journal called Fuck You/ a magazine of the arts. There was a certain tone of skepticism among my rather inebriated friends, but the next day I began typing stencils, and had an issue out within a week. I bought a small mimeograph machine, and installed it in my pad on East 11th, hand-cranking and collating 500 copies, which I gave away free wherever I wandered. Fearful of getting arrested, I nevertheless mailed it to my heroes around the world, from Charles Olson to T. S. Eliot to Marianne Moore, from Castro to Samuel Beckett, from Picasso to Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg.

Ed Sanders at the Berkeley Poetry Conference, July 1965.

Ed Sanders at the Berkeley Poetry Conference, July 1965.

Fuck You was part of what they called the Mimeograph Revolution, and my vision was to reach out to the “Best Minds” of my generation with a message of Gandhian pacifism, great sharing, social change, the expansion of personal freedom (including the legalization of marijuana), and the then-stirring messages of sexual liberation. I published Fuck You/ a magazine of the arts from 1962 through 1965, for a total of thirteen issues. In addition, I formed a mimeograph press which issued a flood of broadsides and manifestoes during those years, including Burroughs’s Roosevelt After Inauguration, Carol Bergé’s Vancouver Report, Auden’s Platonic Blow, The Marijuana Review, and a bootleg collection of the final Cantos of Ezra Pound.

Ed Sanders, Woodstock, New York, October 1997

Fuck You, no. 5, vol. 5 (December 1963). Hand-drawn-on-stencil for the “Notes on Contributors” page.

Fuck You, no. 5, vol. 5 (December 1963). Hand-drawn-on-stencil for the “Notes on Contributors” page.

Joe Brainard, “Banana Letter,” 1965. Original drawing. From an unrealized Fuck You Press book.

Joe Brainard, “Banana Letter,” 1965. Original drawing. From an unrealized Fuck You Press book.

A partial list of Fuck You books

Auden, W. H. The Platonic Blow. 1965.

Bergé, Carol. The Vancouver Report. 1964.

Burroughs, William S. Health Bulletin: APO-33, a Metabolic Regulator. 1965. Fewer than twenty copies of this publication are extant; the rest were destroyed.

[Burroughs, William S.] “Willie Lee.” Roosevelt After Inauguration. Cover illustrations by Allen Ginsberg. 1964.

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. To Fuck Is to Love Again (Kyrie Eleison Kerista), or, The Situation in the West, Followed by a Holy Proposal. 1965.

Lawrence, D. H. Maxims and Aphorisms from the Letters of D. H. Lawrence. 1964. Compiled, with appended poems, by Marguerite Harris. 1964.

Pélieu, Claude. Automatic Pilot. 1964. Translated by Mary Beach. Published for City Lights Books.

Pound, Ezra. The Cantos, CX–CXVI. 1967. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Sanders, Ed. The Toe Queen Poems. 1964. With a foreword by Consuela. Cover by Ed Sanders.

Sanders, Ed. Fuck God in the Ass: Poems by Ed Sanders. 1967.

Sanders, Ed. A Description of the Regal Society of Sooey Semen. 1969.

Sanders, Ed, Ken Weaver, and Betsy Klein, eds. The Fugs’ Songbook! [1965]. Notes on Fugs by Ed Sanders.

Sanders, Ed, ed. A Valorium Edition of the Entire Extant Works of Thales!: The Famous Milesian Poet, Philosopher, Physicist, Astronomer, Mathematician, Cosmologist, Urstoff-freak, Absent-minded Professor & Madman. 1964. With an introduction by Aristotle.

Sanders, Ed, ed. Bugger!: An Anthology of Buttockry. [Title on table of contents/dedication page: Bugger: An Anthology of Anal Erotic, Pound Cake, Cornhole, Arse-Freak & Dreck Poems.] 1964. Cover by Ed Sanders.

Sanders, Ed, ed. Despair: Poems to Come Down By. 1964.

Sanders, Ed, ed. Poems for Marilyn. 1962.

Fuck You Quote of the Week

The Fuck You Quote of the Week 1 (by Harry Fainlight). September 7, 1964. Broadside.

The Fuck You Quote of the Week 2 (by John Ashbery). September 14, 1964. Broadside.

The Fuck You Quote of the Week 3 (by Kenneth Koch). September 23, 1964. Broadside.

Newsletters

The Dick: An Occasional Newsletter of Observation, Literature & Commentary, vol. 1, no. 1 (February 1967). Sole issue. Edited and largely written by Sanders although it does not carry the Fuck You imprint.

Ed Sanders Newsletter. [1966]. Sole issue.

The Marijuana Newsletter, nos. 1–2 (January 30, 1965–March 15, 1965).

The Sanders Report: A Journal of Reportage & Opinion in the Fields of Telephone & Electric Rate Reform, Public Power, Nuclear Energy, Toxic Wastes, Military & National Security Affairs, Poetics, Art, and Consumerism, nos. 1–2 (November 1982–August/September 1983). Edited, written, and published by Sanders while he lived in Albany, New York. Does not carry the Fuck You imprint.

Catalogs

A Catalogue of Manuscripts, Holographs, Literary Relics, Tape Recordings, Drawings, Books, Magazines, Broadsides, Tractata, Ejaculata, Drek, & Other Effluvia of the Literary Divinity Offered by Sale by Ed Sanders. [1964].

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Ed Sanders’ Catalogue #2: Books, Rare Magazines, Poetry, Manuscripts, Broadsides, Relics, Instruments, Tapes, & Other Literary Ejaculata. [1964].

Ed Sanders’ Catalogue #3: Books, Freak-Tomes, Literary Relics, Magazines, Tapes, Broadsides, Tractata, Zapata, Rare Book Scenes, & Other Vectors from the Litereary Ejaculatorium. [1965].

Ed Sanders’ Catalogue #4: Of Manuscripts, Holographs, Literary Relics, Drawings, Books, Magazines, Tractata, Ejaculata, Dreck, Freak-Spews, Gobble Vectors, Poetry, etc. [1965].

Special Ed Sanders Catalogue #4½: The Szabo Edition: a Group of Books from the Legendary Szabo Library—Forfeited in a Deal Where the Famous Poet Szabo Burned Sanders Down in a Loan Scene Using These Books as Collateral. [1965].

Ed Sanders’ Catalogue #5: A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts, Freak-Items, Lower East Side Relics, Magazines, Broadsides, and Other Literary Ejaculata from the Stock of the Evil Peace Eye Bookstore. [1965].

Ed Sanders’ Catalogue #6: Books, Freak-Tomes, Manuscripts, Fragile Lower East Side Poetry Magazines, Broadsides, Tractata, and other relics spewed from the literary world. [1965].

Peace Eye Bookstore Catalog 7. [n.d.].

Peace Eye Bookstore Catalog [8]. 1968.

 

Special thanks to Timothy Murray, from whose unpublished checklist of Fuck You publications the original version of this list was compiled. Special thanks also to Jed Birmingham for contributing his ongoing Fuck You bibliography to this new compilation.

Resource

Scans of the compete run of Fuck You/ a magazine of the arts as well as scans of other Fuck You Press items are available on the Fuck You Press Archive page at Reality Studio.


“C” Press

magazines & Presses

“C” Press

Ted Berrigan
New York

Vol. 1, no. 1–vol. 2, no. 14 (May 1963–May 1966).

No. 12 was not produced; no. 14 is Behind the Wheel by Michael Brownstein.

Ron Padgett, 2 / 2 Stories for Andy Warhol (1965). Cover by Andy Warhol.


Begun in May 1963 by poet and editor Ted Berrigan (with Lorenz Gude as publisher), “C” Press and its mimeograph-produced magazine and books provided an important early outlet for the writings of younger poets and their immediate predecessors. The first issue printed work by the core group of Dick Gallup, Ron Padgett, Joe Brainard (who was also a visual artist), and Ted Berrigan. These four had recently relocated to the East Village from Tulsa, where they had produced and/or contributed to the White Dove Review (five issues, 1959–60). However, the immediate precursor to “C” was The Censored Review, which was published, also via the mimeo machine, in 1963; its contents had been gathered by Columbia student Ron Padgett for the university literary magazine, but had been suppressed by the dean. The title poem, by “Noble Brainard,” was a collaboration between Berrigan and Padgett.

C Press. Ted Berrigan. Mixed-media portrait by George Schneeman, 1966–1967.

Ted Berrigan. Mixed-media portrait by George Schneeman, 1966–67. Painter George Schneeman and poet Ted Berrigan met in June 1966 just after Schneeman moved to New York City. This is probably the first of the many paintings of New York School poets executed by Schneeman at his new studio on East 7th Street.

Berrigan’s “C” magazine published poems, plays, essays, translations, and comics by a growing number of writers and artists, but always bore the distinctive imprint of its charismatic editor. Issue 4 featured poet and dance writer Edwin Denby and included contributions by Frank O’Hara, John Wieners, and Berrigan. The cover sported a silk screen by Andy Warhol of an image of Denby and Gerard Malanga. 2/2 Stories for Andy Warhol by Ron Padgett, also with a cover by Warhol, was published by “C” Press in 1965, as was Joe Ceravolo’s Fits of Dawn. Berrigan’s own great book of the period was The Sonnets (1964), which featured a cover by Brainard. For many people, this work has come to symbolize Berrigan, who was, in the words of Ken Tucker, “fiercely unpretentious, intensely self-absorbed, prodigious in his ambition and energy, [and who] did more than create a substantial body of poetry. He also embodied a spirit that gave meaning to many other writers’ lives.”

C Press. Cover by Joe Brainard

C,” vol. 2. no. 11 (Summer 1965). Cover by Joe Brainard.

“C” Comics

Edited by Joe Brainard. Nos. 1–2 (1964). No. 1 was published by Boke Press.

“C” Press books include

Berrigan, Ted. The Sonnets. 1964. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Brownstein, Michael. Behind the Wheel. 1967. “C” no. 14. Cover by Alex Katz.

Burroughs, William S. Time. 1965. Four drawings by Brion Gysin.

Ceravolo, Joseph. Fits of Dawn. 1965. Cover by Rosemary Ceravolo.

Elmslie, Kenward. The Power Plant Poems. 1967. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Gallup, Dick. Hinges. 1965. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Notley, Alice. 165 Meeting House Lane (Twenty-four Sonnets). 1971. Cover by Philip Whalen.

Padgett, Ron. Quelques Poèmes/Some Translations/Some Bombs. 1963. Translations by Padgett of poems by Pierre Reverdy. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Padgett, Ron. 2/2 Stories for Andy Warhol. 1965. Cover by Andy Warhol.

Schneeman, Elio. In February I Think. 1978. Cover by George Schneeman.

Veitch, Tom. Literary Days. 1964. Cover by Joe Brainard.

The Censored Review (1963).

The Censored Review (1963).


White Dove Review

magazines & Presses

White Dove Review

Ron Padgett
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Nos. 1–5 (1959–Summer 1960).

White Dove Review, vol. 1, no. 3 (1959).

white-dove-review-v-1-no-3-1959


Editorially the predecessor to all the second-generation New York School little magazines, the White Dove Review was started by high school student Ron Padgett. The associate editor was Dick Gallup, and the art editors were Joe Brainard and Michael Marsh. The first issue contained poems by Paul Blackburn (described as a “well known poet living in New York”) as well as Clarence Major and Ron Padgett, and an excerpt, here entitled “Thrashing Doves,” from Kerouac’s Book of Blues. The second issue included poems by Ted Berrigan, LeRoi Jones, Ron Loewinsohn, Fielding Dawson, Simon Perchick, and Clarence Major, among others. In a 1991 interview with Edward Foster, Padgett described his inspiration for the Review: “But my introduction to modern poetry came…when I was fifteen and working in a bookstore, the Louis Meyer Bookshop, run by a very nice and highly literate man, who was also a writer. It was there I found out about e. e. cummings and T. S. Eliot.

White Dove Review, vol. 2, no. 5 (Summer 1960). Cover by Joe Brainard.

White Dove Review, vol. 2, no. 5 (Summer 1960). Cover by Joe Brainard.

Then I learned about Evergreen Review and suddenly started reading all these modernist poets such as LeRoi Jones and Frank O’Hara, and I subscribed to the magazines advertised in Evergreen Review like LeRoi Jones’s Yugen and Wallace Berman’s Semina. And when I looked at magazines like Yugen, I saw they were just little things stapled together, and so I went down to a local printer and asked, How do you do this? And he said, Oh, it’s nothing—it’s real easy. So I decided to start my own magazine. I invited Dick Gallup, who was [living] across the street and was writing poetry, to be coeditor and Joe Brainard, who was the best artist in school, to be the art editor.” Padgett called his magazine the White Dove Review after an Evergreen Review cover showing a girl holding a white dove. That issue, Evergreen Review, vol. 2, no. 6 (Autumn 1958), includes “In Memory of My Feelings” by Frank O’Hara and “Cold Mountain Poems” by Gary Snyder. The photograph is by Susan Nevelson.

Through his friendship with Ted Berrigan, whom he first met at Meyer’s bookstore in Tulsa, Ron Padgett developed a network, most of whom soon moved together to New York: “There was a whole crew of young artists and wild people, sensitive, creative people. Ted seemed quite a bit older than me. He’d been in the army, for god’s sake—he’d been to Korea. He’d grown up in Providence. He’d been to Japan. And he knew a lot of things I didn’t know, so he was in many ways a mentor to me and to Dick [Gallup] and to other young people.”


Locus Solus

Magazines & Presses

Locus Solus

John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Harry Mathews, and James Schuyler
Lans-en-Vercors, France

Nos. 1–5 (1961–62).

Locus Solus II (Summer 1961).

locus-solus-ii-1961


Published in five issues in four volumes, Locus Solus could be called the overseas wing of the New York School. Each squat and plain issue looked like the serious literature of the French, a toned-down Gallimard volume perhaps. Included were translations of contemporary French poets such as Marcelin Pleynet alongside the work of, for example, Frank O’Hara, Joseph Ceravolo, or Kenneth Koch (issue 5 even includes a poem by modernist art critic Harold Rosenberg).

The magazine was definitely “no nonsense” from the beginning, presenting no manifestoes or editorial statements, just high-quality literature—simply and elegantly presented with care and respect. The editors alternated responsibility, with Schuyler editing numbers 1 and 5, Kenneth Koch developing the “Special Collaborations” issue that was number 2, and John Ashbery editing the double issue, number 3/4, of New Poetry. Harry Mathews was the publisher, the man behind the magazine. Their taste was impeccable.

Locus Solus III–IV (xx).

Locus Solus III–IV (Winter 1962).


Hambone

magazines & Presses

Hambone

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-1-1974


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).


Umbra

magazines & Presses

Umbra

Thomas C. Dent, Calvin Hernton,
and David Henderson

New York

Vol. 1, nos. 1–5 (Winter 1963–74).

Umbra 2 (1963).

Umbra-no-2


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).

wild-dog-vol-3-no-21


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).


Duende

magazines & Presses

Duende

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).

migrant-1-1959-r-1


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).

el-corno-emplumado_1967_22


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.