Category Archives: F

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

Fire Exit

Magazines & Presses

Fire Exit

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

— William Corbett, Brooklyn, January 2017

From Issue No. 3 [1973?]

William Corbett on publishing Fire Exit

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Figures

magazines & Presses

The Figures

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


Lydia Davis, Story and Other Stories (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.

Frontward Books

magazines & Presses

Frontward Books

Bob Rosenthal and Rochelle Kraut
New York


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


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 (1970). Hand-colored by Rochelle Kraut.

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).


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.


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.


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.


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.

The Floating Bear

Magazines & Presses

The Floating Bear

Diane di Prima and LeRoi Jones [Imamu Amiri Baraka]; later Diane di Prima
New York; later San Francisco

Nos. 1–37 (1961–69), and no. 38, The Intrepid-Bear Issue (1971).

The Floating Bear, a newsletter 12 ([August] 1961).


Named for Winnie-the-Pooh’s boat made of a honey pot (“Sometimes it’s a Boat, and sometimes it’s more of an Accident”), The Floating Bear, started in February 1961, was a mimeographed “newsletter” distributed by mailing list whose mission was the speedy dissemination of new literary work. Under the editorship of Diane di Prima and LeRoi Jones (guest editors included Billy Linich [a.k.a. Billy Name], Alan Marlowe, Kirby Doyle, John Wieners, and Bill Berkson), twenty-five issues came out in the magazine’s first two years. Contributing writers included Charles Olson, Robin Blaser, Robert Creeley, Philip Whalen, Paul Blackburn, and Ed Dorn, while Ray Johnson and Wallace Berman were among the many visual artists whose work was presented. This tremendous output was due at least in part to Jones’s experience as editor at Yugen and Totem Press and to his voracious working habits. Di Prima recalls, “LeRoi could work at an incredible rate. He could read two manuscripts at a time, one with each eye. He would spread things out on the table while he was eating supper, and reject them all—listening to the news and a jazz record he was going to review, all at the same time.”

The Floating Bear 28 [December] 1963. Cover by Alfred Leslie.

The Floating Bear, a newsletter 28 ([December] 1963). Cover by Alfred Leslie.

Occasionally a group would convene to put out the Bear. “In the winter of 1961–62, we held gatherings at my East Fourth Street pad every other Sunday. There was a regular marathon ball thing going on there for a few issues. Whole bunches of people would come over to help: painters, musicians, a whole lot of outside help. The typing on those particular issues was done by James Waring, who’s a choreographer and painter. Cecil Taylor ran the mimeograph machine, and Fred Herko and I collated, and we all addressed envelopes.” One of the recipients of Bear 9 was Harold Carrington, a poet who was in prison in New Jersey. The censor read his mail and objected to the contents of the issue, which included Jones’s The System of Dante’s Hell and William S. Burroughs’s Routine. Jones and di Prima were subsequently arrested on obscenity charges on October 18, 1961. Di Prima remembers, “I heard a knock on my door early in the morning which I didn’t answer because I never open my door early in the morning in New York City. In the morning in New York City is only trouble. It’s the landlords, it’s Con Edison, it’s the police, it’s your neighbors wanting to know why you made so much noise last night, it’s something awful, and before noon I never open my door.” There was a grand jury hearing, but after Jones’s two-day testimony, they failed to return an indictment. Jones resigned from The Floating Bear in 1963 after issue 25. Di Prima moved briefly to California in 1962 and the magazine came out irregularly over the next several years, culminating in a very large issue in 1971 guest-edited by Allen De Loach in Buffalo. It was called The Intrepid-Bear Issue: Intrepid 20/Floating Bear 38.

Floating Bear 37 [March–July] 1969. Cover by Wallace Berman.

The Floating Bear, a newsletter 37 ([March–July] 1969). Cover by Wallace Berman.

The Four Seasons Foundation

magazines & Presses

The Four Seasons Foundation

Donald Allen
San Francisco and Bolinas, California


Richard Brautigan, In Watermelon Sugar (1968). Writing 21.


The Four Seasons Foundation was the publishing project of poet and anthologist Donald Allen, who began the concern in 1964 to publish the authors who had been included in his epoch-defining anthology The New American Poetry (1960). At first, Allen intended to publish a little magazine to be entitled variously The Four Seasons Quarterly or The New Review, but the material he had collected for the magazine was instead published in the second and third of the Four Seasons publications, Prose 1 (there was never another number) and 12 Poets and 1 Painter, which were published in 1964 as Writing 2 and Writing 3. Prose 1 contained work by Edward Dorn, Michael Rumaker, and Warren Tallman as well as various reviews of fiction and belles lettres, including LeRoi Jones’s Blues People. The poets in 12 Poets and 1 Painter were Jones, Joanne Kyger, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Lew Welch, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Olson, Max Finstein, and Bruce Boyd. The painter is Jess Collins. Writing 1, published at the same time, consists appropriately of Charles Olson’s A Bibliography on America for Ed Dorn. Six other Olson titles were also published by Four Seasons, along with three Creeley titles, four titles by Gary Snyder, two by Philip Whalen, three by Richard Brautigan (The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, 1968; In Watermelon Sugar, 1968; and Trout Fishing in America, 1967), two by Michael McClure (Love Lion Book, 1966; and The Sermons of Jean Harlow and the Curses of Billy the Kid, 1968), and two by Philip Lamantia (The Blood of the Air, 1970; and Touch of the Marvelous, 1974).

Robert Creeley, A Quick Graph: Collected Notes & Essays ( 1970). Edited by Donald Allen (Writing 22.)

Robert Creeley, A Quick Graph: Collected Notes & Essays (1970), edited by Donald Allen (Writing 22).

Four Seasons Foundation books include

Blaser, Robin. Cups. 1968. Writing 17.

Brautigan, Richard. Trout Fishing in America. 1967. Writing 14.

Creeley, Robert. A Quick Graph: Collected Notes & Essays. 1970. Writing 22. Edited by Donald Allen.

Dorn, Edward. Interviews. 1980. Edited by Donald Allen. Writing 38.

Hadley, Drummond. The Webbing. 1967. Writing 15.

Kyger, Joanne. The Tapestry and the Web. 1965. Writing 5.

Lamantia, Philip. The Blood of the Air. 1970. Writing 25. Cover photograph of the author by Stanley Reade.

Loewinsohn, Ron. Against the Silences to Come. 1965. Writing 4.

McClure, Michael. Love Lion Book. 1966. Writing 11.

Olson, Charles. A Bibliography on America for Ed Dorn. 1964. Writing 1.

Olson, Charles. In Cold Hell, in Thicket. 1967. Writing 12.

Olson, Charles. Stocking Cap: A Story. 1966. Writing 13.

Prose 1. With contributions by Edward Dorn, Michael Rumaker, and Warren Tallman. 1964. Writing 2.

Snyder, Gary. Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems. 1965. Writing 7.

Snyder, Gary. Six Sections from Mountains and Rivers Without End. 1965. Writing 9.

12 Poets and 1 Painter. 1964. Writing 3.

Upton, Charles. Time Raid. 1969. Writing 19.

Whalen, Philip. Heavy Breathing: Poems 1967–1980. 1983. Writing 42.

Whalen, Philip. The Kindness of Strangers: Poems 1969–1974. 1976. Writing 33.

Whalen, Philip. Off the Wall: Interviews with Philip Whalen. 1978. Writing 37. Edited by Donald Allen.

Whalen, Philip. Severance Pay: Poems 1967–1969. 1970. Writing 24. Cover drawing by the author.