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Gare du Nord

Magazines & Presses

Gare du Nord

Alice Notley and Douglas Oliver

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.


Magazines & Presses


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

No. 1 is the “Mediaeval Issue.”

Gnomon 1 (Fall 1965).

No Man Is an Island

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

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

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

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

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

Gnomon 2 (Spring 1967).

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

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

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

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

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

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


Magazines & Presses


John Fowler
Lawrence, Kansas

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

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

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

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

Grist 3 (1964).

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

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

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

Grist 12 (1966).

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

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

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

— Jim McCrary, March 2017, Lawrence, Kansas

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

The Genre of Silence

Magazines & Presses

The Genre of Silence

Joel Oppenheimer
New York

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Joel Oppenheimer, prefatory essay from The Genre of Silence


Magazines & Presses


Ira Cohen
Tangier, Morocco

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


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

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

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

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

Ira Cohen’s directions for printing the Gnaoua cover.

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

Gnaoua Press publications (complete):

Panama Rose. The Hashish Cookbook. 1966.

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

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

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

Grove Press

magazines & Presses

Grove Press

Barney Rosset
New York


Donald M. Allen, ed., The New American Poetry 1945–1960 (1960).


Grove Press, named for Grove Street in Greenwich Village, started as a small reprint house in 1948. By 1951, when Barney Rosset became a partner (and then owner), the firm had published only three paperbacks: a book of poetry by seventeenth-century mystical writer Richard Crashaw, Melville’s The Confidence Man, and The Selected Writings of the Ingenious Mrs. Aphra Behn; the first book brought to Grove by Rosset was Henry James’s The Golden Bowl. Very much influenced by New Directions, Faber & Faber, and Chatto & Windus, Rosset soon introduced the writings of Beckett, Genet, Robbe-Grillet, Gide, and Ionesco to an American audience. Rosset believed in “combat publishing,” and his ongoing challenge to mainstream American sensibilities has landed him in court many, many times. He fought and won battles for D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer (for which he went to court in sixty separate state and local prosecutions, six state supreme court rulings, and a US Supreme Court hearing).

Douglas Wolf, Fade Out (1959).

Douglas Woolf, Fade Out (1959).

For many, Grove Press really defined the character of the international literary underground. Donald Allen, the first editor at Grove (other than Rosset), edited the anthology The New American Poetry 1945–1960, the importance and influence of which cannot be overestimated—San Francisco Renaissance, Black Mountain, Beat, the New York School, are all here brought together and center stage. This book might well be considered the “flash point” for the renaissance in literary writing and small press publishing that would flourish within a few short years of its publication. Along with its stable of European writers, Grove also published such Americans as Ted Berrigan (The Sonnets went through two printings totaling 6,000 copies), Paul Blackburn, William S. Burroughs, Hubert Selby, Jr., Richard Brautigan, Robert Duncan, and Charles Olson, among many others.

Irving Rosenthal. Sheeper (1967).

Irving Rosenthal, Sheeper (1967).

Grove Press books include

Allen, Donald M., ed. The New American Poetry 1945–1960. 1960.

Berrigan, Ted. The Sonnets. 1967.

Blackburn, Paul. The Cities. 1967.

Brautigan, Richard. A Confederate General from Big Sur. 1964. Cover from a painting by Larry Rivers.

Burroughs, William S. Naked Lunch. 1959.

Burroughs, William S. Nova Express. 1964.

Burroughs, William S. The Soft Machine. 1966. Cover reproduction of a drawing by the author.

Burroughs, William S. The Wild Boys: A Book of the Dead. 1971.

Duncan, Robert. The Opening of the Field. 1960. Title page designed by Jess.

The Evergreen Review Reader 1957–1967. 1968. Edited by Barney Rosset.

Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. 1966.

Ginsberg, Allen. Journals: Early Fifties, Early Sixties. 1977. Edited by Gordon Ball.

H.D. (Hilda Doolittle). Helen in Egypt. 1961.

Jones, LeRoi. The Dead Lecturer. 1964. Cover photograph of the author by Leroy McLucas.

Jones, LeRoi. The System of Dante’s Hell. 1965.

Kandel, Lenore. Word Alchemy. 1967.

Kerouac, Jack. Mexico City Blues. 1959. Cover by Roy Kuhlman.

Kerouac, Jack. Satori in Paris. 1966.

Koch, Kenneth. The Pleasures of Peace, and Other Poems. 1969.

Kupferberg, Tuli. 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft. 1967.

Kupferberg, Tuli. 1001 Ways to Live Without Working. 1967.

Kupferberg, Tuli. 1001 Ways to Make Love. 1969.

Machiz, Herbert, ed. Artists’ Theatre: Four Plays. 1960.

McClure, Michael. The New Book/A Book of Torture. 1961.

Miller, Henry. Tropic of Cancer. 1961.

Miller, Henry. Tropic of Capricorn. 1961.

Odier, Daniel. The Job: Interviews with William Burroughs. 1974. Revised and enlarged edition.

O’Hara, Frank. Meditations in an Emergency. 1957.

Olson, Charles. The Distances: Poems. 1960.

Olson, Charles. Human Universe and Other Essays. 1967.

Rechy, John. City of Night. 1963. Cover photograph by Richard Seaver.

Reynolds, Frank. Freewheelin Frank, Secretary of the Angels, as told to Michael McClure. 1967.

Rosenthal, Irving. Sheeper. 1967.

Sanders, Ed. Shards of God. 1970.

Selby, Hubert, Jr. Last Exit to Brooklyn. 1964.

Tyler, Parker. Underground Film: A Critical History. 1969.

Woolf, Douglas. Fade Out. 1959.