Category Archives: New York School

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 poet 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).

Continue reading

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].

Continue reading

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).


Big Sky

Magazine & Presses

Big Sky

Bill Berkson
Bolinas, California

Nos. 1–11/12 (1971–78).

Covers by Gordon Baldwin (10), Norman Bluhm (6), Celia Coolidge (3), Red Grooms (9), Philip Guston (4), Greg Irons (1), and Alex Katz (2).

Big Sky 7 (1974). The World of Leon with a cover by Leon and an introduction by Donald Hall.

big-sky-no-7-1974


Big Sky began in 1971 during a perceptible lull in adventurous poetry publishing. The previous year I had moved to Bolinas, California, from New York where my parting shot had been a single-issue compendium of art and literature called Best & Company. When I arrived, the literary community in Bolinas numbered fewer than a dozen people, mainly poets like Joanne Kyger who had been associated with the Spicer and Duncan circles in San Francisco, plus a couple of prior interlopers from New York, Tom Clark and Lewis Warsh. By 1971, our neighbors included David and Tina Meltzer, Lewis and Phoebe MacAdams, Robert Creeley and Bobbie Louise Hawkins, and, briefly, Philip Whalen. Joe Brainard’s Bolinas Journal was the first Big Sky book, soon followed by The Cargo Cult by John Thorpe.

Big Sky 3 (1972). “The Clark Coolidge Issue.” Cover by Celia Elizabeth Coolidge

Big Sky 3 (1972), “The Clark Coolidge Issue.” Cover by Celia Elizabeth Coolidge.

The name was suggested by Tom Veitch who lived around the lagoon, in Stinson Beach, and who reminded me of the line from a Kinks song, “Big Sky looks down on all the people.” For the magazine, my original concept was a comic-book format, which was impractical for small print runs, so I held to something like comic-book size and worked with friends who had enough offset-printing skills to crank out the pages on an old multilith on overnight binges in assorted redwood sheds. My original editorial stance was to accept whatever arrived from those invited to contribute. After two chaotic issues, I put this policy to rest, devoting the next number solely to Clark Coolidge. With Big Sky 4—bearing its great wraparound Philip Guston cover and especially powerful contributions by Creeley, Ron Padgett, and Bernadette Mayer—I hit my stride as an editor. Six years later, having published twelve issues of the magazine and more than twenty books, I decided I’d done the job.

— Bill Berkson, San Francisco, California, September 1997

Joanne Kyger, All This Every Day (1975). Cover photograph of the author by Frances Pelizzi.

Joanne Kyger, All This Every Day (1975). Cover photograph of the author by Frances Pelizzi.

Big Sky books include

Anderson, David. The Spade in the Sensorium. 1974. Cover by Philip Guston.

Berkson, Bill. Enigma Variations. 1975. Cover and drawings by Philip Guston.

Berkson, Bill. Terrace Fence. 1971.

Berkson, Bill, and Larry Fagin. Two Serious Poems & One Other. 1971.

Berkson, Bill, and Joe LeSueur. Homage to Frank O’Hara. 1988. 3rd revised edition.

Brainard, Joe. Bolinas Journal. 1971.

Brodey, Jim. Blues of the Egyptian Kings. 1975. Cover by Greg Irons.

Carey, Steve. Gentle Subsidy. 1975.

Coolidge, Clark. Moroccan Variations. 1971. Broadside. Printed at the Cranium Press.

Coolidge, Clark. Polaroid. 1975. Published with Adventures in Poetry.

Fagin, Larry. Seven Poems. 1976.

Gallup, Dick. Above the Tree Line. 1976.

Greenwald, Ted. The Life. 1974. Cover by Richard Nonas.

Gustafson, Jim. Tales of Virtue and Transformation. 1974. Cover by Greg Irons.

Kyger, Joanne. All This Every Day. 1975. Cover photograph of the author by Frances Pelizzi.

MacAdams, Lewis. I Have Been Tested and Found Not Insane. 1974.

Mayer, Bernadette. Studying Hunger. 1975. Cover portrait of the author by Ed Bowes. Published with Adventures in Poetry.

Nodey, Alice. Phoebe Light. 1973. Cover by Alex Katz.

Padgett, Ron. Crazy Compositions. 1974. Cover by George Schneeman.

Thorpe, John. The Cargo Cult. 1972.

Veitch, Tom. Death College and Other Poems. 1976. Cover by the author.

Waldman, Anne. Spin Off. 1972.

Watten, Barrett. Opera—Works. 1975.


Adventures in Poetry

magazines & Presses

Adventures in Poetry

Larry Fagin
New York

Nos. 1–12 (March 1968–Summer 1975).

Covers by anonymous (10, 12), Gordon Baldwin (3), Joe Brainard (2), Rudy Burckhardt (8), Jim Dine (6), John Giorno (9), Rory McEwen (11), Ron Padgett (1), Ed Ruscha (4), Aram Saroyan (7), and George Schneeman (5).

Adventures in Poetry 1 (March 1968).

1fadventures-in-poetry-no-01-march-1968-r


Adventures in Poetry [10] [1974?], “The Anonymous Issue.”

The title derives from a children’s textbook, Adventures in Reading. I was trying for a kind of funky elegance like 0 to 9, a little fancier than “C” or Lines. A typical issue was 300–350 copies, consuming thirty reams of 24# mimeograph paper, run through the Gestetner machine of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church. Most numbers were as thick as possible—as many as fifty doublesided pages. I purchased a state-of-the-art Novus stapler from Germany that cut through an issue like it was butter, a very satisfying sensation. After the final editing, typing, proofing, correcting, and mimeographing, a bunch of us would set up long tables in the Parish Hall, often after a reading, and collate and staple late into the night. Working at the Project and attending hundreds of readings over the years was a big advantage. If I heard something I especially liked at a reading, I would rush to the podium and claim the manuscript for Adventures. I was rarely refused. Editing was a good way to make friends (and, hopefully, not many enemies). I loved what Joe Ceravolo was writing then, as well as poems by Ron Padgett, Ted Berrigan, Dick Gallup, Tony Towle, et al.—the second-generation New York School crowd. But older poets contributed, too, and work from the West Coast, Chicago, and London was solicited. Adventures avoided the grab bag mode of publishing one or two pieces each from many contributors. Often, several poets were featured with up to a dozen poems each. One number was entirely devoted to three writers.

John Godfrey, Music of the Curbs (1976). Cover by Michael Goldberg.

There was an all-prose issue. Number 10 was the “anonymous” issue—no authors were credited; not even the name of the magazine appeared; the covers were pornographic comic strips. I couldn’t pay the authors or cover artists, though once I commissioned Dick Gallup, who was in a slump, at $5 per poem, and he came up with his wonderful “Charged Particles” and several other beauties. Few legitimate publishers were taking on the kind of writing I like, so in 1970 Adventures published its first pamphlet, Tom Veitch’s My Father’s Golden Eye. Books by John Ashbery, John Godfrey, Clark Coolidge, and John Giorno soon followed. Writers who were completely off the radar screen—Steve Malmude, Richard Snow, Richard Elliott, Jamie MacInnis, Curtis Faville, Rebecca Brown—and painters Joseph White and Jennifer Bartlett made their debuts with Adventures pamphlets. One unsolicited manuscript was accepted: We Are Integrated and Wonderfully Made, poems describing the major body organs, written in lilting doggerel by Mrs. Thazarbell Biggs, a registered nurse. There were a number of abandoned Adventures projects—an anthology of children’s poems, translations of French poets, and pamphlets by Dale Herd, Ed Marshall, Alfred Starr Hamilton, John Wieners, and others. The magazine lasted through 1975. Money was becoming scarce, and at the end of 1976, after about thirty-seven books, I gave it a rest.

— Larry Fagin, New York City, September 1997

Adventures in Poetry catalogs

Edited by Larry Fagin. Nos. 1–2 (1973–75). Covers by Bill Brodecky (1) and Alice Neel (2).

Adventures in Poetry books (complete)

Anonymous [Clark Coolidge and Larry Fagin]. Tonto Lavoris. 1973.

Ashbery, John. The New Spirit. 1970.

Bartlett, Jennifer. Cleopatra I–IV. 1971.

Baxter, Glen. Drawings. 1974.

Baxter, Glen. The Khaki. 1973.

Berkson, Bill, and Frank O’Hara. Hymns of St. Bridget. 1974. Cover by Larry Rivers.

Berrigan, Ted. Clear the Range. 1977. Cover by the author and George Schneeman. Published with Coach House South.

Berrigan, Ted. The Drunken Boat. 1974. A translation of Rimbaud. Drawings by Joe Brainard.

Biggs, Thazarbell. We Are Integrated and Wonderfully Made. 1976.

James Schuyler, A Sun Cab (1972). Cover and drawings by Fairfield Porter.

Brown, Rebecca. For the 82nd Airborne. 1976.

Brownstein, Michael, and Ron Padgett. Kiss My Ass!/Suffering Succotash. 1971.

Carey, Henry. Chrononhotonthologos: The Most Tragical Tragedy, That Ever Was Tragediz’d by Any Company of Tragedians. 1971. Presented by Ron Padgett and Johnny Stanton.

Carroll, Jim, and Lewis MacAdams. [Two Poems]. 1973. Illustration by George Schneeman.

Cendrars, Blaise. Kodak. 1976. Translated by Ron Padgett.

Coolidge, Clark. Polaroid. 1975. Published with Big Sky.

Coolidge, Clark. The So (Poems 1966). 1971. Cover by Brice Marden.

Coolidge, Clark. Suite V. 1973.

Crabtree, Lee. An Unfinished Memoir. 1974. Edited by Peter Schjeldahl. Cover photograph by Linda Schjeldahl.

Dawson, Fielding. The Girl with the Pale Cerulean Eyes/The Man with the Grey Hair. 1974. Cover by the author.

Continue reading

Denby, Edwin. Snoring in New York. 1974. Cover photograph by Rudy Burckhardt. Published in association with Angel Hair.

Elliott, Richard. A Song and a Diary for A. 1973. Cover by Edward Gorey.

Elmslie, Kenward. City Junket. 1972. Cover by Alex Katz.

Faville, Curtis. Ready. 1975. Cover by Hugh Kepets.

Ferrari, Mary. The Flying Glove. 1973. Cover and drawings by Susan Hall.

Giorno, John. Cum. 1971. Cover by Les Levine.

Godfrey, John. Music of the Curbs. 1976. Cover drawing by Michael Goldberg.

Godfrey, John. 26 Poems. 1971. Cover by Robert Indiana.

Greenwald, Ted. Making a Living. 1973. Cover by Gordon Matta-Clark.

Larbaud, Valery. RLDASEDLRAD LES DLCMHYBDF. 1973. Translated by Ron Padgett. Covers by Lindsay Stamm Shapiro.

MacInnis, Jamie. Hand Shadows. [1974]. Covers by Bruce Erbacher.

Malmude, Steve. Catting. 1972. Cover by John Wesley.

Mann, Edward L. Central Avenue. 1971. Cover by George Schneeman.

Mayer, Bernadette. Studying Hunger. 1975. Published in association with Big Sky.

North, Charles. Elizabethan and Nova Scotian Music. 1974. Cover and drawings by Jane Freilicher.

Obenzinger, Hilton. Bright Lights! Big City! 1974.

O’Hara, Frank. Belgrade, November 19, 1963. 1973.

Owen, Maureen. Country Rush. 1973. Cover and drawings by Yvonne Jacquette.

Padgett, Ron, and Larry Fagin, eds. Book of Methods (For Getting Children Interested in Writing). 1971.

Padgett, Wayne. Three Kings. 1972.

Schuyler, James. A Sun Cab. 1972. Cover and drawings by Fairfield Porter.

Snow, Richard. The Funny Place. 1973. Cover by Red Grooms.

Spicer, Jack. Admonitions. [1973].

Stearns, Ethie. Some of the Story. 1985. Cover by George Schneeman.

Towle, Tony. Lines for the New Year (Poems 1963–65). 1975. Cover by Allan D’Arcangelo.

Veitch, Tom. My Father’s Golden Eye. 1970.

Waldman, Anne. West Indies Poems. 1972. Cover and drawings by Joe Brainard.

Warsh, Lewis. Today. 1974. Covers by Alan Saret.

White, Joseph. The Oriental Palace. 1973. Cover drawing by the poet.

 


Angel Hair

Magazines & Presses

Angel Hair

Anne Waldman and Lewis Warsh
New York, and Bolinas, California

Nos. 1–6 (Spring 1966–Spring 1969).

Angel Hair 1 (1966).

Angel Hair 1


“Angel Hair sleeps with a boy in his head” was the line from the Jonathan Cott poem that caught Lewis Warsh’s and my fancy, our duetted “ear,” and we settled on Angel Hair as the name for our magazine and press. Jon was an old high school friend from New York, where we’d been literary pals exchanging Rilke, Alan Watts, Aldous Huxley, Lady Murasaki, Beckett plays, Berryman’s “Homage to Mistress Bradstreet,” various “little” magazines (Jon gave me a copy of Ted Berrigan’s “C” magazine), and our own early and awkward poems. Lewis and I met at a Robert Duncan reading at the 1965 Berkeley Poetry Conference through a friend of Jon’s and it was love at first sight. We seemed to be on a similar wavelength—both serious and romantic about poetry, studying it and the small press “underground” scene outside “the academy.” Lewis was already extremely knowledgeable. He knew the work of and had met Jack Spicer, Robin Blaser, other “legends,” and was collecting White Rabbit Press books. A voracious reader and writer, he also had several novels under his belt that he’d composed in high school. We founded our press on the spot.

By September I had returned to school and Lewis was back on the Lower East Side, settling by Spring 1966 into the apartment at 33 St. Mark’s Place and working for the Welfare Department. His salary sponsored our first ventures, in fact. We decided to use printer Ronnie Ballou from Williamstown who printed Silo (the Bennington College literary magazine). His Chapel Press, with the exception of Silo, had printed mostly grocery lists until then and his prices were cheap. (I think the first issue was about $150 and the cover was leftover Silo paper.) Angel Hair had an ultimately modest run of six issues, although the press continued through marriage, separation, and divorce in myriad—both simple and elegant—ways: mimeo, offset, in addition to the occasional letterpress-printed broadsides and books.

Anne Waldman, Boulder, Colorado, September 15, 1997

Angel Hair editors Anne Waldman and Lewis Warsh, photomat portraits, New York City, 1968.

Anne Waldman and Lewis Warsh, photomat portraits, New York City, 1968.

Angel Hair helped define the community of poets on the Lower East Side in the late ’60s (as “C” magazine, Kulchur, Fuck You/ a magazine of the arts, Yugen, and Mother had done in the early part of the decade). Jonathan Cott introduced Anne Waldman and me to one another at the Berkeley Poetry Conference in summer 1965, and part of our impetus for starting the magazine was to publish his work along with our own, and the few other poets we knew, like Gerard Malanga and Chuck Stein. Anne was editing Silo at Bennington College, so it was convenient—once we gathered material for the first issue—to use the same printer and the same Fabriano paper stock for the cover (a different color for every issue). When Anne graduated in June 1966 she moved into my apartment, a large floorthrough at 33 St. Mark’s Place in Manhattan (now a body piercing shop) and within a year we began publishing books (Lee Harwood’s The Man with Blue Eyes and Gerard Malanga’s 3 Poems for Benedetta Barzini were the first titles) as well as continuing the magazine. We lived together in that apartment for three years, and the table of contents of Angel Hair reflects not only our evolving tastes as poets but the constant stream of visitors who passed through our door: Ted Berrigan was a nightly guest, and we invariably hosted a party every Wednesday night after the readings at The Poetry Project. Our plan as editors was to focus on poets of the New York School and also to include West Coast writers like Robert Duncan, Joanne Kyger, Ebbe Borregaard, and Jim Koller whom we’d met on our travels. The magazine stopped after six issues when Anne and I separated, but we both continued publishing books under the Angel Hair imprint until 1978.

Lewis Warsh, Brooklyn, New York, September 1997

 

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Jim Carroll, 4 Ups and 1 Down (1970). Cover by Donna Dennis.

Anne Waldman comments:

“Our first little pamphlet had been English poet Lee Harwood’s The Man with Blue Eyes. Artist and writer Joe Brainard (one of my all-time heroes!) had generously agreed to design a cover for the little book (Lee’s first) and offered us several possibilities. After we decided on the one with simple, unmistakable Brainard lettering I went ahead and had it printed on blue paper without further consultation. And the whole project went to press. Several weeks later I proudly handed Joe a copy and he seemed both surprised and amused. ‘Blue? I’d meant it to be white. But that’s okay.’”

4alice-notley-incidentals-in-the-day-world-angel-hair-1973

Alice Notley, Incidentals in the Day World (1973). Cover by Philip Guston.

Giant Night, an Angel Hair book by Anne Waldman, cover by George Schneeman

Anne Waldman, Giant Night (1968). Cover by George Schneeman.

Angel Hair books include

Berkson, Bill. Recent Visitors. 1973. Cover and drawings by George Schneeman.

Berkson, Bill. Shining Leaves. 1969. Cover by Alex Katz.

Berrigan, Ted. Many Happy Returns. 1967. Broadside.

Berrigan, Ted. Nothing for You. 1977.

Brainard, Joe. I Remember. 1970.

Brainard, Joe. More I Remember. 1972.

Brainard, Joe. More I Remember More. 1973.

Brodey, James. Identikit. 1967. Cover photograph by Bob Cato.

Brownstein, Michael. 5 American Tantrums. 1970. Cover by Donna Dennis.

Bye, Reed. Some Magic at the Dump. 1978.

Carroll, Jim. 4 Ups and 1 Down. 1970. Cover by Donna Dennis.

Carter, Charlotte. Sheltered Life. 1975. Cover by Raphael Soyer.

Clark, Tom. Neil Young. 1970.

Clark, Tom. Sonnet. 1968. Broadside.

Clark, Tom, and Ron Padgett. Bun. 1968. Cover by Jim Dine.

Coolidge, Clark. Ing. 1968. Cover by Philip Guston.

Coolidge, Clark. Own Face. 1978.

Corbett, William. Columbus Square Journal. 1976. Cover by Philip Guston.

Cott, Jonathan. Elective Affinities. 1970.

Creeley, Robert. In London. 1970. Printed by The Grabhorn-Hoyem Press.

Denby, Edwin. Snoring in New York. 1974. Cover by Rudy Burckhardt. Published in association with Adventures in Poetry.

Elmslie, Kenward. Girl Machine. 1971.

Fagin, Larry. Parade of the Caterpillars. 1968. Cover by George Schneeman.

Fagin, Larry. Twelve Poems. 1972. Cover by George Schneeman.

Fagin, Larry, and George Schneeman. Landscape. 1972.

Gilfillan, Merrill. Truck. Cover by Joe Brainard. 1970.

Giorno, John. Birds. 1971.

Greenwald, Ted. Makes Sense. 1975. Cover by George Schneeman.

Harwood, Lee. The Man with Blue Eyes. 1966. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Kyger, Joanne. Joanne. 1970. Photograph of the author by Bill Berkson.

Malanga, Gerard. 3 Poems for Benedetta Barzini. 1967. Photograph of the author by Stephen Shore.

Mayer, Bernadette. The Basketball Article. 1975.

Mayer, Bernadette. Eruditio Ex Memoria. 1977. Cover by the author.

Mayer, Bernadette. The Golden Book of Words. 1978. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Mayer, Bernadette. Moving. 1971. Cover by Ed Bowes. Drawings by Rosemary Mayer.

Notley, Alice. Incidentals in the Day World. 1973. Cover by Philip Guston.

O’Hara, Frank. Oranges. 1969. Cover by George Schneeman.

Rosenberg, David. Blues of the Sky. 1974. Interpreted from the Ancient Hebrew Book of Psalms. Cover by George Schneeman.

Rosenberg, David. Some Psalms. 1973. Cover by Hannah Wilke.

Rosenthal, Bob. Cleaning Up New York. 1976. Cover by Rochelle Kraut.

Schiff, Harris. I Should Run for Cover But I’m Right Here. 1978. Cover by Rudy Burckhardt.

Schiff, Harris. Secret Clouds. 1970. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Schjeldahl, Peter. Dreams. 1973. Cover by James Rosenquist.

Schuyler, James. Verge. 1971. Broadside. Printed by Andrew Hoyem.

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Stanton, Johnny. Slip of the Tongue. 1969. Cover and drawings by George Schneeman.

Stein, Charles. The Virgo Poem. 1967.

Thomas, Lorenzo. Dracula: A Long Poem. 1973. Cover by Britton Wilkie.

Thomas, Lorenzo. Fit Music. 1972. Cover by Cecilio Thomas.

Torregian, Sotère. The Golden Palomino Bites the Clock. 1967. Cover by George Schneeman.

Veitch, Tom. Eat This: A Story. 1974. Cover by Greg Irons.

Vermont, Charlie. Two Women. 1971. Cover photograph by Harry Gross.

Waldman, Anne. Giant Night. 1968. Cover by George Schneeman.

Waldman, Anne. Icy Rose. 1971. Broadside. Printed by the Cranium Press.

Waldman, Anne. O My Life! 1969. Cover by George Schneeman.

Waldman, Anne. Up Through the Years. 1969. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Warsh, Lewis. The Maharajah’s Son. 1977.

Warsh, Lewis. Moving Through Air. 1968. Covers by Donna Dennis.

Warsh, Lewis, and Tom Clark. Chicago. 1970. Printed by The Grabhorn-Hoyem Press.

Weiner, Hannah. Clairvoyant Journal (1974). 1978. Cover photograph of the author by Tom Ahern.

Wieners, John. Asylum Poems. 1969. Cover by George Schneeman.

Wieners, John. Hotels. 1974. Cover by Gordon Baldwin.

Wilkie, Britton. Limits of Space and Time. 1971.

For further information on Angel Hair the reader is referred to The Angel Hair Anthology (Granary Books, 2001), edited by Anne Waldman and Lewis Warsh.