Category Archives: Original book

Tuumba Press

magazines & Presses

Tuumba Press

Lyn Hejinian
Willits and Berkeley, California

1976–1984

Carla Harryman, Percentage (1979).


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

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

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

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

Lyn Hejinian, Berkeley, California, September 1997

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

Ted Greenwald, Smile (1981). Tuumba 31.

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

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

Tuumba publications

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

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

Andrews, Bruce. Praxis. 1978. Tuumba 18.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coolidge, Clark. Research. 1982. Tuumba 40.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greenwald, Ted. Smile. 1981. Tuumba 31.

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

Grenier, Robert. Oakland. 1980. Tuumba 27.

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

Harryman, Carla. Percentage. 1979. Tuumba 23.

Harryman, Carla. Property. 1982. Tuumba 39.

Hejinian, Lyn. Gesualdo. 1978. Tuumba 15.

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

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

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

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

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

Inman, P. Ocker. 1982. Tuumba 37.

Irby, Kenneth. Archipelago. 1976. Tuumba 4.

Kahn, Paul. January. 1978. Tuumba 13.

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

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

Mandel, Tom. EncY. 1978. Tuumba 16.

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

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

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

Palmer, Michael. Alogon. 1980. Tuumba 30.

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

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

Price, Larry. Proof. 1982. Tuumba 42.

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

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

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

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

Silliman, Ron. ABC. 1983. Tuumba 46.

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

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

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

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

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

Resource

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


Sun & Moon

magazines & Presses

Sun & Moon

Douglas Messerli
College Park, Maryland, and Los Angeles

Nos. 1–18 (1976–86).

Sun & Moon 1 (Winter 1976).


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

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

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

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

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

Sun & Moon Press books include

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greenwald, Ted. Word of Mouth. 1986.

Hejinian, Lyn. The Cold of Poetry. 1994.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warsh, Lewis. A Free Man. 1991.

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

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

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


Là-Bas, experimental poetry and poetics

magazines & Presses

Là-Bas, experimental poetry and poetics

Douglas Messerli
College Park, Maryland

Nos. 1–13 (1976–79).

Là-Bas 9 (November/December 1977).

la-bas-9-november-december-1977


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

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

la-bas-7-may-1977

Là-Bas 7 (May 1977).

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

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


Roof

magazines & Presses

Roof

James Sherry and Tom Savage; later James Sherry
New York

Nos. 1–10 (1976–79).

Roof Books continues to publish.

Roof 1 (Summer 1976).

roof-1-1976


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

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

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

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

— James Sherry, New York City, November 1997

Roof books include

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

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

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

Day, Jean. A Young Recruit. 1988.

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

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

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

Seaton, Peter. The Son Master. 1982.

Sherry, James. Part Songs. 1978.

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

Silliman, Ron. The New Sentence. 1987.

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

Resource

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


The Figures

magazines & Presses

The Figures

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

1975–2005

Lydia Davis, Story and Other Stories (1985).

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


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

Jack Collom and Lyn Hejinian (2000).

Jack Collom and Lyn Hejinian, Sunflower (2000).

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

Kathleen Fraser, Each Next: Narratives (1980).

Kathleen Fraser, Each Next: Narratives (1980).

The Figures books include

Auster, Paul. Wall Writing. 1976.

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

Benson, Steve. As Is. 1978.

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

Bernheimer, Alan. Cafe Isotope. 1980.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fraser, Kathleen. Each Next: Narratives. 1980.

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

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

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

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

Rice, Stan. Some Lamb. 1975.

Robinson, Kit. Down and Back. 1978.

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

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

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


Hills

Magazines & Presses

Hills

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

Nos. 1–9 (March 1973–Spring 1983).

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Resource

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


Vort

magazines & Presses

Vort

Barry Alpert
Silver Spring, Maryland

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

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

vort-no-1-fall-1972


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

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

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


Tottel’s

magazines & Presses

Tottel’s

Ron Silliman
Oakland and San Francisco

Nos. 1–18 (1970–81)

Tottel’s 1 [1970].

tottels-1-nd-1970


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

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

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

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

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

Tottel’s 3 (June 1971).

Resource

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


This

magazines & Presses

This

Barrett Watten and Robert Grenier;
later Barrett Watten

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

Nos. 1–12 (Winter 1971–Fall 1982).

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

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

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

this-1-winter-1971


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

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

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

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

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

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

Barrett Watten, Decay (1977).

Barrett Watten, Decay (1977).

This Press books include

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

Coolidge, Clark. The Maintains. 1974.

Coolidge, Clark. Quartz Hearts. 1978.

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

Greenwald, Ted. You Bet! 1978.

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

Harryman, Carla. Under the Bridge. 1980.

Perelman, Bob. Primer. 1981.

Robinson, Kit. The Dolch Stanzas, 1976.

Silliman, Ron. Ketjak. 1978.

Watten, Barrett. Decay. 1977.

Watten, Barrett. 1–10. 1980.

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

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

Resource

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

 

 


Joglars

Magazine & Presses

Joglars

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

Nos. 1–3 (1964–66).

Joglars 3 (1966). Cover by John Furnival.

joglars-vol-1no-3-1966


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

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

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

Joglars 2 (Winter 1964).

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

Joglars 1 (Spring 1964).


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

magazines & Presses

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

Charles Bernstein and Bruce Andrews
New York

February 1978–October 1981.

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

L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E 1 (February 1978).

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also issued

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

Resource

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


Mag City

magazines & Presses

Mag City

Gary Lenhart, Gregory Masters,
and Michael Scholnick

New York

Nos. 1–14 (1977–83).

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

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

mag-city-no-10-1980


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

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

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

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

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

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

Greg Masters, New York City, November 1995

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


Remember I Did This For You/A Power Mad Book

magazines & Presses

Remember I Did This For You/A Power Mad Book

Steve Levine and Barbara Barg
New York

1978–1979

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

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


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

Steve Levine, Brooklyn, New York, October 1997

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Clothesline/Jim Brodey Books

magazines & Presses

Clothesline/Jim Brodey Books

Jim Brodey
New York

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Brodey Books/Clothesline Editions books include

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

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

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

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


Telephone

magazines & Presses

Telephone

Maureen Owen
New York

Nos. 1–18 (1969–83).

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

Telephone 13 (1980). Cover by Dave Morice.

maureen-owen-telephone-no-16


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

Howe, Susan. Hinge Picture. 1974.

Susan Howe, Hinge Picture. 1974.

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

Maureen Owen, Guilford, Connecticut, September 1997

Telephone Books include

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

Berrigan, Sandy. Summer Sleeper. 1981.

Brodey, Jim. Last Licks. 1973.

Brown, Rebecca. The Barbarian Queen. 1981.

Brown, Rebecca. The Bicycle Trip. 1974.

Brown, Rebecca. 3-way Split. 1978.

Cataldo, Susan. Brooklyn Queens Day. 1982.

Friedman, Ed. The Telephone Book. 1979.

Hamill, Janet. The Temple. 1980.

Hartman, Yuki. Hot Footsteps. 1976.

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

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

Howe, Susan. Hinge Picture. 1974.

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

Nolan, Pat. Drastic Measures. 1981.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wright, Rebecca. Ciao Manhattan. 1977.

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


Vehicle Editions

magazines & Presses

Vehicle Editions

Annabel Lee [née Levitt]
New York

1976–

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

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


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

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

Annabel Lee, Ancram, New York, September 1997

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

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

Vehicle Editions (complete)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest, Barbara. Quilts. 1980.

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

Knowles, Christopher. Typings 1974–1977. 1979.

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

Levitt, Annabel. Calisthenics of the Heart. 1976.

Levitt, Annabel. Continental 34s. 1977.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schuchat, Simon. Wushan Gorge. 1979. Broadside.


dodgems

magazines & Presses

dodgems

Eileen Myles
New York

Nos. 1–2 (1977–79).

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

dodgems [1] (1977).

dodgems


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

Dodgems [2], 1979.

dodgems [2], 1979.

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

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

— Eileen MylesThe Poetry Project Newsletter (March 1982)

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

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

Eileen Myles, 2013


Siamese Banana

magazines & Presses

Siamese Banana

Johnny Stanton
New York

1972–1978

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

siamese-banana-4


First it was a NEWSPAPER,

Then it was a PRESS,

Then it was a GANG.

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

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

— Johnny Stanton, New York City, November 1997

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

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

Siamese Banana books include

Anderson, David. Under Western Eyes. 1970.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cohen, Keith. Madness in Literature. 1970.

Obenzinger, Hilton. Thunder Road. 1970.

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

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

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

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

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


Frontward Books

magazines & Presses

Frontward Books

Bob Rosenthal and Rochelle Kraut
New York

1976–1979

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Frontward Books include

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

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

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

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

Kraut, Rochelle. Circus Babys. 1975.

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

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

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

Toth, Steve. Rota Rooter. 1976.

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

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


Little Caesar

Magazines & Presses

Little Caesar

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

Nos. 1–12 (1976–82).

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

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

little-caesar-9-r


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

Dennis Cooper, Tiger Beat (1978).

Dennis Cooper, Tiger Beat (1978).

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

Little Caesar books (complete)

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

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

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

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

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

Cooper, Dennis. Tiger Beat. 1978.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Koertge, Ron. Sex Object. 1979.

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

Myles, Eileen. Sappho’s Boat. 1982.

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

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

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

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


Contact

magazines & Presses

Contact

Jeff Goldberg
Philadelphia

Nos. 1–7 (1972–73).

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

contact-4-january-1973


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

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

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

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

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

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


Telegraph Books

magazines & Presses

Telegraph Books

Victor Bockris, Aram Saroyan,
and Andrew Wylie

New York

1971–1973

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

victor-bockris-in-america-telegraph-r


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

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

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

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

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

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

Telegraph Books (complete)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Lines

magazines & Presses

Lines

Aram Saroyan
New York

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

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

Lines 1 (September 1965).

lines-no-1


Aram Saroyan, the son of one of America’s most beloved novelists, grew up on New York’s West End Avenue and attended Trinity School, a private prep school in the same neighborhood. He attended the University of Chicago for a while and had his first poem published in the Nation. Returning to New York, he worked at Bookmasters bookstore near Times Square and at Virginia Admiral’s Academy Typing Service (she was a 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 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).


Hambone

magazines & Presses

Hambone

Nathaniel Mackey
Santa Cruz, California

Nos. 1–21 (Spring 1974, 1982–2015).

Hambone is still in operation.

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

hambone-1-1974


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

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

Hambone 2 (1982).

Hambone 2 (1982).

Hambone 3 (1983).

Hambone 3 (1983).


Umbra

magazines & Presses

Umbra

Thomas C. Dent, Calvin Hernton,
and David Henderson

New York

Vol. 1, nos. 1–5 (Winter 1963–74).

Umbra 2 (1963).

Umbra-no-2


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


Duende

magazines & Presses

Duende

Larry Goodell
Placitas, New Mexico

Nos. 1–14 (1964–66).

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

Duende 4


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

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

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

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

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

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

The fourteen issues of Duende were

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Migrant Books

magazines & Presses

Migrant Books

Gael Turnbull
Worcester, England, and Ventura, California

Nos. 1–8 (July 1959–September 1960).

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

Migrant 1 (July 1959).

migrant-1-1959-r-1


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

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

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

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

Migrant Books include

Adele, David. Becoming. 1980.

Brown, Pete. Few: Poems. 1966.

Creeley, Robert. The Whip. 1957.

Creighton-Hill, Hugh. Latterday Chrysalides. 1961.

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

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

Hardiment, Melville. Doazy Bor. N.d.

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

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

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

Mead, Matthew. Identities. 1964.

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

Pound, Omar S. Kano. 1971.

Shayer, Michael. Persephone. 1961.

Thayer, Michael. Poems from an Island. 1963.

Turnbull, Gael. Don’t Stop. 1980.

Turnbull, Gael. The Small Change. 1980.

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

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

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

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

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


El Corno Emplumado

magazines & Presses

El Corno Emplumado

Margaret Randall and Sergio Mondragon
Mexico City

Nos. 1–31 (1962–69).

El Corno Emplumado 22 (1967).

el-corno-emplumado_1967_22


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

El Corno Emplumado 27 (1968).

El Corno Emplumado 27 (1968).

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

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

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

El Corno Emplumado books include

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

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

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

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

Kelly, Robert. Her Body Against Time. 1963.

Kelly, Robert. Weeks. 1966.

Kiviat, Erik. Museum of Memnon. 1966.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Something Else Press

magazines & Presses

Something Else Press

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

1964–1974

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

Something Else Press books


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something Else Press books include

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

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

Cowell, Henry. New Musical Resources. 1969.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Higgins, Dick. foew&ombwhnw. 1969.

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

Johnson, Ray. The Paper Snake. 1965.

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

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

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

Oldenburg, Claes. Store Days. 1967.

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

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

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

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

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

Stein, Gertrude. The Making of Americans. 1966.

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

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

Williams, Emmett. Anthology of Concrete Poetry. 1967.

Williams, Emmett. Sweethearts. 1967.

Resource

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


SET

Magazines & Presses

SET

Gerrit Lansing
Gloucester, Massachusetts

Nos. 1–2 (1961–64).

SET 1 (1961–62).

set-1-1961_2-093


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

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

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

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

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

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

        “Enough ! or Too much” (Blake).

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

SET 2 (1963–64)

SET 2 (1963–64).


Matter

magazines & Presses

Matter

Robert Kelly
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Nos. 1–4 (1963–68).

Matter 1 (1963).

matter-no-1-r


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

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

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

Matter Books include

Alexander, D. Mules Balk. 1967.

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

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

Greene, Jonathan. The Reckoning. 1966.

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

Kelly, Robert. Twenty Poems. 1967.

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

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

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


Trobar, a magazine of the New American Poetry

magazines & Presses

Trobar, a magazine of the New American Poetry

George Economou, Joan Kelly,
and Robert Kelly

Brooklyn, New York

Nos. 1–5 (1960–64)

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

trobar-1-1960


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trobar books include

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

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

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

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

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

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


Maps

Magazines & Presses

Maps

John Taggart
Chicago, New York, and Newberg, Pennsylvania

Nos. 1–6 (1966–74).

Maps 6 (1974).

maps-6-duncan-1974


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

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

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

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

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


Wch Way

magazines & Presses

Wch Way

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

Nos. 1–6 (1975–85).

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

Wch Way 2 (Spring 1976).

wch-way-2-to-the-second-power-1976


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

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

Wch Way 1 (Spring 1975).

Wch Way 1 (Spring 1975).

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

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


Caterpillar

magazines & Presses

Caterpillar

Clayton Eshleman
New York, and Sherman Oaks, California

Nos. 1–20 (1967–73). 20 issues in 19.

Caterpillar 1 (1967). Cover by Nancy Spero.

caterpillar-1-1967


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

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

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

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

Caterpillar books include

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

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

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

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

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

Eshleman, Clayton. Walks. 1967. Caterpillar 10.

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

Sampieri, Frank. Crystals. 1967. Caterpillar 5.

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

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

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

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


New Wilderness Letter

magazines & Presses

New Wilderness Letter

Jerome Rothenberg
New York

Nos. 1–13 (1977–85).

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

New Wilderness Letter 1 (1977).

new-wilderness-letter-no-1


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also issued

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

Resource

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


Some/thing

Magazines & Presses

Some/thing

Jerome Rothenberg and David Antin
New York

Nos. 1–4/5 (1965–68).

Some/thing 1 (1965).

something-v-1


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

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

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

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

Some/thing 4/5 (1968).

Some/thing 4/5 (1968).


The Jargon Society

magazines & Presses

The Jargon Society

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

1951–1998

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

denise-levertov-overland-to-the-islands-jargon


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jargon Society books include

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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

Olson, Charles. The Maximus Poems. 1960.

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

Resource

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


Origin

magazines & Presses

Origin

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

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

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

Origin 1 (1951).

origin-no-1-1951


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

Gary Snyder. Riprap (1959).

Gary Snyder, Riprap (1959).

Origin Press books include

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

Corman, Cid. Cool Gong. 1959.

Corman, Cid. The Descent from Daimonji. 1959.

Corman, Cid. For Good. 1964.

Corman, Cid. For Instance. 1962.

Corman, Cid. Hearth. 1968.

Corman, Cid. In Good Time. 1964.

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

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

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

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

Corman, Cid. Sun Rock Man. 1962.

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

Corman, Cid. Unless. 1975.

Enslin, Theodore. The Work Proposed. 1958.

Snyder, Gary. Riprap. 1959.

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

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

Zukofsky, Louis. It Was. 1961.

Origin 2 (Summer 1951).

Origin 2 (Summer 1951).

Resource

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


Divers Press

magazines & Presses

Divers Press

Robert Creeley
Banalbufar, Mallorca

1953–1955

Paul Blackburn, The Dissolving Fabric (1955).

blackburn-the-dissolving-fabric-1955


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

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

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

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

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

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

Divers Press books include

Blackburn, Paul. The Dissolving Fabric. 1955.

Creeley, Robert. The Gold Diggers. 1954.

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

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

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

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

Eigner, Larry. From the Sustaining Air. 1953.

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

Layton, Irving. The Blue Propeller. 1955

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

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

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

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


Evergreen Review

magazines & Presses

Evergreen Review

Barney Rosset, with Donald Allen for nos. 1–6
New York

Nos. 1–97, 98 (1957–73, 84).

Evergreen Review 2 (1957).


In 1957, with the backing of Grove Press, Barney Rosset and Donald Allen began editing Evergreen Review, whose early issues reveal “preoccupations with European philosophical and political debates, an enthusiasm for relatively accessible forms of American and European mainstream literary experimentalism and a compulsion to challenge censorship by publishing old and new ‘great outlaw masterpieces.’” The first issue included work by Jean-Paul Sartre, Samuel Beckett, and Henri Michaux, as well as an article on Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The second issue, the famous “San Francisco Scene” issue, featured Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Jack Kerouac, Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Duncan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso, and others.

Evergreen Review 8 (vol. 2, no. 8) (Spring 1959). Cover drawing by Chris Jenkyns.

Evergreen Review 8 (vol. 2, no. 8) (Spring 1959). Cover drawing by Chris Jenkyns.

Evergreen Review was typically published in print runs exceeding 100,000 copies and thus was able to deliver the “underground” to a large audience. To many, particularly those waiting in the wings in small-town (and even not-so-small-town) America, Evergreen Review broadcast the first stirrings of the counterculture that would flourish within a few short years. Donald Allen left Evergreen after the sixth issue, and one can chart the magazine’s gradual decline from that point. Although the magazine continued into the 1970s,* the editorial movement was toward soft-focus nude photo-essays and pornographic stories, albeit printed alongside the staples, among them, Beckett.

*After an 11-year hiatus, issue no. 98 was released in 1984.

Evergreen Review 6 (1958).

Evergreen Review 6 (1958).

Evergreen Review 13 (vol. 4, no. 13) (May–June1960). “Provedied by” Roger Shattuck and Simon Watson Taylor.

Evergreen Review 13 (vol. 4, no. 13) (May–June 1960). “Provedied by” Roger Shattuck and Simon Watson Taylor.


Grove Press

magazines & Presses

Grove Press

Barney Rosset
New York

1948–

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

f1donald-allen-the-new-american-poetry-grove-1960-r


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

Douglas Wolf, Fade Out (1959).

Douglas Woolf, Fade Out (1959).

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

Irving Rosenthal. Sheeper (1967).

Irving Rosenthal, Sheeper (1967).

Grove Press books include

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

Berrigan, Ted. The Sonnets. 1967.

Blackburn, Paul. The Cities. 1967.

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

Burroughs, William S. Naked Lunch. 1959.

Burroughs, William S. Nova Express. 1964.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kandel, Lenore. Word Alchemy. 1967.

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

Kerouac, Jack. Satori in Paris. 1966.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miller, Henry. Tropic of Cancer. 1961.

Miller, Henry. Tropic of Capricorn. 1961.

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

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

Olson, Charles. The Distances: Poems. 1960.

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

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

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

Rosenthal, Irving. Sheeper. 1967.

Sanders, Ed. Shards of God. 1970.

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

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

Woolf, Douglas. Fade Out. 1959.


City Lights

magazines & Presses

City Lights

Lawrence Ferlinghetti
San Francisco

Nos. 1–4 (1963–78).

City Lights Journal 2 (1964).


The very image of the counterculture, the City Lights Bookstore opened its doors on Columbus Avenue in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood in 1953. At first, under the name of the Pocket Bookshop, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter Martin sold only paperbacks and magazines; the name was changed in 1955 when the famous Pocket Poets Series began with Ferlinghetti’s own Pictures of the Gone World. The series and the bookshop flourish to this day. In 1956, a few months after the famous Six Gallery reading, Ferlinghetti published Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems, causing a firestorm of controversy when he was arrested and tried for the sale of obscene material in 1957. Ferlinghetti was acquitted, and the powerful little book of poems has since sold over a million copies. The poem itself was a watershed work for the New American Poetry, and is still contemporary in its angry protest.

City Lights book. Charles Plymell, Last of the Moccasins (1971).

Charles Plymell, The Last of the Moccasins (1971).

Ferlinghetti started the City Lights Journal in 1963, basing it on such older and distinguished European literary journals as Botteghe Oscure and Transition and on the yearly American anthologies from New Directions. The entire Beat pantheon, including Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kerouac, Ed Sanders, Gary Snyder, and Neal Cassady, contributed to the first issue. The Journal did not stay on schedule, however; it numbered only four issues, the last of which was not published until fifteen years after the first. But the Journal was notable for the catholicity of its taste, combining writing from around the world. Under the City Lights imprint, Ferlinghetti has published a truly international selection of avant-garde literature, including works in translation by García Lorca, Rimbaud, Picasso, Prévert, Neruda, and others, as well as original work by almost all the Beat, Black Mountain, and San Francisco Renaissance writers. Ferlinghetti today is an incarnation of his own hero, Charlie Chaplin, a symbol of integrity, of a life lived for art. Chaplin’s famous film provided Ferlinghetti with the name for his equally famous and truly exemplary bookstore.

City Lights book. Denise Levertov, Here and Now (1957). Pocket Poets Series, No. 6).

Denise Levertov, Here and Now (1957). Pocket Poets Series, No. 6.

City Lights book. Nicanor Parra, Anti-Poems (1960). Pocket Poets Series, No. 12.

Nicanor Parra, Anti-Poems (1960). Pocket Poets Series, No. 12.

City Lights books include

Beatitude Anthology. 1960.

Corso, Gregory. Gasoline. 1958. Pocket Poets Series, No. 8. Introduction by Allen Ginsberg.

Di Prima, Diane. Revolutionary Letters. 1971. Pocket Poets Series, No. 27. Cover design by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Duncan, Robert. Selected Poems. 1959. Pocket Poets Series, No. 10.

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. Pictures of the Gone World. 1955. Pocket Poets Series, No. 1.

Ginsberg, Allen. Howl and Other Poems. 1956. Pocket Poets Series, No. 4.

Ginsberg, Allen. Kaddish and Other Poems 1958–1960. 1961. Pocket Poets Series, No. 14.

Kerouac, Jack. Book of Dreams. 1961. Cover photograph of the author by Robert Frank.

Kerouac, Jack. Scattered Poems. 1971. Pocket Poets Series, No. 28. Cover photograph of the author by William S. Burroughs.

Lamantia, Philip. Selected Poems 1943–1966. 1967. Pocket Poets Series, No. 20.

Levertov, Denise. Here and Now. 1957. Pocket Poets Series, No. 6.

Mailer, Norman. The White Negro. 1957. Cover negative of photograph by Harry Redl.

McClure, Michael. Ghost Tantras. 1964. Cover by Wallace Berman.

McClure, Michael. Meat Science Essays. 1963.

O’Hara, Frank. Lunch Poems. 1964. Pocket Poets Series, No. 19.

Parra, Nicanor. Anti-Poems. 1960. Pocket Poets Series, No. 12.

Pickard, Tom. Guttersnipe. 1971. Cover photograph of the author by Elsa Dorfman.

Rothenberg, Jerome, ed. and trans. Nine Young German Poets. 1959. Pocket Poets Series, No. 11.

Waldman, Anne. Fast Speaking Woman. 1975. Cover photograph of the author by Sheyla Baykal.

Watts, Allen. Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen. 1959.

Weishaus, Joel, ed. On the Mesa: An Anthology of Bolinas Writing. 1971. Cover photograph by Steven Lazar.

Williams, William Carlos. Kora in Hell. 1957. Pocket Poets Series, No. 7.

Resource

For further information about City Lights, the reader is referred to: Ralph T. Cook, City Lights Books: A Descriptive Bibliography (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1992).


Journal for the Protection of All Beings

magazines & Presses

Journal for the Protection of All Beings: A Visionary and Revolutionary Review

Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and David Meltzer
San Francisco

Nos. 1–4 (1961–78).

Journal for the Protection of All Beings: A Visionary and Revolutionary Review 3 (1969). Cover drawing by Eugene Hawkins Legend.

journal-for-the-protection-of-all-living-beings-no-3-1969-r


Similar in spirit and philosophy to Ark II/Moby 1, the Journal for the Protection of All Beings was one of the first radical ecology journals. The brainchild of Michael McClure and David Meltzer, it melded the anarchist thought of the 1950s (The Ark) with the pacifism evidenced in the very early journal The Illiterati, published in the late 1940s by Kermit Sheets and Kemper Nomland at the camp for conscientious objectors in Waldport, Oregon. The newest element in the mix was work from the San Francisco Renaissance poets. The first issue led off with Thomas Merton’s “Chant to be used in procession around a site with furnaces” and included work by all three editors as well as an interview with Allen Ginsberg by Gregory Corso, an interview with Ginsberg and Corso by William S. Burroughs, and Gary Snyder’s “Buddhist Anarchism.” This issue also reprinted two famous documents, Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Declaration of Rights” and the famous statement by Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians.

Journal for the Protection of All beings: A Visionary and Revolutionary Review 1 (1961).

Journal for the Protection of All beings: A Visionary and Revolutionary Review 1 (1961).


New Directions

Magazines & Presses

New Directions

James Laughlin
New York

1936–

David Antin, talking at the boundaries (1976).

david-antin-talking-at-the-boundaries


“No Jaz, it’s hopeless. You’re never going to make a writer.” “Jaz” was James Laughlin IV, a bored college freshman who had taken 1934–35 off to study with Ezra Pound at the poet’s “Ezuversity.” Pound counseled Laughlin, “Go back to Haavud to finish up your studies. If you’re a good boy your parents will give you some money and you can bring out books. I’ll write to my friends and get them to provide you with manuscripts.” Pound was right about the money, although Laughlin didn’t wait for the manuscripts to roll in. In 1936, with help from his father and his aunt, he founded New Directions. His first title, New Directions in Prose and Poetry 1936, featured a poem, short story, and essay by William Carlos Williams, whom Laughlin had first published as an editor of the Harvard Advocate. Williams’s White Mule followed in 1937. Pound’s Guide to Kulchur was published in 1938. It would be easy to dismiss Laughlin as a gentleman publisher (Pound invariably did, when frustrated by delays or mistakes), but consider this: New Directions has kept Williams and Pound in print for eighty years. And they are just two poets on a list that includes David Antin, Apollinaire, Baudelaire, Edwin Brock, Ernesto Cardenal, Hayden Carruth, Cid Corman, Gregory Corso, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Richard Eberhart, Russell Edson, William Everson, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, García Lorca, Goethe, H.D., Robinson Jeffers, Bob Kaufman, Irving Layton, Denise Levertov, Michael McClure, Eugenio Montale, Pablo Neruda, Charles Olson, George Oppen, Wilfred Owen, Nicanor Parra, Boris Pasternak, Kenneth Patchen, Octavio Paz, Raymond Queneau, John Crowe Ransom, Raja Rao, Pierre Reverdy, Kenneth Rexroth, Rilke, Rimbaud, Selden Rodman, Jerome Rothenberg, Delmore Schwartz, Stevie Smith, Gary Snyder, Nathaniel Thomas, and Yvor Winters—not to mention Buddha.

— Aaron Fischer, Fort Lee, New Jersey, October 1997

Jean Francois Bory. Once Again (1968).Translated by Lee Hildreth.

Jean-François Bory, Once Again (1968), translated by Lee Hildreth.

kenneth-patchen-doubleheader-poemscapes-and-a-letter-to-god-1958

Kenneth Patchen, Poemscapes / A Letter to God (1958).

New Directions books include

Antin, David. talking at the boundaries. 1976.

Bory, Jean-François, ed. Once Again. 1968. Translated by Lee Hildreth.

Corman, Cid. Livingdying. 1970. Cover by Shiryu Morita.

Corman, Cid. Sun Rock Man. 1970.

Corso, Gregory. Elegiac Feelings American. 1970. Cover photograph of the author by Ettore Sottass, Jr.

Corso, Gregory. The Happy Birthday of Death. 1960.

Corso, Gregory. Long Live Man. 1962.

Duncan, Robert. Bending the Bow. 1968. Book and dust jacket designed by Graham Mackintosh. Cover photograph of the author by Nata Piaskowski.

Duncan, Robert. The Opening of the Field. 1973.

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. A Coney Island of the Mind. 1958.

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. Her. 1960.

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. The Secret Meaning of Things. 1968.

Kaufman, Bob. Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness. 1965.

Kerouac, Jack. Excerpt from Visions of Cody. 1959.

Levertov, Denise. The Cold Spring & Other Poems. 1968.

Levertov, Denise. The Collected Earlier Poems. 1979.

Levertov, Denise. Footprints. 1972. Cover photograph by Liebe Coolidge.

Levertov, Denise. The Freeing of the Dust. 1975. Cover photograph of work by Antoni Tàpies.

Levertov, Denise. Life in the Forest. 1978. Cover photograph by Harry Callahan.

Levertov, Denise. O Taste and See. 1964. Cover photograph by Roloff Beny.

Levertov, Denise. The Poet in the World. 1973. Cover photograph of the author’s desk by Suzy Gordon.

Levertov, Denise. The Sorrow Dance. 1966. Cover photograph by Roloff Beny.

Levertov, Denise. With Eyes at the Back of Our Heads. 1959.

McClure, Michael. September Blackberries. 1974.

Olson, Charles. Selected Writings. 1966. Edited and with an introduction by Robert Creeley.

Oppen, George. The Collected Poems of George Oppen. 1975.

Oppen, George. The Materials. 1962.

Oppen, George. Of Being Numerous. 1968.

Oppen, George. This in Which. 1965.

Patchen, Kenneth. Because It Is: Poems and Drawings. 1960.

Patchen, Kenneth. But Even So. 1968.

Patchen, Kenneth. Hallelujah Anyway. 1966.

Patchen, Kenneth. In Quest of Candlelighters. 1972.

Patchen, Kenneth. Memoirs of a Shy Pornographer. 1958. Cover photograph of the author by Ray Johnson.

Patchen, Kenneth. Poemscapes / A Letter to God. 1958.

Patchen, Kenneth. Red Wine & Yellow Hair. 1949.

Patchen, Kenneth. Selected Poems. 1957. Cover photograph of the author by Harry Redl. Cover design by David Ford.

Patchen, Kenneth. Sleepers Awake. 1969. Published originally by Padell Books, 1946.

Randall, Margaret. Part of the Solution: Portrait of a Revolutionary. 1973.

Rexroth, Kenneth. The Collected Longer Poems. 1968.

Rexroth, Kenneth. The Collected Shorter Poems. 1966.

Rexroth, Kenneth. Natural Numbers: New and Selected Poems. 1963.

Rexroth, Kenneth, trans. One Hundred Poems from the Chinese. 1965.

Reznikoff, Charles. By the Waters of Manhattan: Selected Verse. 1962. Introduction by C. P. Snow.

Rothenberg, Jerome. Poland/1931. 1974.

Rothenberg, Jerome. Pre-Faces & Other Writings. 1981.


Corinth Books

magazines & Presses

Corinth Books

Ted and Eli Wilentz; later Ted and Joan Wilentz
New York

1959–1973

David Ossman, The Sullen Art (1963).


One of New York’s literary landmarks was the Eighth Street Book Shop, which began in 1947 when brothers Ted and Eli Wilentz bought an old Womraths “bookstore” (really a lending library and card shop) and transformed it into a thriving center of literary activity. In addition to selling books, the Wilentzes began a small publishing concern in 1959. As Ted remembers: “Both of us were interested in publishing, so we jumped in. For a while we thought we might make Corinth into a full-fledged business, but that fantasy dwindled as time went on…. These new writers, then, began appearing sometime in the early fifties. They would come in the shop, often to leave their books….

Ted Joans, The Hipsters (1961). Text and collages by the author.

Ted Joans, The Hipsters (1961). Text and collages by the author.

There were many now-important writers whom I had the pleasure of working with and getting to know. LeRoi Jones, for instance, who today prefers to be known as Imamu Amiri Baraka. I met Roi when Hettie Jones, his first wife, worked as my secretary for a time…. I still recall the time when Ginsberg came to me and asked if I would lend him some money to bring Philip Whalen and Mike McClure to New York City for a reading…. Jonathan Williams, at some point, used to pack books for us at the shop. We did four books with Jonathan, and published them under the Jargon/Corinth imprint.” A remarkable number of important writers of the period were published by Corinth, including, in cooperation with Jargon, Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, and Louis Zukofsky. Corinth also copublished books with LeRoi Jones’s Totem Press, including Frank O’Hara’s Second Avenue (1960), Gary Snyder’s Myths and Texts (1960), Ginsberg’s Empty Mirror (1961), and Kerouac’s The Scripture of the Golden Eternity (1961). For a number of years the press was active in publishing the work of promising young African American poets, including Tom Weatherly, Al Young, Clarence Major, and Jay Wright. Some of the second-generation New York Schoolers were also published by the Wilentzes, including Anne Waldman and Ted Berrigan.

Ted Berrigan, Many Happy Returns (1969). Cover by Joe Brainard.

Ted Berrigan, Many Happy Returns (1969). Cover by Joe Brainard.

Jay Wright, The Homcoming Singer (1971).

Jay Wright, The Homecoming Singer (1971).

Corinth books include

Berrigan, Ted. Many Happy Returns. 1969. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Di Prima, Diane. Dinners and Nightmares. 1961.

Ginsberg, Allen. Empty Mirror. 1970. Introduction by William Carlos Williams. Cover collage from photographs by Ann Charters and Elsa Dorfman. Revised edition.

Guest, Barbara. The Blue Stairs. 1968. Cover by Helen Frankenthaler.

Joans, Ted. The Hipsters. 1961.

Jones, LeRoi, ed. The Modems: An Anthology of New Writing in America. 1963. Introduction by LeRoi Jones.

Major, Clarence. Symptoms & Madness. 1971. Cover by Joan Wilentz.

Schjeldahl, Peter. White Country. 1968.

Waldman, Anne. Giant Night. 1970. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Warsh, Lewis. Dreaming as One: Poems. 1971. Cover by Joe Brainard.

Weatherly, Tom. Maumau American Cantos. 1970.

Wilentz, Eli, ed. The Beat Scene. 1960. Photographs by Fred McDarrah.

Wright, Jay. The Homecoming Singer. 1971.

Resource

For a more complete list of Corinth and Totem/Corinth books, the reader is referred to the list by Ted Wilentz and Bill Zavatsky, appended to their article “Behind the Writer, Ahead of the Reader: A Short History of Corinth Books,” which appeared in Tri-Quarterly 43 (1978) and is reprinted in Elliott Anderson and Mary Kinzie’s The Little Magazine in America: A Modern Documentary History (Yonkers, NY: Pushcart Press, 1978).


Totem Press

magazines & Presses

Totem Press

LeRoi Jones [Imamu Amiri Baraka]
New York

1958–1962

Charles Olson, Projective Verse (1959). Cover by Matsumi Kanemitsu.

Totem Press. Charles Olson


On the same small offset press, and as an arm of his magazine Yugen, LeRoi Jones’s Totem Press imprint published thirteen pamphlets, beginning with Diane di Prima’s This Kind of Bird Flies Backward in 1958. The press also published work by Ron Loewinsohn (Watermelons, 1959), Michael McClure (For Artaud, 1959), and Jack Kerouac (The Scripture of the Golden Eternity, 1961), as well as Charles Olson’s influential and much-admired Projective Verse in 1959 and Paul Blackburn’s Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit in 1960. However, the most important (at least to Jones himself) of the Totem Books was the little six-page pamphlet he edited in 1959 as the second book of the press. Entitled Jan 1st 1959: Fidel Castro, it included poems by Joel Oppenheimer, Max Finstein, Gilbert Sorrentino, Ron Loewinsohn, and Jack Kerouac in addition to Jones’s own “A Poem Some People Will Have to Understand.” Jones’s arguments with his friends (then mostly white) over the relationship of poetry to politics caused him to reevaluate his own position on nonviolence and political action, which eventually led him to break with most of his white colleagues and friends. In late 1960, Jones entered into a relationship with Eli Wilentz of Corinth Books to copublish and distribute Totem Press titles.

Totem Press books include

Blackburn, Paul. Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit. 1960. Blueplate no. 3.

Di Prima, Diane. This Kind of Bird Flies Backward. 1958. Introduction by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Finstein, Max. Savonarola’s Tune. 1959. Foreword by Gilbert Sorrentino. Published by Laurence Hellenberg and distributed by Totem Press.

Jones, LeRoi, ed. Jan 1st 1959: Fidel Castro. 1959. Blueplate no. 1. Includes poems by Joel Oppenheimer, Max Finstein, LeRoi Jones, Gilbert Sorrentino, Ron Loewinsohn, and Jack Kerouac.

Loewinsohn, Ron. Watermelons. 1959. Introduction by William Carlos Williams.

Continue reading

McClure, Michael. For Artaud. 1959. Blueplate no. 2.

Olson, Charles. Projective Verse. 1959. Cover by Matsumi Kanemitsu.

Totem Press books in association with Corinth Books include

Dorn, Edward. Hands Up! 1964. Cover by William White.

Four Young Lady Poets. 1962. Includes poems by Carol Bergé, Barbara Moraff, Rochelle Owens, Diane Wakoski.

Ginsberg, Allen. Empty Mirror. 1961. Introduction by William Carlos Williams. Cover by Jesse Sorrentino.

Jones, LeRoi. Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note. 1961. Cover drawing by Basil King.

Kerouac, Jack. The Scripture of the Golden Eternity. 1960. Cover drawing of Kerouac by Robert LaVigne.

O’Hara, Frank. Second Avenue. 1960. Cover by Larry Rivers.

Oppenheimer, Joel. The Love Bit and Other Poems. 1962. Cover by Dan Rice.

Snyder, Gary. Myths and Texts. 1960. Cover and drawings by Will Peterson.

Sorrentino, Gilbert. Black and White. 1964.

Whalen, Philip. Like I Say. 1960.


Poets Press

magazines & Presses

Poets Press

Diane di Prima
New York

1963–1969

Alan Marlowe, John’s Book (1969). Introduction by Robert Creeley.

johns-book-poets-press


One of the most influential people in Diane di Prima’s life was her grandfather, Domenico Mallozi, a writer for the anarchist newspaper Il Martello (The Hammer) on New York City’s Lower East Side. His granddaughter followed in his footsteps, both as a writer and as an activist and internationalist, during the 1960s cofounding the New York Poets Theatre (which from 1961 to 1965 produced one-act plays by poets, with sets and decorations by a variety of artists), coediting The Floating Bear with LeRoi Jones [Imamu Amiri Baraka], and serving as a contributing editor to both Yugen and Kulchur.

David Henderson, Felix of the Silent Forest (1967). Introduction by LeRoi Jones.

David Henderson, Felix of the Silent Forest (1967). Introduction by LeRoi Jones.

From her apartment at 54 East Fourth Street in New York, and later from Kerhonkson in upstate New York, she ran the Poets Press. About its beginnings, she is characteristically to the point: “I bought a Davidson 241 and put it in a storefront…I went to ‘printing school’ for a week and learned how to run the machine (I was the only woman in the class), and I got on with it.” Poets Press published nearly thirty books, including many of di Prima’s own, as well as the first books of Audre Lorde, Jay Wright, and David Henderson, and works by Herbert Huncke and Michael McClure. Di Prima lived in Timothy Leary’s psychedelic community in Millbrook, New York, for six months in 1966–67 and published Leary’s Psychedelic Prayers in 1966. John Ashbery’s Three Madrigals was published in holograph reproduction in 1968. Di Prima moved in 1968 to the West Coast, where she continues her active involvement in poetry, publishing, and antiwar and ecological projects. She has taught in the Poetics Program at the New College of San Francisco and founded the San Francisco Institute of Magical and Healing Arts.

Diane di Prima, L.A. Odyssey (1969). Cover by George Herms.

Diane di Prima, L.A. Odyssey (1969). Cover by George Herms. 

 

Growing up in the fifties, you had to figure it out for yourself—which she did, and stayed open—as a woman, uninterested in any possibility of static investment or solution. Her search for a human center is among the most moving I have witnessed—and she took her friends with her, though often it would have been simpler indeed to have gone alone. God bless her toughness and the deep gentleness of her hand!”
Robert Creeley, “Foreword for Diane” in Diane di Prima’s Pieces of a Song: Selected Poems (San Francisco: City Lights, 1990)

Poets Press books include

Ashbery, John. Three Madrigals. 1968.

Creeley, Robert. Mazatlan: Sea. 1969. Printed at the Cranium Press.

Creeley, Robert. 5 Numbers. 1968. Cover design, rubberstamp print by William Katz.

Di Prima, Diane. Earthsong: Poems 1957–1959. 1968. Cover drawings by George Herms.

Di Prima, Diane. Hotel Albert Poems. 1968.

Di Prima, Diane. L.A. Odyssey. 1969. Cover by George Herms.

Di Prima, Diane. The New Handbook of Heaven. N.d., (reprint of Auerhahn Press edition of 1963).

Di Prima, Diane. New Mexico Poem. 1968. (There is a question as to whether this is a Poets Press book.)

Di Prima, Diane, trans. Seven Love Poems from the Middle Latin. 1965.

Di Prima, Diane, ed. War Poems. 1968. Cover by John Braden.

Doyle, Kirby. Sapphobones. 1966.

Duncan, Robert. Play Time Pseudo Stein. 1969. Cover by the author.

Henderson, David. Felix of the Silent Forest. 1967. Introduction by LeRoi Jones. Cover by Bret Rohmer.

Huncke, Herbert. Huncke’s Journal. 1965. Drawings by Erin Matson.

Leary, Timothy. Psychedelic Prayers after the Tao Te Ching. 1966.

Lorde, Audre. The First Cities. 1968. Introduction by Diane di Prima.

Marlowe, Alan. A Handbook of Survival into the New Age. 1964. Broadside.

Marlowe, Alan. John’s Book. 1969. Introduction by Robert Creeley.

Marlowe, Alan. To a Growing Community (to Allen Ginsberg). 1968. Broadside.

Matson, Clive. Mainline to the Heart. 1966. Introduction by John Wieners. Drawings by Erin Matson.

McClure, Michael. Little Odes, Jan.–March 1961. 1968.

Spellman, A. B. The Beautiful Days. 1965. Introduction by Frank O’Hara. Cover by Ross Perez. Drawings by William White.

Wright, Jay. Death as History. 1967.


Kulchur

magazines & Presses

Kulchur

Marc Schleifer, Lita Hornick, and others
New York

Nos. 1–20 (Spring 1960–Winter 1965).

Kulchur 1 (Spring 1960).

kulchur-1-1960


Throughout its twenty issues, Kulchur maintained the character of a magazine of high seriousness and wide-ranging interest and investigation, in this resembling the compendious Guide to Kulchur by Ezra Pound. Kulchur included commentary or criticism (rather than poetry or fiction) by most of the writers of the avant-garde, and in a variety of areas, including literature, film, theater, books, politics, and music.

Kulchur 4 (1961). Photograph of William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac in Paris, ca. 1955.

Gilbert Sorrentino, who edited Kulchur 4 and was associated with the magazine as a contributing editor for two years, remarks on its impact: “Kulchur evolved a review style that, for better or worse, has persisted in little-magazine writing to this day. It was personal, colloquial, wry, mocking, and precisely vulgar when vulgarity seemed called for…nothing was ever explained, the writing was elliptical, casual, and obsessively conversational. We had wanted a flashing, brilliant magazine that had nothing to do with the academic world and we had got one.” Among the high points of the twenty issues were Charles Olson on “Proprioception,” and Julian Beck of the Living Theatre on “The Life of the Theatre,” in issue 1. Subsequent issues featured Jerome Rothenberg and Robert Creeley on deep image poetry, Paul Blackburn’s article on The Black Mountain Review, Ed Dorn on Olson’s Maximus poems (reprinted from his Migrant pamphlet), Edwin Denby on Balanchine, Clayton Eshleman’s translations of Peruvian poet César Vallejo, and a good number of Ted Berrigan’s Sonnets. Covers were contributed by a variety of artists, including Franz Kline, Robert Indiana, and Joe Brainard.

The artistic community of the early 1960s was reflected in the instability of Kulchur‘s contentious editorial history: there were at least four single editors, including Marc Schleifer for three issues and Sorrentino and Jerome Rothenberg for one each; an editorial board consisting of Sorrentino, LeRoi Jones, Frank O’Hara, Bill Berkson, and Joseph LeSueur for several issues; followed by the single editorship of Lita Hornick, who was also the publisher and the financier for most of the magazine’s feisty life.

One of the most vibrant issues of Kulchur, no. 4, was guest-edited by Gilbert Sorrentino at Lita Hornick’s request. As Sorrentino recounted in “Neon, Kulchur, etc.,” TriQuarterly (Fall 1978):

“I asked Zukofsky (whom I badly wanted to begin to use the magazine for an outlet), Duncan, Ron Loewinsohn, and [Hubert] Selby for contributions, and they all responded. Zukofsky gave me ‘Modern Times,’ a beautiful essay on Charlie Chaplin, written in 1936 and never before published; Duncan sent his matchless ‘Ideas of the Meaning of Form’; Loewinsohn sent ‘A Credo Sandwich,’ a piece on poetics that complemented Duncan’s; and Selby, writing as ‘Harry Black,’ submitted ‘Happiness House,’ a bitter assault on New York State mental institutions. [LeRoi] Jones, as an editor, gave me a chapter from his as yet unpublished book, Blues People, and I asked Edward Dorn if I might reprint his ‘What I See in the Maximus Poems,’ originally published in Gael Turnbull’s Migrant. Paul Goodman sent a comment on the material that had appeared in number 3. An oddly curious Freudian study of L. Frank Baum, and in particular the Oz books, came in unsolicited from Osmond Beckwith, of whom I have never again heard, and seemed to me exactly right for the issue. The reviews were by [Fielding] Dawson, Jones, Cid Corman (on Zukofsky), [Joel] Oppenheimer (on Dorn), and Walter Lowenfels, who sent a review of Tropic of Cancer, written in Paris on the appearance of Miller’s novel in 1934 and previously unpublished. Marian Zazeela, Marc Schleifer’s wife, gave me a snapshot of Kerouac and Burroughs taken in Paris about 1955, and that became the cover; the title page identifies it as a photograph of Inspector Maigret and Sam Spade.”

Ted Berrigan and Ron Padgett, Bean Spasms (1967). Cover and drawings by Joe Brainard.

Ted Berrigan and Ron Padgett, Bean Spasms (1967). Cover and drawings by Joe Brainard.

Kulchur Press books include

Adam, Helen. Stone Cold Gothic. 1984. Paintings by Auste Adam.

Adam, Helen. Turn to Me, and Other Poems. 1977.

Antin, David. Talking. 1972. Cover by the author.

Berrigan, Ted, and Ron Padgett. Bean Spasms. 1967. Cover and drawings by Joe Brainard.

Brainard, Joe. Selected Writings. 1971. Cover and endpapers by Ron Padgett.

Ceravolo, Joe. Millennium Dust. 1982. Cover by Monica Da Vinci.

Clark, Tom. At Malibu. 1975. Cover by the author. Cover photograph of the author by Angelica Clark.

Elmslie, Kenward. Album. 1969. Cover and drawings by Joe Brainard.

Elmslie, Kenward, and Joe Brainard. Sung Sex. 1989.

Fagin, Larry. Rhymes of a Jerk. 1974. Cover by Ed Ruscha.

Ferrari, Mary. The Isle of the Little God. 1981. Covers by Jennifer Bartlett.

Giomo, John. Balling Buddha. 1970. Cover by Les Levine.

Giorno, John, and Richard Bosman. Grasping at Emptiness. 1985. Cover and drawings by Richard Bosman.

Greenwald, Ted. The Licorice Chronicles. 1979. Cover by James Starrett.

Hartman, Yuki. Ping. 1984. Cover and drawings by Susan Greene.

Hornick, Lita. Night Flight. 1982. Cover painting by Susan Hall. Back cover by Jennifer Bartlett.

Hornick, Lita. Nine Martinis. 1987.

Howe, Susan. The Defenestration of Prague. 1983. Cover from a drawing by Inigo Jones. Design by Susan B. Laufer.

Jones, Hettie, ed. Poems Now. 1966.

Katz, Alex, and Kenneth Koch. Interlocking Lives. 1970. Cover by Alex Katz.

Kostelanetz, Richard. I Articulations. 1974.

Lavin, Stuart. Let Myself Shine. 1979. Cover by Bruce Chandler.

MacAdams, Lewis. Live at the Church. 1977. Cover photograph of the author by Gerard Malanga.

Malanga, Gerard. Screen Tests: A Diary. 1967. Cover and illustrations by Andy Warhol.

Mayer, Bernadette. Poetry. 1976. Cover by Rosemary Mayer.

North, Charles. Leap Year: Poems 1968–1978. 1978. Cover and drawings by Paula North.

Notley, Alice. Waltzing Matilda. 1981. Cover by George Schneeman.

Owen, Maureen. Hearts in Space. 1980. Cover and drawings by Joe Giordano.

Owens, Rochelle. I Am the Babe of Joseph Stalin’s Daughter. 1972. Cover and drawings by the author.

Perreault, John. Luck. 1969.

Plymell, Charles. The Trashing of America. 1975. Cover by Les Levine.

Pommy-Vega, Janine. The Bard Owl. 1980. Cover and drawings by Martin Carey.

Ratcliff, Carter. Fever Coast. 1973.

Torregian, Sotère. The Age of Gold. 1976. Cover and pictures by the author.

Towle, Tony. New and Selected Poems. 1983. Cover painting by Jean Holabird.

Violi, Paul. Baltic Circles. 1973. Cover painting of the author by Paula North.

Waldman, Anne. No Hassles. 1971. Cover by Brigid Polk and art by Joe Brainard, Donna Dennis, and George Schneeman.

Waldman, Anne, and Susan Hall. Invention. 1985. Drawings by Susan Hall.

Warsh, Lewis. Blue Heaven. 1978. Cover by George Schneeman.


Poems Collected at Les Deux Mégots/Poets at Le Metro

magazines & Presses

Poems Collected at Les Deux Mégots/Poets at Le Metro

Dan Saxon
New York

Nos. 1–20 (December 1962–January 1965).

Poets at Le Metro 19 (December 1964).

poets-at-le-metro_1964_19


During the 1950s, East Tenth Street between Third and Fourth Avenues housed a number of art galleries exhibiting the most advanced art in America on a street that until then had been occupied by pawnshops, pool rooms, and sheet metal shops. During that decade, the area became a primary stomping ground for the young Abstract Expressionist painters and their attendant theorists/promoters, Harold Rosenberg and Clement Greenberg. Here, also, poet Frank O’Hara served as an important link between artists and poets in the East Village. Art openings became mandatory for “networking,” and several of the galleries along Tenth Street also offered poetry readings and jazz. The Tenth Street Coffee House, owned by Micky Ruskin, was the scene from 1960 until 1962 of the first poetry readings in the area (organized by Chester Anderson, Howard Ant, and Ree Dragonette, and including Carol Bergé, Jackson Mac Low, and Diane Wakoski among the readers). Ruskin then moved his cafe and the readings to a larger basement storefront at 64 East Seventh Street, christened Les Deux Mégots Coffee House. The Monday and Wednesday night readings organized there by poet Paul Blackburn were transferred a year later, in February 1963, to Cafe Le Metro, owned by Moe and Cindy Margules (Ruskin went on to open Max’s Kansas City, a famous nightspot frequented by Andy Warhol and other stars of the downtown art and music scenes in the 1960s).

Poets at Le Metro 8 (April 1964).

Poets at Le Metro 8 (April 1964).

At both Les Deux Mégots and Cafe Le Metro, poet Dan Saxon collected hand- and typewritten manuscripts from the readers and produced a mimeographed magazine that he circulated for free. Among those who spoke or sang in the coffeehouses were Julian Beck of the Living Theatre, Ted Berrigan, Paul Blackburn, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Diane di Prima, Bob Dylan, Frank O’Hara, Gerard Malanga, LeRoi Jones, Denise Levertov, Charles Reznikoff, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, John Wieners, and Gregory Corso, most of whom also appeared in the pioneering mimeos produced by Saxon. In February 1964, Cafe Le Metro became the battleground for one of the most important First Amendment fights in New York City’s literary history. A city license inspector appeared at a reading by Jackson Mac Low and issued a summons, citing the New York Coffee House Law of 1962, which outlawed unlicensed “entertainment.” Enforcement of this law in such cases would have put the small neighborhood coffeehouses that did not serve liquor out of business, because cabaret licenses were expensive, and were accompanied by more stringent fire department codes and other regulations. The poetry community, led by Allen Ginsberg, Paul Blackburn, and Ted Berrigan, fought for and won the right to read poetry without a cabaret permit.

[Information adapted from Bill Morgan’s The Beat Generation in New York: A Walking Tour of Jack Kerouac’s City (San Francisco: City Lights, 1997).]


Newspaper

Magazines & Presses

newspaper

jack green
New York

Nos. 1–15 (1957–65).

newspaper 12 [1962].

newspaper_no-12_


newspaper was part conceptual art, part political tract, and part zine. Between 1957 and 1965, fifteen issues were written, edited, and distributed by “jack green,” reportedly the son of novelist Helen Grace Carlisle. A Princeton dropout, student of gambling systems and the theories of Wilhelm Reich, actuary of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and then a freelance proofreader, “green” used his underground tabloid for cultural commentary and deliciously satirical (yet superbly well-documented) assaults against institutionalized publishing and book reviewing in America. jack green was quite vocal (some might even say fanatical) in his appreciation of William Gaddis’s The Recognitions, taking out a full-page ad in the Village Voice in 1962 to extol the virtues of a book he considered to be “as much the novel of our generation as Ulysses was of its.” His master critique was “Fire the Bastards!,” which originally appeared in newspaper 12–14, wherein he dissected the overwhelmingly negative criticism dished out to The Recognitions. Fire the Bastards! was reprinted by Dalkey Archive Press in 1992.

newspaper 8 (ca 1959).

newspaper 8 [1959].


Measure

magazines & Presses

Measure

John Wieners
Boston and San Francisco

Nos. 1–3 (1957–62).

Measure 2 (1958).

measure-2-1958


The three simple, almost starkly working-class issues of Measure followed glorious and overlooked “underground” poet John Wieners from Black Mountain College home to Boston, across country to San Francisco (issue 2), and back to Boston again. In his years in San Francisco, from 1958 to 1960, Wieners attended (sometimes serving as host at his Scott Street apartment) the legendary Sunday afternoon poetry workshops of the charismatic poets Robert Duncan and Jack Spicer (editor of J). Also present at the workshops were poets George Stanley (editor of Open Space), Harold Dull, Robin Blaser (The Pacific Nation), and many others (including visitors such as Stephen Spender, teaching at Berkeley in 1959). These workshops were an outgrowth of the 1957 series sponsored by the Poetry Center at San Francisco State and held in a public room at the San Francisco Public Library. Measure 3, published in Boston, included West Coast poets Helen Adam, Madeline Gleason, Robert Duncan, Philip Lamantia, and Jack Spicer, as well as Charles Olson, Larry Eigner, and James Schuyler from the East Coast. Except for Adam and Gleason, all had also appeared in the first Boston issue.

Measure 3 (Summer 1962)

Measure 3 (Summer 1962)


The Floating Bear

Magazines & Presses

The Floating Bear

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

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

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

floating-bear_no-12_1961


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

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

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

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

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

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


Yugen

Magazines & Presses

Yugen

LeRoi Jones [Imamu Amiri Baraka] and
Hettie Cohen (assistant editor for nos. 6–8)

New York

Nos. 1–8 (1958–62).

Covers by Norman Bluhm (7), Fielding Dawson (4), Basil King (1, 5, 6, 8), Peter Schwarzburg (3), and Tomi Ungerer (back cover, 2).

Yugen 1 (1958). Cover by Basil King.

yugen-1-1958


In the 1950s and ’60s, LeRoi Jones was as deeply involved as an editor and publisher as he was as a poet and playwright. His publishing ventures included The Floating Bear, Kulchur, Yugen, and Totem. Subtitled “a new consciousness in arts and letters,” Yugen ran for eight issues from 1958 to 1962 and published an ever-widening group of writers, starting in issue 1 with such Beat writers as Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Gregory Corso. By issue 3, Yugen was publishing writers associated with Black Mountain College and the New York School, including Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Joel Oppenheimer, Fielding Dawson, Barbara Guest, and Frank O’Hara. Jones also paid considerable attention to a range of Eastern, Native American, and other minority cultures. The final issues included correspondence and essays exploring the theoretical side of alternative and experimental literatures; as contributor Gilbert Sorrentino noted, “the new writers had been appearing in magazines for about a decade, and it was time for the establishment of a critical position.” Yugen’s willingness to engage in debates over theory prefigures a growing concern within the avant-garde to define a poetic principle and thus establishes Yugen as one of the most important precursors of the New American Poetry. Yugen always looked interesting, too, with covers illustrated by such artists as Basil King and Norman Bluhm.

 

Yugen 3 (1958). Cover by Peter Schwarzburg.

Yugen 3 (1958). Cover by Peter Schwarzburg.


Oyez Press

magazines & Presses

Oyez Press

Robert Hawley
Berkeley

1964–1986*

William Everson, Earth Poetry (1980).

william-everson-earth-poetry


Robert Hawley, founder of Oyez Press, was, in the last days of Black Mountain College, a student of John Wieners, Robert Duncan, and Charles Olson. Along with many of his fellow students, Hawley, originally from Wisconsin, landed in San Francisco, where he worked as a book scout and later with the Holmes Book Company for nearly twenty years. The Oyez Press was conceived in a series of conversations with Stevens Van Strum of Cody’s Books at the Jabberwock Coffee House on Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue. The first Oyez publications were ten broadside poems, one each by Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, Michael McClure, Denise Levertov, David Meltzer, Josephine Miles, Charles Olson, Brother Antoninus (William Everson), Gary Snyder, and William Bronk, designed and printed across the bay by David Haselwood at the Auerhahn Press.

The first Oyez book was poet David Meltzer’s The Process, printed by Graham Mackintosh, who also printed many of the early Black Sparrow books. Both Meltzer and Mackintosh were great influences on the growth of Oyez, which published multiple works by Olson, Duncan, Sister Mary Norbert Korte, Mary Fabilli, and William Everson, as well as books by Thomas Parkinson and Josephine Miles, professors at the nearby University of California (Parkinson was an early defender of the Beats). Among the last books published by the press was a facsimile reprint of a unique copy of Jack Spicer’s ironically titled Collected Poems (1968) from the library of Josephine Miles. The press also published many items anonymously, including a free Checklist of the Separate Publications of Poets of the First Berkeley Poetry Conference of 1965. This conference, a two-week-long extravaganza of readings, seminars, and workshops, was planned to increase the visibility of the New American Poetry and to introduce new poets to each other. It was in some ways a continuation of a similar conference in Vancouver two years earlier, described in Carol Bergé’s The Vancouver Report, published by Ed Sanders in 1964.

* According to Robert Hawley: “From 1964 through 1986 we published about 130 items. Then in 1992 we issued Samuel Charters’ wonderful A Country Year, and in 1996 a keepsake featuring two poems of Tomas Tranströmer, a friend and world-class poet.”  — R. deBretfield Hawley, “Oyez: A Comment,” in Dave Bohn’s Oyez: The Authorized Checklist (Berkeley, n.p., 1997).

Ann Charters. Olson / Melville: A Study in Affinity (1968).

Ann Charters, Olson/Melville: A Study in Affinity (1968).

Oyez Press books include

Charters, Ann. Olson/Melville: A Study in Affinity. 1968.

Duncan, Robert. Medea at Kolchis. 1965. Cover drawing by the author.

Duncan, Robert. Passages 22–27 of the War. 1966.

Duncan, Robert. The Years as Catches: First Poems 1939–1946. 1966.

Eigner, Larry. Selected Poems. 1972. Edited by Samuel Charters and Andrea Wyatt.

[Everson, William] Brother Antoninus. The City Does Not Die. 1969.

Everson, William. Earth Poetry: Selected Essays and Interviews 1950–1977. 1980. Edited by Lee Bartlett.

Everson, William. In the Fictive Wish. 1967.

Everson, William. Single Source: The Early Poems of William Everson. 1966. Introduction by Robert Duncan.

Fabilli, Mary. The Animal Kingdom: Poems 1964–1974. 1975.

Fabilli, Mary. Aurora Bligh & Early Poems. 1968.

Fabilli, Mary. The Old Ones: Poems. 1966. Linoleum blocks by the author.

Garcia, Luis. Beans. 1976.

Ginsberg, Allen. Kral Majales. 1965. Broadside. Illustrated by Robert LaVigne.

Gitin, David. Legwork. 1977.

Korn, Richard. The Judgment of the Condor. 1978.

Korte, Mary Norbert. Beginning of Lines: Response to Albion Moonlight. 1968. Cover photograph by Betty Berenson.

Korte, Mary Norbert. Lines Bending. 1978.

Korte, Mary Norbert. Mammals of Delight. 1978.

Lamantia, Philip. Touch of the Marvelous. 1966. Printed at the Auerhahn Press.

Levertov, Denise. Summer Poems 1969. 1970.

Meltzer, David. Blue Rags. 1974.

Meltzer, David. The Dark Continent. 1967. Cover by Peter LeBlanc.

Meltzer, David. Two Way Mirror: A Poetry Notebook. 1977.

Continue reading

Miles, Josephine. Fields of Learning. 1968.

Olson, Charles. The Special View of History. 1970. Edited and with an introduction by Ann Charters.

Parkinson, Thomas. Thanatos: Earth Poems. 1965. Illustrated by Ariel Parkinson.

Spicer, Jack. Collected Poems 1945–1946. 1981. Published in association with White Rabbit Press.

Torregian, Sotère. The Wounded Mattress. 1970. Introduction by Philip Lamantia.

Vinograd, Julia. Berkeley Street Cannibals: New and Selected Work 1969–1976. 1976.

Welch, Lew. On Out. 1965. Frontispiece photograph of the author by Jim Hatch.

Wyatt, Andrea. A Bibliography of Works by Larry Eigner 1937–1969. 1970.

Wyatt, Andrea. Three Rooms. 1970.

Checklists of Separate Publications of Poets at the First Berkeley Poetry Conference (1965). Compiled for Cod's Books by Oyez editors.

Checklists of Separate Publications of Poets at the First Berkeley Poetry Conference (1965). Compiled for Cody’s Books by Oyez editors.


The Four Seasons Foundation

magazines & Presses

The Four Seasons Foundation

Donald Allen
San Francisco and Bolinas, California

1964–1985

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

richard-brautigan-in-watermelon-sugar


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

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

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

Four Seasons Foundation books include

Blaser, Robin. Cups. 1968. Writing 17.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12 Poets and 1 Painter. 1964. Writing 3.

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

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

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

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

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


The Pacific Nation

magazines & Presses

The Pacific Nation

Robin Blaser
Vancouver, Canada

Nos. 1–2 (June 1967–1969).

The Pacific Nation 1 (June 1967). Cover by Fran Herndon.

pacific-nation-1-1967


The youngest poet of the immediate Spicer circle, Robin Blaser gained his own experience of mimeography as an assistant in 1955 for the Pound Newsletter produced by the English Department at the University of California at Berkeley. Blaser was devoted to his friend and mentor Jack Spicer and edited his collected books, appending a long, well-argued essay on Spicer’s work. Blaser shares Spicer’s concern for the structure of language: “syntax is arrangement, it’s all the word means, the way the sentence is arranged. Generally speaking it is subject, verb & object (the way the sentence moves), a sentence is a way of feeling/thinking both (not just thinking which is in your head) but the materialisation of it. Language is the instrument and you are the musician. We all are. It’s wonderful to listen to language in the street.” After his first two books were published by Open Space, Blaser left Berkeley to teach at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver (or more correctly Burnaby), British Columbia, where he started The Pacific Nation. The first issue included poems and an essay (semi-autobiographical and theoretical) by Blaser, one poem by Jack Spicer, a Blaser translation of a letter of Artaud’s on Nerval, Michael McClure’s The Moon Is the Number 18, an early John Button drawing, and the first printing of the first five chapters of Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America.

Pacific Nation 2 (1969).

The Pacific Nation 2 (1969). Cover by Michael Morris.


Black Sparrow Press

magazines & Presses

Black Sparrow Press

John Martin
Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Santa Rosa

Nos. 1–72 (October 1972–September 1978).

Each issue devoted to the work of a single author.

Sparrow 1 (October 1972).


Perhaps the most familiar of all the literary small presses, Black Sparrow began life with the money John Martin got from selling (for $50,000) his collection of modern literature, which he had purchased over a period of fifteen years (primarily through trading the collection of more classical books he had inherited from his father). The first six publications of the press were broadsides (five of them by Charles Bukowski, who was published by the press until its closure in 2002). The first book was Ron Loewinsohn’s L’Autre.

Kenneth Koch, When the Sun Tries to Go On (1969). Cover by Larry Rivers.

Kenneth Koch, When the Sun Tries to Go On (1969). Cover by Larry Rivers.

In an essay included in Brad Morrow and Seamus Cooney’s Bibliography of the Publications of the Black Sparrow Press (1981), poet Robert Kelly assesses the press that printed so much of his own work: “How much of these past two decades is represented in the Black Sparrow checklist? How much of it is still in print? What are the high points? Antin’s Meditations, Palmer’s first book, Dorn’s first Gunslinger, The Collected Spicer, Blackburn’s Journals, Grossinger’s Solar Journal, these stand out for me. The dynamic plurality of our poetry, so aptly and widely reflected by Black Sparrow (publisher of those uncousins Bukowski and Ashbery, Wakoski and Creeley), may go under any day—control freaks are afoot in the land…. What has been truest of our time is the variety of means, the variety of textures, the variety of texts leading all the Sacred Ways. These may retract. The liberty of the spirit, always polemic but never doctrinaire, lives a life ever in jeopardy—as it must. The press takes risks, surely; but the biggest risk is the sheer accumulation of alternatives it has struggled to keep before the audience. There are Black Sparrow poets—but they are not a stable, not a uniform cadre of uniform product, often they share no other contact but that press.”

Jess [Collins], Christian Morgenstern’s Gallowsongs (1970). Illustrations and versions by Jess.

Jess [Collins], Christian Morgenstern’s Gallowsongs (1970). Illustrations and versions by Jess.

Black Sparrow books include

Antin, David. Code of Flag Behavior. 1968.

Dawson, Fielding. Krazy Kat, The Unveiling and Other Stories. 1969. Cover collage by the author.

Dorn, Edward. Gunslinger. Book I. 1968.

Dorn, Edward. Gunslinger. Book II. 1969.

Duncan, Robert. Epilogos. 1967.

Duncan, Robert. Tribunals, Passages 31—35. 1970.

Enslin, Theodore. The Median Flow: Poems 1943–1973. 1975.

Eshleman, Clayton. Indiana. 1969. Cover by Robert Indiana.

Grossinger, Richard. Solar Journal (Oecological Sections). 1970.

Kelly, Robert. Finding the Measure. 1968. Linoleum cut by the printer Graham Mackintosh.

Koch, Kenneth. When the Sun Tries to Go On. 1969. Cover by Larry Rivers.

Kyger, Joanne. Places to Go. 1970. Illustrations by Jack Boyce.

Loewinsohn, Ron. L’Autre. 1967.

Loewinsohn, Ron. Lying Together, Turning the Head & Shifting the Weight, The Produce District & Other Places, Moving: A Spring Poem. 1967.

Mac Low, Jackson. 22 Light Poems. 1968.

Malanga, Gerard. The Last Benedetta Poems. 1969. Cover photograph by the author.

McClure, Michael. Little Odes & The Raptors. 1969.

Meltzer, David. Luna. 1970. Cover by Wallace Berman.

Meltzer, David. Round the Poem Box: Rustic & Domestic Home Movies for Stan & Jane Brakhage. 1969. Cover by David Meltzer.

Meltzer, David. Six. 1976. Drawings by the author.

Morgenstern, Christian. Gallowsongs. 1970. Translated by Jess Collins.

Palmer, Michael. Blake’s Newton. 1972.

Palmer, Michael. The Circular Gates. 1974.

Reznikoff, Charles. By the Well of the Living & Seeing: New & Selected Poems 1918–1973. 1974. Edited, and with an introduction, by Seamus Cooney.

Wakoski, Diane. The Magellanic Clouds. 1970.

Yau, John. Radiant Silhouette: New and Selected Work 1974–1988. 1989.

Resource

For further information on Black Sparrow Press, including a bibliography of its publications, the reader is referred to: Bradford Morrow and Seamus Cooney, A Bibliography of the Black Sparrow Press, 1966–1978 (Santa Barbara, CA: Black Sparrow, 1981).

 


Beatitude

magazines & Presses

Beatitude

John Kelly, Bob Kaufman, William J. Margolis, John Richardson, Bernie Uronowitz, and others
San Francisco

Nos. 1–34 (May 1959–March 1987).

Publication suspended 1961–69.

Beatitude 2 (1959).


Beatitude, perhaps the quintessential “Beat” publication, was originally published in mimeograph at the Bread and Wine Mission on Grant Avenue in San Francisco’s very hip North Beach. The Bread and Wine Mission was the creation of a Congregationalist minister, incongruously called “Father,” Pierre Delattre, on a mission of social action among the Italian Catholics of North Beach. Beatitude was originally planned as a weekly newsletter, “designed to extol beauty and promote the beatific life among the various mendicants, neo-existentialists, christs, poets, painters, musicians and other inhabitants and observers of North Beach,” as Bob Kaufman (quoted by Lawrence Ferlinghetti) put it in the Beatitude Anthology (1960).

The first issue, the brainchild of Ginsberg, Bob Kaufman, and John Kelly, was published in May of 1959; thereafter, Beatitude was never anything like weekly, but it was vital. The magazine was a very local North Beach Beat phenomenon; although it did have a longer reach in its later years, it still retained the look and spirit of the San Francisco coffeehouse literary scene. The magazine included work by its legendary founders, and by Jack Kerouac and Michael McClure as well, but its flare and power are perhaps better represented by the haunting work of the jazz poet ruth weiss, a frequent contributor, or by the spectacularly outrageous Lenore Kandel, whose “First They Slaughtered the Angels” nearly jumps off the pages of the Beatitude Anthology.

Bill Margolis, Eileen Kaufman, and Bob Kaufman printing the first issue of Beatitude at the Bread and Wine Mission, San Francisco, April 1959. Photograph by Fortunato Clementi (from Beatitude 17).

Bill Margolis, Eileen Kaufman, and Bob Kaufman printing the first issue of Beatitude at the Bread and Wine Mission, San Francisco, April 1959. Photograph by Fortunato Clementi (from Beatitude 17).

Beatitude Anthology (San Francisco: City Lights, 1960). Cover photograph by Fortunato Clementi (from the cover of Beatitude 13).

Beatitude Anthology (San Francisco: City Lights, 1960). Cover photograph by Fortunato Clementi (from the cover of Beatitude 13).


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.


Auerhahn Press

magazine & Presses

Auerhahn Press

David Haselwood
San Francisco

1958–1963

Philip Lamantia, Narcotica (1959). Cover photographs by Wallace Berman.

philip-lamantia-narcotica-2


In the unpublished “A Guide to Sources for a History of the New American Poetry,” Eloyde Tovey writes:

While he was stationed with the Army in Germany during the 1950s, David Haselwood conceived the idea of becoming a publisher. At the time he was corresponding with Michael McClure in San Francisco—who needed a publisher for his Hymns to St. Geryon. When Haselwood, a native of Wichita, Kansas, was released from the Army ca. 1958, he came to live in San Francisco’s North Beach and joined the Beats. He became familiar with all the poets and the new poetry being created at that time—some of it live, some in manuscript form—and saw that a small press would be a kind of surrogate wish fulfillment.

Charles Olson. Human Universe and Other Essays (1965). Edited by Donald Allen. Photograph of the author by Kennth Irby. Cover by Robert LaVigne.

Charles Olson, Human Universe and Other Essays (1965), edited by Donald Allen. Photograph of the author by Kenneth Irby. Cover by Robert LaVigne.

He too had dreamed of becoming a poet. The first book under the Auerhahn Press imprint was John Wieners’s The Hotel Wentley Poems in 1958. An unfortunate experience with a commercial printing firm led Haselwood to decide to study the rudiments of printing and book design. Then, he figured, he could personally print all future titles bearing his imprint. The printers had expurgated Wieners’s text by removing certain “dirty” words and leaving the spaces blank. Haselwood’s first real printing job was Philip Lamantia’s Ekstasis (1959). He discovered what a difficult task printing really is, or what it means to “express” the poet’s intent. But he wanted it known that his was the first press on the West Coast seeking to print the works of younger poets—and in cooperation with them. Nothing was ever that simple…. David Haselwood first published the Beat writers: William S. Burroughs, Lew Welch, Philip Whalen, Philip Lamantia, and Michael McClure. He also published books by William Everson, Charles Olson, Jack Spicer, Ronald Johnson, and Andrew Hoyem. Some of Haselwood’s later titles were considered outrageously overpriced when they were first offered for sale at $10 each.

Prospectus for Charles Olson's Human Universe and Other Essays.

Prospectus for Charles Olson’s Human Universe and Other Essays (1965).

Auerhahn Press books include

Lamantia, Philip. Destroyed Works. 1962. Cover reproduction of a no-longer-extant collage by Bruce Conner.

Lamantia, Philip. Ekstasis. 1959. Cover design by Robert LaVigne.

Lamantia, Philip. Narcotica. 1959. Cover photographs by Wallace Berman.

McClure, Michael. Hymns to St. Geryon. 1959. Cover emblem by the author.

Olson, Charles. Human Universe and Other Essays. 1965. Edited by Donald Allen. Cover by Robert LaVigne. Photograph of the author by Kenneth Irby.

Spicer, Jack. The Heads of the Town up to the Aether. 1962. Lithographs by Fran Herndon.

Van Buskirk, Alden. Lami. 1965. Collected from his writings by David Rattray, with an introductory note by Allen Ginsberg.

Whalen, Philip. Memoirs of an Interglacial Age. 1960. Cover by Robert LaVigne.

Whalen, Philip. Self-portrait from Another Direction. 1959. Broadside.

Wieners, John. The Hotel Wentley Poems. 1958. Cover photograph by Jerry Burchard. Drawing by Robert LaVigne.

Resources

See Jed Birmingham’s “Auerhahn Press Archive” at Reality Studio.

For further information on Auerhahn Press, including a complete bibliography of its publications, the reader is referred to: Alastair M. Johnston, A Bibliography of the Auerhahn Press & Its Successor Dave Haselwood Books (Berkeley, CA: Poltroon Press, 1976).


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.

 


Alcheringa

Magazine & Presses

Alcheringa

Jerome Rothenberg and Dennis Tedlock
New York and Boston

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

13 issues. Some issues contain phonodiscs.

Alcheringa 1 (Fall 1970).

alcheringa-1-1-1970


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

Alcheringa 2 (Summer 1971).

Alcheringa 2 (Summer 1971).

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

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

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

Alcheringa 3 (Winter 1971).

Alcheringa 3 (Winter 1971).

Also issued

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

Resources

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

 

 


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.

Continue reading

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.


Semina

Magazines & Presses

Semina

Wallace Berman
Los Angeles and San Francisco (principally)

Nos. 1–9 (1955–62).

Semina 1 [1955]. Cover by Wallace Berman.

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Visual artist Wallace Berman published and distributed nine issues of the assemblage magazine Semina between 1955 and 1964. Its circulation never exceeded a few hundred copies. You could not buy Semina; it was sent to you. Consequently, some claim it as the precursor to “mail art.” The poet Robert Duncan has said, “Semina was a cult magazine. It meant to reveal the possibility of the emergence of a new way of feeling. Cult means the cultivation of something…. Wallace Berman gathered writers and artists he knew that gave him a sense of his own personal identity, and of taking hold of the beginnings of his art.” In the words of writer Rebecca Solnit, “the magazine depicts the emerging subculture’s aesthetics, and its values.” Semina printed the work of two of Berman’s heroes, Hermann Hesse and Jean Cocteau, as well as W. B. Yeats, Paul Éluard, Charles Baudelaire, and Paul Valéry, alongside William S. Burroughs, Michael McClure, Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Lamantia, David Meltzer, e. i. alexander, Bob Kaufman, and Berman himself, writing under the pseudonym Pantale Xantos. Berman’s first exhibition, at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1957, resulted in his arrest for exhibiting “lewd and lascivious pornographic art.” He was found guilty and fined by the same judge who found Henry Miller guilty on similar charges. The motto of Semina 2, later the same year, was “ART IS LOVE IS GOD.” Wallace Berman was killed in an automobile accident near his home in Topanga Canyon in 1976 on his fiftieth birthday.

Semina 4 (1959).

Semina 4 (1959). Cover by Wallace Berman.

Semina 2 (1957).

Semina 2 [1957].


Hawk’s Well Press / Poems from the Floating World

magazines & Presses

Hawk’s Well Press / Poems from the Floating World

Jerome Rothenberg
New York

Nos. 1–5 (1959–63).

Poems from the Floating World 4 (1962).

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

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

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

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

Poems from the Floating World 3 (1961).

Poems from the Floating World 3 (1961).

Hawk’s Well Press books include

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

Faust, Seymour. The Lovely Quarry. 1958.

Gunn, Thom. Fighting Terms. 1958.

Jess [Collins]. O! 1960.

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

Owens, Rochelle. Futz. 1961.

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

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

Wakoski, Diane. Coins & Coffins. 1962.

Wheeler, Beate. Drawings by Beate Wheeler. 1963.

Beate Wheeler, Drawings by Beate Wheeler (1963).

Beate Wheeler, Drawings by Beate Wheeler (1963).


The Black Mountain Review

magazines & Presses

The Black Mountain Review

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

Nos. 1–7 (Spring 1954–Autumn 1957).

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

The Black Mountain Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


White Rabbit Press

magazines & Presses

White Rabbit Press

Joe Dunn and Graham Mackintosh
San Francisco and Oakland

1957–1972

Jack Spicer, After Lorca (1957). Cover by Jess (Collins).

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The first book of the White Rabbit Press was Boston poet Steve Jonas’s Love, the Poem, the Sea & Other Pieces Examined, published in 1957 with a cover by San Francisco artist Jess Collins. It was followed closely by poet Jack Spicer’s breakthrough book After Lorca in the same year (“Things fit together. We knew that—it is the principle of magic.”). The press was owned by Joe Dunn, who started it to print the work of the group who surrounded Spicer at The Place in North Beach, a bar owned by Leo Krikorian, an alumnus of Black Mountain College. Dunn, who worked for Greyhound Bus Lines in San Francisco, took a secretarial course at Spicer’s insistence and learned to operate a multilith machine. He produced the first ten or eleven titles of the press at work, squeezing out time here and there.

Richard Brautigan, The Galilee Hitch-hiker( 1958). Illustrated by Kenn Davis.

Richard Brautigan, The Galilee Hitch-hiker (1958). Illustrated by Kenn Davis.

Among the books he produced were Denise Levertov’s 5 Poems, with a cover by Jess Collins, Richard Brautigan’s The Galilee Hitch-hiker, Helen Adam’s The Queen o’ Crow Castle, George Stanley’s The Love Root, Charles Olson’s O’Ryan 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and Ebbe Borregaard’s The Wapitis, with a cover drawn by Robert Duncan. These pieces were all uniformly lithographed from typescripts or even manuscripts provided by the authors, and each book was sized 8½ by 6½ inches. In many ways they are perfect examples of the printing of poetry. After Joe Dunn’s relationship with methamphetamines ended in tragedy, the presswork at White Rabbit was taken over in 1962 by a close friend of Spicer’s, Graham Mackintosh, dubbed “the ruffian printer” by the elegant San Francisco pressman Robert Grabhorn. As a graduate student at Berkeley in 1961, Mackintosh had worked closely with Spicer on the Linguistic Atlas of the Pacific Coast. His first experience in printing was Spicer’s Lament for the Makers, for which he also provided the collage cover. Mackintosh, who was Robert Duncan’s favorite printer, went on to print books for Oyez and to design and print, along with Saul Marks of the Plantin Press, the first few books of the Black Sparrow Press.

It must be made clear at the start that these poems are not translations. In even the most literal of them Mr. Spicer seems to derive pleasure in inserting or substituting one or two words which completely change the mood and often the meaning of the poem as I had written it. More often he takes one of my poems and adjoins to half of it another half of his own, giving rather the effect of an unwilling centaur. (Modesty forbids me to speculate which end of the animal is mine.) Finally there are an almost equal number of poems that I did not write at all (one supposes that they must be his) executed in a somewhat fanciful imitation of my early style. The reader is given no indication which of the poems belong to which category, and I have further complicated the problem (with malice aforethought I must admit) by sending Mr. Spicer several poems written after my death which he has also translated and included here. Even the most faithful student of my work will be hard put to decide what is and what is not García Lorca as, indeed, he would if he were to look into my present resting place. The analogy is impolite, but I fear the impoliteness is deserved.”

— From the Introduction to Jack Spicer’s After Lorca by “Federico García Lorca,” outside Granada, October 1957.

White Rabbit Press books include

Adam, Helen. The Queen o’ Crow Castle. 1958. Drawings by Jess (Collins).

Alexander, James. The Jack Rabbit Poem. 1966. Drawings by Paul Alexander. Published with Open Space.

Borregaard, Ebbe. The Wapitis. 1958. Cover drawing by Robert Duncan.

Brautigan, Richard. The Galilee Hitch-hiker. 1958. Illustrated by Kenn Davis.

Brautigan, Richard. Please Plant This Book. 1968. Printed by Graham Mackintosh.

Dorbin, Sanford. The Ruby Woods. 1971. Illustrated by Chuck Miller.

Dull, Harold. Bird Poems. 1958. Illustrated by Nugent.

Duncan, Robert. As Testimony: The Poem and the Scene. 1964.

Duncan, Robert. The Cat and the Blackbird. 1967. Cover by Jess (Collins).

Duncan, Robert. Faust Foutu. 1958. Decorations by the author.

Dunn, Joe. The Better Dream House. 1968. Cover and illustrations by Jess (Collins).

Garcia, Luis. The Mechanic. 1970. Cover drawing by Walter Dusenberry.

Liddy, James. A Munster Song of Love & War. 1971.

Olson, Charles. O’Ryan 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. 1965. Cover by Jess (Collins).

Olson, Charles. O’Ryan 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. 1958. Cover by Jess (Collins).

Persky, Stan. Lives of the French Symbolist Poets. 1966.

Spicer, Jack. After Lorca. 1957. Introduction by “Federico García Lorca.” Cover by Jess (Collins).

Spicer, Jack. Book of Magazine Verse. 1966.

Spicer, Jack. A Book of Music. 1969. Cover illustration by Graham Mackintosh.

Spicer, Jack. Collected Poems 1943–1946. 1981. Published with Oyez.

Spicer, Jack. The Holy Grail. 1964.

Spicer, Jack. Lament for the Makers. 1962. Cover collage by Graham Mackintosh.

Spicer, Jack. Language. 1965.

Spicer, Jack. A Redwood Forest Is Not Invisible at Night. 1965. Broadside.

Wieners, John. Reading in Bed. 1970. Broadside.

Resource

For further information on White Rabbit Press, the reader is referred to: Alastair M. Johnston, A Bibliography of the White Rabbit Press (Berkeley, CA: Poltroon Press, 1985).


Open Space

Magazines & Presses

Open Space

Stan Persky
San Francisco

Nos. 0–12 (January 1964–December 1964);

No. 1, January 1964, preceded by an undated issue called no. 0; no. 2, February 1964, preceded by an issue called Open Space Valentine; no. 4, April 1964, followed by an issue called Open Space Taurus Issue 4.

Open Space 1 (January 1964). Cover drawing of George Stanley by Bill Brodecky.

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Open Space was published during 1964 for fifteen issues (number 0 or the “Prospectus” was published in the same month as the first issue, and two separate number 2’s and 4’s were published). The unofficial organ of the group of poets centered around Jack Spicer at Gino and Carlo’s Bar on Green Street and The Place on Grant Avenue, both in San Francisco’s bohemian North Beach, it was the production of Stan Persky, recently relocated from Los Angeles, who printed only fifty copies of each issue on a “multilith machine.” It was really intended for those whose poems appeared in its pages, such as Helen Adam, Robin Blaser, Ebbe Borregaard, Richard Duerden, Harold Dull, Larry Fagin (who later produced his own Adventures in Poetry in New York), Jess Collins, Jack Spicer, and George Stanley, all locals from North Beach or Berkeley.

Open Space 4 (1964). The Taurus Issue.

Open Space Taurus Issue 4 (1964).

The covers of Open Space featured imaginative and unusual artwork by Jess Collins, Graham Mackintosh, Fran Herndon, and others. The magazine was quite spicy and a little gossipy—for instance, labeling the famed 1955 reading at the Six Gallery as “creamed cottage cheese.” Persky, somewhat standoffish from the others in the scene, lampooned any number of them, including Donald Allen and Madeline Gleason (she of the pre-punk red hair and attachment to the Virgin Mary, who had in the 1940s begun poetry readings everywhere in San Francisco, while composing poetry as she messengered securities throughout the financial district). Gleason, along with Helen Adam and James Broughton, formed one of the poetic coteries of San Francisco in the 1950s and ’60s, often at odds with the others, such as those centered around Spicer in North Beach or Robert Duncan in Berkeley, and all of whom were fairly irritated by Kenneth Rexroth and his “Beat Renaissance.” One editorial salvo irrupting from Persky began: “Open Space isn’t Group-Soup, bar set or queer coterie.” Nevertheless, Open Space was still a curious mixture of humor and high literary seriousness, publishing correspondence between Spicer and Lawrence Ferlinghetti on publishing ethics, or Charles Olson’s “Against Wisdom as Such,” alongside a hoax or an appropriation or a baseball issue.

Open Space 11 (1964). Cover photo of the editor by Margot Prattlesome Dross.

Open Space 11 (1964). Cover photo of the editor by Margot Prattlesome Dross.

Open Space books include

Alexander, James. Eturnature. 1965.

Alexander, James. The Jack Rabbit Poem. 1966. Drawings by Paul Alexander. Published with White Rabbit Press.

Blaser, Robin. The Moth Poem. 1964.

Duerden, Richard. The Fork. 1965.

Duncan, Robert. The Sweetness and Greatness of Dante’s Divine Comedy. 1965. Cover drawing by the author.

Miles, Josephine. Saving the Bay. 1967.

Nerval, Gérard de. Les Chimères. 1965. Translated by Robin Blaser.


J

magazines & Presses

J

Jack Spicer, Fran Herndon art editor
San Francisco

Nos., 1–8 (1959–61).

Nos. 6 and 7 (An Apparition of the Late J) edited (and with cover art) by George Stanley, from San Francisco and New York City respectively. No. 8 (1961) edited by Harold Dull from Rome. Covers by Russell FitzGerald (3), Fran Herndon (1, 2, 4, 5), and George Stanley (6, 7).

J 3 (n.d.). Cover by Russell FitzGerald.

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In many ways the most beautiful of all the mimeo magazines, J had an eight-issue run. The first five issues were edited from North Beach bars by Jack Spicer with Fran Herndon as art editor. Spicer, who embodied the spirit of poetry in the Bay Area, collected pieces for his magazine from a box marked “J” in The Place, a bar at 1546 Grant Avenue in San Francisco. A refugee from Los Angeles with two degrees from Berkeley, he had been a student of Josephine Miles there in the mid-1940s. They became close friends, and Spicer participated in the Friday afternoon poetry readings in Wheeler Hall during the late 1940s as well as the readings organized with Rockefeller money at San Francisco State by Ruth Witt-Diamant at the new Poetry Center at San Francisco State.

Into the cauldron of poetic politics surrounding Miles, Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Duncan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and others, Spicer introduced his freest of spirits, sometimes more Caliban than Ariel. Spicer lived for words (even making his living as a research assistant on a lexicographical project at Berkeley). He could be found most evenings in one of the North Beach bars or coffeehouses leading the discussion on poetry, poetics, myth, linguistics, and other mysteries. Like Blake and Yeats (with the help of Mrs. Yeats), Spicer attempted to clear his mind and open himself to “dictation” from other sources, which he devotedly pursued. Spicer also believed wholeheartedly in the necessity of human beings’ helping each other through communication, which he confronted in the editorship of J, a little newsletter of the poetic spirit. Donald Allen acted as J’s distributor in New York (“New York Contributions are not forbidden. But quotaed”), selling copies for Spicer to the Wilentz brothers of the Eighth Street Book Shop. In an early letter to Spicer, Allen eagerly wondered “what your editorial policy may be. Seduction by print.”

Jack Spicer listening to a baseball game on the radio at the beach at Plum Island, Newbury, Massachusetts, ca. 1958. Photograph by Kent Bowker.

Jack Spicer listening to a baseball game on the radio at the beach at Plum Island, Newbury, Massachusetts, ca. 1958. Photograph by Kent Bowker.

 

“His parents were professional bridge players from Southern California.”

Josephine Miles on Jack Spicer, from an unpublished manuscript in the collection of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

J 7 (1960?) (An Apparition of the Late J). Edited and cover art by George Stanley.

An Apparition of the Late J [1960?] [J 7]. Edited and with cover art by George Stanley.