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.
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 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.