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 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).