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.”
Là-Bas 7 (May 1977).