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).


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).