Canada, England, Scotland, Europe, and Australia
Of course, kindred acts of experimental writing and publishing were committed around the world. For a time, in the ’60s and ’70s, Toronto might well have boasted the largest number of avant-garde poets per capita of any city on the face of the earth. The great Coach House Press has been a vortex for innovative writing and publishing since its inception in 1966. Among the many Coach House titles are Michael Ondaatje’s The Dainty Monsters, Journeying and the Return by bpNichol, Excellent Articles of Japan by David Rosenberg, The Great Canadian Sonnet by David McFadden and Greg Curnoe, Neil Young by Tom Clark, Ow’s Waif by Steve McCaffery, Bill Jubobe by Bob Cobbing, and Nicole Brossard’s A Book, to mention only a few of the works published during its first decade. Throughout Canada, writers, editors, performers, publishers—instigators-at-large—worked through such presses and magazines as Contact, blewointment, Coach House Press, The Ant’s Forefoot, Tish, Periwinkle Press, Intermedia, Talonbooks, Very Stone House, Ganglia Press, Oberon, grOnk, Open Letter, and Weed. A great deal of memorable work, particularly in the realms of concrete and sound poetry, emanated from Canada (especially Toronto and Vancouver) during the period. bpNichol’s presence and example were an inspiration for many, and his untimely death in 1988 was a great tragedy.
A quick sketch of presses and magazines operating in other parts of the world would have to include, in England, My Own Mag, Aloes, Stereo Headphones, Fulcrum Press, Coracle Press, Aggie Weston’s, Writers Forum, Beau Geste Press, Gaberbocchus, and Cape Goliard/Grossman; in Scotland, Poor. Old. Tired. Horse. (and the work of its editor, Ian Hamilton Finlay, in general); in the Netherlands, Kontexts; in Germany, Edition Hansjorg Mayer; in France, Merlin and OU; and in Australia, The Ear in a Wheatfield.