The Pacific Nation

magazines & Presses

The Pacific Nation

Robin Blaser
Vancouver, Canada

Nos. 1–2 (June 1967–1969).

The Pacific Nation 1 (June 1967). Cover by Fran Herndon.


The youngest poet of the immediate Spicer circle, Robin Blaser gained his own experience of mimeography as an assistant in 1955 for the Pound Newsletter produced by the English Department at the University of California at Berkeley. Blaser was devoted to his friend and mentor Jack Spicer and edited his collected books, appending a long, well-argued essay on Spicer’s work. Blaser shares Spicer’s concern for the structure of language: “syntax is arrangement, it’s all the word means, the way the sentence is arranged. Generally speaking it is subject, verb & object (the way the sentence moves), a sentence is a way of feeling/thinking both (not just thinking which is in your head) but the materialisation of it. Language is the instrument and you are the musician. We all are. It’s wonderful to listen to language in the street.” After his first two books were published by Open Space, Blaser left Berkeley to teach at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver (or more correctly Burnaby), British Columbia, where he started The Pacific Nation. The first issue included poems and an essay (semi-autobiographical and theoretical) by Blaser, one poem by Jack Spicer, a Blaser translation of a letter of Artaud’s on Nerval, Michael McClure’s The Moon Is the Number 18, an early John Button drawing, and the first printing of the first five chapters of Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America.

Pacific Nation 2 (1969).

The Pacific Nation 2 (1969). Cover by Michael Morris.