Z Press produced the eponymous one-shot magazines Z, ZZ, ZZZ, ZZZZ, ZZZZZ, and ZZZZZZ in the 1970s, perhaps following in the footsteps of the Once series edited in England in the early 1960s by Tom Clark (Once, Twice, Thrice, Thrice and a 1/2, Frice, etc.). Z, for which Trevor Winkfield drew the logo and cover, also included other work by him, including prose poems. It also had poems by Ted Berrigan, Michael Brownstein, Pat Nolan, Keith Abbott, and Charles North, and by Brad Gooch, who was to become a successful novelist and the biographer of Frank O’Hara. The third issue, printed by the Poets Press, included work by John Ashbery, Paul Violi, Trevor Winkfield, Douglas Crase, Ann Lauterbach, Tim Dlugos, John Wieners, Kenward Elmslie, Lorenzo Thomas, and Joanne Kyger. The cover and logo were by Donna Dennis, and the issue included “Hotels,” a portfolio of eight of her images, printed on glossy paper. The cover for ZZZZ was a drawing by Joe Brainard of Beetle Bailey, in homage and bagging Z’s, and with the sixth issue the last Z could be found hidden on the moose’s nose, drawn by Alex Katz. This issue included some of the usual suspects (Kenneth Koch, Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, and Frank O’Hara) but added some experimentalists such as Barrett Watten, Bob Perelman, and Paul Hoover. Z Press continues to publish books, broadsides, records, and cassettes from time to time (including work by Joe Brainard and Kenward Elmslie) and keeps most of its publications in print and well distributed, being in this way a little unusual or lucky.
John Godfrey, Where the Weather Suits My Clothes (1984). Edited by Kenward Elmslie. Cover photograph by Jean Boulte.
Covers by Joe Brainard (ZZZZ), Donna Dennis (ZZZ), Alex Katz (ZZZZZZ), Ron Padgett (ZZ), Karl Torok (ZZZZZ), and Trevor Winkfield (Z).
Z Press books and other publications include:
Ashbery, John, and James Schuyler. A Nest of Ninnies. 1975.
Brainard, Joe. 29 Mini-Essays. 1978.
Brainard, Joe, Anne Waldman, and Michael Brownstein. Almost Heaven. 1973. Poster.
Brownstein, Michael. Strange Days Ahead. 1975. Cover photograph by August Sander.
Bye, Reed. Border Theme. 1981.
Denby, Edwin. Miltie Is a Hackie. 1973.
Elmslie, Kenward, and Donna Dennis. 26 Bars: A Collaboration. 1987.
Finlay, Ian Hamilton. Heroic Emblems. 1978.
Godfrey, John. Where the Weather Suits My Clothes. 1984. Edited by Kenward Elmslie. Cover photograph by Jean Boulte.
Mathews, Harry. Selected Declarations of Dependence. 1977. Illustrated by Alex Katz.
Padgett, Ron. Tulsa Kid. 1979.
Waldman, Anne. Cabin. 1984. Cover photograph by Cynthia MacAdams.
Winkfield, Trevor. Nativity. 1974. Drawings by Karl Torok.
For a more complete listing of Z Press publications, the reader is referred to: William C. Bamberger, Kenward Elmslie: A Bibliographical Profile (Flint, MI: Bamberger Books, 1993).