Tag Archives: Larry Eigner

Divers Press

Raising pigeons and chickens on a farm in Littleton, New Hampshire, Robert Creeley heard, through “a fluke of airwaves,” poet Cid Corman’s weekly radio program from Boston, “This Is Poetry.” Inspired, Creeley read on the program during a weekend in 1950 when he was showing chickens at the Boston poultry show. And so began a network of literary friendships that inspired a generation of poets (“A knows B, B knows C, and there begins to be increasing focus. And I think that we were curiously lucky that that focus was not literally a question of whether we were all living together or not.”). Galvanized, Creeley tried unsuccessfully to start his own little magazine, but ended up giving Cid Corman at Origin much of the material he had collected, including work by Denise Levertov, Paul Blackburn, and Charles Olson, to whom the first issue of Origin was devoted.

Against this background it is not surprising that Creeley, called “The Figure of Outward” by Olson, whom he met through Corman, would himself venture forth as a publisher in 1953 with Martin Seymour-Smith’s All Devils Fading. In addition to two volumes by Paul Blackburn and one each by Larry Eigner and Robert Duncan, in 1954 Creeley issued a volume of poems by Canadian poet Irving Layton and Japanese poet Katué Kitasono’s self-translated poems, Black Rain. The last volume he published, in 1955, was American novelist Douglas Woolf’s “painful rite of passage,” The Hypocritic Days. Creeley published his own The Kind of Act of in 1953 and A Snarling Garland of Xmas Verses and The Gold Diggers, both in 1954. In 1982, Creeley wistfully remembered the serious, edgy nature of the press: “I don’t recall that the Divers Press paid anybody anything—it was my first wife’s modest income that kept any of it going—and so our choices had to be limited to writers as existentially defined as ourselves.”

“What I felt was the purpose of the press has much to do with my initial sense of [The Black Mountain Review] also. For me, and the other writers who came to be involved, it was a place defined by our own activity and accomplished altogether by ourselves—a place wherein we might make evident what we, as writers, had found to be significant, both for ourselves and for that world—no doubt often vague to us indeed—we hoped our writing might enter… there had to be both a press and a magazine absolutely specific to one’s own commitments and possibilities. Nothing short of that was good enough.”

— Robert Creeley, Introduction to the AMS Press reprint (1969) of The Black Mountain Review

— Steve Clay and Rodney Phillips in A SECRET LOCATION ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE (Granary Books, 1998)


Prospectus:
Creeley, Robert. Printing Is Cheap in Mallorca. 1953.

Books published:
Blackburn, Paul. PROENSA. June 1953.

Creeley, Robert. THE KIND OF ACT OF. July 1953.

Eigner, Larry. FROM THE SUSTAINING AIR. July 1953.

Olson, Charles. MAYAN LETTERS. 1953 [January 1954].

Layton, Irving. IN THE MIDST OF MY FEVER. February 1954.

Creeley, Robert. THE GOLD DIGGERS. March 1954.

Seymour-Smith, Martin. ALL DEVILS FADING. Spring 1954

Macklin, H.P. A HANDBOOK OF FANCY PIGEONS. May 1954

Kitasono, Katsué. BLACK RAIN: POEMS & DRAWINGS. August 1954

Creeley, Robert. A SNARLING GARLAND OF XMAS VERSES. Xmas 1954

Woolf, Douglas. THE HYPOCRITIC DAYS. January 1955

Blackburn, Paul. THE DISSOLVING FABRIC. 1955.

Duncan, Robert. CAESAR’S GATE: POEMS 1949–1950. September 1955. Cover collage by Jess (Collins).

Books designed and printed:
Olson, Charles. IN COLD HELL, IN THICKET. February 1953. Published as Origin 8 (Winter 1953)

Corman, Cid. THE PRECISIONS. New York: Sparrow Press, March 1955

Layton, Irving. THE BLUE PROPELLER. Montreal: Contact Press, 1955


References consulted:

Bertholf, Robert J. ROBERT DUNCAN: A DESCRIPTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY
Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1986

Butterick, George F. and Albert Glover. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS BY CHARLES OLSON
New York: The Phoenix Book Shop, 1967

Clay, Steven and Rodney Phillips. A SECRET LOCATION ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE: Adventures in Writing, 1960-1980
New York: New York Public Library / Granary Books, 1998

Novik, Mary. ROBERT CREELEY, AN INVENTORY 1945-1970
Kent: The Kent State University Press, 1973

Douglas Blazek: Periodicals Edited and Published

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Section E: 
This index includes periodicals edited and published during Blazek’s “prolific early period”.

OLE

1. OLE, No. 1, edited by Douglas Blazek
DEDICATED TO THE CAUSE OF MAKING POETRY DANGEROUS

Bensenville: The Mimeo Press, 1964
first edition, saddle-stapled wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 400 numbered copies, mimeograph. Contributors include: Charles Bukowski, Judson Crews, Ron Offen, Marvin Malone, Kirby Congdon. (DenBoer C2)

2. OLE, No. 2, edited by Douglas Blazek
A MAGAZINE FOR ALL THOSE UNACKNOWLEDGED LEGISLATORS OF THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE REALLY UNACKNOWLEDGED

Bensenville: The Mimeo Press, March 1965
First edition, saddle-stapled wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, mimeograph. Contributors include: d.a. levy, Charles Bukowski, William Wantling, Walter Lowenfels, Gil Orlovitz, Harold Norse, Clarence Major, Key Johnson, Marcus J. Grapes, Al Purdy, Kent Taylor, Steve Richmond. (DenBoer C3)

3. OLE, No. 3, edited by Douglas Blazek
THE ORIGINAL CONSCIOUSNESS-EXPANSION MAGAZINE

Bensenville: The Mimeo Press, November 1965
First edition, saddle-stapled wrappers, 400 numbered copies, mimeograph. Contributors include: Charles Bukowski,Judson Crews, Ron Offen, Marvin Malone, Kirby Congdon. (DenBoer C4)

4. OLE, No. 4, edited by Douglas Blazek
THE POETFOOD FOR CHAMPIONS

Bensenville: The Mimeo Press, May 1966
First edition, saddle-stapled wrappers, mimeograph. Cover art by Blazek. Contributors include: Charles Bukowski, William Wantling, Steve Richmond, Clarence Major, Al Purdy Harold Norse, Lee Harwood, Jack Anderson, Neeli Cheery. (DenBoer C5)

5. OLE, No.5, edited by Douglas Blazek
HAROLD NORSE SPECIAL ISSUE

Bensenville: Open Skull Press, 1966
First edition, stapled wrappers, mimeograph. Cover art by Blazek. Contributors include: Charles Bukowski, Harold Norse, James Baldwin, Anais Nin, William S. Burroughs, William Carlos Williams, Paul Carroll, Jack Hirschman. (DenBoer C6)

6. OLE, No. 6, edited by Douglas Blazek
THE WEIRD HARVEST SPECIAL. THE ALL POETRY JAB-EYE REFLEX EXPLOSION ISSUE

Bensenville: Open Skull Press, July 1966
First edition, stapled wrappers, mimeograph. Cover art by Blazek. Contributors include Charles Bukowski, Al Purdy, William Wantling, Harold Norse, D.r. Wagner, Larry Eigner, Steve Richmond, Jack Grapes, Jeff Nutall. (DenBoer C7)

7. OLE, No. 8, edited by Douglas Blazek
Wood Dale: Open Skull Press, April 1967
First edition, stapled wrappers, mimeograph. Cover art by Blazek. Contributors include: Charles Bukowski, Charles Plymell, William Wantling, D.r. Wagner, Steve Richmond, Al Purdy Harold Norse, Jeff Nutall, T.L. Kryss, Terry Stokes, Clive Matson. [note: issue 8 was published before issue 7] (DenBoer C8)

8. OLE, No.7, edited by Douglas Blazek
THE GODZILLA REVIEW ISSUE OF SMALL PRESS PUBLICATIONS COMPREHENSIVELY ENCOMPASSING BOOKS PUBLISHED OVER THE LAST HALF-DECADE

San Francisco: Open Skull Press, May 1967
First edition, stapled wrappers, mimeograph. Cover art by Charles Plymell. Contributors include: d.a. levy, Charles Bukowski, Charles Plymell, William Wantling, D.r. Wagner, Steve Richmond, Al Purdy Harold Norse, Jeff Nutall, T.L. Kryss, Terry Stokes, Clive Matson. (DenBoer C9)


OPEN SKULL

OPEN SKULL, No. 1, edited by Douglas Blazek
San Francisco: Open Skull Press, 1967
First edition, stapled wrappers, 34 pages. Illustrated by Blazek. Letters from Plymell, Wantling, Norse, Purdy, Kryss, Cauble, and two letters to Bukowski. A “one-shot” periodical.

Measure

wieners


“The three simple, almost starkly working-class issues of Measure followed glorious and overlooked “underground” poet John Wieners from Black Mountain College home to Boston, across country to San Francisco, and back to Boston again. In his years in San Francisco, from 1958 to 1960, Wieners attended (sometimes serving as host at his Scott Street apartment) the legendary Sunday afternoon poetry workshops of the charismatic poets Robert Duncan and Jack Spicer. Also present at the workshops were George Stanley, Harold Dull, Robin Blaser (The Pacific Nation), and many others…”
— from A Secret Location on the Lower East Side (Granary Books, 1998)

Measure, No. 1, edited by John Wieners
mags_measure01Boston: Measure, Summer 1957
Saddle-stapled printed wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 48 pages, letterpress printed at the Press of Villiers Publications..

“Measure is edited by John Wieners. It will be issued with the four seasons only through your support… Please understand that the opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the city.”

Contributors:
Tom Balas – “Le Fou”
Charles Olson – “Le Bonheur!”, “The Charge”, “Spring”
Edward Marshall – “One:”, “Two:”
Robin Blaser – “Poem”, “Letters to Freud”, “Poem by the Charles River”
Edward Dorn – “The Rick of Green Wood”
Larry Eigner – “Millionem”, “Brink”
Frank O’Hara – “section 9 from Second Avenue”
Fielding Dawson – “Two Drawings”
Stephen Jonas – “Word on Measure”, “Expanded Word on Measure”
Michael Rumaker – “Father”
Gavin Douglas – “The Blanket”
Jack Spicer – “Song for Bird and Myself”
Jonathan Williams – “Two Poems for Whitman, the Husbandman”
Robert Duncan – “The Propositions”

Measure, No. 2, edited by John Wieners
mags_measure2San Francisco: Measure, Winter 1958
Saddle-stapled printed wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 64 pages, letterpress printed at the Press of Villiers Publications.

“Magick is for the ones who ball, i.e. throw across”

Contributors:
Michael Rumaker – “The use of the Unconscious”
Robin Blaser – “The Hunger of Sound”
Robert Creeley – “Juggler’s Thot”
Michael Rumaker – “8 Dreams”
Jack Kerouac – “4 Choruses”
Charles Olson – “Descensus Spiritus No. 1”
Robert Duncan – “The Maiden”
Robert Creeley – “They Say”, “She Went to Say”
Jack Kerouac – “235th Chorus”
Edward Dorn – “Notes from the Fields”
Robert Duncan – “The Dance”
Stuart Z. Perkoff – “Feats of Death, Feasts of Love”
V. R. Lang – “The Recidivists”
Gregory Corso – “Yaaaah”
James Broughton – “Feathers or Lead”
Michael McClure – “The Magazine Cover”, “One & Two”
Robert Creeley – “The Tunnel”, “Just Friends”
Richard Duerden – “Musica No. 3”
Stephen Jonas – “Books 3 & 4 from a Long Poem”

Measure, No. 3, edited by John Wieners
mags_measure03Milton: Measure, Winter 1962
Saddle-stapled printed wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 36 pages, letterpress printed at the Press of Villiers Publications.

“THE CITY / 1 AM – Unreasonable fear, of the shadows of Harry Lime, of the dead reappearing”

Contributors:
James Schuyler – “Shed Market”, “Joint”
Gerrit Lansing – “Explorers”
Barbara Guest – “Safe Flights”, [untitled] “Once when he was a small boy…”,  “Abruptly, as if a Forest Might Say”
Helen Adam – “Anaid si Taerg (Great is Diana)”
Madeline Gleason – “Wind Said, Marry”
Robert Duncan – “What do I Know of the Old Lore?”
Jack Spicer – “Central Park West”
Larry Eigner – “Poem”
Tom Field – [untitled] “Form is never more than the extension…”
Edward Marshall – “Times Square”, “2”, “3”
John Wieners – “The Imperatrice”
Philip Lamantia – “Opus Magnum”
Sheri Martinelli – “Ruth Gildenberg”
Michael Rumaker – “The River at Night”
Charles Olson – “The Year is a Great Circle…”, The Post Virginal”, [untitled] “Desartes, age 34…”
John Haines – “Poem”, “Pawnee Dust”