Tag Archives: little magazines

Hearse Press

mags_hearse01

Starting with the publication of HEARSE 1 in 1957, E. V. Griffith’s HEARSE PRESS would go on to publish 17 issues of the little magazine, a series of 18 chapbooks including Charles Bukowski’s first, and COFFIN, a portfolio of broadsides. Among those published by HEARSE PRESS are Richard Brautigan, Charles Bukowski, Judson Crews, Russell Atkins, Mason Jordan Mason, Larry Eigner, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Joel Oppenheimer, Paul Blackburn, Robert Creeley, LeRoi Jones, and many more.

A. Hearse, A Vehicle Used to Convey the Dead

B. Hearse Press chapbooks

C. Coffin, No. 1

 

References consulted:
E.V. Griffith. SHEAF, HEARSE, COFFIN, POETRY NOW: A HISTORY Eureka: Hearse Press, 1996

Judson Crews

crews_bukJudson Crews, poet, editor, publisher, and book dealer, was born June 30, 1917, in Waco, Texas. Crews received both the B.A. (1941) and M.A. (1944) in Sociology from Baylor University, and during 1946-1947 studied fine arts at Baylor. In addition, Crews did graduate study at the University of Texas, El Paso in 1967. He has worked as an educator at Wharton County Junior College, New Mexico (1967-1970), the University of New Mexico, Gallup Branch (1971-1972), and at the University of Zambia (1974-1978). He has also been involved in social work. After two years in the U. S. Army Medical Corps during World War II, Crews moved his family and business, Motive Press, from Waco, Texas, to Taos, New Mexico, where he began his writing and publishing career in earnest.

Judson Crews was a prominent figure in the Southwest poetry scene as a poet, editor, and publisher of contemporary poetry and art magazines. Crews admittedly wrote under numerous pseudonyms. Of these pseudonyms, Willard Emory Betis, Trumbull Drachler, Cerise Farallon (Mrs. Trumbull Drachler, maiden name Lena Johnston), and Tobi Macadams have been clearly identified. In the instance of these, and possibly many other pseudonymous names, Crews created a fantasy world of writers to encompass, perhaps, the breadth of his literary ambitions.

Crews’ publishing activities began in earnest after his move from Texas to the Taos area. He started the Este Es Press in 1946, which remained in operation until 1966. The little magazines with which he was involved from 1940 to 1966 include The Deer and Dachshund, The Flying Fish, Motive, The Naked Ear, Poetry Taos, Suck-Egg Mule: A Recalcitrant Beast, Taos: A Deluxe Magazine of the Arts, and Vers Libre. Together with Scott Greer, he was co-editor of Crescendo: A Laboratory for Young America, and worked with Jay Waite on Gale. Crews published not only his own chapbooks and magazines but also those of his friends and colleagues, including the Zambian poet Mason Jordan Mason, among others. In conjunction with this printing activity, Crews operated the Motive Book Shop which became a focal point for the dissemination and advocacy of avant-garde poetry, important little magazines and literary reviews, as well as so-called pornographic materials. The material that Crews sold ranged from literary classics such as the works of D. H. Lawrence and Henry Miller, to hard-to-obtain domestic and foreign avant-garde journals, and nudist magazines. Crews was also a friend as well as an advocate of Henry Miller and continued to sell Miller’s works after they were banned in the United States.

 


A Select and limited sampling…

Mason Jordan Mason
THE YARDARM OF MURPHEY’S KITE
crews_theyardarmRanches of Taos: Motive Press, 1956
First edition, 4to., [48] pp. Introduction by Chris Bjerknes, “Mason Jordan Mason: An Appreciation”. White, plastic comb binding with decorated board covers. Photographs cut from magazines on both sides of covers, with title and author name letterpress printed in blue on front. Additional magazine images throughout. The images appear to come from nudist, girly, travel, and other magazines. Each copy presumably is unique. [Some have suggested that Mason Jordan Mason is a pseudonym for Judson Crews who admitedly used several pseudonyms. See biographical sketch.] 

Judson Crews, editor 
POETRY TAOS, Number One.
crews_poetrytaosRanches of Taos: n.p., 1957
First edition, 4to., [64] pp. White, plastic comb binding with decorated board covers. Photographs cut from magazines on both sides of covers, with title and author name letterpress printed in blue on front. Numerous similar leaves in text. The images appear to come from nudist, girly, travel, and other magazines. Each copy presumably is unique. Introduction by Judson Crews. Contributors include: Wolcott Ely, Gaston Criell, William Carlos Williams, Mason Jordan Mason, Robert Creeley, Robert Burdette, Max Fenstein, Hyacinthe Hill, Joseph Foster, Cerise Farallon, Judson Crews, Donn Cantonwine, Murry Moore, Wendell B. Anderson. 

Judson Crews 
TO WED BENEATH THE SUN.
crews_towed[Taos]: n.p., [1958]
First edition, 8vo., [28] pp. White, plastic comb binding with decorated board covers. Photographs cut from magazines on both sides of covers, with title and author name letterpress printed in blue on front, plus two similar leaves in text. The images appear to come from nudist, girly, travel, and other magazines. Each copy presumably is unique. 

Judson Crews 
THE FEEL OF SUN & AIR UPON HER BODY.
crews_thefeelEureka: Hearse Press, [1960]
First edition, 8vo., [32] pp. One of 125 unnumbered copies, published as the tenth chapbook in the HEARSE CHAPBOOK series. White, plastic comb binding with decorated board covers. Photographs cut from magazines on both sides of covers, with title and author name letterpress printed in green on front, plus two similar leaves in text. The images appear to come from nudist, girly, travel, and other magazines. Each copy presumably is unique. 

Judson Crews 
HERMES PAST THE HOUR.
crews_hermesTaos: Este Es Press, 1963
First edition, 8vo., [42] pp. White, plastic comb binding with decorated board covers. Photographs cut from magazines on both sides of covers, with title and author name letterpress printed in silver on front, plus two similar leaves in text. The images appear to come from nudist, girly, travel, and other magazines. Each copy presumably is unique. 

Judson Crews 
YOU MARK ANTHONY, NAVIGATOR UPON THE NILE.
crews_youmark[Taos]: n.p., [1964]
First edition, 8vo., [62] pp. One of 500 numbered copies, signed. White, plastic comb binding with decorated board covers. Photographs cut from magazines on both sides of covers, with title and author name letterpress printed in silver on front, plus two similar leaves in text. The images appear to come from nudist, girly, travel, and other magazines. Each copy presumably is unique. 


Further research and reading:

Biographical information


Reference consulted:

Wendell Anderson’s THE HEART’S PRECISION (Carson: Dumont Press, 1994).

Charles Bukowski: Miscellaneous Prose

>> return to CHARLES BUKOWSKI main page >>

SECTION E:
This index includes book and periodical appearances of letters, commentary, introductions, reviews, etc. from 1960 to 1970

1. NOMAD, No. 5/6, edited by Donald Factor and Anthony Linick
mags_nomad056Culver City, Winter-Spring I960
“Manifesto: A Call For Our Own Critics” [commentary]
(Dorbin D11)



2. THE OUTSIDER, No. 1, edited by Jon Edgar & Gypsy Lou Webb
mags_outsider01New Orleans: Loujon Press, Fall 1961
“Contributor’s Note” [commentary]
(Dorbin D17)




101. BLACK CAT REVIEW, No. 2, edited by Neeli Cherry
mags_blackcat01San Bernardino: The Cherry Press, March 1963
“Yes, Cherry…” [letter],  “Dear Neeli…] letter
(not in Dorbin)

 

 

119. RENAISSANCE, Vol. 1, No. 4, edited by John Bryan
San Francisco: Renaissance Publications, Winter, 1962
“Peace, Baby, Is Hard Sell” [letter]
(Dorbin D18)

 

 

3. LITERARY TIMES, Vol. 2, No. 4, edited by Jay Robert Nash
Chi­cago: Literary Times, March 1963
“Charles Bukowski Speaks Out” [interview]
(Dorbin D19)

4. THE OUTSIDER, Vol. 1, No. 3, edited by Jon Edgar & Gypsy Lou Webb
mags_outsider03
New Orleans: Loujon Press, Spring 1963
“Dear Jon & Gypsy…”[letter], [letter], [letter] “Letters to The Editors from: Charles Bukowski”
(Dorbin D20-22)



5. MAINSTREAM, Vol. 16, No. 6
mags_mainstream1606New York City, June 1963
“Little Magazines In America” [commentary]
(Dorbin D23)




6. LITERARY TIMES, Vol. 3, No. 4, edited by Jay Robert Nash
Chi­cago: Literary Times, May 1964
“Examining My Peers” [commentary]
(Dorbin D24)

6. LITERARY TIMES, Vol. 4, No. 2, edited by Jay Robert Nash
Chi­cago: Literary Times, December 1964
“Here’s What I Say” [interview]
(Dorbin D25)

7. MR. CLEAN AND OTHER POEMS by John William Corrington
San Francisco: Amber House Press, 1964
“Introduction”
(Dorbin D28)

8. FERMENT, No. 6, edited by Zoe Climenhaga
Canton: Transient Press, June 1965
“Lightning in a Dry Summer” [review of Corrington’s ANATOMY OF LOVE…]
(Dorbin D30)

9. KAURI, No. 10, edited by Will Inman
New York: n.p., September-October 1965
“L.A. sept. 1965 hello Will Inman:…” [letter]
(Dorbin D31)

10. INTERMISSION, Vol. 1, No. 20, edited by Gene Cole
Chicago: Hull House Theatre, October 1965
“Dear Mr. Cole” [letter]
(Dorbin D32)

11. MY FACE IN WAX by Jory Sherman
Chicago: Windfall Press, 1965
“Introduction”
(Dorbin D33)

12. STEPPENWOLF, No. 1, edited by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
Winter 1965-66
“Another Burial of a Once-Talent” [review of Corrington]
(Dorbin D34)

13. EARTH, No. 2, edited by Steve Richmond
Santa Monica: Earth Books, 1966
“In Defense of Poetry, a Certain Type of Life, a Certain Type of Blood-Filled Creature Who Will Someday Die” [commentary]
(Dorbin D35)

14. EL CORNO EMPLUMADO, No. 17, edited by Margaret Randall
Mexico City: El Corno Emplumado, January 1966
“Have been meaning to write…” [letter]
(Dorbin D36)

INTREPID, No. 8, edited by Allen de Loach
Buffalo: Intrepid Press, June 1967
“Letter from Charles Bukowski” [letter]
(Dorbin D55)

J

Jack Spicer’s J ran for eight issues: Nos. 1–5 were edited by Spicer in North Beach where contributions were left in a box marked “J” in The Place, a bar on Grant Avenue in San Francisco; Nos. 6 and 7 (an Apparition of the late J) were edited by George Stanley in San Francisco and New York City respectively while no. 8 was edited by Harold Dull in Rome. Spicer believed that poetry was for poets and the magazine had a small circulation but cast a long shadow. Contributors included: Robin Blaser, Richard Brautigan, Bruce Boyd, Kay Johnson, Robert Duncan, Joe Dunn, Ron Loewinsohn, Joanne Kyger, Helen Adam, and others. Covers (sometimes hand-embellished) were by Fran Herndon (Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5), Russell FitzGerald (No. 3), and George Stanley (Nos. 6, 7).


J, No. 1, edited by Jack Spicer
mags_j01San Francisco: J, 1959
Contributors:
James Alexander
Ebbe Borregaard
Robin Blaser
Jack Spicer
Joe Dunn
Richard Brautigan
Kay Johnson
Robert Duncan

J, No. 2, 1959, edited by Jack Spicer
San Francisco: J, 1959
Contributors:
George Stanley
Fran Herndon
Jess Collins
Robert Duncan
Stan Persky

J, No. 3, 1959, edited by Jack Spicer
San Francisco: J, 1959
Contributors:
Bruce Boyd
Ron Loewinsohn
George Stanley
Damon Beard
Jack Spicer

J, No. 4, 1959, edited by Jack Spicer
mags_j04San Francisco: J, 1959
Contributors:
Robert Duncan
Richard Brautigan
Joanne Kyger
Donald Allen
John Ryan
George Stanley
Jack Spicer

J, No. 5, 1959, edited by Jack Spicer
mags_j05San Francisco: J, 1959
Contributors:
Larry Eigner
Jess Collins
Richard Brautigan
Kay Johnson
Ron Loewinsohn
George Stanley
Robert Duncan
Richard Duerden
Jack Spicer

J, No. 6, edited by George Stanley
San Francisco: J, 1959
Contributors:
Helen Adam
Paul Goodman
Joanne Kyger
Ron Loewinsohn

J, No. 7, edited by George Stanley
New York: J, 1959
Contributors:
Ebbe Borregaard
Stan Persky

J, No. 8, 1961, edited by Harold Dull
Rome: J, 1961
Contributors:
Harold Dull
Stan Persky


online excerpt from A Secret Location on the Lower East Side (Granary Books, 1998):

“In many ways the most beautiful of all the mimeo magazines, J had an eight-issue run. The first five issues were edited from North Beach bars by Jack Spicer with Fran Herndon as art editor. Spicer, who embodied the spirit of poetry in the Bay area, collected pieces for his magazine from a box marked “J” in The Place, a bar at 1546 Grant Avenue in San Francisco. A refugee from Los Angeles with two degrees from Berkeley, he had been a student of Josephine Miles there in the mid-1940s. They became close friends, and Spicer participated in the Friday afternoon poetry readings in Wheeler Hall during the late 1940s as well as the readings organized with Rocke-feller money by Ruth Witt-Diamant at the new Poetry Center at San Francisco State. Into the cauldron of poetic politics surrounding Miles, Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Duncan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and others, Spicer introduced his freest of spirits, sometimes more Caliban than Ariel. Spicer lived for words (even making his living as a research assistant on a lexicographical project at Berkeley). He could be found most evenings in one of the North Beach bars or coffeehouses leading the discussion on poetry, poetics, myth, linguistics, and other mysteries. Like Blake and Yeats (with the help of Mrs. Yeats), Spicer attempted to clear his mind and open himself to “dictation” from other sources, which he devotedly pursued. Spicer also believed wholeheartedly in the necessity of human beings’ helping each other through communication, which he confronted in the editorship of J, a little newsletter of the poetic spirit. Donald Allen acted as J’s distributor in New York (“New York Contributions are not forbidden. But quotaed”), selling copies for Spicer to the Wilentz brothers of the Eighth Street Book Shop. In an early letter to Spicer, Allen eagerly wondered “what your editorial policy may be. Seduction by print.””


Further Reading:

Mimeo Mimeo on J

Berkeley Miscellany

Berkeley Miscellany, No. 1, edited by Robert Duncan
mags_miscellany01Berkeley: Berkeley Miscellany, 1948
Saddle-stapled printed wrappers, 6″ x 9.5″, 24 pages, letterpress printed at the Libertarian Press.

Contributors:
Robert Duncan – “A Description of Venice”
Jack Spicer – “A Night in Four Parts”
Mary Fabilli – “The Lost Love of Aurora Bligh”

Berkeley Miscellany, No. 2, edited by Robert Duncan
Berkeley: Berkeley Miscellany, 1949
Hand-sewn printed wrappers, 6″ x 9.5″, 32 pages, letterpress printed at the Libertarian Press.

Contributors:
Mary Fabilli – “An Hour or Two or Quiet Talk”
Mary Fabilli – “The Garden”
Robert Duncan – 3 Poems in Homage to the Brothers Grimm: “The Robber Moon”, “The Strawberries Under the Snow”, “The Dinner Table of Harlequin”
Gerald Ackerman – “At the Beach”
Jack Spicer – “The Scroll-Work on the Casket”

The Rivoli Review

The Rivoli Review, Vol. Zero, No. One, edited by Richard Duerden 
mags_rivoli01San Francicso: The Rivoli Review 1963
Side-stapled illustrated wrappers, 8.5″ x 11″, 24 pages, mimeograph printed. Cover illustration by Jess Collins.

 

Contributors:
Ford Madox Ford – “Meary Walker”
Robert Duncan – “Weacing the Design”
James Koller – [untitled] “mottled brown birds…”
Richard Duerden – “Seven: #2 La Martine Place”
Denise Levertov – “Hypocrite Women”
Lynn Lonidier – “Chagall and Bella”
Ron Loewinsohn – “Art for Art’s Sake”, “The Rain, The Rain”
Gerald Gilbert – [untitled] “Sunshine…”
Lorenzo Thomas – “Grass”, “West”
Robert Peterson – “Critical Times”
Ron Loewinsohn – “Fuck You Roger Maris”
Philip Whalen – “Plums, Metaphysics, An Investigation, A Visit and a Short Funeral Ode”
Ron Loewinsohn – “It is to be Bathed in Light”

The Rivoli Review, Vol. Zero, No. Two, edited by Richard Duerden 
mags_rivoli02San Francicso: The Rivoli Review 1964
Side-stapled illustrated wrappers, 8.5″ x 14″, 30 pages, mimeograph printed.

 

Contributors:
James Koller – “The People are Coming”
Ron Loewinsohn – “A Place to Go”
Jess Collins – “Song of the Pied Parrot”
Lew Brown – “from Lionel”
Deneen Brown – “Azalea Poem”
George Stanley – “Argus”
Robert Duncan – “Passages III”, “Passages 3-4”
Richard Duerden – “Silence, and Katharsis”
Lew Brown – “The Broadjump”, “from Lionel”
Jack Anderson – “The Scale of It”
Richard Duerden – “The Sonata”
Jack Anderson – “Man in a Doorway”
Gerard Malanga – “Final Sonnet XC”

The San Francisco Renaissance

[excerpt from Steve Clay and Rodney Phillips’ A SECRET LOCATION ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE. Granary Books, 1998]

The San Francisco Renaissance, a timeline of events

1951

1953

      • City Lights Bookstore opens in North Beach

1955

1956

      • Allen Ginsberg’s Howl published by City Lights

1957

      • Howl confiscated by customs; Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Shigeyoshi Murao arrested
      • Jack Spicer‘s Poetry as Magic Workshop, San Francisco Public Library
      • Charles Olson reads and lectures in San Francisco
      • First book from White Rabbit Press, Steve Jonas’s Love, the Poem, the Sea & Other Pieces Examined

1958

1959

      • Philip Lamantia‘s Ekstasis published by Auerhahn Press
      • Bob Kaufman’s The Abomunist Manifesto published by City Lights
      • J, edited by Jack Spicer
      • Cid Corman’s Origin Press publishes Gary Snyder’s first book, Riprap

1960

      • Gary Snyder’s Myths and Texts published by Corinth Books
      • Lew Welch‘s Wobbly Rock published by Auerhahn Press
      • William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin’s The Exterminator published by Auerhahn Press

1962

      • White Rabbit Press revived by Graham Mackintosh with Spicer’s LAMENT FOR THE MAKERS, which was published in a small edition of less than 100 copies and illustrated by Mackintosh

1963

      • Vancouver Poetry Conference

1964

      • Open Space publishes Robin Blaser’s first book, The Moth Poem

1965

1966

      • Lenore Kandel’s The Love Book published by Stolen Paper Editions
      • Philip Lamantia‘s Touch of the Marvelous published by Oyez Press
      • John Martin’s Black Sparrow Press begins in Los Angeles

1967

      • The Pacific Nation, edited by Robin Blaser in Vancouver

1968

      • Janine Pommy-Vega’s Poems to Fernando published by City Lights

1969

      • Gary Snyder’s book of essays Earth House Hold published by New Directions

1975

      • Jack Spicer‘s Collected Books published by Black Sparrow

 

In San Francisco, the commingling of several activities helped to prepare the ground for the remarkable literary explosion that was soon to take place. The Libertarian Circle held regular literary events; poet members included Kenneth Rexroth, Muriel Rukeyser, William Everson, Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer, and Thomas Parkinson. Rexroth also ran a literary program on KPFA, the country’s first listener-sponsored radio station. Madeline Gleason (assisted by Rexroth and Duncan) founded the San Francisco Poetry Center, housed at San Francisco State College and managed by Ruth Witt-Diamant. The magazines Circle, Ark, City Lights, Goad, Inferno, and Golden Goose helped to consolidate the growing literary underground.

The famous reading at Six Gallery on Fillmore Street was publicized by Allen Ginsberg (via a hundred mailed postcards and a few flyers) thus:

mcclure_sixgallery

On October 7, 1955, in a room measuring 20 x 25 feet with a dirt floor, Ginsberg “read Howl and started an epoch.”(1) Gary Snyder, Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, and Philip Whalen shared the bill and, by all reports, also read brilliantly. Aside from Rexroth and Whalen, all the readers were in their twenties. Again, in the words of Kenneth Rexroth, “What started in SF and spread from there across the world was public poetry, the return of a tribal, preliterate relationship between poet and audience.”(1)

These events, along with the flourishing of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Bookshop and publishing house, helped to inaugurate and consolidate what has become known as the San Francisco Renaissance. City Lights published Howl in 1956 (Ferlinghetti asked Ginsberg for the manuscript the same night it was read at the Six Gallery) as Number Four in the Pocket Poets Series. (It had been preceded by an extremely rare mimeographed edition, typed by Martha Rexroth and mimeographed by none other than Robert Creeley. Ginsberg’s Siesta in Xbalba had been mimeographed by the man himself on a freighter in the Alaskan Ocean.) Among the audience members that night was one who added his own chant, the young novelist Jack Kerouac, whose On the Road, published in 1957, was to make this reading and its readers legendary. It was also in 1957 that Charles Olson, rector of the experimental Black Mountain College, visited San Francisco and gave a series of lectures on Alfred North Whitehead at the Portrero Hill home of Robert Duncan and his companion, the painter Jess Collins. Among the attendees at the lectures were, of course, Duncan himself, but also Michael McClure, Gary Snyder’s Reed College friend Philip Whalen, Jack Spicer, and Richard Duerden. The same year saw the “San Francisco Scene” issue of Evergreen Review. Poet Helen Adam’s flamboyant 1961 ballad opera, entitled San Francisco’s Burning, epitomized the time, outrageous both aesthetically and socially. Other writers associated with the San Francisco Renaissance included James Broughton, Lew Welch, Ron Loewinsohn, Madeline Gleason, David Meltzer, Kirby Doyle, and Lenore Kandel.

Experimentation with forms of literature and lifestyle had long been an attractive characteristic of life in San Francisco. But the tolerance felt in Northern California was not as evident in Los Angeles. In 1957, an exhibit of work by assemblage artist Wallace Berman at the Ferus Gallery was closed by the Los Angeles Police Department, and Berman was jailed on charges of exhibiting “lewd and lascivious pornographic art.” Found guilty (by the same judge who ruled against Henry Miller), Berman and family left L.A. for San Francisco that year. Berman edited and published a fascinating assemblage magazine called Semina. After the raid of his exhibit at Ferus, he announced in Semina 2 that “I will continue to print Semina from locations other than this city of degen-erate angels.” Berman’s friend, artist George Herms, designed his own books and provided the artwork for others, including Diane di Prima. Herms had likewise found the political climate in L.A. intolerable and had preceded the Bermans to Northern California.

In the mid-1960s, John Martin’s Black Sparrow Press began publishing broadsides and booklets and has, over the years, published a wide variety of experimental and alternative poetry and prose, including work by Duncan, Olson, Spicer, and Creeley among very many others. 

Because of the previous associations of house printer/designer Graham Mackintosh, Black Sparrow is linked to earlier literary small presses of Northern California, particularly White Rabbit Press (at the urging of Jack Spicer, Mackintosh resurrected the press in 1962, printing Spicer’s own Lament for the Makers); Robert Hawley’s Oyez Press (Mackintosh had printed its first book in 1963); and Dave Haselwood’s Auerhahn Press, which flourished during the 1960s and early 70s in San Francisco. Auerhahn published a wide variety of well-designed books, including The Exterminator, an early example of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin’s cut-up technique, in 1960. Auerhahn also published John Wieners’s first book, The Hotel Wentley Poems. Oyez published many memorable volumes including Philip Lamantia‘s Touch of the Marvelous. Joe Dunn’s White Rabbit Press, which had begun publishing in 1957 with Steve Jonas’s rough work Love, the Poem, the Sea & Other Pieces Examined, produced books somewhat less elegant than Auerhahn’s or Oyez’s but with a beauty all their own.

The editorial genius behind White Rabbit was the irrepressible Jack Spicer, who published his own remarkable mimeographed magazine, J. Spicer emphasized the inclusion of writers who were not well published elsewhere, and accepted contributions for consideration in a box that was kept in one of three bars in the North Beach area of San Francisco. J is representative of the best of the mimeograph revolution: an uncompromising editorial stance combined with a playful, even colorful, formal character thanks to Fran Herndon, who edited the artwork for the magazine. Spicer’s model for J was Beatitude, which had begun publication in San Francisco slightly before J. And a recalcitrant model it was, since Spicer was not a fan of the Beats and carried on a running war against Ferlinghetti in particular. He imagined Ferlinghetti had become commercial and financially successful, thereby, in Spicer’s mind, “selling out” to the establishment. Magnificently consistent with his principles, Spicer never copyrighted his own work, anticipating the “no copyright, no nuthin” statements of Tom Clark’s London-based Once Series. The performative aspects of Spicer’s poetics as well as his personality also prefigured the rise of poetry readings in the 1950s, particularly those sponsored by the Poetry Center at San Francisco State, which featured mimeographed programs and booklets printing selections from the poets who were reading, among them, Charles Olson, Denise Levertov, and Louis Zukofsky.

Although Spicer’s J didn’t publish the works of “established” poets, Spicer did include the work of Robert Duncan in four issues of his magazine. Duncan and Jess Collins (whose work adorned the cover of many magazines and books of the period, including Open Space, Caterpillar, and The Floating Bear) were important influences on the literary and artistic scene in San Francisco in the 60s. Duncan’s early work was published in Berkeley or North Carolina (his Song of the Border-Guard was published by the Black Mountain College Press with a cover by Cy Twombly in 1952). Other earlier works were multilithed (Fragments of a Disordered Devotionin San Francisco in 1952) or mimeographed (the first hundred copies of Faust Foutu were mimeographed by Duncan himself, and the next 150 or so of one act of the play were multilithed by Joe Dunn of White Rabbit Press at his place of employment, the Greyhound Bus offices in San Francisco). The multilithed third edition of Faust Foutu, although also produced by Dunn, was published under Duncan’s own imprint, Enkidu Surrogate, of Stinson Beach. Duncan’s work was published by an amazing variety and number of publishers, including Oyez, Auerhahn, White Rabbit, Black Sparrow, Divers Press, Jargon, Perishable Press, City Lights, Grove Press, New Directions, and Scribners.

Slightly outside the Spicer circle (although some of his own poems were published in J) was Donald Allen, who, after the publication of The New American Poetry, 1945-1960 and before his removal to New York, established the Four Seasons Foundation in San Francisco, which published the work of a number of the writers from the anthology, including Charles Olson, Ed Dorn, Ron Loewinsohn, Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Joanne Kyger, Robin Blaser, and Robert Creeley. Among the early Four Seasons publications were two important works by poet Gary Snyder (the Reed College roommate of Lew Welch and Philip Whalen and the “Japhy Ryder” of Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums): Six Sections from Rivers and Mountains Without End and Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems, both published in 1965. Riprap, it should be noted, was originally published in 1959 as a booklet by Cid Corman’s Origin Press. Snyder’s Myths and Textswas published in 1960 by Corinth Books. Snyder was out of the country on an extended stay in Japan, and the text used for the Corinth publication was probably from a manuscript that LeRoi Jones had hand-copied from one that Robert Creeley had received from Snyder in 1955 or 1956. Snyder’s poetry was extremely popular in the 60s and was often used as text for broadsides by small presses, particularly those whose owners were ecologically minded. For instance, Snyder’s poem “Four Changes” was published in 1969 by Earth Read Out, a Berkeley environmental protection group, as four mimeographed pages, as well as in a folded, printed version in 200,000 copies by environmentalist Alan Shapiro for free distribution to schools and citizens’ groups.

Literary scenes with strong affiliations to the New American Poetry were in evidence elsewhere in California — most notably Bolinas in the 1970s, when that somewhat remote hippie village north of San Francisco became home to many poets. In particular, the transplanted easterner and Poetry Project veteran Bill Berkson and his press Big Sky flourished there in the decade, publishing both a magazine and a series of books. Bolinas residents of the period also included Robert Creeley, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, David Meltzer, Lewis Warsh, Tom Clark, Lewis MacAdams, Philip Whalen, Aram Saroyan, Joanne Kyger, Jim Carroll, and Duncan McNaughton, among others. Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, and Joe Brainard were among many occasional visitors, with Joe Brainard’s Bolinas Journal providing an interesting record of one such extended stay.


(1) Kenneth Rexroth. AMERICAN POETRY IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (New York: Herder and Herder, 1971), p. 141.

Cavan McCarthy & Tlaloc

Tlaloc was founded by Cavan McCarthy, a librarian at the Brotherton Library, with the aim of providing an, “open forum for modern poetry.” First issued in December 1964, for a time it acted as a bi-weekly supplement to Ikon; Douglas Sandle was a member of the editorial board. By the time the second series of magazine was issued in 1965 (Tlaloc 7), it had become independent of Ikon and was published by McCarthy under the Location Press imprint; it was later published from Blackburn and then London when McCarthy relocated. The main emphasis of Tlaloc was on concrete and visual poetry; contributors included Dom Sylvester Houedard, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Angela Carter, amongst others. The last issue (Tlaloc 22) was published in 1970.

Richard Brautigan

Richard Gary Brautigan (January 30, 1935 – ca. September 14, 1984) was an American novelist, poet, and short story writer. brautigan_01Writing about nature, life, and emotion, his work often employs 
comedy, parody, and satire; his singular imagination provided the unusual settings for his themes. He is best known for his 1967 novel TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA.

Robert Novak wrote in Dictionary of Literary Biography that “Brautigan is commonly seen as the bridge between the Beat Movement of the 1950s and the youth revolution of the 1960s.”

Considered one of the primary writers of the “New Fiction,” Brautigan at first experienced difficulty in finding a publisher; thus his early work was only published by small presses.

About the body of Brautigan’s work, Guy Davenport commented in the Hudson Review: “Mr. Brautigan locates his writing on the barricade which the sane mind maintains against spiel and bilge, and here he cavorts with a divine idiocy, thumbing his nose. But he makes clear that at his immediate disposal is a fund of common sense he does not hesitate to bring into play. He is a kind of Thoreau who cannot keep a straight face.” (more…)

Richard Brautigan

Richard Gary Brautigan (January 30, 1935 – ca. September 14, 1984) was an American novelist, poet, and short story writer. brautigan_01Writing about nature, life, and emotion, his work often employs 
comedy, parody, and satire; his singular imagination provided the unusual settings for his
themes. He is best known for his 1967 novel TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA.

Robert Novak wrote in Dictionary of Literary Biography that “Brautigan is commonly seen as the bridge between the Beat Movement of the 1950s and the youth revolution of the 1960s.”

Considered one of the primary writers of the “New Fiction,” Brautigan at first experienced difficulty in finding a publisher; thus his early work was only published by small presses.

About the body of Brautigan’s work, Guy Davenport commented in the Hudson Review: “Mr. Brautigan locates his writing on the barricade which the sane mind maintains against spiel and bilge, and here he cavorts with a divine idiocy, thumbing his nose. But he makes clear that at his immediate disposal is a fund of common sense he does not hesitate to bring into play. He is a kind of Thoreau who cannot keep a straight face.”

* The bibliographic notes here focus on Brautigan’s earliest publications of poetry.


A. Books and Broadsides

1. THE RETURN OF THE RIVERS
brautigan_returnSan Francisco: Inferno Press, May 1957
First edition, broadside tipped into wrappers, 100 copies.
Brautigan poem: “The Return of the Rivers”
[not in archive]


2. THE GALILEE HITCH-HIKER
brautigan_galileeSan Francisco: White Rabbit Press, 1958
First edition, sewn illustrated wrappers, 6.5″ x 8.5″, 16 pages, 200 copies, cover illustration by Kenn Davis.
Brautigan poem: “The Galilee Hitch-Hiker”


3. LAY THE MARBLE TEA
brautigan_laySan Francisco: Carp Press, 1959
First edition (second printing issued in 1960), stapled illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 16 pages, (c. 500 copies), cover illustration by Kenn Davis.
Brautigan poems: “Portrait of the Id As Billy The Kid”, “Sonnet”, “The Chinese Checker Players”, “Portrait of a Child-Bride on Her Honeymoon”, “Hansel and Gretel”, “April Ground”, “The Ferris Wheel”, “Night”, “Cyclops”, “The Escape of the Owl”, “In a Cafe”, “Fragment”, “Herman Melville in Dreams, Moby Dick in Reality”, “Kafka’s Hat”, “Yes, the Fish Music”, “Cantos Falling”, “The Castle of the Cormorants”, “Feel Free to Marry Emily Dickinson”, “Cat”, “A Childhood Spent in Tacoma”, “To England”, “A Boat”, “Geometry”, “The Twenty-Eight Cents for My Old Age”

4. THE OCTOPUS FRONTIER
brautigan_octopusSan Francisco: Carp Press, 1960
First edition, stapled pictorial wrappers, 5″ x 7″, 20 pages, cover photograph by Gui de Angulo.
Brautigan poems: “The Sawmill”, “1942”, “The Wheel”, “The Pumpkin Tide”, “The Sidney Greenstreet Blues”, “The Quail”, “The Symbol”, “A Postcard from Chinatown”, “Sit Comma and Creeley Comma”, “The Rape of Ophelia”, “The Last Music Is Not Heard”, “The Octopus Frontier”, “The Potato House of Julius Caesar”, “The Fever Monument”, “The Winos on Potrero Hill”, “Mike”, “Horse Race”, “The Old Folk’s Home”, “The Postman”, “Surprise”, “The Nature Poem”, “Private Eye Lettuce”


B. Contributions to Books and Anthologies

1. FOUR NEW POETS, edited by Leslie Woolf Hedley

brautigan_fourSan Francisco: Inferno Press, 1957
First edition, perfect-bound illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8″, 34 pages, Brautigan’s first book appearance. Contributors include Martin Hoberman, Carl Larsen, and James M. Singer.
Brautigan poems: “The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth’s Beer Bottles”, “The Mortuary Bush”, “Twelve Roman Soldiers and an Oatmeal Cookie”, “Gifts”

2. EPOS ANTHOLOGY 1958, edited by Will Tullos and Evelyn Thorne
mags_eposanth1958Lake Como: New Athenaeum Press, 1958
Brautigan poem: “The Second Kingdom”





3. BEATITUDE ANTHOLOGY, edited by Bob Kaufman and John Kelly
San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1960
Brautigan poems: “The American Submarine”, “A Postcard from the Bridge”, “That Girl”, “The Whorehouse at the Top of Mount Rainer”, “Swandragons”

4. San Francisco Arts Festival: A Poetry Folio, 1964
San Francisco: East Wind Printers, 1964.
300 copies, broadside in portfolio, illustrated by Richard Corral
Brautigan poem: “September California”


C. Contributions to Periodicals


1. Flame, Vol. 2, No. 3, edited by Lilith Lorraine

mags_flame0203Alpine, Autumn 1955
Brautigan poem: “Someplace in the World a Man is Screaming in Pain” [uncollected]




2. Epos, Vol. 8, No. 2, edited by Evelyn Thorne and Will Tullos
mags_epos0802Lake Como: Epos, Winter 1956
Brautigan poem: “The Second Kingdom” [uncollected]




3. Epos, Vol. 8, No. 4, edited by Evelyn Thorne and Will Tullos
mags_epos0804Lake Como: Epos, Summer 1957
Brautigan poem: “A Young Poet” [uncollected]





4. Mainstream, Vol. 2, No. 2, edited by Robin Raey Cuscaden and Ronald Often
Palatine, Summer-Autumn 1957
Brautigan poem: “The Final Ride” [uncollected]

5. Existaria, a Journal of Existant Hysteria, No. 7, Edited by Carl Larsen
mags_existaria07Hermosa Beach, September-October 1957
Brautigan poems: “The Daring Little Guy on the Burma Shave Sign” [uncollected], “The World Will Never End” [uncollected]



6. Danse Macabre, Vol. 1, No. 1, edited by R.T. Baylor
Manhattan Beach, 1957
Brautigan poems: “They Keep Coming Down the Dark Streets” [uncollected], “15 Stories in One Poem” [uncollected]

7. Hearse, No. 2, edited by E.V. Griffith
mags_hearse02Eureka: Hearse Press, 1958
Brautigan poem: “15 Stories in One Poem” [previously published in DANSE MACABRE]




8. Hearse, No. 3, edited by E.V. Griffith
mags_hearse03Eureka: Hearse Press, 1958
Brautigan poems: “The Mortuary Bush” [previously published in FOUR NEW POETS], “Twelve Roman Soldiers and an Oatmeal Cookie” [previously published in FOUR NEW POETS]



9. Epos, Vol. 9, No. 3, edited by Will Tullos and Evelyn Thorne
mags_epos0903Lake Como: Epos, Spring 1958
Brautigan poem: “Kingdom Come” [uncollected]





10. San Francisco Review, No. 2, edited by R.H. Miller
mags_sfreview02
San Francisco, Spring 1959
Brautigan poem: “Psalm” [uncollected]





11. Beatitude, No. 1, edited by Bob Kaufman, John Kelly, and William J. Margolis
San Francisco, 9 May 1959
Brautigan poem: “The Whorehouse at the Top of Mount Rainer” [collected in BEATITUDE ANTHOLOGY]

12. Beatitude, No. 4, edited by Bob Kaufman, John Kelly, and William J. Margolis
San Francisco, 30 May 1959
Brautigan poems: “The American Submarine”, “A Postcard from the Bridge”, “That Girl”, “The Sink” [all collected in BEATITUDE ANTHOLOGY]

13. Beatitude, No. 9, edited by Bob Kaufman, John Kelly, and William J. Margolis
San Francisco, 18 September 1959
Brautigan poem: “Swandragons” [collected in BEATITUDE ANTHOLOGY]

14. J, No. 1, edited by Jack Spicer
mags_j01
San Francisco, September 1959
Cover illustration by Fran Herndon
Brautigan poem: “The Fever Monument” [collected in THE OCTOPUS FRONTIER]



15. Foot, No.1, edited by Richard Duerdan
mags_foot01San Francisco, September 1959
Cover illustration by Robert Duncan
Brautigan poem: “The Rape of Ophelia”, “Postcard from Chinatown”, “The Nature Poem”, “Horse Race”, “The Last Music is Not Heard” [all collected in THE OCTOPUS FRONTIER]

16. J, No. 4, edited by Jack Spicer
mags_j04San Francisco, November 1959
Cover illustration by Fran Herndon
Brautigan poem: “The Pumpkin Tide”, “The Sidney Greenstreet Blues”, “Surprise” [all collected in THE OCTOPUS FRONTIER]



17. J, No. 5, edited by Jack Spicer
mags_j05San Francisco, December 1959
Cover illustration by Fran Herndon
Brautigan poem: “1942” [collected in THE OCTOPUS FRONTIER]




18. Hearse: A Vehicle Used to Convey the Dead, No. 9, edited by E.V. Griffith
mags_hearse09Eureka: Hearse Press, 1961
Brautigan poem: “The Rain” [uncollected]





19. Sum, No. 3, Edited by Fred Wah
Albuquerque, May 1964
Brautigan poem: “September California” [collected in Revenge of the Lawn]

20. San Francisco Keeper’s Voice, Vol. 1, No. 4, edited by Alexander Weiss
San Francisco, April 1965
Brautigan poem: “October 2, 1960” [uncollected]

21. Wild Dog, No. 18, edited by Joanne Kyger, contributing editor Edward Dorn
mags_wilddog18San Francisco, 17 July 1965
Brautigan poems: “The Buses” [uncollected], “Period Piece” [uncollected]



22. O’er, No. 2, edited by David Sandberg
mags_oar02San Francisco, December 1966
Brautigan poems: “The House” [uncollected], “My Nose is Growing Old” [collected in All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace], “November 3” [collected in All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace]


References consulted:
Barber, John F. Richard Brautigan: An Annotated Bibliography.
Jefferson: McFarland, 1990