Tag Archives: San Francisco

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.

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”
(Barber 4)
[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”
(Barber 7)

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”
(Barber 11)

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”
(Barber 12)

5. SEPTEMBER CALIFORNIA
San Francisco: San Francisco Arts Festival Commission, 1964
First edition, broadside, 12.75″ x 20″, 300 copies. Broadside laid in a portfolio entitled SAN FRANCISCO ARTS FESTIVAL: A POETRY FOLIO: 1964. Printed by East Wind Printers. Ilustrated by Richard Correll.
Brautigan poem: “September California” [uncollected]
(Barber 15)


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”
(Barber 3)

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”
(Barber 13)


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]
(not in Barber)



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]
(Barber 1)



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]
(Barber 2)




4. Mainstream, Vol. 2, No. 2, edited by Robin Raey Cuscaden and Ronald Often
Palatine, Summer-Autumn 1957
Brautigan poem: “The Final Ride” [uncollected]
(not in Barber)

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]
(not in Barber)


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]
(not in Barber)

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]
(Barber 5)



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]
(Barber 9)




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




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

Philip Lamantia

lamantia
photo by Harry Redl

 

Philip Lamantia was born to Sicilian immigrants in San Francisco in 1927. His father was a produce broker in the old Embarcadero. He began writing poetry in elementary school and was later inspired by the paintings of Miro and Dali at the San Francisco Museum of Art. After being expelled for “intellectual delinquency” at age sixteen, he dropped out of high school and moved to New York City, where he lived for several years and where he was associated with Andre Breton and other exiled European artists such as Max Ernst and Yves Tanguy. During these years he worked as an assistant editor of View magazine and his poems were published in View as well as in publications like Hemispheres, which was being published by another French ex-patriot Yvan Goll.

In 1943, when Lamantia was only fifteen years old, Breton heralded him as being “a voice that rises once in a hundred years.” In 1946, at the age of nineteen, his first book of poems Erotic Poems was published by Bern Porter Books in Berkeley, California, followed by two collections (Narcotica and Ekstasis) published in 1959 by Auerhahn Press. A literary prodigy whose poems delved into the worlds of the subconscious and dreams, his love of Surrealism had a major influence on the Beats and other American poets. On March 7, 2005 he died of heart failure in his North Beach, San Francisco apartment at age seventy-seven.

–Thomas Rain Crowe


Section A: Books and Broadsides

1. Lamantia, Philip. EROTIC POEMS
(Berkeley): Bern Porter, 1946
First edition, hardcover issued without dust jacket, 42 pages.

2. Lamantia, Philip. EKSTASIS
lamantia_ekstasisSan Francisco: Auerhahn Press, 1959
First edition, perfect-bound wrappers, 5.75? x 7?48 pages, (circa 950 copies). Titling by Robert La Vigne. Printed announcement issued.
(Auerhahn 3)

3. Lamantia, Philip. NARCOTICA
lamantia_narcoticaSan Francisco: Auerhahn Press, 1959
First edition, saddle-stapled illustrated wrappers, 6.25? x 8.5?, 16 pages, (750 copies). Cover photographs by Wallace Berman. Published as Auerhahn Pamphlet No. 1. Printed announcement issued.
(Auerhahn 5)

4. Lamantia, Philip. DESTROYED WORKS
lamantia_destroyedSan Francisco: Auerhahn Press, 1962
A. First edition, perfect-bound illustrated wrappers, 7? x 8.75?, 48 pages, 1250 copies. (pictured)
B. First edition, hardcover, 7? x 8.75?, 48 pages, 50 numbered and signed copies, bound by the Schuberth Bindery.
(Auerhahn 18)

5. Lamantia, Philip. TOUCH OF THE MARVELOUS
(Berkeley): Oyez, 1966
a. First edition, hardcover, 65 pages, 50 copies on handmade Tovil paper, numbered, signed by the author, bound by Dorothy Hawley.
b. First edition, sewn and glued into wrappers, 65 pages, 1450 copies.

6. Lamantia, Philip. SELCETED POEMS 1943-1966
(San Francisco): City Lights Books, (1967)
First edition, wrappers, 100 pages, published as Pocket Poets Series Number 20. (Cook 61)

7. Lamantia, Philip. THE BLOOD OF THE AIR
lamantia_bloodSan Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1970
a. First edition, hardcover , 45 pages, 50 copies, numbered, signed by the author, published as Writing 25. (pictured)
b. First edition, wrappers, 45 pages, published as Writing 25.

8. Lamantia, Philip. TOUCH OF THE MARVELOUS
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation, 1974
Second, expanded edition, wrappers, 47 pages, includes three poems not in the original edition: “Celestial Estrangement”, “Submarine Languor”, and “To You Henry Miller”.

9. Lamantia, Philip. BECOMING VISIBLE
San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1981
a. First edition, hardcover, 96 pages, published as Pocket Poet Series No. 39.
b. First edition, wrappers, 96 pages, published as Pocket Poet Series No. 39.
(Cook 146)

10. Lamantia, Philip. MEADOWLARK WEST
San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1986
First edition, wrappers, 73 pages. (Cook 171)

11. Lamantia, Philip. BED OF SPHINXES: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS, 1943-1993
San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1997
First edition, wrappers, 141 pages.

12. Lamantia, Philip. WHAT IS NOT STRANGE?
San Francisco: City Lights, 2005
First edition, broadside.


 Section B: Contributions to Books and Anthologies, Selected

sequence within years is alphabetical

BEATITUDE ANTHOLOGY. San Francisco: City Lights, 1960

THE BEATS, edited by Seymour Krim. Greenwich: Gold Medal, 1960

THE BEAT SCENE, edited by Elias Wilentz, photographs by Fred McDarrah. New York: Corinth Books, 1960

THE NEW ORLANDO POETRY ANTHOLOGY. New York: New Orlando Publication, 1963

PENGUIN MODERN POETS, 13. London: Penguin, 1969

AERO INTO THE AETHER. Philip Lamantia, Clark Ashton Smith.  Black Swan Press, 1980

FREE SPRITS: ANNALS OF THE INSURGENT IMAGINATION. San Francisco: City Lights, 1980. First edition, wrappers, 223 pages

WHITMAN’S WILD CHILDREN, edited by Neeli Cherkovski. Venice: Lapis Press, 1988

TAU & JOURNEY TO THE END. Philip Lamantia, John Hoffman. San Francisco: City Lights, 2008

CITY LIGHTS POCKET POETS ANTHOLOGY, edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. San Francisco: City Lights, 2009


Section C: Contributions to Periodicals, Selected

sequence within years is alphabetical

VIEW, Series III, Number 2. New York, June 1943

VIEW, Series III, Number 3. New York, 1943

VIEW, Series IV, Number 2. New York, Summer 1944

VVV, Number 4. New York, 1944

HEMISPHERES, Number 5. New York, 1945

VIEW, Series V, Number 2. New York, 1945

NEW DIRECTIONS, Number 9. New York, 1946

CONTOUR QUARTERLY, Volume 1, Number 1. Berkeley, 1947

NOW, Number 7. London, February-March 1947

CITY LIGHTS, Number 4. San Francisco, Fall 1953

NEW DIRECTIONS, Number 14. New York, 1953

BEATITUDE, Number 9. San Francisco, September 1959

SEMINA, Number 4. San Francisco, 1959

SEMINA, Number 5. San Francisco, 1959

EVERGREEN REVIEW, Volume 4, Number 11. New York, January-February 1960

THE GALLEY SAIL REVIEW, Number 5. San Francisco, Winter 1960

YUGEN, 6. New York, 1960

DAMASCUS ROAD, Number 1. Allentown, 1961

POEMS FROM THE FLOATING WORLD, Volume 3. New York, 1961

MEASURE, Number 3. Milton, Summer 1962

THE OUTSIDER, Number 2. New Orleans, Summer 1962

TOBAR, Number 4. New York, 1962

EL CORNO EMPLUMADO, Number 9. Mexico City, 1964

FUCK YOU: A MAGAZINE OF THE ARTS, Volume 5, Number 7. New York, September 1964

DAMASCUS ROAD, Number 2. Allentown, 1965

RESIDU, Volume 1, Number 1. Athens, Spring 1965

THE PARIS REVIEW, Number 36. Paris, 1966

THE FLOATING BEAR, Number 33. New York, February 1967

THE FLOATING BEAR, Number 34. New York, 1967

THE FLOATING BEAR, Number 35. New York, April 1968

CATERPILLAR, 10. New York, January 1969

CATERPILLAR, 17. Sherman Oaks, October 1971

INTREPID, Number 20. Buffalo, 1971

ANTAEUS, 6. Tangier, Summer 1972

THE LAMP IN THE SPINE, Number 4. Iowa City, Spring 1972

THE SEVENTIES, Number 1.  Madison, Spring 1972

ARSENAL, Number 2. Chicago, Summer 1973

CULTURAL CORRESPONDENCE, Number 12-14. Providence, Summer 1981

ZYZZYVA, Volume 1, Number 4. San Francisco, Winter 1985

CITY LIGHTS REVIEW, 1. San Francisco, 1987

CALIBAN, 7. Ann Arbor, 1989

CITY LIGHTS REVIEW, 4. San Francisco, 1990


Section D: Ephemera

THE AUERHAHN PRESS CATALOG, 1962
San Francisco: Auerhahn Press, 1962. First edition, wrappers

A KIND OF BEATNESS: PHOTOGRAPHS OF A NORTH BEACH ERA 1950-1965
San Francisco: Focus Gallery, 1975. First edition, wrappers


References Consulted:

Bohn, Dave. OYEZ: THE AUTHORIZED CHECKLIST
Berkeley: n.p., 1997

Cook, Ralph T. CITY LIGHTS: A DESCRIPTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY
Metuchen: The Scarecrow Press, 1992

Duncan, Michael and Kristine McKenna. SEMINA CULTURE: WALLACE BERMAN & HIS CIRCLE
New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 2005

Harter, Christopher. AN AUTHOR INDEX TO LITTLE MAGAZINES OF THE MIMEOGRAPH REVOLUTION
Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2008

Johnston, Alastair. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE AUERHAHN PRESS & ITS SUCCESSOR DAVE HASELWOOD BOOKS
Berkeley: Poltroon Press, 1976

Lepper, Gary M. A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INTRODUCTION TO SEVENTY-FIVE MODERN AMERICAN AUTHORS
Berkeley: Serendipity Books, 1976

Marx, Jake. “Index to Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts” in THE SERIF: QUARTERLY OF THE KENT STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES, Volume VIII, Number 3
Kent: The Kent State University Libraries, September 1971

Wallace Berman

 berman_arranged

Wallace Berman was born in 1926 in Staten Island, New York. In the 1930s, his family moved to the Jewish district (Boyle Heights) in Los Angeles. After being expelled from high school for gambling in the early 1940s, Berman immersed himself in the growing West Coast jazz scene. During this period, he briefly attended the Jepson Art School and Chouinard Art School, but departed when he found the training too academic for his needs.

In 1949, while working in a factory finishing antique furniture, he began to make sculptures from unused scraps and reject materials. By the early 1950s, Berman had become a full-time artist and an active figure in the beat community in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Many art historians consider him to be the ‘father’ of the California assemblage movement. Moving between the two cities, Berman devoted himself to his mail art publication SEMINA, which contained a sampling of beat poetry and images selected by Berman.

In 1963, permanently settled in Topanga Canyon in the Los Angeles area, Berman began work on verifax collages (printed images, often from magazines and newspapers, mounted in collage fashion onto a flat surface, sometimes with solid bright areas of acrylic paint). He continued creating these works, as well as rock assemblages, until his death in 1976.

A. Solo and Select Group Exhibitions
B. Posters and Prints
C. Cover and Book Art
D. Semina

Further reading and reference:

ART AS A MUSCULAR PRINCIPLE, 10 Artists and San Francisco 1950-1965
Mount Holyoke College, 1975

ART IN LOS ANGELES: SEVENTEEN ARTISTS IN THE SIXTIES
Los Angeles: LACMA, 1981

ASSEMBLAGE IN CALIFORNIA: WORKS FROM THE LATE 50’S AND EARLY 60’S
Alhambra: Cunningham Press, 1968

DIFFERENT DRUMMERS, edited by Frank Gettings
Washington DC: Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 1988

LA POP IN THE SIXTIES, edited by Anne Ayres
Newport Beach: Newport Harbor Art Museum, 1989

SAN FRANCISCO RENAISSANCE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE ’50S AND ’60S, edited and with an introduction by Merril Greene
NY: Gotham Book Mart Gallery, 1975

SECRET EXHIBITION: SIX CALIFORNIA ARTISTS OF THE COLD WAR ERA, edited by Rebecca Solmit
San Francisco: City Lights, 1990

SUPPORT THE REVOLUTION, edited by Tosh Berman, Michael McClure, David Meltzer, Colin Gardner, Walter Hopps, Christopher Knight, Eduardo Lipschutz-Villa, Charles Brittin
Amsterdam: Institute of Contemporary Art, 1992

THIRD RAIL, Issue 9, edited by Uri Hertz
Los Angeles: Third Rail, 1988

UTOPIA AND DISSENT: ART, POETRY, AND POLITICS IN CALIFORNIA, by Richard Cándida Smith
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995)

 

Bibliographic Checklists and Notes

The categorization of the writers, poets, artists, printers and their work here isn’t meant to be definitive, rather it’s a way to simply organize an enormous amount of information and help form some sort of story-line. Certainly there are folks here whose work started before some of the categories existed in the common lexicon and continued long after a ‘scene’ faded away. It’s not the intent of the work here to presuppose intent or oversimplify the efforts of these folks. As new pieces are added, parts will be reorganized, edited and rearranged… stay tuned…

* Aside from primary resources, references consulted can be found here


A brief history of the mimeograph “revolution”


California and The San Francisco Renaissance
     plus the outsiders, hippies, and others

Artists:
· Jess Collins
· Wallace Berman
· Fran Herndon

Poets & Writers:
· Charles Bukowski

San Francisco Renaissance
· Helen Adam
· Robin Blaser
· Ebbe Borregaard
· Richard Duerden
· Robert Duncan
· William Everson
· Philip Lamantia
· Jack Spicer
· George Stanley
· 
Lew Welch

· Richard Brautigan
· Ron Loewinsohn
· 
Michael McClure
· David Meltzer
· Gary Snyder
· Philip Whalen

· Richard Krech

Presses:
· City Lights (1955-)
· Hearse Press (1957-1970)
· White Rabbit Press (1957-1972)
· Auerhahn Press (1958-1963)
· Enkidu Surrogate (1959)
· Oannes Press (1963)
· Oyez Press (1963-1968)
· Four Seasons Foundation (1964-1985)
· Black Sparrow Press (1966-2002)
· Capricorn Press (1969-1972)

Periodicals:
· Ark (Nos. 1-3, 1947-1957)
· Avalanche (Nos. 1-6, 1966-1969)
· Beatitude (Nos. 1-34, 1959-1987)
· Berkeley Miscellany (Nos. 1-2, 1948-1949)
· Caterpillar
· Change (No. 1, 1963)
· Circle (Nos. 1-10, 1944-1948)
· City Lights (Nos. 1-5, 1952-1955)
· City Lights Journal (Nos. 1-4, 1963-1966)
· Contour (Nos. 1-4, 1947-1948)
· Cow (Nos. 1-3, 1965-1966)
· Dust (Nos. 1-17
· Ephemeris (Nos. 1-3, c.1969-1970)
· Foot (Nos. 1-8, 1962-1980)
· Gryphon (Nos. 1-3, 1950-1951)
· Hearse (Nos. 1-17, 1957-1972)
· J (Nos. 1-8, 1959-1961)
· M (Nos. 1-2, 1962)
· Measure (Nos. 1-3, 1957-1962)
· Mithrander (No. 1, 1963)
· The Needle (Nos. 1-3, 1956)
· Now (Nos. 1-3, 1963-1965)
· Open Space (Nos. 0-12, 1964)
· Out of Sight (nos. 1-2, 1966)
· The Pacific Nation (Nos. 1-2, 1967-1969)
· R.C. Lion (Nos. 1-3, 1966-1967)
· Renaissance (Nos. 1-4, 1961-1962)
·
 The Rivoli Review (Nos. 1-2, 1963-1964)
·
 The San Francisco Capitalist Bloodsucker-N (No. 1, 1962)
· Semina (Nos. 1-9, 1955-1962)
·
 Wild Dog (Nos. 1-21, 1963-1966)

Galleries:
· Batman Gallery
· Six Gallery


The Beats

Poets & Writers:
· William S. Burroughs
· Gregory Corso
· Allen Ginsberg
· Jack Kerouac

Presses:
· Corinth Books (1959-1973)
· Totem Press (1958-1962)

Publications:
· C: A Journal of Poerty (Nos. 1-14, 1963-1967)
· The Floating Bear (Nos. 1-37, 1961-1971)
· Fuck You/ a magazine of the arts (Nos. 1-13, 1962-1965)
· Kulchur (Nos. 1-20, 1960-1965)
· Yugen (Nos. 1-8, 1958-1962)


Black Mountain

Poets & Writers:
· Charles Olson
· Robert Duncan [see also, San Francisco Renaissance]
· Denise Levertov
· Paul Blackburn
· Robert Creeley
· Paul Carroll
· Larry Eigner
· Edward Dorn
· Jonathan Williams
· Joel Oppenheimer

Objectivists
· Louis Zukofsky
· George Oppen
· Carl Rakosi
· Lorine Niedecker
· Charles Reznikoff

Presses:
· Divers Press (1953-1955)
· The Jargon Society (1951-)

Periodicals:
· Black Mountain Review (Nos. 1-7, 1954-1957)
· Origin
· Joglars


Cleveland, the Midwest and South…

Poets & Writers:
The so-called Cleveland School
·
 Russell Atkins
· d.a. levy
· Kent Taylor

· Douglas Blazek

· Frank Stanford

Periodicals:
· The Eight Pager (Nos. 1-4, 1966)
· Grist (Nos. 1-12, 1964-1966)


Other places and people

The UK, Ireland, and…
· Ian Hamilton Finlay & The Wild Hawthorn Press
· Stuart Mills & Tarasque Press
· Cavan McCarthy & Tlaloc

Elsewhere…

· Piero Heliczer and The Dead Language

· Judson Crews and company