Judson 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.
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. (further reading…)
Described by Kenneth Rexroth as “one of the most accomplished, one of the most influential” of the postwar American poets, Robert Duncan was an important part of both the Black Mountain school of poetry, led by Charles Olson, and the San Francisco Renaissance, whose other members included poets Jack Spicer and Robin Blaser. A distinctive voice in American poetry, Duncan’s idiosyncratic poetics drew on myth, occultism, religion—including the theosophical tradition in which he was raised—and innovative writing practices such as projective verse and composition by field.
Envisioned as the monthly newsletter of The Rhymers Club at U.C. Berkeley, R.C. Lion ran for three issues from 1966 to 1967. Editors of the newsletter included Ron Loewinsohn, David Bromige, Sherril Jaffe, and David Schaff.
The Club was open to all, “the hope being how a place might come into fact where a writer can give and take heart and impetus among his fellows, exchange information pertinent or otherwise, tell lies, insist on his visions, and hear readings, taped or live, by writers unlikely to be available.”
Published during the so-called “magazine wars” of the early 1960s, George Stanley’s THE SAN FRANCISCO CAPITALIST BLOODSUCKER-N lasted just one issue. Stan Persky, Lew Ellingham, and Gail Chugg edited M, gathering contributions from a box at Gino & Carlo’s Bar in San Francisco’s North Beach. Richard Duerden was editing FOOT; with Ron Loewinsohn he was also editing THE RIVOLI REVIEW, produced in Duerden’s apartment on Rivoli Street in the Haight-Ashbury district. Loewinsohn and Richard Brautigan soon produced another magazine, CHANGE.
As Ron Loewinsohn recalled, “Everybody seemed to have access to a mimeograph machine. You could then put out your own magazine. This was marvelous: it meant instant publication, instant reaction from people.”
It wasn’t until 1964, that Stan Persksy’s OPEN SPACE took up the publishing necessary to the Jack Spicer circle and its friends…
Inspired by Stan Persky’s OPEN SPACE, Luther T. Cupp edited COW, which ran for three issues from 1965-1966. Cupp was nicknamed “Link” by Jack Spicer and went by the name Link Martin.
Contributors to this short-lived North Beach magazine include: Lawrence (Larry) Fagin, Stan Persky, Robin Blaser, George Stanley, Harold Dull, Joanne Kyger, Jack Spicer, Ronnie Primack, and others. (further reading…)
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.
According to Griffith in SHEAF, HEARSE, COFFIN, POETRY NOW: A HISTORY (Hearse Press, 1996):
“In format, HEARSE was a center-stapled booklet 5.5″ x 8.5″ page size; the wire staples which held the propensity for rusting. The Rhino Bristol cover stock ran through several different colors — blue, gray, green, yellow, and (much later) pink — with the name in black ink. (A few issues varied this by using white cover stock, and a colored ink.) Its appearance owed much to — in fact, almost copied — Larsen’s EXISTARIA.” (more…)