Tag Archives: Richard Brautigan

Carl Larsen – Contributions to Books and Anthologies

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SECTION B:
This index includes 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, Contributors include Martin Hoberman, Carl Larsen, Richard Brautigan, and James M. Singer. Brautigan’s first book appearance.

2. 3 ONE ACT PLAYS, edited by Chris Torrance
Torrance: Hors Commerce Press, July 1964
First edition, Side-stapled sheets in printed cover with library-tape binding, 8.5″ x 11″, 150 numbered copies. Contributors include Kirby Congdon, Carl Larsen, d.a. levy. (Lowell A9)


3. IN A TIME OF REVOLUTION: POEMS FROM OUR THIRD WORLD, edited by Walter Lowenfels
New York: Vinatage Books, 1969
First edition, paperback original. Contributiors include: Carol Berge, Paul Blackburn, Grace Butcher, Diane Di Prima, Will Inman, Allen Katzman, Bob Kaufman, Tuli Kupferberg, Carl Larsen, d.a. levy, Clarence Major, David Meltzer, George Montgomery, Margaret Randall, Steven Richmond, Ed Sanders, William Wantling.

R.C. Lion

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.”

further reading…

R.C. Lion

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.”

1. R.C. LION, No. 1, edited by Ron Loewinsohn, David Bromige, Sherril Jaffe, and David Schaff
Berkeley: R.C. Lion, May 1966
First edition, side-stapled printed wrappers, 8.5″ x 11″, 22 pages, mimeograph.

Contributors: Karen Claussen, Sherril Jaffe, Alice Parsons, David Bromige, Martin MacClain, Ron Loewinsohn, David Schaff, Ken McKeon, David Cole, Red Baron.

2. OUR SEA LION, The Magazine That Submerges Periodically, No. 2, edited by  David Bromige, Sherril Jaffe, David Schaff, and Ron Loewinsohn
Berkeley: R.C. Lion, 1966
First edition, side-stapled printed wrappers, 8.5″ x 11″, 54 pages, mimeograph.

Contributors: Anselm Hollo, Richard Brautigan, David Schaff, Jo Marston, Ted Berrigan, David Bromige, Ross Angier, Sherril Jaffe, Bob May, Red Baron, Johannes Amicus, Jim St. Jim, Ron Loewinsohn.

3. R.C. LION, No. 3, edited by David Bromige, Sherril Jaffe, and David Schaff
Berkeley: R.C. Lion, 1967
First edition, side-stapled, illustrated wrappers, 8.5″ x 11″, 60 pages, mimeograph.

Contributors: Fred Wah, David Schaff, David Bromige, Gail Dusenberry, Don Schenker, Ken McKeon, Bob May, Sherril Jaffe, Karen Claussen, Harvey Goldner, Tim Reynolds, Richard Sassoon, Doug Palmer, Scott Smiley, Charla Stark, Phil Sidney, Robert Duncan, Gene Fowler, Martin MacClain.

Foot

Poet Richard Duerden was born in Utah and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He joined the Merchant Marines and the Marine Corps and was educated at the University of California.

A member of the San Francisco Renaissance poetry movement, Duerden founded the literary journals Foot and the Rivoli Review. His books of poetry include The Fork (1965), The Left Hand & The Glory of Her (1967), and The Air’s Nearly Perfect Elasticity (1979). His poetry was anthologized in The New American Poetry, 1945–1960 (1960, edited by Donald Allen). A selection of his manuscripts and correspondence is archived in the Stanford University Libraries and a smaller selection of his correspondence with poet Philip Whalen is archived at the Reed College Library.


Foot, No.1, edited by Richard Duerdan
mags_foot01San Francisco, September 1959
First edition, hand-sewn illustrated wrappers, 6.75″ x 8.5″, 56 pages. Cover illustration by Robert Duncan.

Contributors: Ebbe Borregaard, Richard Brautigan, Jess Collins, Richard Duerden, Robert Duncan, Larry Eigner, Eloise Nixon, Philip Whalen, Gary Snyder.

Foot, No. 2, edited by Richard Duerden and William Brown
mags_foot02San Francisco, 1962
First edition, saddle-stapled illustrated wrappers, 6.75″ x 8.75″, 80 pages. Illustrations by Philip Roeber and Philip Whalen.

Contributors: Philip Whalen, Philip Roeber, Joanne Snyder, Richard Duerden, Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer, Kenneth Rexroth, William Brown, Lew Welch, Leslie Thompson, Jess Collins, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Suzanne Duerden.

Foot, No. 3, edited by Richard Duerden
mags_foot03San Francisco, Spring 1977
First edition, saddle-stapled illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 8.5″, 12 pages. Cover illustration by Robert Duncan.

Contributors: Robert Creeley, Duncan McNaughton, Richard Duerden, John Thorpe, Lawrence Kearney.

Foot, No. 4, edited by Richard Duerden
mags_foot04San Francisco, Summer 1977
First edition, saddle-stapled illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 8.75″, 16 pages. Cover illustration by Terry Bell.

Contributors: Lawrence Kearney, Jerry Ratch, Duncan McNaughton,   Don Cushman, James Koller.

Foot, No. 5, edited by Richard Duerden
mags_foot05San Francisco, Fall 1977
First edition, saddle-stapled illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 8.5″, 12 pages. Cover illustration by Leslie Scalapino.

Contributors: Leslie Scalapino, Richard Duerden, Michael Wolfe, Ron Loewinsohn.

Foot, No. 6, edited by Leslie Scalapino and Richard Duerden
mags_foot06Berkeley, 1978
First edition, perfect bound illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 9″, 40 pages. Cover illustration by Diane Sophia.

Contributors: Diane Sophia, Leslie Scalapino, Larry Kearney, John Thorpe, Philip Whalen, Diane Sophia, Don Cushman, Sherril Jaffe, Michael Davidson, Michael Wolfe, Duncan McNaughton, Robert Duncan, Norman Fischer, Bernadette Mayer, Peter Rabbit, Richard Duerden.

Foot, No. 7, edited by Richard Duerden
mags_foot07Berkeley, 1979
First edition, perfect bound illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 5.5″, 40 pages. Cover illustration by Terry Bell.

Contributors: Lawrence Kearney

Foot, No. 8, edited by Leslie Scalapino and Richard Duerden
mags_foot08Berkeley, 1980
First edition, perfect bound illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 9″, 52 pages.

Contributors: Keith Shein, Leslie Scalapino, Diane Sophia, Norma Smith, Sarah Menefee, Don Cushman, Joanne Kyger, Larry Eigner, Bill Berkson, Bob Grenier, Jackie Cantwell, Ted Pearson, Marc Lecard, Lawrence Kearney, Jeanne Lance, Duncan McNaughton, Michael Wolfe, Carla Harryman.

Beatitude

Beatitudethe quintessential Beat magazine—was “edited & produced on a kick or miss basis by a few hardy types who sneak out of alleys near Grant Avenue—the only responsible party being: John Kelly, publisher….” The magazine was founded in 1958 by Kelly, William J. Margolis, and jazz/surrealist poet Bob Kaufman, who said it “was designed to extol beauty and promote the beatific life among the various mendicants, neo-existentialists, christs, poets, painters, musicians and other inhabitants and observers of North Beach.”

Beatitude was initially printed on a mimeo machine at Pierre Delattre’s Bread and Wine Mission. Contributors included Allen Ginsberg, Lenore Kandel, ruth weiss, Philip Lamantia, Gregory Corso Richard Brautigan, and the editors, among dozens of others. There are 34 issues in the magazine’s first incarnation.

HEARSE, A VEHICLE USED TO CONVEY THE DEAD

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 mags_hearse01first, 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 buk_flowerblack 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…)

Four Seasons Foundation

Donald Merriam Allen (Iowa, 1912 – San Francisco, August 29, 2004) was an influential editor, publisher, and translator of contemporary American literature. He is perhaps best known for his project The New American Poetry 1945-1960 (Grove Press, 1960), a seminal anthology that introduced a revolutionary new generation of postwar poetry that was to change the course of American literature.

In 1960, Allen moved from New York to San Francisco, where he established Grey Fox and the Four Seasons Foundation, two significant literary presses where he continued to publish work from Beat, San Francisco Renaissance, Black Mountain, and New York School writers, as well as younger new voices.  Among the authors he published were Richard Brautigan, Robert Creeley, Edward Dorn, Robert Duncan, Jack Kerouac, Joanne Kyger, Philip Lamantia, Frank O’Hara, Charles Olson, John Rechy, Aaron Shurin, Gary Snyder, Jack Spicer, Lew Welch, and Philip Whalen.


Four Seasons Foundation, A Preliminary Checklist

1. Welch, Lew. STEP OUT ONTO THE PLANET
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation 1963
First edition, broadside, 9.5″ x 12.5″, 300 signed copies, offset printed. Printed for the occasion of a reading at Longshoreman’s Hall, San Francisco, June 12, 1964.

2. Whalen, Philip. THREE MORNINGS
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation 1963
First edition, broadside, 9.5″ x 12.5″, 300 signed copies, offset printed. Printed for the occasion of a reading at Longshoreman’s Hall, San Francisco, June 12, 1964.

3. Snyder, Gary. NANAO KNOWS
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation 1964
First edition, broadside, 9.5″ x 12.5″, 300 signed copies, offset printed. Printed for the occasion of a reading at Longshoreman’s Hall, San Francisco, June 12, 1964.

4. Olson, Charles. A BIBLIOGRAPHY ON AMERICA FOR ED DORN
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation (1964)
First edition, saddle-stapled printed wrappers, 6″ x 8″, 16 pages. Published as Writing 1

5. Dorn, Edward; Rumaker, Michael; Tallman, Warren. PROSE 1
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1964
First edition, saddle-stapled printed wrappers, 36 pages. Published as Writing 2

6. 12 POETS & 1 PAINTER
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1964
First edition, saddle-stapled printed and illustrated wrappers, 32 pages. Contributors include: LeRoi Jones, Joanne Kyger, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Duncan, Gary Snyder, Lew Welch, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Olson, Max Finstein, Bruce Boyd. Illustrated by Jess Collins. Published as Writing 3

7. Loewinsohn, Ron. AGAINST THE SILENCES TO COME
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1965
— a. First edition, stapled wrappers, 7.75″ x 9.75″, 16 pages, 1000 copies.
— b. First edition, stapled wrappers, 7.75″ x 9.75″, 16 pages, 26 lettered and signed copies.
Published as Writing 4

8. Kyger, Joanne. THE TAPESTRY AND THE WEB
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1965
— a. First edition, paperback, 61 pages
— b. First edition, hardcover, 61 pages
Published as Writing 5

9. Olson, Charles. PROPRIOCEPTION
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1965
First edition, saddle-stapled wrappers, 18 pages. Published as Writing 6

10. Snyder, Gary. RIPRAP & COLD MOUNTAIN POEMS
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1965
First edition, stapled wrappers, 7.75″ x 9.75″, 50 pages. Published as Writing 7

11. Welch, Lew. HERMIT POEMS
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1965
— a. First edition, saddle-stapled wrappers, 16 pages, 974 copies.
— b. First edition, saddle-stapled wrappers, 16 pages, 26 numbered and signed copies.
Published as Writing 8

Snyder, Gary. SIX SECTIONS FROM MOUNTAINS AND RIVERS WITHOUT END
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1965
stapled wrappers, 42 pages, 1000 copies. Published as Writing 9

Koller, James. THE DOGS & OTHER DARK WOODS
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1966
— a. stapled wrappers, 33 pages, 1000 copies
— b. hardcover, 33 pages, 26 copies, numbered signed
Published as Writing 10

McClure, Michael. LOVE LION BOOK
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1966
— a. stapled wrappers, 24 pages, 1000 copies
— b. hardcover, 24 pages, 40 copies, numbered, signed
Published as Writing 11

Olson, Charles. STOCKING CAP: A STORY
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1966
stapled wrappers, 15 pages
Published as Writing 13

Olson, Charles. IN COLD HELL, IN THICKET
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1967
[Published as Writing 12 ?]

Brautigan, Richard. TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1967
paperback
Published as Writing 14

Hadley, Drummond. THE WEBBING
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1967
stapled wrappers, 52 pages, 500 copies
Published as Writing 15

McClure, Michael. THE SERMONS OF JEAN HARLOW & THE CURSES OF BILLY THE KID
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation with Dave Haselwood Books, 1968
— a. First edition, saddle-stapled printed wrappers, 1200 copies, letterpress printed. Printed by Dave Haselwood.
— b. First edition, hardcover, 50 numbered and signed copies, letterpress printed. Printed by Dave Haselwood.
[Published as Writing 12 ?]

Olson, Charles. CAUSAL MYTHOLOGY
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1969
— a. paperback, 40 pages
— b. hardcover, 40 pages
Published as Writing 16

Blaser, Robin. CUPS
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1968
— a. First edition, saddle-stapled printed wrappers, 24 pages, 1000 copies, letterpress printed. Printed by Graham Mackintosh.
— b. First edition, hardcover, 24 pages, 40 numbered and signed copies, letterpress printed. Printed by Graham Mackintosh.
Published as Writing 17

McClure, Michael. GHOST TANTRAS
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1969
paperback. [Published as Writing 18 ?]

Upton, Charles. TIME RAID
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1969
stapled wrappers, 30 pages
Published as Writing 19

Brautigan, Richard. THE PILL VERSUS THE SPRINGHILL MINE DISASTER
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1968
— a. First edition, perfect-bound photo-illustrated wrappers, 108 pages.
— b. First edition, hardcover, 108 pages, 50 numbered and signed copies.
Published as Writing 20

Brautigan, Richard. IN WATERMELON SUGAR
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1968
— a. First edition, perfect-bound photo-illustrated wrappers, 5.25″ x 8″, 138 pages.
— b. First edition, hardcover, 138 pages, 50 numbered and signed copies.
Published as Writing 21

Creeley, Robert. A Quick Graph: Collected Notes & Essays
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1969
— a. First edition, perfect-bound photo-illustrated wrappers, 365 pages, 1000 copies
— b. hardcover, 365 pages
— c. hardcover in dust jacket, 365 pages
Published as Writing 22.

Creeley, Robert. THE CHARM: EARLY AND UNCOLLECTED POEMS
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1969
— a. First edition, perfect-bound photo-illustrated wrappers, 97 pages
— b. First edition, hardcover, 97 pages
— c. First edition, hardcover, 97 pages, 100 numbered and signed copies,
Published as Writing 23

Whalen, Philip. SEVERANCE PAY
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1970
— a. paperback, 51 pages
— b. paperback, 51 pages, 50 copies, numbered, signed
Published as Writing 24

Lamantia , Philip. THE BLOOD OF THE AIR
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1970
— a. paperback, 45 pages
— b. hardcover, 45 pages, 50 copies, numbered, signed
Published as Writing 25

Millward, Pamela. MOTHER: A NOVEL OF REVOLUTION
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1970
paperback, 57 pages
Published as Writing 26

Olson, Charles. POETRY AND TRUTH: THE BELOIT LECTURES
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1971
— a. paperback, 75 pages
— b. hardcover, 75 pages
Published as Writing 27

Schaff, David. THE MOON BY DAY
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1971
paperback, 114 pages
Published as Writing 28

Herd, Dale. EARLY MORNING WIND AND OTHER STORIES
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation, 1972
paperback
Published as Writing 29

Snyder, Gary. MANZANITA
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1972
paperback

Creeley, Robert. CONTEXTS OF POETRY: INTERVIEWS 1961-1971
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation, 1973
First edition, perfect-bound photo-illustrated wrappers, 214 pages.
Published as Writing 30

Conze, Edward. THE PERFECTION OF WISDOM IN EIGHT THOUSAND LINES AND ITS VERSE SUMMARY
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation 1973
Published as Wheel Series, 1

Olson, Charles. ADDITIONAL PROSE: A BIBLIOGRAPHY ON AMERICA, PROPRIOCEPTION, & OTHER NOTES & ESSAYS
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation, 1974
— a. paperback, 109 pages
— b. hardcover, 109 pages
Published as Writing 31

Lamantia, Philip. TOUCH OF THE MARVELOUS
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation, 1974
— a. paperback, 47 pages
— b. hardcover, 47 pages
Published as Writing 32

Whalen, Philip. THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS: POEMS 1969-1974
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation, 1976
paperback, 57 pages
Published as Writing 33

Dorn, Edward. THE COLLECTED POEMS 1956-1974
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation, 1975
— a. paperback, 277 pages
— b. hardcover, 277 pages
Published as Writing 34

Olson, Charles. MUTHOLOGOS; COLLECTED LETTERS & INTERVIEWS 
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation, 1979
— a. paperback, 230 pages, 2 volumes
— b. hardcover, 230 pages, 2 volumes
Published as Writing 35

Olson, Charles. THE FIERY HUNT AND OTHER PLAYS
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation, 1977
paperback, 125 pages
Published as Writing 36

Whalen, Philip. OFF THE WALL: INTERVIEWS WITH PHILIP WHALEN
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation, 1978
paperback, 88 pages
Published as Writing 37

Dorn, Edward. INTERVIEWS
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation, 1980
paperback, 117 pages
Published as Writing 38

Creeley, Robert. WAS THAT A REAL POEM & OTHER ESSAYS
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation 1979
— a. paperback, 149 pages
— b. hardcover, 149 pages
Published as Writing 39

Dorn, Edward. VIEWS
Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation, 1980
— a. paperback, 142 pages
— b. hardcover, 142 pages
Published as Writing 40

Gluck, Robert. ELEMENTS OF A COFFEE SERVICE
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1982
paperback, 97 pages
Published as Writing 41

Whalen, Philip. HEAVY BREATHING: POEMS 1967-1980
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1983
paperback, 207 pages
Published as Writing 42

Shurin, Aaron. THE GRACES
San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1983
paperback, 72 pages
Published as Writing 42


References consulted:

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

Hawley, Bob. CHECKLISTS OF SEPARATE PUBLICATIONS OF POETS AT THE FIRST BERKELEY POETRY CONFERENCE 1965
Berkeley: Oyez/Cody’s, 1965

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

 

White Rabbit Press

IMG_3062From 1957-1968, the White Rabbit Press published sixty-three books and ten broadsides. It was the primary publisher of the work of Spicer, Robin Blaser, and Robert Duncan—the three central figures of the literary movement first known as the Berkeley Renaissance, and later as the San Francisco Renaissance. 

Founded by Joe Dunn in 1957 to print the poetry of the Jack Spicer Circle, the first ten books were printed surreptitiously on a multilith at the Greyhound Bus offices on 7th street in San Francisco. These early books were illustrated by Jess, Robert Duncan, and Kenn Davis.

After a four-year hiatus, the imprint was revived in 1962 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.  (more…)

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.