The Floating Bear

THE FLOATING BEAR: A NEWSLETTER, No. 24, edited by Diane di Prima and LeRoi Jones (New York, September-October 1962)

The subtitle “A Newsletter” is the key to The Floating Bear’s chief contribution to literature of the 1960’s; it was a newsletter, a speedy line of communication between experimental poets. Diane di Prima, in the introduction to the reprint edition of Floating Bear, recalls Charles Olson’s tribute to the magazine: “The last time I saw Charles Olson in Gloucester, one of the things he talked about was how valuable the Bear had been to him in its early years because of the fact that he could get new work out that fast. He was very involved in speed, in communication. We got manuscripts from him pretty regularly in the early days of the Bear, and we’d usually get them into the very next issue. That meant that his work, his thoughts, would be in the hands of a few hundred writers within two or three weeks. It was like writing a letter to a bunch of friends.”

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