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Between the Covers

The Mimeograph Revolution

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A few years ago we purchased a collection that contained a sizable number of mimeograph and literary magazines. We naturally did what any good bookseller would do. We pulled out the books and ignored the rest. Well, that's a bit of an overstatement. Certainly a few of the magazines were cataloged but most were placed on shelves to be taken care of at a later time. That time came when I showed some interest and was promoted to "Head of the Mimeos." (Don't be too impressed, in the last week alone I've been promoted to "Head of Wrestling Photos," "Head of Reference Guides" and, my favorite, "Head of Children's Books About Ducks.")

I immediately took to the mimeographs and the closely related literary magazines, first for their anything-goes aesthetic, but also because of the genuine sense of discovery they stirred. Many of these magazines and their contents have yet to be fully documented. They contain little-known first published appearances, overlooked poems and stories, and covers both achingly beautiful and wonderfully wretched.

The do-it-yourself nature of mimeographs meant they could be produced by anyone, anywhere with varying levels of sophistication, from a professional-looking magazine with established writers to a cheaply produced booklet filled with contributions from the aspiring and unpublished. What's more, many of these mimeos are next to impossible to find, with print runs that exist in the low hundreds, making complete sets next to impossible to assemble.

For the sake of this catalog the mimeos and literary magazines are divided into three periods for easier reference. The dates below may seem arbitrary, but I believe movements have a way of defining themselves. They are:
. 1929 – 1957: Starting with Ivor Winters' The Gyroscope at Stanford.
. 1958 – 1970: Beginning with the publication of both Yugen and the suppressed issue of the Chicago Review (later reprinted as Big Table #1).
. 1971 – 1985: Following the deaths of Jack Kerouac and Charles Olson less than three months apart.

Finally, it's important to note that these magazines can be frustrating to catalog thoroughly because they often featured dozens of contributors. The usual method involves listing a few of the most popular writers then placing "and many others" after the last name on the list. This catalog follows that time-honored practice for the sake of space (and boredom) but our website description for each item includes a complete list of all contributors no matter how obscure or how numerous, with only a few exceptions. So if you're looking for that poem your friend claims to have "published" in college, you would do well to search their name on our website.

- Matt Histand

View Catalog 164 as a PDF (5.62MB)

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Catalog 164

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(AUDEN, W.H., P.L. Travers, Sam Abrams, Rachel Hadas, John...

The Island 2

Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Island March 1966. Magazine. 27pp. Stapled wrappers. Final two leaves loose and a bit of tanning, near fine. A literary magazine with contributions from...

Cover Image: Genesis West -- Vol. 1 No. 1 by (BATESON, F.W., Dudley Fitts, Stanley Kunitz, Denise Levertov, Kenneth Rexroth, Theodore Roethke, Muriel Rukeyser, Stephen Spender, Grace Paley, Curtis Zahn, Charles Wuorinen, Paul Bowles, Cid Corman, George Cuomo, George P. Elliott, James T. Farrell, Raymond Federman, Rolfe Humphries, Frederick Rebsamen, Mark Harris, T. Mike Walker, La Monte Young, Ruth Bernhard, Beth Van Hoesen, and Carla Lopez) LISH, Gordon, edited by

$300.00

(BATESON, F.W., Dudley Fitts, Stanley Kunitz, Denise...

Genesis West -- Vol. 1 No. 1

Burlington, California: The Chrysalis West Foundation Fall 1962. Magazine. Octavo. 94pp. Fine in illustrated wrappers with a sunned spine. An avant-garde magazine founded and edited by Lish in 1961.... more>>

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(BECKETT, Samuel, Christopher Ramsden, John Fletcher, Jon...

New Durham

Consett [County Durham]: Ramsden Williams Publications [June 1965]. Magazine. Cover by Elizabeth Mew. Small quarto. 24pp. Stapled stiff glossy wraps. Some bumping to the corners and wear along the...

Cover Image: New Departures 1 by (BECKETT, Samuel, William Burroughs, Piero Heliczer, John McGrath, J.B. Spink, Charles Hamblett, Stevie Smith, Kurt Schwitters, Stefan Themerson, John Fuller, Bernard Kops, Cornelius Cardew, Victor Pasmore, Alan Brownjohn, Dennis Keene, Peter Ferguson, Philip O'Connor, and Anna Lovell.) HOROVITZ, Michael and David Sladen, edited by

$65.00

(BECKETT, Samuel, William Burroughs, Piero Heliczer, John...

New Departures 1

Oxford, England: New Departures Summer 1959. Magazine. Quarto. 98pp. Rubbed wrappers with bumped corners, chipping to the spine and a scrape on rear, very good. Contributions from... more>>

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(BERKSON, Bill and Charles Olson) JONES, LeRoi [Amiri...

The Floating Bear #7

New York: [LeRoi Jones / Diane Di Prima May] 1961. Magazine. (12)pp. Single sheets printed both sides and secured with a staple. Fine. An influential mimeograph published by Jones and...

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(BERRIGAN, Ted, Allen Ginsberg, Ron Padgett, Harry...

Bugger: An Anthology of Anal Erotic, Pound Cake Cornhole, Arse-Freak, & Dreck Poems

New York: The Fuck You Press 1964. First edition. Quarto. 19pp. Stapled mimeographed wrappers. A touch of wear at the extremities, near fine. The anthology of...

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(BLASER, Robin, Robert Creeley, Richard Duerden, Robert...

Checklist of Separate Publications of Poets at the First Berkeley Poetry Conference 1965

Berkeley: Cody's Books / [Oyez Press] 1965. First edition. Stapled printed wrappers. Fine. One of 500 copies. An anonymous free pamphlet from Oyez Press published for the First...

Cover Image: Crazy Horse 2 by (BLY, Robert, Don Gordon, Christopher Lyons, Curtis Zahn, Richard Lyons, Stanley Schwartz, and Aude Howard)

$50.00

(BLY, Robert, Don Gordon, Christopher Lyons, Curtis Zahn,...

Crazy Horse 2

New York: Mandrill Press [1962]. Magazine. Octavo. 36pp. Rubbed and toned wraps with some waviness, presumably from water exposure, and with some writing on the front... more>>

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(BRECHT, George, Claus Bremer, Earle Brown, Joseph Bryd,...

An Anthology of Chance Operations Picture Album

New York: Heiner Friedrich 1970. Second edition. Oblong octavo. Printed glossy red wrappers. A bit of rubbing, else very good or better with all inclusions. One of...

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(BRUCE, George, David Daiches, Cedric Thorpe Davie, Duncan...

Jabberwock -- Volume IV, Number 1

Edinburgh, Scotland: University of Edinburgh Renaissance Society 1959. Magazine. Octavo. 48pp. Stapled wraps. Remnants of a price sticker on the front wrap, else fine. Literary magazine published by the...

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