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Angel Hair Books was the brainchild of poets Anne Waldman and Lewis Warsh, who started the imprint in New York City in the spring of 1966 (when they were both just 20 years old). Angel Hair books and the Angel Hair magazine bear a visible kinship with the great mimeo revolution of the mid-twentieth century: the press’s earliest work was produced on a shoestring budget, animated by the vibrancy of the poetry and illustrations. Waldman and Warsh would go on to become iconic figures of American poetry in their own right, and the books and magazines they published through Angel Hair chart important movements in mid-century and New York School poetry. Between 1966 and 1978, Angel Hair published important works by Bernadette Mayer, Ted Berrigan, Clark Coolidge, Frank O’Hara, and James Schuyler, along with early work by Warsh and Waldman.
The Poetry Center acquired a complete collection of Angel Hair publications in 2020. In this exhibition, we present a selection of works from this astonishing collection, including chapbooks, broadsides, and archival ephemera.