Browse Exhibits (2 total)

Little Magazines

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"Little magazines" are vital lifelines for readers and writers of poetry: these indie literary journals publish new voices, allow editors to develop and champion their aesthetic vision, and supply a steady stream of new work to interested readers. The production of little magazines exploded in the mimeo revolution of the mid-twentieth century, as many Beats and New York School poets turned to DIY publication in the face of literary gatekeeping and occasional outright censorship. The kitchen-table magazines of this era were historically important but physically fragile: frequently bound only with staples, most were made to circulate quickly, and few have survived the ensuing decades intact. The Poetry Center has collected little magazines throughout our 60-year history with an eye toward preserving these ephemeral productions for future research. Here we present a sampling of infrequently seen little magazines from our collections. 

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Angel Hair

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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.

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