22 November 2011


Jed Birmingham and Kyle Schlesinger have brilliantly edited Mimeo Mimeo since 2008, "a forum for critical and cultural perspectives on artists' books, typography and the mimeo revolution," and it's fast becoming the forum for research and critical thought around small press activity in the poetry world. Issue #5 is just out and chock-full of all kinds of interesting material, beginning with a "lost and found" essay on mimeo culture by the great Paul Blackburn, followed by an essential interview with Lyn Heijian about her seminal poetry press, Tuumba (Kyle and I conducted this interview at Buffalo back in 2006, though the transcript proves that I simply listened as Kyle carried the conversation!). And then, James D. Sullivan on Edward Budowski's "The Gallery Upstairs" (Budowski was owner of the Student Book Shop, just across the street from SUNY Buffalo's South Campus, and editor of Fubbalo, a critical figure in Buffalo poetry in the late sixties who seemingly disappeared from collective memory after his untimely death in 1971), Steve Clay on Robert Creeley's library (Buzz Spector's cover photograph features "Creeley's Creeleys"!), an interview with Larry Fagin, and much, much more.

My favorite piece in this issue, however, is Stephanie Anderson's comprehensive article on Alice Notley's CHICAGO Magazine, which I knew next to nothing about beforehand. The real revelation for me is George Schneeman's incredible work on the covers:

Future Mimeo's include a special number on Lewis Warsh and "The Curator's Choice Issue," in which special collection curators (including David Abel, Mike Basinski, Nancy Kuhl, and others) write about their favorite items in their collections.

I read all of issue #5 in one sitting the moment I pulled it out of the mailer (no hyperbole, this is the real deal!). Mimeo Mimeo is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of small press poetry. Pick it up here, and take a look at the Mimeo Mimeo blog for additional reading!


  1. exactly, and I was telling Kyle S. that what I really enjoy about MM is how readable it is, that page turner/ one sitting quality, it's like our very own "glossy," wouldn't be out of place in the dentist's office next to People or Newsweek (yes it would, but you get the point)...I'm on the bandwagon.

  2. Yeah, yeah. For real. I once had the idea to do a gossip rag for the poetry community, but this is so much better! It certainly prioritizes (and historicizes) the _social_ work that actually lubricates the machinery of the poetry community (what keeps the work coming!), but it does so while treating the smallest of the small press seriously as having real cultural capital (while avoiding the trappings of more "academic" journals). It would be difficult to capture the urgent and immediate necessity for magazines like TRY! and Both Both and WITH + STAND outside of the immediate context of the Bay Area poetry community 20 years later, but this is precisely the project of Mimeo Mimeo as I see it: to recontextualize the conditions of labor and production as a crucial supplement to the reception of the work itself.