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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade

  • [+] More Collecting - The Object is Exorcism 


    Collecting - The Object is Exorcism
    Published since 07 Dec 2015

    The first and last issue of one of the most important little magazines of the sixties, edited and published by Ira Cohen from Tangiers. In Cohen's brief editorial statement he notes that the magazine is named for the ecstatic dancing and possession trances of the North African sect of the same name, and concludes that "The object is exorcism."

  • [+] More The Mimeo Revolution - Secret Location on the Upper East Side 


    The Mimeo Revolution - Secret Location on the Upper East Side
    Published since 02 Sep 2015

    As much as I hate to admit it, Kulchur is one of the great magazines of the Mimeo Revolution.  The mag irks because it proves false my notion that good funding translates into a bad mag.  On the contrary, Kulchur is great precisely because it is well-funded.  It just looks money in terms of design (even if Lita Hornick did not get her money’s worth with the printers) and the contents are a wealth of information on the New York art scene in all its facets from film, art, literature, and theater.  Hornick got great reviews and chronicles from great writers because she paid for them.  In this case, she got her money’s worth.

  • [+] More Collecting - The Clark Nova Express: Horror Fanzines, the Mimeo Revolution and William Burroughs 


    Collecting - The Clark Nova Express: Horror Fanzines, the Mimeo Revolution and William Burroughs
    Published since 16 Jul 2015

    One of the perks about working on Reality Studio is the opportunity to get in contact with some very interesting people. Johnny Strike, Gary-Lee Nova, Jim and Roy Pennington. All have amazing stories and fantastic tales to tell. And then there is Graham Rae - a polarizing figure for some as a look back at old forum posts proves. Yet all polarizing figures have one thing in common: energy. Graham has chutzpah in spades. I am firmly in Graham’s camp because I recognize and admire a follow obsessive. He wears his passions on his sleeve and his enthusiasm is contagious. In addition, he consistently brings interesting items to the Big Table, or Reality Studio, as the case may be.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Book is the Weapon 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Book is the Weapon
    Published since 07 Jul 2015

    I've often been told that the pen (and by extension, the book) is mightier than the sword. But what if the book is the sword? Uwe Wandrey's Kampfreime is a collection of rhymed chants meant for use during the German Student Movement. As far as my research can tell, it is also the first book to be designed as a weapon, and as such is a landmark in book design.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Erik Kiviat, William Wantling and the Ecosystem of the Mimeo Revolution 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Erik Kiviat, William Wantling and the Ecosystem of the Mimeo Revolution
    Published since 19 Nov 2014

    An example of bare bones mimeo, Head First struck me as presenting Wantling in his natural habitat; for Wantling, like Blazek and Bukowski, is the epitome of a Mimeo Revolution poet.  Yet strangely, none of Kiviat’s mags are featured in Secret Location.  Neither is Blazek’s Ole nor Bukowski’s Laugh Literary.  See a pattern here?  It is high time to build on and tear down the foundations of Clay and Phillips’ classic text.  Documenting Midwest and blue collar mimeo would be a good start.  A couple of posts down the line will complicate Wantling’s image as a mimeo outlaw a little bit, but the Mimeo Revolution is all about myth and perception, so I think it is safe to say here that Wantling is most commonly viewed as an outlaw poet, who made his home in the land of the Gestetner.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Grey Fox in the Chicken Barn 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Grey Fox in the Chicken Barn
    Published since 25 Sep 2014

    I have never been able to fully embrace the work of Lew Welch.  He has been suggested to me numerous times over the years as a poet whose work I would enjoy, and thus I dutifully track down a copy of Ring of Bone or more recently his potluck How I Work As A Poet.  And each time I come to the conclusion that he is not for me.  That said, I greatly enjoy coming across anything by Donald Allen's Grey Fox Press, which kept Welch before a reading public after Welch walked away from poetry in 1971 never to be seen again.  If not for Allen's efforts, Welch might very well have disappeared without a trace altogether.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Sinking Bear 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Sinking Bear
    Published since 24 Jun 2014

    For the small group of Mimeo Revolution obsessives, nothing is more hyped and spoken of in hushed tones than Sinking Bear.  And what a special form of hype.  What an appropriate form of hype!!  It is the hype of word of mouth, of rumor.  Of gossip.  Like a band that nobody has actually seen play live, Sinking Bear for decades had never been read cover to cover.  Nobody had even seen it.  The hype stems in part from reading Reva Wolf’s book on Warhol.  She actually read an issue or two of Sinking Bear and was one of the few to consider the mag seriously.  Except for maybe Diane Di Prima who wrote about Sinking Bear in her Recollections, which only added to the legend.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Divers Press: Founded in Translation 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Divers Press: Founded in Translation
    Published since 08 May 2014

    Proensa, Paul Blackburn’s translations of the Provencal poets, was the first publication realized by Robert and Ann Creeley’s The Divers Press. Earlier in 1953, Creeley abandoned Roebuck Press, a publishing venture with fellow Mallorca expat, Martin Seymour Smith, due to a disagreement in just what writers that Press should give voice to. Smith wanted to publish his mother, which Roebuck in fact did. Creeley wanted to publish his friends. Creeley: “I was just determined to publish Americans of my own interests. I was far more idealistic than Martin.” Poets such as Blackburn spoke in a language that Creeley could understand and enjoy. Creeley felt Blackburn’s work was the ideal choice for Divers Press’s first statement to the world.

  • [+] More The Summer of Love - Magazine as Seismograph 


    The Summer of Love - Magazine as Seismograph
    Published since 30 Jan 2014

    It is fitting that the first issue of San Francisco Earthquake was published in the fall of 1967 as it is a product of the hangover after the Summer of Love.  That Summer was largely a media fabrication and the Earthquake through its five issues is a Burroughsian attack on Time-Life media and a potent example of Fluxus and Situationist detournment.  But let’s be honest, even the mainstream media reported that the flower in the hair of wannabe hippies had wilted by 1967.  For example, Joan Didion’s articles on Lifestyles in the Golden Land had been appearing in the Saturday Evening Post as early as 1965.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Irritable Tribe of Poets 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Irritable Tribe of Poets
    Published since 26 Nov 2013
    Only three issues of Theo were published, but it still took me a couple of years to track down a complete set. I'd been fascinated by the magazine ever since I first ran across a copy of number 2, which has a rather unique design; the covers are stapled off center, so that the fore edge is layered; the front wrap ends before the first leaf, so that the name of each contributor is visible, and the rear wrap extends past the text block.
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