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Fug it!

By Harriet Staff

Surf over to npr.org to check out a profile on poet, biographer, rockstar Ed Sanders. He has a new-ish memoir out, Fug You, about his life in New York’s Lower East Side in the 1960s. As NPR reports:

Sanders put out a literary journal with a pretty unprintable title [Fuck You, A Magazine of the Arts]. He hand-cranked it on a now archaic bit of technology called a mimeograph machine.

“I did everything myself,” he says. “I drew all the stencils, I made … what I called glyphs, which were based on Egyptian hieroglyphs, and I carried on a big correspondence with writers to get manuscripts. And it just seemed like turning that handle was a kind of religious experience. I don’t know, it seemed to work. I put out all these magazines that I gave away free.”

He gave them to writers and artists, some of whom would soon gain fame in the underground comic book scene. And he opened the Peace Eye bookstore, near Tompkins Square Park, where he recalls The Fugs drawing crowds of thousands to free concerts.

“The bookstore became pretty famous. It was the stopping off point for all visiting librarians and professors because I had a lot of well-known writers hanging out there — William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg,” Sanders says.

In his memoir, Sanders refers to the Lower East Side as a “little zone of revolution.” He and several other founders of the Yippies lived there, and played key roles in the anti-war movement’s “exorcism” of the Pentagon and the protests at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

Make the jump to read about why Sanders ultimately left NY and where his archive is being “housed.”

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Posted in Poetry News on Thursday, May 10th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.