Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Stephen Sturgeon
Dear Editor,

In their introduction to the Jack Spicer portfolio in the July/August 2008 issue of Poetry, Peter Gizzi and Kevin Killian write that none of Spicer's work in the issue has been previously published. In 2004, Ben Mazer edited a feature titled "The Berkeley Renaissance" for Fulcrum: an annual of poetry and aesthetics (issue three) which included the first printing of Spicer's "Imagine Lucifer...," a poem which appears in Poetry's Spicer portfolio. Ron Silliman has observed that the Massachusetts Review and Harper's have recently neglected to acknowledge the Poker as the journal which first printed another of Spicer's poems, "The city of Boston...," in 2005.

Much gratitude is due to Gizzi and Killian for their admirable devotion to Spicer's work over the past several years, and due as well to the publications that have lately helped bring it to wider attention. Ben Mazer (whose "The Berkeley Renaissance" also contained an assiduous history of the era; Landis Everson's first print appearance in forty-two years; four forgotten poems Spicer published when he was in high school, accompanied by his forgotten essay of 1948 on D.H. Lawrence that was originally published in Occident; and dozens of pages of letters by Spicer, Robert Duncan, Mary Fabilli, Everson, and Charles Olson) and other editors who have contributed significantly to Spicer scholarship are owed their own credit.

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Originally Published: October 23, 2008

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This prose originally appeared in the October 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2008
 Stephen  Sturgeon


Stephen Sturgeon is the author of Trees of the Twentieth Century (Dark Sky Books, 2011).

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