Poetry News

The Mimeo Revolution Continues with Granary's New Archive from 'A Secret Location'

By Harriet Staff


Granary Books announces an important new title--Archive from “A Secret Location”--and oddly enough, we were just talking about its precursor the other day, recalling it as a necessary read for those interested in the history of the small-press movement, mimeograph revolution, and poetry in the mid-twentieth cent. That one would be A Secret Location on the Lower East Side, "the acclaimed New York Public Library exhibition and catalog from 1998, curated by Steve Clay and Rodney Phillips, which documented a period of intense innovation and experimentation in American writing and literary publishing." As for the present collection:

[It] came into being after the owner "became obsessed with the secretive nature of the works contained in the exhibition's catalog." Using the book as a guide, he assembled a singular library that contains many of the rare and fragile little magazines featured in the NYPL exhibition while adding important ancillary material, much of it from a West Coast perspective.


The Archive from "A Secret Location" was collected by a reclusive New Jersey inventor and offers a rare glimpse into the diversity of poetic doings and material production that is the Small Press Revolution. It provides a rich gathering for framing an understanding of the various drifts, swirls, and eruptions in the poetry and art firmament of the era, including: Beat Generation, Counterculture, New York School, Venice West, San Francisco Renaissance, Wichita Vortex, Black Mountain, Mavericks, Hippies, Diggers, and related iterations that inform, incite, and inspire one another and the culture at large in ways we are only now beginning to fully grasp. The collection includes excellent runs and significant examples of important little mags including:

Angel Hair, Beatitude, Big Table, Black Mountain Review, C, Caterpillar, Fuck You, Gnaoua, Grist, The Hasty Papers, Insect Trust Gazette, J, Kulchur, Locus Solus, Matter, Measure, Miscellaneous Man, Merlin, Mother, Now, Open Space, The Outsider, Pacific Nation, Poems from the Floating World, Renaissance, San Francisco Earthquake, Set, Some/thing, Tree, Trobar, Whe're/, and Yugen.

Additionally, the collection includes a representative sampling of sixties West Coast counterculture publications, including: The San Francisco Oracle, The Southern California Oracle, Communications Company (the publishing arm of the Diggers); items relating to the explosive San Francisco music scene including a collection of handbills and postcards from Family Dog and others; newspapers and magazines of radical politics such as The Berkeley Barb, Ramparts, The Realist; uncommon pre-zine self-published journals of offbeat commentary such as Horseshit and Jack Green's Newspaper; and a wide assortment of pamphlets, magazines and diverse additional obscure and rarely seen publications from the period.

Selected highlights from the collection can be found here. There are some incredible images. Above, randomly, is The Outsider:

The Outsider, no. 1. 1961.
Jon Edgar Webb, ed.
[Collection includes complete run, nos. 1–4/5]
[Ref SL pp. 90, 250]

Loujon Press began in 1961 with The Outsider, no. 1, printed and published in the French Quarter of New Orleans. From the beginning, the magazine was as notable for its wide-ranging editorial sweep of new prose and poetry as for the amazing production values brought to bear, which included various paper stocks, multiple colors, hand-printing and hand-binding. The first issue has more than 50 contributors; Louise “Gypsy Lou” Webb was associate editor, and advisory editors included: Marvin Bell, Margaret Randall, Jory Sherman, Edwin Morgan, Melville Hardiment, Sinclair Beiles, with Walter Lowenfels as consultant.

No. 2 introduced a Jazz Documentary feature honoring the last of the old-time musicians playing traditional New Orleans live jazz. In no. 3, Charles Bukowski is named “Outsider of the Year.” No. 4/5, the final issue, pays homage to Kenneth Patchen. In addition to the magazine, Loujon published limited-edition books by Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski.

The collection description and more information on Archive from “A Secret Location”: Small Press / Mimeograph Revolution, 1940s–1970s is at Granary Books.

Originally Published: May 21st, 2013