Bean Spasms – Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, Joe Brainard (1967)


“For over twenty years, Steve Clay’s Granary Books has brought together writers, artists, and bookmakers to investigate poetic and visual relations in the time-honored spirit of independent publishing. Granary’s mission—to produce, promote, document, and theorize new works exploring the intersection of word, image, and page—has earned the publisher a reputation as one of the most unique and significant small publishers operating today. Archivist, author, curator, and publisher Steve Clay has written:  The first item that I identify as a Granary Books publication was actually published by Origin Books in 1986—Wee Lorine Niedecker by Jonathan Williams. It embodies several elements that remain important to me now, some fifteen years later, among which is an acute awareness of the ‘book’ as a physical object. I write this in quotes because the work in question is not a book per se but presents a short poem by Mr. Williams, printed on a small piece of card stock contained within a printed envelope which is enclosed within yet another printed envelope. As such, its references include Williams’ own Jargon Society (‘the custodian of snowflakes’), a press which made ample use of a diverse array of publishing formats including folding cards, broadsides, postcards, pamphlets, and books. The Jargon Society was one of two or three publishers which loomed behind the emerald curtain at the fore edge of my imagination as possible exemplars for an entity which had not yet been conceived. Today, I’m especially thankful that Granary has reprinted Bean Spasms by Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, and Joe Brainard. I’ve searched used bookstores for years in hope of finding an affordable first edition with no luck. Granary’s reprint has the potential to bring a whole new audience to this significant New York School collaboration. Here’s the description from Granary’s website.  …  I’ll write a proper review when my copy arrives.”
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