Adventures in Poetry – Larry Fagin (1968–1975)


Adventures in Poetry 1 (March 1968).

“The title derives from a children’s textbook, Adventures in Reading. I was trying for a kind of funky elegance like 0 to 9, a little fancier than ‘C’ or Lines. A typical issue was 300–350 copies, consuming thirty reams of 24# mimeograph paper, run through the Gestetner machine of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church. Most numbers were as thick as possible—as many as fifty doublesided pages. I purchased a state-of-the-art Novus stapler from Germany that cut through an issue like it was butter, a very satisfying sensation. After the final editing, typing, proofing, correcting, and mimeographing, a bunch of us would set up long tables in the Parish Hall, often after a reading, and collate and staple late into the night. Working at the Project and attending hundreds of readings over the years was a big advantage. If I heard something I especially liked at a reading, I would rush to the podium and claim the manuscript for Adventures. I was rarely refused. Editing was a good way to make friends (and, hopefully, not many enemies). I loved what Joe Ceravolo was writing then, as well as poems by Ron Padgett, Ted Berrigan, Dick Gallup, Tony Towle, et al.—the second-generation New York School crowd. But older poets contributed, too, and work from the West Coast, Chicago, and London was solicited. Adventures avoided the grab bag mode of publishing one or two pieces each from many contributors. Often, several poets were featured with up to a dozen poems each. One number was entirely devoted to three writers. There was an all-prose issue. Number 10 was the ‘anonymous’ issue—no authors were credited; not even the name of the magazine appeared; the covers were pornographic comic strips. I couldn’t pay the authors or cover artists, though once I commissioned Dick Gallup, who was in a slump, at $5 per poem, and he came up with his wonderful ‘Charged Particles’ and several other beauties. Few legitimate publishers were taking on the kind of writing I like, so in 1970 Adventures published its first pamphlet, Tom Veitch’s My Father’s Golden Eye. Books by John Ashbery, John Godfrey, Clark Coolidge, and John Giorno soon followed. Writers who were completely off the radar screen—Steve Malmude, Richard Snow, Richard Elliott, Jamie MacInnis, Curtis Faville, Rebecca Brown—and painters Joseph White and Jennifer Bartlett made their debuts with Adventures pamphlets. …”
from a secret location
W – Larry Fagin


James Schuyler, A Sun Cab (1972). Cover and drawings by Fairfield Porter.

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Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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