Grist – John Fowler (1964–67)

Grist 2 (Spring 1964). Cover by Lee Payton.

John Fowler, editor and publisher of Grist magazine, came to Lawrence, Kansas, from southern Missouri in the early 1960s. He settled with his wife, Bernice, and two young sons. He soon opened a tiny bookstore, Abington Books, just off the University of Kansas campus atop Mount Oread. His store was next to a barber shop and bookended in the neighborhood by two bars, the Gaslight and the Rockchalk, which are infamous in Lawrence mid-century lore. The bookshop soon became a meeting place for activists and literary types … academic and from the street. The store was stocked with the literature of the day … City Lights books and little magazines and alternative newspapers from across the states as well as tobacco products and various smoking accessories of the day … zigzag papers for sure. In 1964 he published the first issue of Grist and it was Number 2. He told me later that if the mag ever became famous he would print Grist #1 and sell it for a lot of money. That never happened. He did go on to publish twelve issues as Grist 2 thru 14 (there was no 13 either) that ran from 1964 thru 1967. The first five issues (#s 2–6) were true mimeograph print with construction paper covers. A long editorial opened issue #2 (Spring 1964) and claimed, among other things: ‘ … this magazine will offend and we will not defend it … ‘ and went on with a call for public support of all art and artists. Contributors to #2 were, for the most part, friends of Fowler’s from back in Missouri or KU students. Issue #3 (October 1964) shows the influence of NYC left-wing poet David Ignatow, who was a visiting writer at KU. He brought various friends to perform in Lawrence, including the Fugs (Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg—both became regular contributors to Grist), Jackson Mac Low, and David Antin. Issue #3 contained work by Carol Bergé, Kupferberg, William Wantling, and Eric Kiviat. …”
from a secret location
JAMES McCRARY: an introduction to the man and his work
The Beats: Many have Kansas roots

Grist 7 (1966). Guest editor, Charles Plymell, assistant editor, Pam Beach. This issue is dedicated to Julius Orlovsky.

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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