Angel Hair

“The poets and New York natives Anne Waldman and Lewis Warsh met at the Berkeley Poetry Conference in 1965, while absorbing the Zen-influenced poems of San Francisco-based writer Robert Duncan. This chance encounter begat a romantic and creative partnership that, back across the country in the East Village, lit a spark within the Downtown poetry scene. Lewis remembers: ‘we were going on nerve, all of twenty years old, but trusting in our love, which was less tricky and in the moment defied all uncertainty.’ Angel Hair, the beloved yet short-lived magazine and small press, was, he says, ‘our way of giving birth — as much to the actual magazine and books as to our selves as poets.’  … Anne and Lewis were living at 33 St. Marks’ Place, between Third and Second Avenues in a ‘skinny railroad apartment,’ which, as Lewis notes in one interview, is now a body piercing shop. Their rent was $110 a month. After Angel Hair’s debut, the space was transformed into what Anne describes as a ‘veritable salon’ for the poets, writers, and fellow travelers of the downtown scene. ‘The cranky lady next door,’ she recalls, ‘often called the police as decibels mounted.’ Friend and collaborator Ted Berrigan, who lived on Second Street between Avenues C and D, was a mainstay at these parties. Friends of the Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol were in attendance, and after the night’s festivities subsided, Anne and Lewis would stay up working on Angel Hair until sunrise. After dawn, they might spot their neighbor W.H. Auden out the window, taking his morning constitutional. Anne was recently employed as an assistant at the newly formed arts organization the Poetry Project, located at St. Marks’ Church-in-the-Bowery. (The Project is still alive and well and, as many blog readers may be aware, is Village Preservation’s neighbor at the church’s former rectory). The Wednesday night readings at the Project brought huge spillover crowds into the 33 St. Mark’s apartment. …”
Village Preservation – Angel Hair Press: “A Rush of Poetic Chutzpah” in the East Village
from a secret location
Jacket2: Angel Hair magazine

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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