As San Francisco prepares to celebrate Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s 100th birthday on Sunday, City Lights Books will be the focus of much attention. The little paperback bookshop he launched in 1953 is now so large that it occupies an entire block of storefronts and doubles as a North Beach tourist attraction. This is what the storefront […]
The Acker Awards, now in their sixth year, are a tribute given to members of the avant-garde arts community who have made outstanding contributions in their discipline in defiance of convention, or else served their fellow writers and artists in outstanding ways. The award’s novelist namesake, in her life and work, exemplified the risk-taking and […]
The Rinzai Zen master Ikkyū Sojun (1394-1481) was a poet, musician, artist, and rebel. He led a life of whoring and drinking. “Sex became a transcendental and sacred act,” Malcolm Ritchie writes in an afterword to this chapbook. Ikkyū’s poems —”often erotic, argumentative, contradictory, judgmental, self-doubting, and occasionally shaded with guilt”—are still as startling as the day they were written.
Aaron Shulman’s collective biography of the Spanish Panero family, The Age of Disenchanments—just out from Ecco— has a cast of dramatic characters that is nothing less than stunning. “No one’s ever told their story in English, and only in fragments in Spanish,” Shulman says.
‘Culture, being the broad effect of art, is rotundly irrational and as such is perpetually operating against the economic workaday structure of society. The economic structure works towards stasis centered around static needs. It is centripetal. Culture forces change centered around changing appetites. It is centrifugal.’ — Jeff Nuttall
The artist Tomi Ungerer has died at the age of 87. He was “a lifelong activist who protested against racial segregation, the Vietnam war and the election of US President Donald Trump . . .” Speaking about himself as an artist, Ungerer said, “I have the full respect of a piece of white paper, which I then shall rape with my drawing or my writing. When I draw, it’s the real me.”
“Buckle your seatbelt and fire up your time machine. You are about to blast yourself back nearly fifty years to a simpler time when America was at war, the country was polarized, a crazed and despised president of the United States was in charge, cops were considered racist pigs, cannabis was omnipresent, and young radicals […]
The artist Norman Ogue Mustill was an extreme dissenter. Nothing pleased him more than reaming out the human race. His collages stopped you dead with their vicious satire, like the writings of William S. Burroughs, and for technical precision Max Ernst didn’t do better. But Mustill is little known, his work unseen, his praise unsung. […]
Something was horribly wrong with the full-page ad for an upcoming exhibition about the Auschwitz death camp. It appeared yesterday on Holocaust Remembrance Day. I know the folks behind the ad meant well. But really . . . Auschwitz and the art of advertising are a nauseating mix. Here’s the unthinking kicker which caught my […]
Speaking of small-press publications, we are still waiting for Carl Weissner’s Le Regard d’Autrui to go live in a new posthumous trade edition, as promised. But Amazon KDP has been doggedly screwy. Please pardon the delay. (It is now available.) Meanwhile, Printed Matter, the best place in New York to find artists’ books, has just […]
I don’t know exactly how many chapbooks, folios, broadsides, and poetry cards Cold Turkey Press has published. I never counted. But it must be in the hundreds. All of them—produced in handmade, illustrated, and limited editions—are unique manifestations of their publisher’s mind: scholarly without being academic, exotic but not obscure. They constitute an archive that […]
UPDATE: Jan. 23 — “Le Regard d’Autrui” may now be purchased in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Italy, Japan, France, and Spain. CARL WEISSNER (1940-2012) was the preeminent German translator of dissident writers such as Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, Ken Kesey, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Frank Zappa, and Nelson Algren, having published […]