Friday, May 30, 2008

Women of the 70s

HAIR-RAISING was one of the first books published by Kelsey Street Press. In the spirit of the anti-hierarchical times no editor is indicated. The contributors are Laura Beausoleil, Misha Berson, Karen Brodine, Cathy Colman, Patricia Dienstfrey, Sukey Durham, Judy Grahn, Joanna Griffin, Marina LaPalma, Cynthia MacDonald, Susan Maconald, Frances Mayes, Alicia Ostriker, Rena Rosenwasser, Susan Sherman, Margaret Allen Sloan, Roswell Spafford, Denise Taylor, Margaret Teague, Ulrike Birkoff, Rachel Rosenthal, Sylvia Simpson, Hazel Slawson, Barbara Smith and Nancy Buchanan. I can still remember Karen's excitement about the book which begins with a series of Samson and Delilah vignettes and ends with endpapers with into which actual hair was embedded. (Kelsey Street, 1978)

Gesualdo is one of my favorite books by Lyn Hejinian. Completely revelatory when I first read it, probably not long after it was published in 1978. This and HAIR-RAISING as well as books by Barrett Watten and many others show the tendency -- in a good way that has continued into the present -- of writers to be publishers and to publish themselves.

I think this picture of Anne Waldman and Bernadette Mayer changed my life -- maybe several times. It is in The Angel Hair Anthology.

I remember meeting Summer Brenner when she first blew into town from New Mexico at some party. I was still an undergraduate at Cal. Five minutes or so older than me, I perceived her as one of the "made poets" of the 70s. This is her photo from From The Heart to the Center. (The Figures, 1977)

I seem to remember running into Gloria Frym in an elevator at a group reading at SF MOMA in the 70s in full cowgirl dress. I was probably similarly decked out and we might have had a duel or something. But here she is in her early 80s mode, which might be described as cotton waif, on the back of her 1982 Figures book Back to Fourth.

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Blogger steve.evans said...

With material like this, how can you NOT be coming to the 70s Conference, Laura? We'll miss you--and the talk this post might have been!


8:07 AM  

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