C Press Archive

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Reports from the Bibliographic Bunker

Jed Birmingham on William S. Burroughs Collecting

For more information about C Press, see Jed Birmingham’s articles on Time, Ted Berrigan, and Don’t Ever Get Famous. Also see the C Press Index.

Andy Warhol provided the cover for issue four of C: A Journal of the Arts. Edwin Denby and Gerard Malanga appear on the silk-screened cover. The cover is reprinted in Reva Wolf’s book on Warhol along with a discussion of the politics and gossip behind this image. Issue 4, like the Mad Motherfucker Issue of Fuck You with the Couch cover, is tough to get a hold of. Ars Libris sold a copy awhile back in a small, incomplete run of Cs. Expect to pay in the four figures if you ever get the opportunity.

Complete runs of C: A Journal of Poetry are elusive. The Fales Library possesses a C Journal archive but lacks a complete run. Syracuse University also holds a number of Berrigan’s papers including dummies for C Journal, yet they lack a complete run. The Berg Collection at the New York Public Library has about half of the issues. The Library’s Rare Book Division houses the editor’s (Berrigan’s) file of the mimeo. The NYPL possesses a complete run but they don’t know it. According to Secret Location on the Lower East Side, Issue 12 is missing from this collection.

Based on an email I received from Ron Padgett, Berrigan never published a twelveth issue of C: A Journal of Poetry. As evidenced by the text in Issue 11, he intended to publish one but the project never saw completion. Again according to Padgett, Berrigan viewed C Comics #1 as essentially the 12th issue. There is no indication as to Berrigan’s reasoning in this bibliographic detail.

C Journal 9Burroughs appears in Issue 9 and Issue 10 of C Journal. Fuck You Press issued Roosevelt After Inauguration in January of 1964. Ed Sanders included Burroughs in Fuck You, a Magazine of the Arts No. 5 Vol 7 in the summer of that year. Berrigan first published Burroughs in the summer of 1964. At the time, Burroughs still resided in Tangier, but given the flurry of mimeo activity Burroughs could see that the Lower East Side in New York City was the place to be. Burroughs saw this for himself during brief visits in 1963/1964. In C Journal 9, Burroughs contributed two pieces: “Giver of the Winds Is My Name” and “Intersection Shifts and Scanning from Literary Days by Tom Veitch.” Literary Days was published by C Press and I would guess that Berrigan sent Burroughs a copy for his review. As is common in the 1960s, Burroughs responded with a cut-up. In “Giver of the Winds Is My Name,” Burroughs incorporated Egyptian hieroglyphics for the first time. See my column on da levy and Burroughs for a brief discussion of this appearance.

In C Journal 10, Burroughs contributed “Fits of Nerves with a Fix.” According to the Maynard and Miles’ Burroughs bibliography, this issue hit the streets on February 14, 1965, St. Valentine’s Day. For the artists and writers of the Lower East Side, Burroughs must have been on their mind as he gave a famous reading at the American Theatre of Poets on that date. The C Press Time also appeared in 1965.

Floating Bear 24Burrroughs’ work in C Journal is listed as prose, but these pieces can be considered examples of Burroughs the poet. “Fits of Nerves with a Fix” reminds me of the work in Floating Bear 24 (“Spain and 42st,” “Dead Whistle Stop Already End,” and “Where Flesh Circulates.”) The look of the work on the page is especially similar. “Giver of the Winds Is My Name” also has the look of a poem in a way that differs from the block text and newspaper formats of other cut-ups from the period. This would suggest that Burroughs’ influence on the Second Generation New York School and even First Generation members like John Ashbery, stemmed not just from Naked Lunch and the cut-up novels, but also from the lesser known and underappreciated Minutes to Go and The Exterminator. These two books can be considered books of poetry for the lack of a better categorization and the work therein has similarities to the work in C Journal.

C: A Journal of the Arts

C Journal 1

C Journal 1


C Journal 2

C Journal 2


C Journal 3

C Journal 3


C Journal 4

C Journal 4
front


C Journal 4

C Journal 4
back


C Journal 5

C Journal 5


C Journal 6

C Journal 6


C Journal 7

C Journal 7


C Journal 8

C Journal 8



C Journal 10

C Journal 10

William Burroughs, Fits of Nerves with a Fix


C Journal 11

C Journal 11


C Journal 12
Ted Berrigan skipped C Journal #12. He had been considering using the first issue of C Comics as issue 12 but decided against it.


C Journal 13

C Journal 13


Michael Brownstein, Behind the Wheel, C Journal 14

Michael Brownstein
Behind the Wheel (aka C Journal 14)


C Press

Ted Berrigan, The Sonnets

Ted Berrigan
The Sonnets
C Press, 1964


Tom Veitch, Literary Days

Tom Veitch
Literary Days
C Press, 1964


Ron Padgett, In Advance of the Broken Arm, 1964

Ron Padgett
In Advance of the Broken Arm
C Press, 1964 (First Edition)


Ron Padgett, In Advance of the Broken Arm, 1965

Ron Padgett
In Advance of the Broken Arm
C Press, 1965 (Second Edition)


Dick Gallup, Hinges, 1965

Dick Gallup
Hinges
C Press, 1965


Joseph Ceravolo, Fits of Dawn, 1965

Joseph Ceravolo
Fits of Dawn
C Press, 1965
Cover drawing by Rosemary Ceravolo


Kenward Elmslie, Power Plant Poems, 1967

Kenward Elmslie
Power Plant Poems
C Press, 1967


Alice Notley, Twenty-Four Sonnets, 1971

Alice Notley
Twenty-Four Sonnets (front)
C Press, 1971


Alice Notley, Twenty-Four Sonnets, 1971

Alice Notley
Twenty-Four Sonnets (back)
C Press, 1971


Elio Schneeman, In February I Think (front)

Elio Schneeman
In February I Think (front)
C Press, 1978


Elio Schneeman, In February I Think (back)

Elio Schneeman
In February I Think (back)
C Press, 1978


Steve Carey, The Lily of St Mark's

Steve Carey
The Lily of St Mark’s
C Press, 1978


Boke Press (Edited by Joe Brainard)

C Comic 1

C Comic 1


C Comic 2

C Comic 2


Ted Berrigan, Living with Chris

Ted Berrigan
Living with Chris
Boke Press, 1965


Ron Padgett and Joe Brainard, 100,000 Fleeing Hilda

Ron Padgett and Joe Brainard
100,000 Fleeing Hilda
Boke Press, 1967


Created by Jed Birmingham and published by RealityStudio on 9 January 2008. Updated with C Press books on 7 Jan 2009. Also see the C Press Index.

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