Sunday, March 16, 2014

Featured: Two from Boo-Hooray

Ray Johnson, The Sinking Bear
Limited Softcover Folio
(out of print)

"Edited by the mysterious Soren Agenoux (by differing accounts a mail artist, playwright, suspected thief and forger) The Sinking Bear arose from a loose circle of artists associated with various downtown New York scenes, particularly the circle around the poetry newsletter Floating Bear, edited by Diane Di Prima and Leroi Jones, which not only filled a vital role allowing poets to share and refine their work, but also provided fodder for the rather vitriolic ridicule presented in Sinking Bear, which balanced a fine line between imitating Floating Bear and acting like its nemesis.
Diane Di Prima subletted her apartment to Soren Agenoux before leaving for California, entrusting him with funds to print the 24th issue of Floating Bear. He fulfilled his obligation in the shoddiest manner, but also began putting out his own zine using Floating Bear as a model: focusing not on poetry as a discipline, but on amphetamine-fired gossip, parodies of advertising and real or fictitious overheard conversations.
Collagist and mail artist Ray Johnson was involved with this semi-mythical bitch-zine. A number of his works appear in The Sinking Bear, most in his inimitable voice and style, including a collage based upon one of his pages from A Book About Death.
Reading The Sinking Bear gives the impression of being at a party where people are saying brilliant things, and you’re torn between retreating and writing them down or staying at the party and risk forgetting what was said in the gray light of morning.
Original issues are hopelessly rare, it took three of us ten years of searching to put together (what we think is) a complete run. The oversized 162 page catalogue contains all issues in order, printed by Keegan Cooke’s Circadian Press on risograph with silkscreened boards in an edition of 300 copies." -Boo-Hooray

Piero Heliczer & The Dead Language Press - A Bibliography
(Dead Letter Press, Piero Heliczer, Angus MacLise, Jonas Mekas, Jack Smith)
Two softcover volumes with DVD in printed envelope 
(Out of print)

"The Dead Language Press was founded by Piero Heliczer in the late 1950s. The editions were usually published in a shady fly-by-night manner which consistently realized paper objects of breathtaking beauty. These publications are very hard to find, and have been quite difficult for antiquarian book dealers to contextualize until relatively recently.
The stuff looks like a more rugged, more punk rock Semina. Heliczer would print using busted up type, incomplete alphabets, and lie-beg-borrow-steal paperstock for these masterpieces of stealth letterpress.
There are few finer examples of the visionary work of the global small press/little magazine network of the 1950s and 1960s, showcasing what amazing publications could be realized with little or no money.
The Dead Language Press published masterpieces like Jack Smith’s The Beautiful Book and Henk Marsman and Gregory Corso’s A Pulp Magazine For The Dead Generation. A prolific filmmaker and actor as well as poet and printer, Heliczer also collaborated with Andy Warhol, Ira Cohen, Wallace Berman, William S. Burroughs, Lou Reed, La Monte Young, and myriad other downtown notables on films, performances, and publications throughout the 1960s." -Boo-Hooray

These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday



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