In 1620, the Pilgrims left Leyden and sailed on the Mayflower out of modern day Rotterdam. Centuries later, Dutch artist Gerard Bellaart spearheaded Cold Turkey Press out of the Netherlands largest port city. The Cold Turkey refers to drugs more than Pilgrims, as evidenced by Sinclair Beiles' Sacred Fix published by Bellart in 1975. Bellart also published Ira Cohen, William Burroughs and Charles Bukowski. That same year, Bill Levy (who did a stint with the Philly mag Insect Trust Gazette and later Suck, an underground sex paper in Amsterdam) edited the radio speeches of Ezra Pound for Cold Turkey Press.
My favorite Cold Turkey Press item is not a book, but an LP. Cold Turkey co-produced a vinyl record, which features Ed Sanders, Ted Berrigan, Charles Bukowski, John Wieners, Ray Bremser, Diane Di Prima, Allen Ginsberg and others, with Carl Weissner's Klacto/Panic Press. I am dying to get a hold of this record, which is a tough find although copies do turn up from time to time. This platter is not cheap, but it looks like a lot of fun.
Late on Thanksgiving Day, you sometimes want a little Cold Turkey before you go to bed. Nothing is quite like putting on some nice vinyl on the turnable and giving Ed Sanders' Sheep Fuck Poem a listen. We have Bellart and Weissner to thank for this spoken word treasure trove.
Happy Cold Turkey Day!!!