Poetry Review under Eric Mottram

Eric Mottram edited the Poetry Review from 1971 to 1977.  See http://www.kcl.ac.uk/depsta/iss/archives/collect/1mo70-04.html.  It is widely acknowledged that under Mottram's editorship the Review opened its pages to New American and British Revival Poets.  I happen to have the Autumn 1972 issue in my bookshelf and I took it out for a spin.  The first thing that caught my eye was that Basil Bunting was President of The Poetry Society.  You would think that this would make me think of Northern England.  In fact, I think of Buffalo.  Bunting and Mottram both taught at Buffalo in around 1967 or so.  Their offices were right by each other.  So for me this issue of Poetry Review has a Buffalo feel.  Besides Mottram and Bunting, Robert Duncan opens the issue with Poems from the Margins of Thom Gunn's Moly.  A remarkable sequence of poems which was privately published by Duncan in 1972.

Pierre Joris appears.  Joris was in contention for the Gray Chair at Buffalo.  Poems from Tom Pickard's Dancing Under Fire are also featured.  Pickard passed through Buffalo as well.  You get the idea. 

The Autumn 1972 issue of Poetry Review includes the first published poems of Bill Griffiths.  As a teenager Griffiths was a Hell's Angel and this experience formed the basis for his early poetry as is the case in this issue.  To Johnny Prez.  Hells Angels Nomads is one example.  Bob Cobbing and Eric Mottram were big influences and supporters.  In the spirit of Cobbing's Writer's Forum, Griffith started Pirate Press.  

Mottram's Poetry Review also has a decidely Mimeo Revolution feel.  It is obvious from this issue.  Duncan's Moly was privately printed.  Griffiths' Pirate Press.  Dancing Under Fire was printed in 1973 by Middle Earth Books in Philadelphia. Middle Earth Books was a bookstore that held reading series and published books, including Patti Smith's second volume of poetry Kodak. It was run by Myles Pettengill.  Aram Saroyan edited Lines in the 1960s and was a mimeo standout.  David Henderson was associated with Umbra.  Thomas A. Clark's Moschatel Press began in 1972.  Michael Horovitz edited New Departures.  I am sure each and every contributor had strong ties to the Mimeo Revolution.  By tapping this rich resource, Mottram was able to bring back to life the poor old tired horse that was Poetry Review. 


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