Imitation is NOT the sincerest form of flattery

Jack Spicer died in 1965 of alcohol abuse, but the posthumously published Book of Magazine Verse proves that Spicer was still writing at a high level near the end of his life.  The book is dedicated to Denise Levertov of The Nation and Henry Rago of Poetry.  Spicer's confrontations with Levertov are well documented.  For some (notably Ron Silliman), Rago directed Poetry through a renaissance in the mid to late 1960s that made this old maid relevant by publishing important work by the likes of Robert Duncan and Louis Zukofsky.  Yet for others he was the Cerebrus guarding the gateway to the poetry establishment.

Spicer must have bristled at the presence of Robert Duncan in Poetry.  See above.  Further evidence of Duncan's selling out.  Book of Magazine Verse, designed by Graham Mackintosh, is a brilliant merging of form and content.  The pages of the White Rabbit publication mimic the pages of the various magazines Spicer dedicates his poems to.  So the poems to Tish are on blue mimeo paper and the poems to The Sporting News are on newsprint.  In addition the cover of Spicer's book detourns the design of Poetry.  The design is clever but with bite and not precious or cute.  It is a fine line and Mackintosh does a great job here.

Here is some information from Jacket on Spicer's lecture on Book of Magazine Verse


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