Black Mountain Review

Like Little Review in the first half of the 20th Century, Black Mountain Review stands tall as arguably the towering achievement of post-WWII little magazine publication. There is Creeley the poet, the prose writer, the typographer, the publisher and with Black Mountain Review there is Creeley the editor. He did not do it alone as Creeley drew heavily on Olson, Williams, and Pound for his editorial vision of what a review could and should be. In addition with issue number 7, he flipped through Allen Ginsberg's rolodex for contacts and material. Most importantly, Pound suggested that Creeley think of the magazine as a center around which, "not a box within which/any item." Pound also provided much advice on what (verse vs. prose) and how many writers to feature in the Review, but Creeley's own vision and style comes through. This is easily apparent from how the magazines look: they have that Divers Press feel, what Kyle described in Creeley's typography. Kyle's article is fantastic; I have written on Black Mountain Review in the context of Burroughs and the Beats over at RealityStudio, but I strongly urge you to read Creeley's own thoughts on Black Moutain Review, which served as the introduction to the AMS Press reprint of the Black Mountain review in 1969. This essay was itself reprinted in Anderson and Kinzie's landmark The Little Magazine in America: A Modern Documentary History. Get a used copy of Anderson and Kinzie's book if you can find one; it is an indispensible and essential resource on post-WWII little mags.


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