When is someone going to write a book about Donald Allen? I can’t imagine what the face of contemporary poetry would look like without his keen editorial sensibility. A Quick Graph is the first collection of notes and essays by Creeley, edited by Allen and published by his Four Seasons Foundation in 1970. Divided into six sections with over eighty short pieces, the book is remarkably coherent. I think it’s a shame that university presses will rarely condone such a form, and for some reason private presses haven’t picked up the slack. One terrific exception is Charles Bernstein’s Content’s Dream (Sun & Moon, 1986) which works similarly, and I wish someone would commission Thom Donovan to put something along these lines together.
I bought my copy of A Quick Graph on Pearl Street in Boulder at a used bookstore that may have been called The Tattered Page, but it appears that that store is no longer there. These no-nonsense essays, prefaces, introductions, sketches, statements, and reflections are endlessly quotable, in fact, I used to have a notebook full of nuggets plucked from these pages that is now long gone.