Joe Brainard’s Bolinas Journal is the first book from Bill Berkson's Big Sky Press in Bolinas. Berkson published it shortly after he moved from hometown New York City to the relatively remote beach community north of San Francisco. It's a side-stapled mimeo, classic Lower East Side style, and important link between east and west. Bolinas Journal is a record of Brainard's impressions of the West Coast when he went to visit Berkson and Lewis Warsh (also a New Yorker living in Bolinas at the time). Brainard reflects on meeting Joanne Kyger, Gordon Baldwin, Philip Whalen, Bob and Bobbie Creeley, and their dog Spot. Ted Berrigan came out for a visit and Brainard made a terrific flyer for his reading with Bob Creeley that is reproduced at the end of the book along with two 'rejects.' Kevin Opstedel gives a concise yet wonderfully detailed account of the Bolinas poetry community in his essay 'Dreaming as One.' There's also a special issue of Beat Scene edited by Kevin Ring that covers some of the same territory, and so much more. I've ordered, but have yet to receive, The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard from the Library of America. I'm very much looking forward to this book, as all but the Granary Books edition of I Remember has been out of print for a long, long time. I'll be particularly interested in how the images and illustrations appear in this volume, and will it include collaborations? I don't know. I hear that Bolinas Journal is in there, which makes it well worth the price of admission alone.
-- KS


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