34. THE ANGEL HAIR ANTHOLOGY. New York, NY: Granary Books, 2001. 7x9" 664 pages. (E)
Offset, smyth-sewn paperback. Edited with Anne Waldman. Full-color cover photograph by Tom Clark. 1,300 paperback and 300 hardback copies.
“In the late-nineties, Steve Clay and I were visiting Annabel Levitt in upstate New York. We took a long drive and began to talk about this project. It took a few years—Anne Waldman and I worked closely with Steve and his assistant, Amber Phillips, to get it done. When I was teaching at SUNY Albany, I enlisted the work of a student, Mary Burke, and she had a part in organizing everything, especially in the early stages. It kept evolving. The book retrieves the best of the six issues of Angel Hair Magazine, plus excerpts from all the books. There’s the great memoir section at the end with the photographs, and the introductions, in parallel columns, by me and Anne. Then there’s the cover photograph, taken by Tom Clark, summer of 1968, in front of his house in Bolinas, California. That photo gives away a lot, but asks for something back at the same time, the ‘Who am I?’ question, or ‘Who were we?’ The book is dedicated to our mothers, Frances LeFevre Waldman and Ray Warsh.”
Angel Hair reaches us now from a moment in American history that is still a part of our cultural & spiritual present. Under the care of Anne Waldman & Lewis Warsh—young poets in what was, circa 1965, the hot center of ‘new’ ‘American’ ‘poetry’—their economically printed & exuberantly disseminated magazine was a key vehicle for the innovative & groundbreaking work of an entire generation of poets & artists. This large & generous anthology is not only an archival masterpiece—the best of a time that’s now gone though scarce forgotten—but an incitement to keep their work alive for a still newer generation. Hurrahs & kudos to all appearing here & to Granary Books for bravely bringing them forward. —Jerome Rothenberg