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The Ed Sanders Archive

Activism and Assorted Items

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Activism

In June and August, 1961, Ed Sanders participated in his second act of civil disobedience during the commissioning of the Ethan Allen Polaris submarine in Groton, Connecticut, when he tried swimming out and mounting a peace vigil atop its missile hatches. In the statement handed out on August 8, 1961, Ed explained his actions: “In the world is a gigantic Plexus of Hate Vectors … I view a human being as a complex organism or electricity. What is involved in this civil disobedience is small loving organisms of electricity climbing aboard larger hating electrical systems in order to nonviolently establish a total electrical system of love. It is to this end that I dedicate myself.”

Sanders’ civil disobedience resulted in his arrest and imprisonment in the Montville State Jail in Uncasville, Connecticut, August 8–24, 1961. His time in jail was spent studying Egyptian hieroglyphics and writing on scaps of paper and cigarette packs, what would become, his Poem from Jail published by City Lights in 1963.

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“Concerning Civil Disobedience at the Commissioning of the Ethan Allen,” August 8, 1961, with Ed Sanders’ statement concerning his actions.

 

“E.S. swimsuit w/ Eye of Horus & Peace Sign on it—worn during attempts in June & August of 1961 to board Polaris subs in Groton, Connecticut.”

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Two spreads from the journal/sketchbook that Ed maintained while on the San Francisco–Moscow Walk for Peace, 1961.

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[The following were located in Chronological Box no. 1, 1962–64]

Committee for Nonviolent Action (CNVA) flyer announcing the Nashville–Washington Walk for Peace in which Ed Sanders participated.

 

Ed Sanders, “Fear Not A.J.,” 1962. Handwritten poem on CNVA letterhead.
In 1962. Ed volunteered at the CNVA. First page of handwritten poem written on CNVA letterhead.

“Oh, A.J., Master of the World, Secretary Emeritus of the Universe. Why don’t thou tremble like a leaf in the winter? What dost thou fear?”

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Notebook Ed Sanders wrote in to document his participation in the Committee for Nonviolent Action’s Nashville–Washington Walk for Peace that took place on April 22–June 22, 1962.

This page shows that May 24, 1962, was a day of rest in Wytheville, Virginia. Ed began the day with $185 on hand. Expenses for the day included $10 to Nelson Barr ($3.25 for books, $2.75 for laundry, and $3.99 for tennis shoes), $1.50 for heels and taps for Ed’s boots, and 21¢ for a hand and nail brush for Miriam.

 

 

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Legal pad with a handwritten day-by-day itinerary for the Nashville–Washington Walk for Peace.

 

Poster calling for a boycott of Woolworth’s based upon their history of segregation at their southern stores, ca. early 1960’s.

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Front and back of ALS to Miriam written during the Nashville–Washington Walk for Peace, ca. May 1962. Ed has signed the letter in Greek: “I love you.” While on the march, Ed kept in constant touch with Miriam through letters.

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Assorted Items

The items below were gathered from various parts of the The Ed Sanders Archive and represent a small assortment of the remarkable items that are found within.

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3 “occult stencils” drawn by Harry Smith,1964. 8 1/2 x 18 inches.

 

Ed Sanders backstage at the opening of the Fillmore East with his friend Janis Joplin, March 8, 1968. Big Brother & the Holding Company, featuring Janis Joplin, was the headline act. Photograph by Elliott Landy.

This is a giclee print produced in 2009 and is signed on the front and back by Landy. 17 x 22 inches.

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Flyer for “Beat Poetry Reading” at the Charles Street Meeting House, October 24, 1977, with Ed Sanders, Joe Dunn, Eero Ruutila, and J.D. Dawson. 11 x 17 inches.

Ed has noted on the front of the flyer: “Charles St. Meeting House, 10-24-77 (where O.[Olson] read in ‘55 (circa) inspiring Wieners & Joe Dunn [unreadable] off to Black Mountain).”

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Ray Johnson, “Cute Class Club,” College Parlor, Barnard Hall, September 19, 1974.

 

Ray Johnson, announcement for exhibition at the Willard Gallery, New York, April 6–May 1, 1965. Cut-out sandpaper is collaged on the front of the flyer. 10 x 14 inches.

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Poster for “Star Peace: An Anti-Star Wars Musical Drama,” by Ed Sanders and Steven Taylor, Experimental Theatre, Syracuse, NY, May 9–10, 1987.

 

Ed Sanders’ passport issued on April 5, 1961.

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Ted Berrigan TLS from Iowa City to Ed, December 15, 1968, after the death of d.a. levy.

Berrigan writes that “Levy’s suicide was a kick in the gut. A terrible disappointment, tho not in him of course…whats it all about….is what it released in my heart awfully…” On the verso of the letter Ted has handwritten: “AG sent me a card & sd it only hurts when he sings Hare Krishna.”

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William Burroughs, TLS to Ed, December 18, 1978.

In addition to thanking Ed for playing his Pulse Lyre at the Nova Convention, Burroughs writes: “In the light of Jonestown it occurs to me that you are one of the precursors, if not prophet, of the Age of Total Paranoia.”

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Germain Greer, 2-page ALS to Ed, [1968]. Greer’s 2-page letter accompanied an annotated copy of her letter to John Gorton, “From an Australian Woman to Her Prime Minister.”

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Duncan McNaughton, TLS, September 29, 1967, 2 pages.

McNaughton writes from Buffalo about the possible funding of the Fugs through SUNY/Buffalo: “R.C. [Robert Creeley] is a member of the threesided board for the dep’t., picking poets, but says there’s a complete budget interference & found it a fait accompli when he arrived back; he was able to pull three, Blackburn, Oppenheimer, & Le Gran Tortoise Berrigan, before the money ran out.”

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Janine Pommy Vega, TLS sent with an excerpt from “Drunk On a Glacier, Talking to Films,” October 2, 1987.

Vega writes: “Went ot [sic] Vermont last weekend, saw a moose on the highway! Thought, after eight hours solid driving tired eyes, it was an acid burnout—some guy in the dead of night walking the highway down to Canada with his arms held out like Christ. They have a different ass than deer. Huge set of horns. What a thrill.”

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Norman Mailer, TLS, February 25, 1975.

 

 

Charles Olson’s Cutty Sark bottle collected by Ed at the Berkeley Poetry Conference, July 23, 1965.

While attending the Berkeley Poetry Conference, Ed retrieved Olson’s Scotch whiskey bottle and kept it in an envelope inscribed: “Charles Olson’s Cutty Sark bottle left on lectern after his talk at the Berkeley Poetry Conference July 23 1966, Wheeler Auditorium, U.C. – Berkeley! — Ed Sanders.”

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2-page ALS from Philip Whalen, written to Ed on the occasion of the birth of his daughter, September 15, 1964. It accompanied a small packet of items.

The poet / Zen priest Philip Whalen writes: “I hope the great Godfuck will arrive soon, before I’m haled [sic] to the Great Western Lilypond.”

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Philip Whalen drawing, “The Fallen Angel,” titled, dated, and signed, January 9, 1964. This is one of twelve drawings sent to Ed by Whalen in his September 15 packet.

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Flyer for poetry reading with Gary Snyder, Lew Welch, and Philip Whalen at PMLA Hall, San Francisco, June 12, 1964. Signed and dated by Whalen, September 15, 1964.

 

Sample of Philip Whalen’s pubic hair wrapped in a ribbon, with a dedication, in a frame, 1964. This was given to Ed for inclusion in the Ed Sanders Catalog.

Philip Whalen writes the following dedication with a sample of his pubic hair: “fun fur from Philip Whalen’s own crotch, donated to FUCK YOU/ A MAGAZINE OF THE ARTS, their catalogue of Artistical & Poetikal RELICS, with all best wishes & love to Mr. Sanders, the Editor & publisher etc. Collected by the owner at San Francisco, 15 IX 64.”

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