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The Ed Sanders Archive

Chronological Boxes

As arranged by Ed Sanders, each box, notebook, and folder in the archive reflects the artist’s attempt to document and understand his own life and work, often as placed within a larger, artistic, cultural, and political context. Perhaps no box better illustrates this attempt and the remarkable breadth of all of Sanders’ expression as “Chronological Box no. 1-B, 1962–64” that was organized as source material for an Ed Sanders’ autobiography.


From Chronogical Box no. 1-B, 1962–64


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Receipt for the Speed-o-Print mimeograph machine, Purvin Typewriter & Adding Machine Company, New York City, February 19, 1962.

The Speed-o-Print mimeograph, purchased for $36.05, on which Ed printed the first issues of Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts. The small Speed-o-Print “fit nicely on the porcelain bathtub cover in my kitchen at 509 East Eleventh Street.”


Rough handwritten notes for the Poems for Marilyn anthology published in 1962 by Fuck You Press.

Poems for Marilyn contains contributions by Joel Oppenheimer, John Keys, Taylor Mead, Al Fowler, John Harriman, and Ed Sanders.

“As publisher of four issues of Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts, plus just now [in the fall of 1962], hot off the Speed-o-Print, the Poems for Marilyn anthology, I was being afforded a glimmer of underground renown.”


Page from a 1963 notebook with notes for “FY / press’s 1st entrance into the art scene: ASS DRAWINGS by JIM KOLB, the famous AMPHETAMINE HEAD & artist.”

Ed knew Jim Kolb, an “amph-artist” since 1960 and featured him in his film Amphetamine Head: A Study of Power in America. A page from one of Ed’s 1963 notebooks reveals that he was planning on publishing Kolb’s drawings in a never-realized book called Ass Drawings.



First page of Jackson Mac Low TLS to Ed sent about Sade Suit, July 26, 1963.

In 1963 Ed made plans to publish Jackson Mac Low’s 1959 Sade Suit. According to Sanders, the Fuck You Press publication “never quite happened.” In this letter Mac Low writes to Ed: “You can’t imagine what a drag it is, annotating & explaining this product of JML-summer-1959, that long-dead pot-smoking psychotic; God knows what I’ll be writing next but it’ll sure not be anything like this.”


Ed Sanders’ drawing for the cover for Fuck You Press’s unrealized publication of Jackson Mac Low’s Sade Suit, 1963.




Ed Sanders note to Al Fowler, 1963.

In 1962 Ed Sanders thought he had “discovered an American poetic genius” when he met Al Fowler at Ed’s 1962 New Year’s party. Eventually Ed published 27 of Fowler’s poems in Fuck You and Al would also become an early Fug. But, in 1963, Al was crashing at the “secret location” and became associated with the “brouhaha regarding Lee Harvey Oswald’s reported appearance in Greenwich Village prior to the assassination.” Concerned that his presence would invite the FBI to raid the secret location, Ed wrote this note: “My dear Al — as a result of the FBI scene, you are requested to REMOVE all your stuff from here — If it is not removed by Friday, I shall repadlock the door & bolt the windows, & you will procure your stuff at my discretion. Ed. S.”


Letter from Ron Padgett to Ed Sanders, October 3, 1964.

In addition to ordering items from one of Ed’s catalogs, Ron writes a P.S.: “[A]n FBI agent did crumble through the Village looking for Oswald’s associate …” and alludes to the “brouhaha regarding Lee Harvey Oswald’s reported appearance in Greenwich Village prior to the assassination.” This letter was filed in a three-ring binder labeled “[Steve] Landesburg 63” about the “brouhaha.”


Ed Sanders script for a scene in Cock City with Al Fowler, 1963?

“CLACK CLACK CLACK / the CENTIPEDE / O.D. with a hundred legs / crawls through the door / light through the window ... / Death to the Reverend Fowler / to the reverend death …”

In 1963 and 1964 Ed shot the film Cock City that featured a giant OD Centipede invading his friend Al Fowlers body. The film would be confiscated in 1965 by the police and never returned.


TLS from Gary Snyder to Ed Sanders, October 6, 1964.

In this letter, Gary Snyder calls the Fuck You Press’s Bugger: An Anthology “a Child’s Garden of perVerse.” He also recollects seeing Brother Antonius take his primary vows as a Dominican brother “& played hopscotch with 5 children & 4 adults on the sandy Muir Beach Sunday.” The letter is located in a folder labeled “letters / literary matters / 1964” in Chronologic Box no. 1, 1962–64.


Flyer for Carl Solomon’s reading at Le Metro Café, July 29, 1964. Drawn, designed and printed by Ed Sanders at a secret location.


Flyer for Herbert Huncke’s reading at Le Metro Café, July 1, 1964. “Screams & Shrieks!” Drawn, designed and printed by Ed Sanders at a secret location.


Ed participated in the Living Theatre’s “Jail Poets” reading on July 22, 1963, along with Julian Beck, Judith Malina, Carol Bergé, and Jack Micheline, among others.


Chronological Boxes, 1974–2012

Beginning in 1974, Ed Sanders began compiling monthly files from mail that he received. The items collected are a remarkable record of the wide range of Ed Sanders’ interests and activities. They include event announcements, incoming correspondence, projects, items of interest, leaflets, newsletters and fliers, advertisements, and assorted ephemera. There are 68 Chronological (banker’s) Boxes.

Below is a sampling of what is found in the Chronological Boxes and is from box no. 27, January–June 1978.

Anne Waldman postcard sent to Ed and Miriam from Rome, March 12, 1978.


Direct mail advertisement for Archeology magazine.


Bezoar, vol. 11, no.1, December 1977. Unopened.


Bill from Kingston Cablevision.


Letter from Donald Fitch, University of California, Santa Barbara, January 31, 1978.

Fitch was soliciting information on two of Ed’s William Blake songs “Ah, Sunflower, Weary of Time” and “How Sweet I Roamed” for a bibliography of Blake poems set to music. Ed wrote his answers on Fitch’s letter.


Ed Sanders, “Ideas for CETA Snow Art on [Woodstock] village green.”

The first of the four ideas: “Frosty the Snowman demonstrating anal intercourse to an ecstatic Santa Claus.”


Clandestine America: The Washington Newsletter of the Assassination Information Bureau, vol. 2, no. 1, January–February 1978.

The newsletter’s tagline was a quote by Ed Sanders: “This is the Age of Investigation, and every citizen must investigate.”


TLS from Duncan McNaughton to Ed Sanders, April 17, 1978.

“Now when I see a Bean catalog I won’t just think of craggy old Bob Creeley but of you too ….”


Receipt for Ed Sanders’ emergency room visit for a laceration, March 14, 1978.


Typed list of Ed Sanders’ goals from early 1978.


ALS from Ed Sanders to Charles Upton, May 20, 1978.

Ed writes about his Investigative Poetry group’s report, “The Party” and reflects on Naropa: “As a poetics academy, I personally don’t believe there is a better place in America … I am not a Buddhist, and do not approve of a lot of Trungpa’s lifestyle. But it’s a free country, and my experience with disciples of Trungpa is that they’re not in any way robo-washed or coerced. On the contrary, their consciousness & reason seem very much with them.”



Flyer for Allen Ginsberg at the Creative Music Studio, Woodstock, NY, May 1978.


TLS from James Grauerholz to Ed Sanders, January 28, 1978.


TLS from Lawrence Ferlinghetti to Ed Sanders, April 26, 1978.

“Allen suggests I ask you for info or original article on FBI, CIA & milti-nationals [sic] expanding their ‘security’ police, National Security Agency functioning as secret police, etc …. ”



First of two-page Nelson Barr ALS written from Arizona State Prison to Ed Sanders, March 12, 1978.

Nelson Barr was a frequent contributor to Fuck You, a good friend of Ed’s from their early days at the Catholic Worker, and the Fugs first manager.


Above: The Sanders’ March 1978 telephone bill.

Right: Nick Tosches change of address notice.



Oyvind Fahlstrom exhibition announcement card.


Ray Johnson, “Page 5 A Book About Death.”


Robert Cutler, The Single Shot at Z-312 / Z-313.


Postcard from Simon Pettet, soliciting work from Ed for his magazine, Saturday Morning.


Index card with one of Ed’s “to do” lists.


Another of Ed’s “to do” lists.



ALS from Vinny Leary to Ed Sanders, January 26, 1978.

Vinny was a member of the early Fugs. He writes Ed: “I have an interesting proposition that could lead to a good deal of money.”



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