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The Ed Sanders Archive

Fuck You Press

Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts and Fuck You Press

Left: The cover from no. 1, February/April 1962, of Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts. Right: Notes for the final issue of “Fuck You/ a magazine of poesy, pre-history, ecology, dope-sacrament & punkery.”

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Ed Sanders founded Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts in February 1962 after seeing Jonas Mekas’s Guns of the Trees at the Charles Theater on Avenue B. The magazine ran for thirteen issues while Fuck You Press published about two dozen books and anthologies. Initially published from “a secret location on the Lower East Side,” Sanders recalls: “Fuck You was part of what they called the Mimeograph Revolution, and my vision was to reach out to the ‘Best Minds’ of my generation with a message of Gandhian pacifism, great sharing, social change, the expansion of personal freedom (including the legalization of marijuana), and the then-stirring messages of sexual liberation” (Steve Clay and Rodney Phillips, A Secret Location on the Lower East Side: Adventures in Writing. New York Public Library and Granary Books, 1998).

The press published the leading avant-garde poets and writers of the times, including Charles Olson, Philip Whalen, Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder, W.H. Auden, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Norman Mailer, Antonin Artaud, Robert Duncan, Ezra Pound, Carol Bergé, Joel Oppenheimer, John Weiners, Jackson Mac Low, Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Paul Blackburn, Philip Lamantia, Claude Pélieu, John Ashbery, Lenore Kandel, Kenneth Koch, Andy Warhol, Denise Levertov, LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) and Ted Berrigan.

In addition, to the complete output of Fuck You Press, the archive contains mimeo stencils; drawings and artwork from the press; Sanders’ own research files on the press; manuscripts for an unpublished prose issue of Fuck You by Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Charles Olson, among others; and text and art (including Joe Brainard's) for the never realized Banana, an Anthology of Forbiddenness, a book suggested to Ed Sanders by Andy Warhol.

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The cover from no. 5, vol. 1, published December 1962, of Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts.

Ed Sanders was thrilled down to his “anarcho-Egyptian bone” that his hero Charles Olson had sent three of his Maximus poems for inclusion in Fuck You. They were published in no. 5, vol. 1, along with poems by Ron Rice, Lenore Kandel, and Joel Oppenheimer among others.

 

Hand-drawn-on-stencil for the “Notes on Contributors” page from Fuck You, no. 5, vol. 5, December 1963.

This issue also published Allen Ginsberg’s first Fuck You contribution. According to Sanders, the Notes “more or less summed up my philosopher-king stance in the fall of ‘63. I thought of myself as a theologian of Instant Gratification. Then came the assassination on a glary day, and instant gratification, or InGrat as I termed it later, began to get balanced by right-wing reality.”

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Carol Bergé’s The Vancouver Report with hand-drawn stencil cover, published by the Fuck You Press on rose-colored Granitex paper, February 1964.

Sanders commissioned Carol Bergé to write about the seminal 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference. Her account was published as The Vancouver Report in February 1964. Ed would later reflect upon the publication saying that he “thought it was a well-written sixteen pages on a famous literary conference, especially fair to Charles Olson, the ‘father’ of the various movements on hand, and to Allen Ginsberg, fresh from his vision of a new direction. She was a tad harsh on Robert Duncan, I thought, but all in all an interesting account.”

 

Allen Ginsberg’s hand-drawn cover for William Burroughs’ Roosevelt After Inauguration, published by Ed Sanders, January 1964.

A few days after Ed Sanders first met Allen Ginsberg, the two commenced “the first of many capers together” with the publishing of William Burroughs’ Roosevelt After Inauguration, after City Lights’ printer refused to publish it. Ginsberg drew the front and back covers directly onto the stencils.

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TLS from Ted Berrigan and one of his contributions to Ed Sanders’ Despair anthology, 1964.

Ted Berrigan’s submission to Ed’s Despair anthology was accompanied by a letter and a manuscript: “The Enclosed poem(s), which oozed gently from my moist rancid brow in cynical homage to my despair may be suitable for your ‘Despair’ number. Yours in pain, Ted. PS: any mescalin?”

Ed recollects, “I was feeling down down down after the murders of the Freedom Summer workers, so I decided to publish an anthology called Despair, which came out in July 1964.

“With despair as a theme, I had very little trouble attracting quality poems, especially from Ted Berrigan. Despair was in the air.”

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Andy Warhol cover for Fuck You, no. 5, vol. 8, 1965.

Andy Warhol created the cover for the Fuck You third anniversary “Mad Motherfucker” issue, with a frame from his movie Couch in 1965. The cover was one of several creative encounters that occurred between Warhol and Ed Sanders.

 

“A Declaration of Conscience Against War-Creeps,” published in Fuck You, no. 5, vol. 9, June 1965.

In 1965, “the magazine was swinging more from the personal to the political.” Ed issued “A Declaration of Conscience Against War-Creeps” which called for a fuck-in against the war in Fuck You, no. 5, vol. 9, June 1965.

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Above and right: Ezra Pound, Cantos 110–116. The Fuck You Press unauthorized “Gash Cow” edition, 1967. Cover by Joe Brainard, title page by Ed Sanders.

 

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Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts final issue

In addition to containing all thirteen issues of Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts, the archive contains notes, manuscripts being considered, and other items for the final, but abandoned, issue of Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts from 1966–67. This issue was to have been no. 5, vol. 10.

Above: Label on the folder in the archive with material for the abandoned final issue.

Right: Ed Sanders’ editorial notes for what was to be have been Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts, no. 5, vol. 10, written on the outside of a manila file folder.

 

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“This issue is dedicated to D.A. LEVY & D.R. Hazelton / divine yodelers / sucked into the verm-vom.” Proposed dedication for the abandoned final issue.

 

Julian Beck, “Taxi Story.”

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Ted Berrigan, “Ode to Love.” Four-page manuscript, June 20, 1963.

 

Robert Anton Wilson, “Fuck Every Day and Blow Your Dentist Twice a Year.”

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Above: Harry Fainlight, “42nd Street.” Right: Harry Fainlight, “Meditations.” Signed and dated as 1955.

 

 

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The Banana Project

“Andy Warhol created cloth banners featuring his silkscreen flowers for the opening of the Peace Eye Bookstore in early 1965. Around that time, I asked him what would be a good theme for a new Fuck You/ Press collection.

His one-word reply was, 'Banana.'

I began gathering images and submissions for Banana, and started designing it. Joe Brainard, for instance, gave me a series of drawings for it. I drew a cover, and made sketches for a hand drawn table of contents, etc ….

[Unfortunately, events in Ed Sanders’ life precluded the project from] “being brought to fruition. This folder contains the original drawings, designs, images and notes for Banana.”

—Ed Sanders, “The Banana Project,” August 1, 2004.

Ed Sanders’ paste-up with original drawings for Banana title page.

The title page with the anthology’s lengthy subtitle: “an anthology of harness verse, banana dick-slicking, Chiquita ass-stabs, dildo salutes, arienae in vaginis, clit wiggles, banana squishery, soft luscious oral frenzies, & back-palette banana tickles.”

 

The Banana table of contents reveals all of the book’s planned contributors, including Gary Snyder, Ted Berrigan, and Ron Padgett, among others.

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Joe Brainard letter to Ed Sanders with his contributions for Banana, 1965.

 

Joe Brainard, “Banana Letter,” 1965. Original drawing.

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Joe Brainard, 3 pages from the six-page “A Nancy Story,” 1965. Original drawings.

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