Stapled as issued. Nos. 1–4, 6–8 collected in office-style binder by poet Joanne Kyger. No. 5, not part of the binder, added later to make a complete run.
Jack Spicer’s J ran for eight issues; nos. 1–5 were edited by Spicer (with assistance from Fran Herndon) in North Beach where contributions were left in a box marked “J” in The Place, a bar on Grant Avenue in San Francisco. Nos. 6 and 7 (An Apparition of the Late J) were edited by George Stanley in San Francisco and New York City respectively while no. 8 was edited by Harold Dull in Rome. The magazine was an extension of Spicer's belief that poetry was meant to be local and shared among fellow poets, and the magazine's small circulation nevertheless cast a long shadow of influence. Contributors include: Robin Blaser, Richard Brautigan, Bruce Boyd, Kay Johnson, Robert Duncan, Joe Dunn, Ron Loewinsohn, Joanne Kyger, Helen Adam, and others. Covers (sometimes hand-embellished) are by Fran Herndon, Russell FitzGerald and George Stanley. Joanne Kyger, sometimes accompanied by Gary Snyder, was a regular participant in Jack Spicer's and Robert Duncan's Sunday meetings beginning in 1957.
The magazines are in remarkable condition given their fragility and rarity though they have been altered slightly in Kyger's format of preservation; issues have been pierced twice in left margin for purposes of binding. Covers are bright, excepting smudges or spots on nos. 1, 6, 7, and 8. Nos. 1 and 2 bear Gary Snyder's ownership signature to verso of covers. A small holograph pencil annotation practices ligatures on the poem "The Lake" by Ron Loewinsohn in no. 6. Light foxing and toning at edges of magazines. Slight soiling and shelfwear to binder. "In many ways the most beautiful of all the mimeo magazines" (A Secret Location p. 59) J is also one of the most significant and among the scarcest.
Pictured: covers of no. 3; no. 1; no. 2; no. 4; no. 6; no. 7; no. 8; front cover of binder.
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