Poets' First Books, A Short List
With new technologies that decreased cost and increased the speed of independent publishing, a poet's first book during the era of the mimeograph revolution could be right on the cutting edge: fresh, highly experimental, and made for a local or even far-flung readership. These qualities make a poet's "first" an exciting read indeed.
Many of these books are lovely association copies, linking poets with their earliest collaborators. Examples include first books by Alice Notley, Ted Berrigan, and Tom Raworth, all inscribed to Anselm Hollo, as well as Joanne Kyger's first book inscribed to Larry Fagin with a photograph of her tipped in.
We have had the privilege of representing the archives of many of the poets on this list, and several of the presses are featured on the From a Secret Location website. This list is not comprehensive, only evocative of the wide range of first books that made a splash in the mimeograph revolution.