Telephone Books and Magazine

Telephone Books and Magazine

Granary Books is pleased to offer for sale a comprehensive collection of Telephone Books and magazine. The collection contains 34 titles, many with copies of both regular and special editions, as well as 19 issues of the magazine.

Telephone magazine ran for 14 years, from 1969 to 1983, with 19 issues. The magazine began as a means to publish lesser-known poets from Owen's home base in New York City, where she moved in 1968 with Lauren Owen (who was from Tulsa, and suggested they move to the city to see friends Ron Padgett, Dick Gallup, and Ted Berrigan). With the support of Anne Waldman, Larry Fagin, and Tom Veitch at The Poetry Project, Owen learned to run the Gestetner mimeograph upstairs in the church. There, she printed the first eight issues of the magazine, typing up the stencils in her railroad apartment as she raised her two sons.

Owen called the magazine Telephone in part because of the regional social differences she noticed in poetry communities. She remembers that while her usual habit was to drop in on folks in the Midwest and West Coast (where she was from), in New York City, the telephone was a necessary prelude given the nocturnal schedules of her poet friends. To echo the telephonic theme, Owen printed the magazine on legal-size paper that reminded her of the telephone booths that dotted New York City at the time (Interview with M.C. Kinniburgh).

Owen's vision for Telephone was a literal telephone book of poets, that included as many people as possible. A single issue could house up to 90 contributors, and approximately 630 unique contributors appeared in the magazine over the years. Many of these contributors later had their manuscripts published as Telephone Books, an imprint that Owen began in 1972 and continued well into the 2000s, with a shared mission to publish experimental and under-published work and distribute it generously.

The collection is available; inventory here.

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