The Coatpuller


Fifth Estate # 13, August 30, 1966

I want to take this space this week to tell you of some of the work the Detroit Artists’ Workshop is doing, because I think you should know about it in as much detail as I can give you here. I have been home two weeks now, and there has been such a beautiful mass of forward action going on here that I have been kept alive by it and kept happy to be a part of it again.

The Workshop is doing its regular Sunday night thing again, every Sunday evening at 7:00, with music by the Lyman Woodard Ensemble, the Detroit Contemporary 4, Clarence DeMyers’ group from Lansing with drummer Byron Lyles, and/or the Workshop Music Ensemble, a varying total energy group that features such musical surprises as Jim Semark on piano and trombone, Charles Moore on cornet, piano, and/ or drums, Lyman Woodard organ piano or drums, Doug Riggs bass, Al Pitts drums, Jim Guinness alto’ saxophone, and whoever else might be coming by that night. Poets and writers continue to read their work at the Workshop then too, people like Bill Harris, Semark, Jerry Younkins, Tommy Mithcell, my brother David who is beautiful, and other younger people who keep popping up with their own lovely work wanting to read it.

Last Sunday Fred Ward, a young San Francisco poet, stopped in and gave a lovely reading while he was in town. Two weeks ago Larry Weiner (sometimes known as Clark Kent) gave the first public screening of his new film, THE ROMILAR MOVIES, which made for a groovy trip. And there were a lot of PEOPLE there too, for you to talk to and be with. The MC 5, a new rock band, has been rehearsing at the Workshop lately getting ready for the big Leprechaun Marmalade freak-outs that will be coming on soon at the Grande Ballroom on Grand River. Watch for that too—a huge San Francisco-style dance with Jerry Younkins (the fabled damned) running the light machine straight thru your eyes to your mind! Lots of things are happening these days in Detroit, finally, and like I say I’m happy to be able to be part of the energy wave that’s starting to turn the city around to face itself for once.

There are a lot of hip books and magazines to be bought at the Workshop too—like Timothy Leary’s PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS, done by Diane DiPrima’s POETS PRESS—all the copies they sent us were gone in two days, but there’ll be more next week, so cop while you can. Also from the Poets Press -Diane’s 7 LOVE POEMS FROM THE MIDDLE LATIN, Herbert Huncke’s JOURNALS, A.B. Spellman’s The BEAUTIFUL DAYS (which is one of the loveliest books of poetry I’ve read in a long long time), and others. EL CORNU EMPLUMADO in Mexico City is a really first-rate magazine, with the #19 issue just out and full of good things to eat. Back issues too. Other things to pick up on are Ed Dorn’s RITES OF PASSAGE: a brief history, prose from one of the best American poets now writing; Steve Mindel (young San Francisco maniac) and his first book ITS SPRING AND THE DAISIES IN THE GRASS ARE LIKE PUNCTUATIONS / PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG CLOCK, from Dave Sandberg’s press in the Sur; George Stanley’s FLOWERS, from Open Space Press in San Francisco; and a lot of other books and magazines that you won’t find anywhere else in Detroit. That’s why we carry them, so you can pick up on them. Another magazine just came in: THE EAST SIDE REVIEW, out of New York, the first issue with LeRoi Jones, William Burroughs, Michael McClure, Paul Blackburn, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, and a whole boatload of people & poems. You can get these at the Sunday night thing or stop by any evening and check at the Artists’ Workshop Press next door, where there are people working every night getting books out.

Just last week we finished CHANGE/2, the second issue of the only magazine given to news, state/meants and criticism of the new jazz music exclusively—CHANGE/2 features pianist Andrew Hill, an interview with John Coltrane, reviews of concerts by Archie Shepp, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, records by Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, and more MORE. This week we’re finishing the first issue of our new magazine, WHE’RE/a magazine of location, which has for instance a long & lovely interview with the poet Robert Creeley, a reprint of Jack Spicer’s LAMENT FOR THE MAKERS, which has long been out of print; a complete index to KULCHUR magazine #s 1-20; and reviews of Charles Olson’s HUMAN UNIVERSE, Creeley’s THE GOLD DIGGERS, LeRoi Jones’ THE SYSTEM OF DANTE’S HELL, William Burroughs’ THE SOFT MACHINE, Jerry Younkins on the San Francisco Street Poets, and a lot more. We make these here in Detroit, and you can get them from us here now. Also Workshop Books, including Jim Semark’s NIGHT-VISION EXPRESS, my own FIRE MUSIC and THIS IS OUR MUSIC, J.D. Whitney’s HELLO, Jerry Younkins’ WRITE ABOUT MY BUDDIES THEY’RE DEAD, George Tysh’s SIT UP STRAIGHT, and the FREE POEMS/ AMONG FRIENDS Series. Plus WORK magazine, which is another thing we do.

Coming this fall from the Artists’ Workshop Press will be Robin Eichele’s first book, RUNES; Ron Caplan’s SAID A MEANT; the collected ARTISTS’ WORK-sheets of 1965; and the killer, Bill Hutton’s THE STRANGE ODYSSEY OF HOWARD POW! Bill Hutton will be in town for a big reading on Labor Day, Monday September 5th, and if you miss that you’re crazy! Because that’s just what Hutton is…CRAZY!