Thursday, July 05, 2007

d.a. levy & the mimeograph revolution


d.a. levy & the mimeograph revolution

Edited by: Larry Smith & Ingrid Swanberg

Bottom Dog Press

P.O. Box 425

Huron, Ohio 44839

Price: $25 / 264 Pages

Review By: Charles P. Ries

A few months ago I asked Chris Harter, Editor/Publisher of Bathtub Gin who are some the pioneers in the small press movement. He said without a doubt one of them had to be the late d.a. levy of Cleveland, Ohio. This was the first time I had heard of d.a. levy. When levy shot himself in November of 1968, I was fourteen years old. With five older siblings who were all politically active, I was well aware of the Cultural Revolution that was unfolding around me: civil rights, the Viet Nam war, Woodstock….the counter culture. This moment in time was vividly brought back to life for me in the mimeo graph revolution. In his Editor’s Notes in the May-June 2007 Small Press Review, Len Fulton says that the mimeo graph revolution “is almost overwhelming in its reach and passion for its subject. It’s is sobering to think that one young person could accomplish to much in so short a time, while confronting torment from within – and genuine torments from without.” While I enjoyed reading levy’s poetry and seeing his visual art, what I found most compelling were the numerous interviews with him from this time period. They reminded me how ground breaking the free speech movement of the 1960’s was, and what a wonderful, diverse and passionate group of poets were at the forefront of this effort. If you love the small press, poetry, and the freedom of expression we all hold so dear, you must read this book.

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