On Five Years of Locus Solus


Ad for Locus Solus, in the Wagner Literary Review, 1963 (courtesy of Nick Sturm)

Five years ago today, on May 27, 2013, I launched this blog with a welcome message and only a vague sense of what this site would become.  It’s turned out to be an immensely rewarding and fun side project, and it’s been very gratifying to learn that people seem to have found it useful and enjoyable as well.

Over the past 5 years, I’ve published nearly 300 posts on the poets and artists of the New York School and their milieu, the influences that shaped their work and the long shadow they’ve cast on what has followed in their wake.  Although it wasn’t my primary intention when I started, one of the goals of this blog has been trying to track the surprisingly vast and growing influence these poets have exerted, not only on poetry but across our culture as a whole.  If anything, I’ve found it nearly impossible to keep up with the constant stream of news related to the poets of the New York School – the steady and inspiring appearance of new books, articles, poems, art exhibits, podcasts, and sightings in pop culture and journalism, occasionally punctuated by the inevitable sad news about deaths and the passing of a generation.

Posts have ranged from discussions of indie rock, jazz, filmfiction, and television (and one beloved show’s triumphant rescuing of Frank O’Hara from cultural obscurity (that’s a joke); to “visual footnotes” for famous poems; to recovering interesting ephemera or rare items from the archives; from a photo-essay / walking tour of Frank O’Hara’s New York apartments to anecdotes about Leonard Cohen telling Kenneth Koch to give up poetry for rock music and the time Elizabeth Bishop got high with John Ashbery.

If you’re curious about the range of topics and types of things I’ve posted about here over the past five years, click on the “Categories” and “Archives” drop-down menus on the right side of the screen and browse around.  (And to keep up with new stuff, some of which doesn’t make it on to this blog, be sure to follow the “Locus Solus” Facebook page and my own Twitter account, as well as this site, to get timely updates and information and links about the poets and artists of the New York School).

One wonderful by-product of doing this blog has been getting the chance to hear from so many readers and fans of the New York School.  It has really given me a tangible sense of a wide-ranging community of people who care deeply about poetry and art in general, and in particular about this group of poets, and the art and literature and music they cared about and which they in turn have influenced.

I’ve truly appreciated all the tips, suggestions, review copies, encouragement, etc., from fans of the New York School, fellow scholars and poets, and interested readers — please keep them coming!

I just wanted to take this opportunity on this site’s fifth birthday to thank you for reading and for visiting this site.  As (New York School pal) Robert Creeley would say, onward!

This entry was posted in Elizabeth BIshop, Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, Leonard Cohen, Locus Solus, Robert Creeley, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to On Five Years of Locus Solus

  1. Roger McClanahan says:

    You have brought this devotee of the New York School immense pleasure. Onc we left, NYC for Madison Wisconsin your posts mean more to me than ever. Has it really been 5 years?

  2. estry says:

    Thanks for 5 years! I’m actually not from the US but from England and living in Japan! I got interested in American poetry years ago, and I especially appreciated the unique quality that emanated from the NY school. I even managed to acquire the full 4-volume set of Locus Solus, including a Kenneth Koch-signed volume I (which he dedicated to Ron Padgett) and the somewhat scarce volume V. Anyway, your blog has been very interesting for me, and I would just like to know that there is someone in Japan who really appreciates your efforts and to say, “keep up the good work!”

  3. Thanks so much for your note — I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the blog. It’s great to hear from someone reading this as far away as Japan. And that Koch-signed-for-Padgett Locus Solus is quite a find! I wonder if Ron knows it exists and is out there. Thanks again for writing.

  4. Thanks much for what you do here, content and lovewise.

  5. Pingback: Locus Solus (journal) | 1960s: Days of Rage

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