Friday, March 30, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's, Part 7 (Ed Sanders)

The Family
Sanders, Ed
The Family

Full disclosure: my library, which I have pruned mercilessly in preparation for the move, is now in boxes. I took about ten days worth of photos in order to keep it going until we arrive in New Haven. Thus, for the first time, I will be writing from a photo of a book rather than one held in my hands. I don't think it will change much, except I won't be able to examine the book physically as I write. And I'll have to find excerpts on the internet -- or not post them at all.

Anyhow, this was given to me by the author. It is inscribed. I can't recall what the inscription says, even though I read it when I took the photo the other day.

When I first took the Artistic Director position at Just Buffalo, the organization was in pretty dire financial straights. Debora Ott, the founder, had called all her old poetry connections and asked them to come to Buffalo to read for free, in order that we might raise a little money.

Many, including Ed, agreed. We put on an Ed Sanders Weekend at Just Buffalo's old offices in the Tri-Main center. On Friday night, he gave a reading to a packed house. He sang and read poems and did all his awesome Ed Sanders things. When it was over, he got called out for an encore, something I have never seen, before or since, at a poetry reading.

The next day, he performed a workshop on Investigative Poetics. Again, awesome.

Finally, on Saturday night, he gave a talk about the Manson family, in honor of this expanded re-release of his classic piece of investigative journalism. He told all kinds of amazing stories about the family, about getting threatening Christmas cards from Manson himself, et al. A great weekend, as I recall.

I've worked with Ed many times since on various Olson projects. He's one of my all time favorite people on the poetry scene.

This is not the copy of the book I read, though. I bought an hardcover edition, which was actually a softcover rebound for library use. It had a creepy green cover with a much scarier image of Manson on it. I sold it a few years ago. I haven't read the expanded edition.

I did just finish reading Ed's highly entertaining memoir, FUG YOU. Unfortunately, I loaned it out, so it will not appear on PBH any time soon. Weirdly, all the copies of his poetry that I own are on a DVD he gave me at a conference on Black Mountain a few years back. It's also in a box.

Anyhow, three cheers for Ed Sanders. May he live long!

Here's a link his version of Squeaky Fromme's story, as told in Oui magazine, circa 1976. It's a scan of the actual article, with drawings and everything!

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