The Grinding Down by Paul Blackburn

1960s: Days of Rage


“In the summer of 1963, poet Paul Blackburn wrote an essay in Kulchur 10 entitled ‘The Grinding Down,’ which mapped the contemporary landscape of the Mimeo Revolution and lamented for those beloved days of yore when Robert Creeley’s editorial vision surveyed the literary fringe from the lofty heights of Black Mountain Review (which itself rose from the broad shoulders and bushy brow of the 6 foot 7 inch Charles Olson). As Graham Rae would say, I am chuckling here. Let’s be honest, this is a dubious nostalgia. Black Mountain Review only folded six years earlier, a mere blip in terms of literary history. Although the beginnings of the Mimeo Revolution can be traced back to Waldport during World War II, things really only heated up when Black Mountain Review went down in flames in late 1957, along with the Howl Trial, the San Francisco Scene of Evergreen Review, and…

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