Chapbooks of the Mimeo Revolution


Offering one of the most comprehensive and various chapbook collections in the United States, Poets House has important holdings of chapbooks from the “Mimeo Revolution,” a period stretching from the early 1960s through the mid-1980s when small-press publishing proliferated. During this time, poets across the country and beyond started their own presses, producing small books and magazines that ranged from letterpress publications to photocopied pamphlets. For many young poets, the handmade book became a rallying cry for poetic revolution in response to the conservative and materialist culture of the postwar McCarthy era.

Leading lights of the Mimeo Revolution included LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) and Hettie Jones, co-founders of Totem Press; Dudley Randall of Broadside Press; Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights; and Margaret Randall and Sergio Mondragón of El Corno Emplumado. These are just a few of the many important figures whose publishing activity fostered diverse literary communities, brought new voices to the national and international stage, and cultivated a new, multifarious, and deeply influential avant-garde.

LEARN MORE: Chapbooks and Their History

LEARN MORE: The Mimeo Revolution