Five Editors Reading their Poetry at Papa Bach (1974)

Shortly after the publication of Bachy’s second issue in the summer of 1973, I suggested to Ted Reidel that the late John Harris would be a superb poetry editor. John not only took on that position, but began coordinating the readings at Papa Bach Bookstore. One of the events he arranged in the early spring of 1974 was an evening that featured five editors of Los Angeles based literary magazines. The half-sheet of yellow paper that served as the press release and publicity flyer simply read:

(Five) 5 Editors Lay It on the Line at Papa Bach

Sunday, April 7 (1974)
11317 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles

Michael C. Ford (Sunset Palms Hotel)
John Harris (Bachy)
James Krusoe (Beyond Baroque)
William Mohr (Momentum)
Paul Vangelisti (Invisible City)

In the original announcement, the names of their magazines were not listed after their names, which is the reason the titles are in italics in the above list. At age 26, I was the youngest of these editors, though I confess that I didn’t let that fact diminish my self-confidence. The first issue had just come out, featuring a copy of the blueprint order form from my job at Larwin, an architectural firm I had worked out for two years along with an aspiring landscape architect named Steve Davis. The recession of 1974 had cost me my job, though I was hardly disconsolate at being able to stay home and work on my writing and editing instead of standing in front of a machine and feeding it sheet after sheet of light-sensitive paper.

I don’t believe that Michael, John, Jim, Paul, and myself thought of this evening as being particularly special, and yet in retrospect it amounted to an unusual gathering for any major city in the United States. How often did five editors of five memorable magazines ever read together at the same venue?

One of the DIY organizations that we launched at that time was Literary Publishers of Southern California (LPSC), which was an early attempt for form a book-distribution cooperative. We signed up for some tables at a book fair in Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. Rod Bradley took several photographs of editors at the fair.

Papa Bach - LPSC Book Fair
John Harris (leaning over table); Michael C. Ford (standing behind table), and unknown attendees at book fair.

Papa Bach - MCFord - John Harris - LPSC
John Harris; Michael C. Ford, and unknown attendee at book fair.

Grapes - Mohr
Jack Grapes (lifting cup); Bill Mohr (with motorcycle helmet crooked under arm with box of books); in the background, Luis Campos?

All photographs (c) copyright Rod Bradley, 2017. Permission to reproduce must be obtained from the photographer.

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