New York: Hardware Poets, 1964. First Edition, First Printing. 8vo (8 1/2 x 5 1/2 pages; 217 x 140 mm), 23,  mimeographed stapled pages. The scarce second issue of a newsletter issued to support the activities of the Hardware Poets Theatre, an Off Off Broadway venture featuring plays, poetry readings, films, and music. The theatre was located in a drafty loft above a hardware store on West 54th Street. The founders were Peter Levin, Audrey Davis, and Jerry and Elaine Bloedow, who subsidized the running costs. (For more on this group, as well as other Off Off Broadway companies, see the invaluable "Playing Underground: A Critical History of the 1960s Off-Off-Broadway Movement," by Stephen J. Bottoms, The University of Michigan Press, 2006.) Contributors include Audrey Davis, who writes about the warm audience reaction to a recent production; Peter Levin on the theatre's goal of remaining amateur in the financial sense but professional in other senses; poems by Robert Kelly, Jerome Rothenberg, and George Brecht, among others; and a sad piece by Diane Wakoski on encountering a woman who had collapsed on the ground, her children screaming, "Daddy, make Mommy wake up!" Not surprisingly for a venture that operated on a shoestring, there are also several requests for money. This copy was mailed to the great photographer Fred McDarrah at the Village Voice; his contact details appear on the lower wrapper. A scarce bit of ephemera from an exciting time in the Off Off Broadway and New York poetry scene. There were no other copies in commerce as of September 1, 2019. SCARCE. Item #2052
CONDITION: Vertical crease from mailing, some soiling to wrappers, sticker and postmark to lower wrapper, internally clean, bright, and unmarked. A Very Good copy.