Sunday, February 18, 2007



An Experiment in Collective Autobiography, San Francisco, 1975-1980, by Barrett Watten, Ted Pearson, Rae Armantrout, Steve Benson, Kit Robinson, Tom Mandel, Ron Silliman, Carla Harryman, Lyn Hejinian, and Bob Perelman.

Since the 1970s no literary group has made a more articulate contribution to thinking and practicing its groupness than the Language writers. Rejecting the vertical organization of the Poundian or Bretonian circle – with its singular genius issuing directives from its center –­ they instead developed a horizontal structure in which new terms, tones, and intertexts (and new versions of the group's history itself) can emerge from, and be engaged by, any member.

— Lytle Shaw

THE GRAND PIANO is an on-going experiment in collective autobiography by ten writers identified with Language Poetry in San Francisco. It takes its name from a coffeehouse at 1607 Haight Street, where from 1976-79 the authors took part in a reading and performance series. The writing project was undertaken as an online collaboration, first via an interactive web site and later through a listserv. When completed, THE GRAND PIANO will comprise ten parts, in each of which the ten authors will appear in a difference sequence.

Parts 1 and 2 are $12.95 each or $20.00 for both. Serial publication began in November 2006; subsequent volumes to appear at three-month intervals. Subscription to the entire series of ten volumes is now available for $90 directly from Lyn Hejinian, 2639 Russell Street, Berkeley, CA 94705. Order forms can be printed in color or black and white.

Designed and published by Barrett Watten, Mode A/This Press (Detroit), 6885 Cathedral Drive, Bloomfield Twp., MI 48301. Distributed (individual orders and trade) by Small Press Distribution, Inc., 1341 Seventh Street, Berkeley, CA 94710-1408. ISBN 978-0-9790198-0-7 (part 1, 80 pp.), 978-0-9790198-1-4 (part 2, 96 pp.), wrappers.


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