Nine issues, edited by Alice Notley (1972-1974)
Alice Notley’s CHICAGO is a seminal publication in the history of 20th century poetry magazines. Alongside The World, edited by Anne Waldman, and Telephone, edited by Maureen Owen, CHICAGO is a radical example of the legal size mimeograph magazines edited and published by the women poets associated with the New York School. These nine issues trace a formative time in Notley’s life during which the young poet, then in her late twenties and recently out of graduate school at Iowa, was pregnant with her sons and moving between Chicago and England as her husband, the poet Ted Berrigan, followed a series of university teaching positions. The first six issues of CHICAGO were published in Chicago while Notley was living at 911 W. Diversey and the final three issues, known as the “European Editions,” were published while she was living in Wivenhoe in Essex, England. Notley’s attentive and independent editorial stance is the hallmark of each issue.
Defined by Notley’s interest in publishing large collections of poems by individual writers—sometimes over 20 poems—and an art gallery-like approach to how pieces sit on the large legal size page, CHICAGO is both a record of the aesthetic experimentation and associations in the early ‘70s that bend outside standard narratives of the New York School and a record of Notley’s establishment of her editorial vision that would extend 20 years later into the editing of Scarlet and Gare du Nord with Douglas Oliver. Highlights from throughout these issues include poems by Lorenzo Thomas, textual-visual pieces by Philip Whalen, Joe Brainard comic collaborations with John Ashbery and Kenneth Koch, over 50 pieces by Notley herself, and a conversation between George Oppen and Berrigan in the initial European Edition. The interactive data visualization above shows the complete contributor network of all 9 issues of CHICAGO simultaneously. Click on an issue node (identified by issue number and cover image) or a contributor node (identified by name and colored red) to reveal additional data. Click and drag nodes to arrange the connections in different ways and see how the issues are linked through contributors. The larger the red contributor node, the more frequently that person contributed to the magazine. As we can see, Notley, Berrigan and Hollo were the most frequent contributors to CHICAGO.
All cover art is by George Schneeman. The Volume 5 Number 1 issue is edited by Berrigan. Downloadable, fully searchable PDFs of each issue are available via Google Drive by clicking the button below the table of contents of individual issues. These scans of CHICAGO were generously provided by Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library.