Pressed Wafer began life as a magazine edited by Daniel Bouchard, William Corbett and Joseph Torra. The idea was to breathe some life into the then—circa 2000—moribund Boston/Cambridge poetry scene by publishing an annual magazine. We got through two issues before the need to publish chapbooks and books spurred Pressed wafer in that direction.
Our first issue adapted Art & Literature’s Pierre Faucheux cover design as a homage to that great magazine edited in the 1960s by Anne Dunn, Rodrigo Moynihan, Sonia Orwell and John Ashbery.
Contributors: Rodrigo Moynihan, Michael Palmer, Ann Kim, Paul Metcalf, Joseph Torra, Monica Peck, James Schuyler, Robert D’Attilio, Paul Petricone, Donna de la Perrière, Ed Barrett, Lee Harwood, Ben E. Watkins and John Wieners.
Issue number two featured the tribute Hello Joe to the artist and writer Joe Brainard. The poets David Trinidad and Elaine Equi co-edited this tribute to which thirty-seven artists and writers contributed. Brainard’s executor, his lifelong friend the poet Ron Padgett, choose the cover painting, a portrait of the whippet Whippoorwill. The dog is curled up in such a way that he resembles a skull. Padgett also calmed the editor’s enthusiasm for a too bright yellow cover.
It’s a beautiful magazine stuffed with good things on Brainard and by those who loved the man and his art. But mistakes were made. There are the typos that seem to creep into even the best intended and most scrupulously proofread publications, but more important there is no ISBN. That James Laughlin left the page numbers off the first New Directions annual is small consolation. Alas, to publish is to nod occasionally and then to sigh.
Though Abe’s Books no longer has copies of issue 2, there are surely copies floating in cyberspace. Pressed Wafer has two copies for sale. Price to be negotiated.