Ed Sanders’ Archive

Ed Sanders and Janis Joplin, Fillmore East, New York City, Opening Night, 1968 – Photograph by Elliott Landy

Our dear friends at Granary Books have currently on offer an extraordinary trove – the legendary Ed Sanders Archives (2017 – no longer available)

“The archive contains approximately 354 boxes (primarily “bankers’ boxes”), 54 spring binders (exceeding 8,300 pages, 39 3-ring binders, 27 archival boxes of audio and video tapes, 7 filing cabinets, approximately 60 books, 21 shelf-feet of chronological and alphabetical files, 1 mimeograph machine, 11 electronic musical instruments (The Electronic Bard System), the Peace Eye Bookstore sign, and assorted other items.”
“Over a ten year period Ed Sanders organized his archive and created The Archive of Edward Sanders, a 219-page finding aid/inventory/narrative document. It not only details the archive’s contents, but also its location at Ed and Miriam Sanders’ Woodstock home..”

section of Ed Sanders’ Archive, currently based at his Woodstock property in up-state New York

The archive, as the generous Granary prospectus observes, is unparalleled – “a remarkable record of the legendary poet, writer, editor, publisher, activist, Fugs founder, and icon of American counterculture. Beginning with his first poems written while he still lived in Missouri (1955), it encompasses all of Sanders’ expansive life and career.” It is “a unique resource that allows for the exploration into Sanders’ seminal contributions to the Mimeo Revolution and American poetry, as well as his legacy in the American underground and counterculture with his political activism and his music.. (It) has long been spoken of by scholars as well as fans. ”

The Ginsberg-Sanders relation is absolutely primary (Ed has long acknowledged his discovery of “Howl” as his life-defining moment, and has consistently championed Allen as, not only his life-long friend, but, unequivocally and avowedly, his hero and guru). In 2001, he published a book-length poem on Allen

and the feeling (camaraderie and respect) was mutual:

For some of the specifically Ginsberg-related items in the archive – see here [2017 – this link no longer works) (altho’ in these voluminous archives, Allen is just one of the many “friends” featured – Granary also spotlights Ed’s relations with John Sinclair, the late d.a.levy, Claude Pélieu , and cartoonist, Spain Rodriguez amongst others).

Here’s a fugitive little thing – from October 1969 – a pencil sketch of an artesian well for his Cherry Valley Farm:

Here’s a singular note of bonding – Allen and Ed crucially together in Chicago, in ’68, (peacefully) demonstrating against the atrocities of the Vietnam War

“Introduce me as Prague King of May – Ed – in my turn, you explain I lost my voice chanting Aum in the park so please you read my piece – then I’ll do 3 minutes of Silence Mind consciousness and belly breathing” (“At the Big Lyndon Johnson UnBirthday Party in Chicago [1968] – 6000 people on hand, Ginsberg’s voice has not yet returned from his many hours of chanting om to quell the violence so he passed me a note to read to the audience” (Ed Sanders))

Allen Ginsberg, Chicago, August 1968 – Photograph by Frank Losi – (“I bought a bunch of daisies and handed them out. Allen Ginsberg holds some…” (Ed Sanders) – Losi photograph included in the Ed Sanders Archive)

The Granary Prospectus also contains further sections (broken down into “Writing and Projects” (Poetry, Glyphs, Musical Instruments, Manson Family (after Ed’s 1971 book), (Charles) Olson Lectures), ” Chronological Boxes”, and “Activism and Assorted”, as well as “The Fugs”, “The Peace Eye Bookstore” and The “Fuck You Press”. Documentary evidence of a extraordinary life.

Allen, c.1966, browsing the shelves of Ed Sanders’ Lower East Side Prace Eye Bookshop

Flyer for Allen Ginsberg at Th Creative Music Studio, Woodstock, May 19. 1978

Poster for The Fugs playing with Allen Ginsberg and Country Joe McDonald at the Byrdcliffe Barn, Woodstock, August 13 & 14, 1989

Here‘s Ed in Prague in 2005, singing in praise of Allen


Ed Sanders and his wife Miriam Sanders, photographed at their home in Woodstock, April 18, 1983 – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – © The Estate of Allen Ginsberg

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