My Own Mag

My Own Mag (Barnet, England: Jeff Nuttall / Homosap, Inc., [1963]-1966). 17 nos.

Some of the strengths of the twentieth-century holdings at the Morgan include the Carter Burden Collection's important association copies belonging to William S. Burroughs, and the comprehensive range of modern British poets in the Kenneth A. Lohf Collection. A recent acquisition in the Printed Books department extends these holdings with Jeff Nuttall’s mimeographed periodical, My Own Mag (1963-1966).

At the height of the 1960s British Poetry Revival, My Own Mag was a nexus of underground writing and counterculture literature. It featured irreverent poems, prose, and comics, and attracted submissions from a small coterie of the international avant-garde, including William S. Burroughs, Anselm Hollo, Carl Weissner, Claude Pélieu, and Sigma founder Alexander Trocchi. Burroughs in particular was inspired by what he viewed as Nuttall’s experiment in “reader participation.” He took an active editorial role, publishing his own magazine-within-the-magazine called The Moving Times, and sent copies to Brion Gysin and Allen Ginsberg, among others. For Nuttall—a poet, artist, and musician—the mimeo served as “a paper exhibition in words, pages, spaces, holes, edges, and images.” Its anarchic experimentation captures some of the activities that occurred in the basement at London’s Better Books and that synthesized with Ginsberg’s appearance at the 1965 International Poetry Incarnation at Albert Hall. Notorious for its rarity as much as its cut, stained, and burnt pages, this run of My Own Magis only the second complete set recorded in American institutions.

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