Text from the contributors page of the first issue.

Collage of Personal Injury cover art and illustrations.

In the years following WWII, a second great awakening of twentieth century poetry had begun. The invention of the mimeograph machine meant that, for just the price of a couple stencils and few stacks of paper, almost anyone could become a publisher. It was exceptionally cheap, and the resulting "mimeo-revolution" became an outpouring of small-scale, non-commercial poetry books and magazines, which directly gave birth to many of the famous New York School magazines, including Mag City, 0-9, and the "C" Press. Although many of these magazines operated purely as a subscriber-based mailing list, the existence of independent bookstores also made it possible to find a homemade publication on shelves.

However, by the time Personal Injury was published, the mimeograph mystique was waning, and offset lithography was simultaneously becoming cheaper. Additionally, there was the foundation of the Print Center, a non-profit shop run by artists and writers in Brooklyn, which was funded primarily by the New York State Council on the Arts to help foster poetry and the avant-garde. The Print Center had special IBM Selectric variable space typewriters with type-head balls that could make camera-ready pages that looked as though they were typeset. It also had all the other supplies necessary for small batch job printings: offset presses, paper folding machines, staple binding machines, paper cutting machines, and so on. Many literary works, including poetry, experimental fiction, and Personal Injury, were produced and printed there. Although Personal Injury came late to the scene, it still operated similarly to the magazines of the mimeograph era: copies were mailed directly to subscribers, and others were sold on shelves at the Eastside Bookstore, 8th Street Bookstore, and other stores with little poetry sections.

© 2019 by Debbie Ku. Proudly created with Made for Dr. Nick Sturm's English 1102 class.

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