Kathy Acker (1971-1975)

    Kathy Acker

    Ismael’s title: N°5

    Pages: 656

    First critical edition of Kathy Acker’s unpublished early writings from (1969-1976). Comprises almost all the typescripts from that period present in the Kathy Acker’s archives.
    Features also the transcription and presentation of Acker’s two 1974 experimental videos.
    Editor: Justin Gajoux.
    Critical notes: Justin Gajoux & Claire Finch.
    Also with texts of: Alan Sondheim, Emily Cheng, Jill Kroesen, Peter Gordon, Claire Finch, Anna Maria Pinaka, Matias Viegener, Justin Gajoux.
    Artwork: Satarina Cantos.
    Isbn: 979-10-97450-03-8.
    Published on August 30 of 2019 (print); on January 10 of 2021 (pdf).
    –> HQ file // LQ file
    And: a 50 ex. silkscreen print by Maria Taniere, on fabric, was created especially for the release of the book.

    Price: 35€
    Shipping for Portugal: Free.
    Shipping for Europe: +4€.
    Shipping for World:  +8€.

    Print run: 500 numbered copies. Offset printed, on paper Munken Print White 80g; signatures sewn, cold glue. Cover: silkscreen printed, 1 layer, on Arjowiggins Popset 240g.

    Order: via email editions.ismael@gmail.com
    Pay: w/ bank transfer for Europe, w/ paypal for World Shipping, with €cash€ in Paris and in Lisbon.
    Available in bookstores: see list below.


    This book is the first attempt to produce a critical edition of a large number of Kathy Acker’s unpublished early works. Apart from the posthumous publication, in 2002, of the early manuscript Rip-off Red, Girl Detective and The Burning Bombing of America: The Destruction of the U.S. by Amy Scholder and Grove Press in one volume, in 2002, as well as Gabrielle Kappes’ chapbook, no other important publication had been attempted in this field.

    These – mostly unpublished – texts were all composed between 1969 and 1976. Yet they are representative of Acker’s published output only for the period running from 1971 to early 1974. These texts all exist as “clean” typewritten copies, probably intended to be kept, shown, maybe even published. The editor chose not to include Acker’s manuscripts. The transcriptions in this volume were made directly from the original typescripts. Original pagination, manuscript addenda, missing pages and other idiosyncrasies of each file have been preserved; our editorial notes at the end of the texts all feature a material description of the source version used.

    The organization of this volume is chronological. The texts’ respective date of composition is often the result of an estimate based on their content and form (an estimate that is then justified and defended).

    Such a collection shows how prolific, diverse and always in-progress Acker’s production was in those years. It isn’t, however, Acker’s complete early works. More typescripts exist at the Fales Library which aren’t featured or alluded to in this book. Their publication and analysis may in the future suggest a whole new set of interpretations that will, or might not, contradict the present editor’s exegesis. Moreover, the comparison of the typescripts with manuscript versions will undoubtedly inspire new perspectives on Acker’s creative process and intentions during those years.

    Table of contents:

    Acknowledgements and Foreword – Editor
    Are You Surprised that Kathy Acker Was an Aries Because I’m Not — Claire Finch

    The Golden Woman (ca. 1969-1970) — Kathy Acker
    Section from: Diary
    (1-2/1971) — Kathy Acker

    Portraits (7/1971) — Kathy Acker
    Portraits and Visions (ca. summer 1971) — Kathy Acker
    Diary Warmcatfur (1/1972) — Kathy Acker
    Politics (pub. 5/1972) — Kathy Acker
    For H. (ca. 5/1972) — Kathy Acker
    Revolutionary Diary of an Anarchist (ca. 5/1972) — Kathy Acker
    Journal Black Cats     Black Jewels (summer 1972) — Kathy Acker
    Gold Songs for Jimi Hendrix (ca. summer 1972) — Kathy Acker
    Breaking Up (ca. summer 1972) — Kathy Acker
    [Letters to Bernadette Mayer] (summer-fall 1972) – Kathy Acker
    Homage to LeRoi Jones (fall 1972) — Kathy Acker
    [Letter to Bernadette Mayer] (ca. fall 1972) — Kathy Acker
    Entrance into dwelling in paradise (fall 1972) — Kathy Acker

    [Exercises] (fall 1972) — Kathy Acker
    Stripper Disintegration (2-3/1973) — Kathy Acker
    Section from Diary (3/1973) — Kathy Acker
    [Letter to Bernadette Mayer] (6 / 2? / 1973) — Kathy Acker
    The beginning of the Thesmophoriazusae (7-9/1973) — Kathy Acker
    Part I of Breaking Through Memories into Desire (11 / 1973) — Kathy Acker
    Part II [of Breaking Through Memories…] (ca. 1 / 1974) — Kathy Acker
    Conversations (1/1974) — Kathy Acker
    Talking as Music (2/1974) — Peter Gordon
    From Part III of Breaking Through Memories… (2-3 / 1974) — Kathy Acker
    [Letters to Alan Sondheim] (2-3 / 1974) — Kathy Acker
    [Letter to Bernadette Mayer] (3 / 3 / 1974) — Kathy Acker
    [Untitled Tape] (3/1974) — Kathy Acker & Alan Sondheim

    [About the Untitled Tape] (ca. 3/1974) — Emily Cheng
    [Untitled Tape 2] (ca. 3/1974) — Kathy Acker & Alan Sondheim
    Various Memory Experiments, I (4/1974) — Kathy Acker
    [Letter to Bernadette Mayer] (4-7 / 1974) — Kathy Acker
    [Postcard to Kathy Acker] (7/24/1974) — Alan Sondheim
    [Letters to Bernadette Mayer] (10 / 1974-10 / 1975) — Kathy Acker
    [Songs] (1974-1975) — Jill Kroesen

    [Flyer for the Whitney Museum] (11/1976) — Kathy Acker & Alan Sondheim

    About the « Blue Tape » (2012) — Alan Sondheim
    [About the Untitled Tape 1] (2018) — Emily Cheng
    14th Street studio and Fun City (2019) — Justin Gajoux
    Kathy Acker and Sex Work in the Section from Diary (2019) — Justin Gajoux
    Porno-graphing Actions of the « Blue Tape » (2019) — Anna Maria Pinaka
    Afterword — Matias Viegener


    on August 2, 2019, at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA-London) for The Labyrinth: a Convening on the  Work of Kathy Acker.With a reading by Claire Finch of her introduction, « Are You Surprised that Kathy Acker Was an Aries Because I’m Not » (img1).


    On October 11, 2019 – at After 8 Books (Paris), featuring: a presentation of Kathy Acker (1971-1975); a performance-reading by Claire Finch and Élodie Petit of their translation to French of excerpts of Kathy Acker’s early works, Constamment effrayée par le nuage noir je me marie avec; projections of Alan Sondheim & Kathy Acker’s [Untitled Tape 2] from 1974; and an exposition of Acker’s notes from her personal library (at Cologne) conceived by Claire Finch and Théo Robine-Langois.
    On October 18, 2019 – at Galeria Zé dos Bois (Lisbon), featuring: a presentation of Kathy Acker (1971-1975) by Justin Gajoux; a projection of Alan Sondheim & Kathy Acker’s [Untitled Tape] and [Untitled Tape 2] from 1974; concerts of Joana GuerradUASsEMIcOLCHEIASiNVERTIDAS; and BA+NU E w/ projections of António Caramelo.
    On November 17, 2019 – at Rile* (Brussels), featuring: a presentation of Kathy Acker (1971-1975) and of Maria Taniere’s silkcreen print; a reading of her introduction by Claire Finch; a conversation between Tessel VeneboerClaire Finch and Justin Gajoux about the editorial work; a projection of Alan Sondheim & Kathy Acker’s 1974 [Untitled Tape] and [Untitled Tape 2].
    On January 9, 2020 – at The Seminary Co-op Bookstores (Chicago), Claire Finch discusses Kathy Acker (1971-1975). A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.
    Presented in partnership with The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, French Culture in the Midwest and Cultural Services | French Embassy in the US.
    — On January 27, 2020 – at B_Books (Berlin), with Claire FinchKarolin MeunierJustin Gajoux, and readings by Tarek Lakhrissi & more.


    — Diário revolucionário de uma Anarquista, Kathy Acker (1972) — translation to Portuguese by António Albata of Diary of an Anarchist (Éditions Ismael, 2019, p.194-195), published in A Batalha – Jornal de Expressão Anarquista (Lisboa), March-June 2020. –> Pdf.

    Available at:

    – After 8 Books (Paris)
    – Librairie la Petite Égypte (Paris)
    – Shakespeare & Co. (Paris)
    – Galerie Yvon Lambert (Paris)
    – Librairie Tschann (Paris)
    – Librairie Galignani (Paris)
    – Libraire les Mots à la Bouche (Paris)
    – L’Écume des Pages (Paris)
    – Wheelbarrow Books (Paris)

    Rile* (Bruxelles)
    – Passaporta (Brussels)

    – Galeria Zé dos Bois (Lisbon)
    – Livraria Distopia (Lisbon)
    – Livraria Linha de Sombra (Lisbon)
    – Livraria Snob (Lisbon)

    – Motto Books (Berlin)
    – B_Books (Berlin)
    – Pro Qm (Berlin)
    – Walther König Buchhandlung (Berlin)
    – Rotorbooks (Leipzig)

    – Printed Matter (New York, NY)
    – ICA Boston (Boston)
    – Skylight Books (Los Angeles)
    – Ooga Booga (Los Angeles)

    See also our pages:

    – Some of Kathy Ackers’ publications in periodicals between 1974 and 1997.
    – Some of Kathy Acker’s audio materials (1978-1999)

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