Big Allis, 1989-2000 (ed. Melanie Neilson and Jessica Grim)

Big Allis no. 5, 1992
Big Allis no. 5, 1992

Founded in New York City by Melanie Neilson and Jessica Grim, Big Allis generated a dynamic forum for contemporary writing by emerging and established experimental poets with a specific focus on innovative poetry by women. The magazine published nine issues over its twelve year run. Grim co-edited the first seven issues with Neilson, who was then joined by associate editor Deirdre Kovac for the final two issues. Tracing an exuberant range of language and post-language practices throughout the nineties, Big Allis sketches a decade of vibrant poetics radiating around NYC, the Segue Foundation, and the Ear Inn reading series. In the words of Bruce Andrews, the magazine offered “a rematerializing, multitorquing, postpatriarchal language-centered rebellion.” Like its supergenerator namesake, Big Allis conducts massive amounts of sheer energy in each issue – read as a whole, the magazine’s arc is nothing short of electrifying.

While the first six issues were side-stapled with matte stock covers, the remaining three were perfect bound with glossy covers. All covers were designed by Jean Foos, often using found and appropriated imagery. By following this link, you may find her commentary on the magazine alongside a series of recollections by editors Jessica Grim and Melanie Neilson, as well as contributors Bruce Andrews, Tina Darragh, Rob Fitterman, Lyn Hejinian, Jena Osman, Joan Retallack, James Sherry, and Rod Smith.

Issues are available for browsing or download below. You may also download the entire set of nine issues here: ZIP, 133 MB. Download links for searchable PDFs of each issue follow. Original pagination noted in the contents, which retain the format of the original tables.

from Big Allis no. 1

Big Allis 1, 1989 [PDF, 19 MB]


Photograph by Hope Sandrow, Keiko.

Contents

Jean Day
six poems
p.1
Gail Sher
from Kuklos
p.7
Fiona Templeton
from YOU – the city
p.12
Sally Silvers
Selected movement descriptions
p.14
Tina Darragh
increase long simultaneously with fine’” p.16
Jessica Grim
Aquatic Fetish Trunkation
p.21
Pat Reed
two poems
p.25
Dorothy Trujillo Lusk
Historical Necessity and First
p.27
Leslie Scalapino
from The Pearl (a comic book, the form of the novel)
p.35
Hannah Weiner
from Pictures and Early Works, 1972
p.43
Eileen Corder
Branche
p.46
Melanie Neilson
Wheelie (or Suture Self)
p.50
Laura Moriarty
Luz and Rosie
p.53
Diane Ward
from Crossing
p.58

Big Allis 2, 1989 [PDF, 16 MB]


Photograph by Hope Sandrow.

Contents

 Lynne Dreyer from Conversation Pieces p.1
 Carla Harryman from The Words
p.4
 Sheila Murphy three pieces
p.9
 Jerry Estrin from The Park
p.12
 Chris Tysh from Coat of Arms
p.19
 David Sternbach S-E-L-F H-E-L-P
p.23
 Jena Osman three poems
p.30
 Abigail Child Skate
p.38
Kathryn Macleod
from Houseworks
p.43
Bruce Andrews
Did You Really?
p.48
Brita Bergland
two poems
p.54
Beverly Dahlen
Untitled (Potrero Hill)
p.56
Lyn Hejinian & Carla Harryman
from The Wide Road
p.63
Contributors’ Notes
p.67

Big Allis 3, 1990 [PDF, 17 MB]


Frame enlargement from Elmar Klos film, The Highway Sings, 1937.

Contents

Diane Ward
from Milky West
p.1
Steven Farmer
from World of Shields
p.5
Karen MacCormack
four poems
p.15
Charles Bernstein
Heart in My Eye
p.20
Jessica Grim
two poems
p.23
Jean Day
two poems
p.26
Steve McCaffery
C3H5O3(H2 PO3)
p.29
Laura Moriarty
An Interrogation of Pleasure
p.32
Julia Steele untitled poem
p.43
Norma Cole
language/with a vision of partial detail
p.46
Mary Angeline
from Preface
p.51
Joan Retallack
ditto Marcel Duchamp?/ditto ditto Gertrude Stein?
p.54
Rosmarie Waldrop
from Patient Definitions
p.59
Contributors’ Notes
p.63

Big Allis 4, 1991 [PDF, 17 MB]


Photograph by Mary Foos, 1990.

Contents

Rae Armantrout
two poems
p.1
Margy Sloan
Rest
p.3
Elizabeth Willis
Paraleipsis
p.5
Johanna Drucker
Critical Field
p.13
Elaine Equi
Home Remedy
p.15
Mary Rising Higgins
18 Haiku
p.19
Colleen Lookingbill
from Incognita
p.20
Lynne Dreyer
from Easy Winners
p.27
Adeena Karasick
from Archètorture
p.29
Dodie Bellamy
from The Letters of Mina Harker
p.33
George Therese Dickenson
from Interpreter of Dreams
p.36
Melanie Neilson
two poems
p.39
Beverly Dahlen
For Laura Moriartys like roads
p.43
Contributors’ Notes

p.51

Big Allis 5, 1992 [PDF, 15 MB]


Detail of stereoscopic photo of Niagara Falls from the collection of Julie Weiss.

Contents

Maggie O’Sullivan
Narrative of the Shields
p.1
Andrea Hollowell
from Logic in the Light of Day
p.5
Jean Day  from The I and the You  p.8
Harryette Mullen
from S*PeRM*K*T
p.16
Rachel Careau
four poems
p.18
Jeff Derksen
from Interface
p.22
Tina Darragh
adv. fans
p.26
Michael Anderson
four poems
p.30
Gail Sher
from La
p.34
Jackson Mac Low
from Twenties
p.42
Stacy Doris
from The Frogs
p.49
Fiona Templeton
four pieces
p.52
Bill Fuller
from Times Itself
p.57
Contributors’ Notes
p.66

Big Allis 6, 1993 [PDF, 17 MB]


 
Kathy Grove, The Other Series: After Muybridge, 1990.

Contents

Juliana Spahr  The Letter p.4
Ulla Dydo
Stop Look and Listen: A Digression on the Picture of a Page by Gertrude Stein 
p.15
Rob Fitterman / Kim Rosenfield
The State of Things Called Recent1
p.28
Martine Bellen
An Artificial Murasaki Shikibu Nikki and Commentary
p.32
Bruce Andrews
Primum Mobile 10 (from Lip Service)    p.37
Sianne Ngai  Four Forms p.42
Jeff Derksen  Temp Corp p.46
Alan Davies
two poems   p.58
Lori Lubeski
from You Torture Me  p.60
Bob Harrison
two poems
p.62
Peter Seaton
six poems
p.65
Catriona Strang from Low Fancy 
p.71

Big Allis 7, 1996 [PDF, 20 MB]


Photograph by Zoe Leonard, Beauty Calibrator, Museum of Beauty, Hollywood, 1993.

Contents

Jean Donnelly
five poems
p.1
Laurie Price
three poems
p.3
Ann Lauterbach
two poems p.6
Charles Bernstein
five poems p.13
Joan Retallack
The Earlier Names Are Almost Forgotten
p.18
Deirdre Kovac
Mannerism
p.26
Gail Sher
from George Tooker: Marginalia
p.30
Anne Tardos
seven poems p.34
Hannah Weiner
Ubliminal
p.41
Mark DuCharme
two poems p.44
Elizabeth Fodaski
from The Anatomy of Associative Thought
p.49
Stephen Ratcliffe
from Sculpture (Part I)
p.53
James Sherry
Clean Speak
p.56
Tom Beckett
untitled
p.58
Caroline Bergvall
Hands On, Catullus
p.59
Michael Gottlieb
The River Road, Parts: 11-17, 19 p.63
Stacy Doris
from A Girls Thoughts p.67
Rod Smith
three poems p.72
Contributors’ Notes   p.78

Big Allis 8, 1998 [PDF, 25 MB]


Photograph by Roni Horn, You Are the Weather, 1994-1995.

Contents

FEATURE: 14 FROM GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND
Catherine Walsh
from City West  p.1
Drew Milne
from Optic Fire (The Slaughter Bench)   p.7
Andrea Brady
five poems  p.12
Caroline Bergvall
Eclat, Pt. 2 (Original Walkman Mix)  p.15
Aaron Williamson
from A Martyronomy  p.17
David Kinloch
from Fifth Quarter  p.19
Karlien van den Beukel
from Bathing Suites  p.25
Rob McKenzie
from Kirk Interiors  p.27
Helen Macdonald
two poems  p.29
John Wilkinson
from Saccades   p.31
Sarah Law
Compulsive Read 
p.34
Tertia Longmire
four poems
p.36
Ken Edwards
from Bird Migration in the 21st Century
p.39
Miles Champion
Very Strong and Very Weak
p.44

Juliana Spahr
from Live
p.49
Noah de Lissovoy
two poems
p.61
Bruce Andrews
two poems
p.64
Graham Foust
from The Rubella Wheel
p.70
Stephanie Strickland
two poems
p.72
Bob Harrison
Building Exit
p.75
Lisa Robertson and Christine Stewart
Primitivera Perturb
p.77
Rodrigo Toscano
O Sacrum Convivium
p.84
H.T.
System of Issue 
p.86
Alison Lune
nine poems
p.87
Heather Ramsdell
two poems 
p.91
Liz Waldner from Abecederium, Initial
p.99
Contributors’ Notes   p.100

Big Allis 9, 2000 [PDF, 16 MB]


Digital photograph by Joyce George, Signpost, 1999.

Contents

Deanna Ferguson
thresholes
p.1
Steve McCaffery
What As Poetic  
p.12
Judith Goldman
The Real Devotion of Events
p.18
Gregory Brooker
The Secret Books 30-35
p.27
Amy Sara Carroll
two poems and S (lino print)
p.34
Chris McCreary
two poems
p.38
Catriona Strang
seven poems
p.42
Linda Russo
Poetics: figures e through l
p.49
Steven Farmer
from Parts / Din
p.52
Andrew Levy
six poems
p.56
Christian Bök
from Eunoia, Chapter I
p.64
Nancy Shaw
four poems
p.70
Jason Nelson
from Recent Patents, 1862
p.74
Aletha Irby
from Moon Haiku 
p.77
Heather Fuller
two poems
p.78
Dorothy Trujillo Lusk
Decorum (Typical)     
p.87
Contributors’ Notes  

p.90

 

 

 

With special thanks to Melanie Neilson for supplying the full run of Big Allis and to Amelia Bentley for her tireless work on this release.