In the winter of 1968, LeRoi Jones went on trial for possession of guns in Newark. At his trial, the judge cited three poems that had appeared in Evergreen Review as evidence of the defendant’s guilt. A flyer circulated showing Jones handcuffed, wearing a prison uniform, and sporting a gash down his forehead that obviously hadn’t resulted from hitting his head on the typewriter. The caption read: “Poetry Is Revolution / Revolution Is Poetry.”
Editorial note: What follows is an excerpt from a review Stephens wrote of Tom Weatherly’s Maumau American Cantos and Andrei Codrescu’s License to Carry a Gun, a review originally published on page 6 of The Village Voice on December 31, 1970.