CYCLOPS

Cyclops was initially a series of five poetry magazines produced in Norwich in 1968 and 1969.  They are interesting because they and a few other magazines, such as Norch, represent local examples of the mimeograph revolution that was sweeping the United States and Britain. The first edition of Cyclops is especially interesting because it is called the "Unicorn appeal issue".

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No, the deluded hippies were not fund raising for the return of a mythical beast but rather the Brighton bookshop called the "Unicorn" which had been raided by the police and its owner Bill Butler charged with obscenity and heavily fined.

The list of contributors is interesting because they show local talent such as Maurice Carpenter, Tim Sillence and Jeff Nuttall but also what I term "the Brighton connection" of Peter Riley, Paul Evans, Bill Butler and Richard Cupidi.  Students from the University of East Anglia (UEA) are represented by Snoo Wilson, Malcolm Johnston, Berkely Henegan and Sarah Sladden. Carl Weissner (described as from San Francisco) was a German associate of Nuttall who published Jeff in his own Klacto mag. Pete Hoida was a confidante and friend of Tim Sillence from his Cheltenham days. Oh, and there is some musician called Marc Bolan.....

This jewel of a book was actually published at Bristow's by the Wild Pigeon Press. The rest of the series were not and the focus seems to move away from the bookshop towards the UEA.

I contacted Peter Riley who was delighted about what he termed one of his "lost poems" and he remembered that the Unicorn was "a regular refuge" and that he was present at most of the trial.

Richard Cupidi wrote "a surprise dreamtelling we call our past. Yes I remember Bristow's as a phenomenon, but I never visited there. After Unicorn I went on to found the Public House Bookshop which had connections with most of the independent / alternative bookshops including Bristow's. The poetry connection continued with us - we put on readings for over a decade & Ginsberg once called our poetry collection better than City Lights."

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Cyclops 2 still has the Brighton connection with the addition of John Upton.

The blurb mentions that Gillian Barron,  had been published in Corgi's "LoveLoveLove" but Paul Evans is also published there too. I picked up a copy for 49p from a charity shop.....

Dan and Harriet Franklin continue taking the lead on producing Cyclops magazines. Issue number three is elusive and hard to find, mostly because it was produced as a folder with loose leaves of poetry and art in it. As such I assume it would be dispersed to the four corners of the earth.

Issue four contained more work by Nina Steane who is perhaps best known for her "All In" themed posters which were made to be hung in the various different  rooms of a house. Also we have some poems from the legendary

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Barry Edgar Pilcher - once known as "the loneliest man in Ireland," a member of the Atlantis Community, saxophonist and mail artist. Cyclops number four has a page about the Wild Pigeon Press which was morphing into the Wild Pigeon Information Service. This was a trend at the time as represented by the Bit information service started by the International Times. The copy was another benefit issue but this time for Chris Cheal who it seems had been caught on the hippy trail with something he shouldn't of had.

It seems that the Cyclops name went on to become a number of multimedia events as seen in Al Schmidt's poster to the right. There was alot going on this March 1970 weekend advertised in the poster. The poster shows what was happening at the University's Barn but there was also a busy schedule for the Meristem at the Chapel Arts Centre.

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Gah! I wonder what Jeffnut would have made of that - his first and last names spelt incorrectly! It must be the Bob Cobbling effect on the John Bell Picture Repair Kit.....

 

.......normal service was never resumed fortunately......

 

So there is possibly a Cyclops number five out there and maybe a number three. If you see them let me know will you? Also if you want a scan of these little books I will be happy to help.