This is our first guest blog. Archivist Bruce Wilkinson at University of Manchester is working on counterculture collections held there. Dave Cunliffe’s collection (described below) includes many poetry magazines which creates a strong connection with Jim’s collection. Jim also collected a number of literary magazines such as Vagabond and Network Quodlibeta as well as publishing poets through Handshake editions.
Bruce is working on the literary archive of the poet, publisher and activist Dave Cunliffe recently acquired by the John Rylands Library. The collection includes several hundred poetry magazines and countercultural publications, a huge amount of correspondence and numerous photographs (many of which need identifying).
Cunliffe played an important part in the ‘British Poetry Revival’ (a phrase he coined), using magazines to distribute a literary avant-garde largely ignored by the mainstream media. He connected with an emerging US counterculture, using his BB Books press to promote veganism, animal rights and radical pacifism.
It is wonderful that the University of Manchester Library is preserving this important archive which complements the Dom Sylvester Houédard and Jeff Nuttall collections it already holds.