Bruce Holsapple Reads | Vox Audio

Bruce Holsapple is currently working in central New Mexico as a speech-language pathologist. He taught briefly and has a scholarly essay on Phil Whalen’s poetry forthcoming in Paideuma. His poems have appeared in The Poker, House Organ, First Intensity and Blue Mesa. Bruce Holsapple is one of the creators of Contraband, the first persistently serious and successful little magazine in Maine, running from the early 1970s into the mid-1980s. Holsapple grew up in Dexter, tended trap lines as a teenager, attended the University of Maine in the late 1960s and hooked up there with mentors and partners like Burt Hatlen and Jim Bishop. After preliminary excursions out of state, he returned to Portland in about 1969, and then with Bishop, Michael Barriault, Peter Kilgore and others, started publishing saddle-stitched collections of poetry, Contraband. Some early issues are worth money on the Stephen and Tabitha King collectors market.

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Contraband

85 Park St., Portland, Maine, winter 1977 was, uncommonly, not a matter of two or three cheap issues, then frustration, then oblivion. Holsapple from his nearly windowless room in the attic of 85 Park Street, along with Bishop, Kilgore, Scott Penney and others, read poems, set type, pasted up and distributed the magazine and a number of books. It persisted. Holsapple and Kilgore were instrumental in the founding of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, which began in the mid-1970s as a subcultural cooperative enterprise, much different from the sort of comfy, suburban, quasi-prestigious society it is now. More on Contraband can be read by clicking here…

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