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Something Else Press

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Title: Something Else Press  
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Subject: Water Yam (artist's book), Fluxus 1, Modernism, Bern Porter, Private press
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Something Else Press

Something Else Press was founded by Daniel Spoerri, Bern Porter, John Cage, Emmett Williams and others. The Something Else Press was an early publisher of Concrete poetry and other works by Fluxus artists throughout the 1960s. During the late 1960s in New York City some of the various artists who worked at the Something Else Press included Editor in Chief Emmett Williams, artist Alison Knowles, American/Israeli poet Larry Friefeld, Irish/American novelist Mary Flanagan, artist Ronnie Landfield, and publisher/founder Dick Higgins. Fluxus artist and scholar, Ken Friedman, acted as general manager for Higgins from New York and California in 1970 and 1971. Originally located in Chelsea in Manhattan, the Something Else Press eventually relocated to West Glover, in northern Vermont in the 1970s.[1]

Complete List of Something Else Press publications, 1960s


  • The Aesthetics of Rock - Richard Meltzer - 1970
  • The Mythological Travels of a Modern Sir John Mandeville, being an account of the Magic, Meatballs and other Monkey Business Peculiar to the Sojourn of Daniel Spoerri on the Isle of Symi, together with divers speculations thereon - Daniel Spoerri - 1970
  • Fantastic Architecture - Wolf Vostell, Dick Higgins - 1970
  • A Sailor's Caleder - Ian Hamilton Finlay, Gordon Huntly - 1971
  • Stanzas for Iris Leak - Jackson Mac Low - 1971
  • I've Left - Bern Porter - 1971
  • Thomas Onetwo - Ernest M. Robson - 1971
  • Typewriter Poems - ed. Peter Finch - 1972
  • A Book About Love And War And Death - Dick Higgins - 1972
  • 1 Walked out of 2 and Forgot It - Toby MacLennan - 1972
  • Found Poems - Bern Porter - 1972
  • Matisse, Picasso and Gertrude Stein - Gertrude Stein - 1972
  • Cancer in My Left Ball - John Giorno- 1973
  • Brion Gysin Let the Mice In - Brion Gysin, ed. Jan Herman, William S. Burroughs, Ian Sommerville - 1973
  • Ring Piece - Geoffrey Hendricks - 1973
  • The Making of Americans - play by Leon Katz based on the book by Gertrude Stein - 1973
  • Breakthrough Fictioneers - ed. Richard Kostelanetz - 1973
  • One Thousand American Fungi (1902 edition) - Charles McIlvaine, Robert K. MacAdam - 1973
  • The Ten Week Garden - Cary Scher - 1973
  • A Book Concluding with As a Wife Has a Cow - Gertrude Stein - 1973
  • How to Write - Gertrude Stein - 1973
  • A Valentine for Noel - Emmett Williams - 1973
  • Bio-Music - Manford L. Eaton - 1974
  • Something Else Yearbook - ed. Jan Herman - 1974

Other publications

Alongside book publications, Dick Higgins published a series of pamphlets titled The Great Bear Pamphlets. A collection of The Great Bear Pamphlets is available on UbuWeb. The Great Bear Pamphlets included essays, manifestos, and artist statements by Jackson Mac Low, Allan Kaprow, Alison Knowles, John Cage, Claes Oldenburg, Diter Rot, David Antin, and many others.

The Great Bear Pamphlets were reprinted in facsimile editions by Primary Information in 2007. Primary Information also republished Something Else Press' An Anthology of Concrete Poetry in a facsimile edition in 2013.


While Higgins always remained the primary owner and publisher, other individuals served as editor, including Emmett Williams and Jan Herman. Herman took the job in 1973 and served until the press folded a year later. Higgins is quoted as saying about Herman:

"too much an editor, and too little a fund-raiser. His idea of doing business was to wrap books and mail them away - for that one has assistants (mailing books IS fun if one can afford the time) - and he spent too little time looking for production money from foundations and wealthy people. So the press went kaput the following year..." -Letter to H.R. December 27, 1976 - Fluxus, The Most Radical and Experimental Art Movement of the Sixties - Ruhe - 1979 - 'A', Leidsekruisstraat 10, Amsterdam.

Since Higgins had personal wealth, this account could be disputed. The press collapsed when Higgins's fortunes turned, and there was virtually no funding base in rural Vermont.

Herman disputes Higgins' account; see the talk page for details Talk:Something Else Press.


  1. ^ [1] Something Else Press essay PDF, retrieved April 2, 2009
  2. ^ [2] Hannah Higgins Fluxus experience 2002, p.127 retrieved April 2, 2009]


  • Peter Frank, Something Else Press: An Annotated Bibliography 1983, published by McPherson and Company:documentext ISBN 0-914232-39-8
  • Dick Higgins Intermedia. Something else Newsletter (Something Else Press), 1966.
  • Hannah Higgins, Fluxus Experience, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, Fall, 2002, Summer, 2003 and Spring 2005.

External links

  • The Great Bear Pamphlets at UbuWeb
  • Primary Information's official webpage, publisher of The Great Bear Pamphlets and An Anthology of Concrete Poetry facsimiles
  • Exhibition at the Visual Research Centre in Dundee
  • Dick Higgins Collection at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
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