An interview I did with outlaw beat poet and publisher Charles Plymell is now published in print in volume three of The Wilderness House Literary Review edited by Gloria Mindock it is available to buy from amazon here.
WS Burrough’s Reality Studio website published a revised version which you can read here.
This is an extract from this long interview we conducted online in 2008 as I travelled across America on tour;
Writer Charles Plymell is a legendary figure. He was involved with a loose gang of experimental writers and outsider artists centered around Wichita, Kansas in post-war 1950s America. Plymell and the Wichita Punks had road-tested speed, dropped LSD, held peyote rituals and experimented with art and other creative forms. Were they Beat before the term had risen, been marketed and branded out of the San Francisco joss-stick hippie scene?
The chronological order is important in understanding his work, as Charley makes clear in this interview. He has seen a lot since his birth on the Kansas high plains in 1935 and the early memories of the sound of the wind in the cab of a Reo Speedwagon truck. His father was a cowboy, his mother once a stunt car driver. He printed Robert Crumb’s first edition of Zap Comix in 1968. As part of the hip Wichita scene of the 1950s he is also a contemporary of and, either a friend, collaborator or publisher of, some of the coolest and influential underground writers and artists to come out of the USA. He already had two volumes of poetry, Neon Poems and Apocalypse Rose out when in 1971 City Lights published his seminal novel, Last of The Moccasins. This novel grips, gleams and glistens with his hobohemian prose-style; spinning tales of his life in and around Wichita, his road trips to and from the West Coast along the Rt. 66 Benzedrine Highway and beyond, his crazy Hipster years and the boho life of his elder sister Betty.Plymell has continued to walk his walk and talk his talk ever since. His writing has always displayed a vibrant and astute engagement with life and a heady, intoxicatingly descriptive allure. He condemned the National Endowment for the Arts and his sharp and intelligent analysis appeared in the NY Times and other print outlets. Because of this critique he was blacklisted and has never been awarded any funding, grant or financial support from any federal, state or academic agency in the USA. He and his wife Pam run their own publishing house, CV Editions, which is a good place to start looking for more information on his novels, poetry and other writing.