Legendary poet, activist, owner of Peace Eye Bookstore, and founding member of The Fugs, Ed Sanders will be appearing in Book Beat on Monday, April 9th from 7:30-8:30 pm to promote the release of his newest book Fug You: An Informal History of the Peace Eye Bookstore, Fuck You Press, the Fugs, and Counterculture in the Lower East Side. This event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase at the event. To reserve copies of the book or if you have any questions regarding this event, please call Book Beat (248) 968-1190. Sanders will also be reading and performing with Sixto Rodriguez at Wayne State University on April 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the Welcome Center.
“Full of encounters with a veritable who’s who of downtown New York and the counterculture beyond it (Lenny Bruce, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Andy Warhol, Pete Seeger, Ken Kesey, Charles Olson, George Plimpton, Abbie Hoffman, and the Grateful Dead, just to name a few), Fug You is an illustrated history of social change in the 60’s, as told by he man at the center of it all. In short and in long, this is a “coming-of-age” drama of epic proportions, tracing the voyage of a man through the wild electromagnetic forests of the 1960’s as he holds together a longtime marriage with his college sweetheart while savoring an era of experimental art, music, sexual rebellion, and demand for genuine change in America.” -from the introduction to Fug You
Sometimes described as the bridge the between the Beat and Hippie generations, Ed Sanders has been at the forefront of the American avant-garde since the early 1960’s. He created Fuck You/A Magazine of the Arts in 1962, the year before opening the legendary Peace Eye Bookstore in NY’s Lower East Side, which quickly became an important gathering place for bohemians, artists, and radicals. In 1964, he co-founded The Fugs, a satirical and self-satirizing rock band with a political slant, who performed at various war protests against America’s involvement in Vietnam. The band’s often frank and humorous lyrics about sex, drugs, and politics have caused a hostile reaction in some quarters, most notably the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the late 1960’s. In 1966, he was at the center of a notorious obscenity trial after authorities raided the Peace Eye Bookstore, landing him on the cover of Life magazine as “a leader of New York’s Other Culture.”
In 1971, Sanders wrote The Family, a profile of the events leading up to the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders. He attended the Manson group’s murder trial, and spent time at their residence at the Spahn Movie Ranch. Sanders is also the founder of the Investigative Poetry movement. His 1976 manifesto Investigative Poetry, published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Books, had an impact on investigative writing and poetry during the ensuing decades. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry in 1983, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in poetry in 1987. His Thirsting for Peace in a Raging Century, Selected Poems 1961-1985 won an American Book Award in 1988.
Watch an hour-long interview with Ed Sanders from 1975 here.
Book Beat is located at 26070 Greenfield Rd. in Oak Park, MI.