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In New York Paranoia Is Merely Heightened Awareness
From: Robert Delaware
To: Palcewski
Date: Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Dear John Palcewski-

Hello sir. You don't know me, but I just wanted to send you an email.

I used this website called. www.muckrock.com to file a FOIA request for Barney Rosset's FBI file.

I didn't find much of interest, except for a letter that appeared in the documents.

Apparently, back in May of 1967, an FBI agent in the LA bureau read something you wrote called, "Elegy, As If I Meant It" and found it to be obscene. The copy of Evergreen Review that it was published in was even sent to an FBI lab for investigation.

Interesting history, I guess. You can find a mention of your poem on page 47 of the Rosset files.

Just thought you might find it interesting.

Robby Delaware

* * *

Copies of my reply to Delaware's post and FBI letters below:

From: John Palcewski
To: Robert Delaware
Date: Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Greetings, Robert Delaware!

Many thanks for sending me this fascinating material.

For many years I thought of submitting my own FOIA request to the FBI to see what they had on me, given that when I was in Strategic Air Command Intelligence in the early 60s, I needed a Top Secret security clearance and was carefully investigated by the Bureau.

It never occurred to me that they'd later red flag a harmless, mildly erotic poem! I find it complimentary, however, since "Lady Chatterly's Lover" was also something they needed to look into.

Thanks again...



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that's funny.

also, before you make me Google, who's Barney Rosset and how does the poem relate to him?

Barney Rosset was owner/founder/editor of Evergreen Review, and he graciously accepted two poems from me. The one that captured the attention of the FBI was "Elegy, As If I Meant It," and was published as a two-page spread with a pen and ink illustration by the late Eugene Karlin, a master American illustrator. http://tinyurl.com/8kqr2ms

Here's a couple excerpts from Rosset's obit in the Times.

Barney Rosset Dies at 89; Defied Censors, Making Racy a Literary Staple
The New York Times, February 22, 2012


Barney Rosset, the flamboyant, provocative publisher who helped change the course of publishing in the United States, bringing masters like Samuel Beckett to Americans’ attention under his Grove Press imprint and winning celebrated First Amendment slugfests against censorship, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. He was 89.

A Counterculture Voice

In 1957 he helped usher in a new counterculture when he began the literary journal Evergreen Review, originally a quarterly. (It later became a bimonthly and then a glossy monthly.) The Review, published until 1973, sparkled with writers like Beckett, who had a story and poem in the first issue, and Allen Ginsberg, whose poem “Howl” appeared in the second. There were also lascivious comic strips.


Robert must have a fair bit of time on his hands though

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