painting, poetry, politics

Jim Burns

Paperback 6" x 9" 242pp ISBN 978-0-244-07908-6  published February 2018

As in the previous collection, Paris has a place in this one, with reviews/essays about various artists, writers, expatriates, editors, and others who were in the city at one time or another. I have to admit that I’m generally looking back in these pieces to the Paris of the 1890s or the 1920s, “golden periods”, as they’re called, though in a review of poets in translation I do briefly comment on a collection of more-contemporary French left-wing poets. I doubt that they will be familiar to most British poetry readers, and that seems to me a good reason for reviewing them in the first place, and reprinting the review in this book.


Comments on previous collections:

“This collection of essays and reviews is an entertaining homage to bohemia by one of its own. Jim Burns – a veteran fringe poet recently celebrated in these pages as `an offbeat prowler’ – takes a `personal’ look at various post-Second World War writers, artists, musicians and patrons whose talents and innovations have been obscured by the glare of their more famous contemporaries.”

                                                                                                                          Times Literary Supplement

“This seventh collection of essays and reviews by poet and editor Jim Burns reinforces his reputation as a curator of neglected culture, an archivist of unremembered events and an advocate of overlooked artists. It includes pieces on unjustly ignored poets, forgotten jazz musicians, the secret state and the short-lived but influential `little magazines’ of the post-war era……Burns’s infectious passion is moderated by his critical rigour.”

                                                                                                                           Morning Star

“If there is anyone who knows who more than Burns about 20th century small presses, journals, now-forgotten writers, artists and jazz musicians I have yet to meet them. I can’t be the only person for whom his collections of essays on the byways of modern literature etc. form a vade mecum.”


“What Jim Burns seems to do very well is dust off the years from forgotten figures, the neglected, the overlooked, even those who never truly reached any level of recognition.  Burns see in many of them qualities that have been missed.”

                                                                                                                            Beat Scene

“Burns is good at contextualisation and uncovering neglected sources in order to examine received perceptions.”



Degas, Impressionism & Paris Millinery Trade

The Pen and the Brush: Art and French Novels

L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters

Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty

Australia’s Impressionists

Italian Futurism and the First World War

Nordic Painting

John Minton and Jean Cooke

Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries

Bohemian Lives: Three Extraordinary Women

Published in Paris

Free as Gods: Reinventing Modernism

Becoming Americans in Paris

Paris Magazine

Trotskyism in the USA

No Pasarán!: The Spanish Civil War

Revolutionary Yiddishland

Jack Kerouac

Lew Welch: The Letters

First Thought: Conversations with Ginsberg

Burroughs and Bax

W.H. Manville

The Hippies

Poets in Translation

A Few Good Poets

The Red and the Black: 1950s Film Noir

Finks: The CIA and Writers

Hardboiled, Noir and Gold Medals

Weimar in Exile

Coal Mine Disasters in Britain      

Angel Meadow: Britain’s Savage Slum

1919: Britain’s Year of Revolution

Running Commentary

Penguin Parade

Hank Williams

Depression Folk: Music in 30s America


Browse: The World in Bookshops

Crime Time 1972

Douglas Hayes

Clancy Sigal

Roy Fisher

Thoughts on Music and Literature