paris, painters, poets

Jim Burns

Paperback 6" x 9" 297pp ISBN 978-1-326-84626-8  published February 2017

This eighth collection of reviews, essays, and other pieces takes Paris as its starting point, with essays about artists like Picasso and Soutine, a look at the existentialists, a consideration of the role of the barricade in the various insurrections in the city, and the roles played by the photographer  Nadar and the composer Offenbach in shaping images of the city both for its inhabitants and visitors. There are reviews of exhibitions by British painters, Sven Berlin, John Bratby, and Stanley Spencer, and of the work of American poets, Thomas McGrath, Lola Ridge, and William Wantling. The Beats get a look in with articles about little magazines that printed their work, and the effects of the blacklists in Hollywood are explored in several pieces. Jazz is represented with surveys of the music of Tony Fruscella and Willie Dennis, and the birth of rock and roll is explored. Other essays focus on the early days of communism in both Russia and America.

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.”



Shocking Paris
Modernism and Authority
At the Existentialist Café
Nadar / Offenbach
A History of the Barricade
Foreign Artists in Paris
Nights in the Big City
John Bratby
Stanley Spencer
Sven Berlin
Alice Neel
Inspiring Impressionism
The Visitor’s Book
The Art of Rivalry
Anything that Burns You (Lola Ridge)
Thomas McGrath
William Wantling
Jeff Nuttall
Cambridge Opinion 41
On the International Beat
The Golden Age Shtetl
Invisible Jewish Budapest
The New Diaspora
American Pulp
The Communist International & U.S. Communism
Alexander Shlyapnikov
Spain in Our Hearts
Cy Endfield
The Screen is Red
Leaving Home
F.B. Eyes
The Legendary Detective
Martyr of Loray Mill
Kiss the Blood off My Hands
Dead Dames Don’t Sing
Devil’s Music
Tony Fruscella
Willie Dennis
How the West was Lost
Last Post
The History of the World
The Big Man
74 Ravenna Road