The Complete Montana Gothic collects in a single volume all six issues of Montana Gothic: An Independent Journal of Poetry, Literature, and Graphics published from 1974 to 1977 by Peter Rutledge Koch at his Black Stone Press in Missoula, Montana. Original copies of the journal were scanned and are here reproduced in facsimile. Additionally, this edition includes seven illustrations, thirteen photographs, a complete contributors list, and seven new, previously unpublished articles and essays written expressly for this occasion by Adam Cornford, Edwin Dobb, Peter Koch, Milo Miles, Rick Newby, Aaron Parrett, and David E Thomas.
Forty years ago, Koch and his “wild bunch” of cowboy surrealists rode up into the mountains to stir up a bit of excitement and trouble in the dense forests and alpine peaks of the Big Sky Country. Gang members included Montana originals, “expats” in Kathmandu and Tangier, and seekers of the marvelous from San Francisco to New York, Paris, London, Mexico City, and beyond. The world may have changed but these wildly poetic works have retained their freshness in spite of, or perhaps because of, the great grinding-down process of too much information in an age of mechanical reproduction.
“It can be argued that there are two distinct categories of the REAL; that which is common and habitual, which I shall call REALITY, versus that which is suppressed by the first category, which I shall call MARVELOUS. If one can believe the great thinkers of this century— the supressed will return to haunt the bright plaza of low contrasts called ‘reality’ like lava extruded from a fault in the earth’s crust. If Nature abhors a vacuum then the imagination abhors reality (an opposition whereby what can be achieves a clawhold on what is.)”
“Beyond the imagination of the academic poets we can envision ourselves, like the Grizzly Bear in Yellowstone Park, sitting upon a veritable magma of faultily supressed potential that once allowed to escape could radically re-organize consciousness and its material attributes. There are and have been in Montana unprecedented extrusions of the marvelous that deserve our attention....”
–Peter Koch from DEADSTART, Montana Gothic 6
“Montana Gothic poets may seem like strapping cowboys chugging absinthe and shooting out streetlights, but they are damned fine shots.”
—William S. Burroughs
With the six issues of Montana Gothic, Peter Koch, like forbears such as Leslie Fiedler, James Welch, and Mary MacLane, opened the field, made room for those of us who take the notion of Montana literature seriously, but who want it always to be something more, something richer and deeply unexpected, a tradition built from hatred and love, rich in ambivalences, innovations, and unprecedented “extrusions of the marvelous.”
Book; 654 pp. 6 x 9 inches $35.00
Print on demand; unlimited edition.