168½ Delancey was another story. The building had been arty for a very long time. We were told Walker Evans had lived here briefly, after Edward Hopper moved on. Evans had in turn given the place to Robert and Mary Frank, the photographer and the sculptor, when he moved on. When Robert and Mary were still together. ... When LeRoi Jones and Hetty Cohen Jones were still together and held all-weekend parties at their place on West 20th Street and jazzmen Archie Shep and Wayne Shorter and Cecil Taylor would drop by. When Bob Thompson was still alive. When another gang of artists, all Bob Thompson's friends, led by Red Grooms, started The Delancey Street Museum just up the street. When Red Grooms and Mimi Gross were a new couple. When happenings were put on in scruffy lofts, and Jay Milder, Mimi, Bob, and other friends performed Red’s joyous "Magic Train Ride." The performance was complete with an elaborate cardboard locomotive that caromed the length of the loft down a wire track, suspended from the ceiling while everyone shouted.
From "Rose Possible"- Outside/Inside
"Why did Lucia die on her birthday?" Bob Holman was drinking a large Bloody Mary, very spicy, made by the young woman tending his bar. The Bowery Poetry Club has installed a new bar since we were last in here. A bit high for the old red vinyl bar stools.
"I think she wanted it that way," Baz said. "Lucia was a witch, you know. A lot of power that woman."...
The bar was empty, as you can tell from this. Bob flipped off the work lights, leaving the stage area dark, and the more cheerful lights over the bar dominated. Baz and I had come about ten minutes before two, the advertised time for the event: "Come celebrate Lucia Berlin’s life and work. Bring a favorite piece of hers to read."
All the way over from the 2nd Avenue subway stop, Baz had been prepping me not to expect many people. Cold? Too close to Christmas season? Grey? Not exactly, he said.
From "Lucia's Memorial" - Outside/Inside
About “Outside Inside”
The book is...an incredible picture of life in the art/writing scene over that period. A great picture too of New York.
I'd been reading part of Edmund Wilson's diaries which gives a detailed account of the city some thirty years [earlier]. [Martha King’s] account is just as sharp and dense with detail...it’s the period just before the money people completely took over. I like the take on the sixties counter-culture, its naivety in being part of the advance of capital without knowing it. And I think that what it says about women in that period (or now for that matter) is absolutely on the money.
[The] chapter about Wieners and his junkie friends…there really aren't any depictions out there of what Wieners was like at this moment in time, outside of his letters.
...The Olson chapter—with that terrific dialogue about him with Baz—is revelatory. [Martha King] gets at the ambivalence so many people felt towards Olson in such an incisive way.
—Michael Seth Stewart
The picture of San Francisco life at a certain moment in the mid fifties has not been equalled elsewhere... It IS funny how the account of how a wedding is staged brings out the contrasts in society, brings them to the fore, under the sharpest imaginable light.
Online and periodical publications
"Seventy Years ago in the South" (prose, text)
"True Stories from Lynchburg" (prose, text)
"Another Summer of Poverty" from Outside Inside (prose, text)
"A Berth in the Haven" from Outside Inside (prose, text)
"War – 1967" from Outside Inside (prose, text)
"Three Months When I was 18" from Outside Inside (prose, text)
Critique on Paul Blackburn (text)