Yarrowstalks (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records
SPC MSS PP 008
Placed on deposit by Brian Zahn in the Contemporary Culture Collection, February, 1975. MSS: donated later not photos.
The archives consists of the published issues of YARROWSTALKS, unpublished materials, artwork, manuscripts and photographs. It is open for academic use.
Twelve issues of Yarrowstalks were published in Philadelphia from 1967 until 1975. Most of the activity was concentrated at the beginning of the period, in the heyday of underground press activity.
The “summer of love” in 1967 saw the birth of about 100 underground publications nationwide, and Yarrowstalks was one of the first. It was the most physically appealing of the first wave in its creative use of color and artwork. In contrast to the other Philadelphia papers, Yarrowstalks leaned away from the politics. Like New York’s East Village Other and the San Francisco Oracle, Yarrowstalks was among the first underground paper to explore the graphic possibilities of cold-type offset printing. Color was splashed over pages with sketches and text. The Oracle, particularly, was responsible for making newspaper graphics an art form, and it published some of the most beautiful and trend-setting psychedelic art of the 1960s.
Yarrowstalks was Philadelphia’s Oracle. It was the first of the undergrounds to publish the cartoons of Robert Crumb, an ex-Hallmark illustrator who has become the leading artist of underground “commix.” In his character, Mr. Natural, he captured the feeling of the movement. Mr. Natural graced Yarrowstalks that summer and subsequently appeared in most of the alternative publications in the country. Yarrowstalks was a blend of artwork and creative writing. It was not radical politically, but rather a gently publication, with visually pleasing graphics and an easy editorial style. The paper, following the lead of editor and publisher Brian Zahn, moved toward Eastern philosophies. It was available at universities, sympathetic bookshops, and at “head” shops. It was free and sustained by advertising from the new stores that were opening in some parts of the city, and the resources of its publisher.
Publication History of Yarrowstalks
Issue Place Date Copies
1 Philadelphia June, 1967 10,000
2 Philadelphia July, 1967 4,000
3 Philadelphia August, 1967 5,000
4 London November, 1967 10,000
5 London December, 1967 10,000
6 Philadelphia December, 1968 50
7 Copenhagen December, 1970 1,000
8 Philadelphia Dec.-Jan. 1972-73 1,000
9 Philadelphia June, 1973 1,000
10 Philadelphia June, 1974 1,000
11 Philadelphia February-March, 1975 1,000
12 Philadelphia April-May, 1975 4,500
Largest paid subscription = 300
Material in the collection is arranged by issue. Unless otherwise specified, manuscripts, photographs and artwork were published. The paste-ups of the individual issues include original artwork not here described as well as reproductions of the described material. Titles followed by an asterisk do not appear on the item, but rather were given by the editor. Most of the artwork is unsigned, with the identity of the artists supplied by the editor. All photographs are black and white.
1 1 Yarrowstalks issue #1, June 1967. “All
Material in Yarrowstalks is protected by copyright
and published by consent of the contributors, to
whom we extend our thanks and love.” Steve Tilles,
Phil Stilles, Bonny Williams, Paul Carlin, Margie
Leamy, Peter Schiedt, John Hawke, Jean Elliott,
Lynn Coren, Alain Crockin, Jessica Bryan, Zig,
Arnie Hendrickson, timothy Leary, Robert Crumb,
Ira Einhorn, Grant Schaeffer, Barry Shilling, Mike
Woal, Cal, Lisa Patch, David Auten, Brian Zahn,
Kit Thomas, Justine Green, Liz Sigafoos, Marshall
Simkins, Jim McWilliams, Larry Lewis.
1 2 Artwork: “Somebody Else’s Trip,” inked
stamped drawings by John Hawke (unpublished);
“Lady Bird with Carrot,” pen and magic marker
drawing recto and verso of one leaf by John Hawke
(unpublished); “Flora”*, magic marker drawing, artist
unidentified (unpublished); “Super Eight”* pencil
drawing by Paul Carlin (unpublished); “Turn on at
Midnight,” silkscreen print by John Hawke with a
second copy in different state (?) in red on vinyl;
Untitled pen and ink drawing depicting three portraits
by John Hawke (unpublished); Untitled silkscreen
print of half-length female figure by John Hawke
(unpublished); “Mod Hip,” silkscreen on vinyl by John
1 3 Reproductions of Artwork: Brownline proof by
Jim McWilliams (unpublished); Untitled pen and ink
drawing depicting figures in a surrealistic style by
Larry Lewis (untitled); Brownline proof of cover art by
1 4 Photographs: “Gatherings on the 600 block of
South St., Philadelphia”*, contact sheet of 36
photographs by Steve Tilles; Gathering on South St.
sidewalk, 5” x 8” print from previous sheet; “Mouth”*,
5” x 8” print by Peter Schiedt.
1 5 Paste up of issue #1 as published.
2 1 Yarrowstalks issue #2, July 1967. “This
second issue is dedicated with love to our friend,
Lynne Coren, who will be married this month. All
material in Yarrowstalks is protected by copyright and
is published with the consent of the contributors.
Credits: Front and back covers and page
fifteen, Margie Leamy; page two, Paul Carlin; pages
four, five and fourteen, Bonnie Williams; pages six
and seven, Arnie Hendrickson; pages eight and nine,
Louis Delsarte; page ten, photograph – Peter Scheidt,
border – Ichabod; page eleven, Robert Crumb; page
fifteen, border – John Hawke or Ekwah.
We extend our appreciation for the invaluable
assistance of Jean Elliot, the Mad Peck, Norman
Cohn, Kit Thomas, Ritchie Meltzer and Gene
2 2 Artwork: Untitled watercolor by John Hawke;
untitled pen and ink border by Ichabod for
photographs by Peter Schiedt; Tracing for back cover
by John Hawke; Lettering for editorial page by Jean
Elliot; Untitled pen and ink drawing by John Hawke
(unpublished); “Marriage of Heaven and Hell,” pen
and ink drawing by John Hawke (unpublished); three
untitled pencil drawings by Paul Carlin (unpublished);
Overlays for front and back cover; “Yarrowstalks” pen
and ink drawings by Margie Leamy (unpublished);
Advertising art in various media by unidentified artist.
2 3 Manuscripts: Editorial by David Auten and
Brian Zahn, (typescript) 4ℓ.
2 4 Photographs: (2) Male and female couple,
10” x 14” prints, by Bonnie Williams; Artwork for inside
cover, 8 ½ x 11” negative.
3 1 Yarrowstalks #3, August 1967. “The third
Issue of Yarrowstalks presents the work of Robert
Crumb from San Francisco. We extend our thanks
and love for the assistance of Stephanie Braun,
Ritchie Meltzer, and Manny, Moe and Jack Zahn.”
3 1 Yarrowstalks #4, November, 1967. #4 is
essentially the same as #2 with two new works of art.
It was published in London, England.
3 2 Yarrowstalks #5 December, 1967. “If your
name is ………………….. this issue is dedicated to
you. All drawings are available as posters from the
PRINT MINT, KENSINGTON MARKET. This issue
was published by David Vaughan, Brian Zahn, Paul
Noble and Chris hill, at 6 Masons Yard Duke Street,
St. James’s, S.W.1. Thank you very much David
Bailey and Susan Murray.”
Reproduction for page 11; “An Agreement
between Hapshash and the Coloured Coat (Michale
English and Nigel Waymouth) and Brian Zahn,
4 1 Yarrowstalks #6, December, 1968.
“Yarrowstalks gives special thanks to Jim Cameron,
Donnie Crockin, Robert Crumb, Ira Einhorn, Fred
Kurtz, Margie and Alan, Tim Leary, Larry Lewis,
Living Theatre, Roger Melnick, Jim McWilliams, Grant
Schaefer, Sue Stricker, Touch, David Vaughn, Bonnie
Williams and whoever always maintain a sense of
humor. People who take themselves too seriously
are power crazy. Free. Yes it’s all free.”
4 2 Artwork: Untitled watercolor by Brian Zahn
(unpublished); “National Electric Un-Art Puzzel,” ink
stamped drawing by John Hawke (signed: Ekwah)
(unpublished); 2 cartoon blocks after Robert Crumb,
pen and ink by Brian Zahn.
4 3 Secondary Material: “The Original Noise” by
Larry Lewis; “Universal Mutant” by Ira Cohen;
Clipping from Life Magazine on the Living Theatre.
4 4 Manuscripts: (Holograph paste-up for inside
front page), by Brian Zahn; revisions for page 3, 2ℓ. of
instructions to printer; of part of page 2, by Brian
Zahn, (all are holograph).
4 5 Photographs: Cover print nude male and
female embracing, 11” x 14” print by Bonnie Williams;
45 Erotic prints and negatives by Donnie Crockin; 67
prints of the Living Theatre production of Frankenstein
at the Philadelphia YMHA in 1968 by Donnie Crockin;
7 negatives of pages in the issue.
4 6 Paste-up of issue 6 as published.
5 1 Yarrowstalks #7, December, 1970 published in
Copenhagen. Staff for the issue was: Ramana
Maharishi, Sunyata, Larry Lewis, Pat Van Ingen,
Richard Horn, Loma Anagarika Gouinda.
5 2 Artwork: “Yarrowstalks” ink and pastel cover
art by Ka Kavana (Richard Bohn) (unpublished); “Om
is Where the Heart is”*, tempera by Brian Zahn
(unpublished); Untitled gouache by Danielle Weber
(unpublished); “Eye Seeks…” pen and ink drawing by
Brian Zahn (unpublished); Untitled watercolor by
Danielle Weber (unpublished); 2 untitled watercolors
by Brian Zahn (unpublished); “I Stood and Held Your
Hand, pen and ink drawing by Simon (unpublished);
Tibetan symbol, block print by unidentified artist
(published); Nonatal, hand painted postcard
5 3 Manuscripts: Autograph letter signed from
Steve Ben Israel to Brother Rufus, 1ℓ. Undated,
(unpublished); Poetry typescripts by Ka Kavana with
additions, (holographs) 7ℓ. (unpublished); Untitled
short stories by Sunya (Alfred Emmanuel Sorenson)
in carbon copy and mimeograph, 26ℓ.; Poetry and
essays in typescript, 8ℓ.
5 4 Photographs: Kumba Melah, 38 prints (with
negatives and contact sheets) (unpublished); Sunya
(Alfred Emmanuel Sorenson), 10” x 14” print for cover
4 negatives of artwork.
5 5 Secondary Material: “Shri Ganeshaya Namah”
by Guy Hamamouche, limited edition with hand
colored plates; “Hastakara Yantra,” Hindu painting on
1ℓ. “Right Eating, by Rharatanand, 6ℓ.; Poems by Mahendra the Natha (Anton Miles Palmer), 7ℓ.; “Lila,”
5 6 Paste-up of issue #7 as published.
6 1 Yarrowstalks #8, December, 1972.
6 2 Artwork: Portrait in pen by Louis Delsarte with
holograph essay, 5p.
6 3 Manuscripts: 2 Editorials by Brian Zahn,
(holograph) with revisions, 13ℓ.; Typed letter signed
from Captain Midnight (Jack Moore) to Uncle C,
(Curtis Gurak) December 10, 1972; “The Movie,”
carbon copy correspondence from Curtis Gurak to
Jack Moore, 7ℓ. (unpublished); Carbon copy letter
signed, from Jack Moore to Curtis Gurak, 6ℓ.
(unpublished); 3 cartoons of Nixon in magic marker by
6 4 Secondary Material: “Bangla Desh,” Xerox
copy of unpublished paper by Brian Zahn; Temple
News, Nov. 8, 1972 including holograph notes of a
professor’s tenure defense; “Anti-Personnel Weapons
in Vietnam,” broadside pamphlet; “New Morning
Press,” broadside handout.
6 5 Paste-up of issue #8 as published.
7 1 Yarrowstalks #9, June, 1973 with uncut sheets.
“Credits: Page 1- Stella Snead; 2- Didi Contractor; 3-
Ira Einhorn; 4- Louis Delsarte (Crossed fingers-B.Z.);
5- Steve Ben Israel; 6- Brian Zahn; 7- Sikh Miniatute;
8-9- Spencer Zahn; 10- Robert Crumb; 11-14-
Maurice Frydman; 15- Didi Contractor; 16-
7 2 Manuscripts: Essays and poems published in
the issue are in typescript: Steve Ben Israel, Maurice
Frydman as are long excerpts from Khadigramodyog;
Essays and notes, 17p. in holograph by Brian Zahn;
Unpublished editorial, 2 holograph pages, by Brian
Zahn; “Alien Call” and “the Noosphere,” Vimana
Vidya,” 3 poems in 5 holograph pages by Ira Einhorn
7 3 Manuscripts: (typescript, Xerox copy) “The
Emergence of Bangladesh,” 30p. paper by Brian
Zahn; “Hank,” 6p. poem by Ira Einhorn.
7 4 Artwork: “Linda,” “Leo,” “Erotic Neon (2),” 2
pencil and 2 pen and ink drawings by Brian Zahn
7 5 Secondary Material: “Nutritional Taxeamia
(sic), by Bharatananda, a 4p. reprint from
Khadigramodyog, July 1971, pp. 635-638;
Mimeographed letter from George McGovern on
behalf of the Bangladesh Emergency Relief fund, 1ℓ.;
“Starvation Grips Bangladesh,” 1p. clipping from the
Philadelphia Inquirer, May 31, 1973; “Indian Erotic
Miniature Painting,” Galerie Krugier & Cie invitation,
Sept. 28, 1973; “Joey Tissue and the Dummies,” 1ℓ.
Xerox copy with revisions.
7 6 Photographs: “Sand Formation”*, 2 10” x 13”
prints of the cover art by Stella Sneed; Portraits, 2
10” x 13” and 1 5” x 7” print by Dee Dee Contractor;
Portrait 5” x 7” color print by Torben Huss; Passport
photo of Brian Zahn.
8 1 Yarrowstalks #10, June, 1974.
8 2 Manuscripts: Entire issue in paste-up; “Non
Violence” and “Law of the Universe,” 2 holograph
pages by Brian Zahn; “the Meaning of…,” poem 1ℓ.
Holograph, signed by Ira Einhorn; “Through Dark
Tunnels of Glass,” 10ℓ. Typescript by Robert
Brunswick (unpublished); Note and poem, 2ℓ. by
Angelo Lewis; 2ℓ. Brian Zahn.
8 3 Artwork: Back cover pencil drawing by Paul
8 4 Photographs: 3 8” x 10” prints by Rayanne
Rubinstein, Marjorie Leamy, and Spencer Zahn;
Snapshot of Brian Zahn.
9 1 Yarrowstalks #11, February/March, 1975.
9 2 Artwork: “Angelo Lewis,” pencil drawing by
Andrea Livwright (signed); “Maurice Freedman,”
pencil drawing by Brian Zahn (signed); “Save the
Children of Bangladesh,” limited edition poster by
Jack Bookbinder and Spencer Zahn, “149/958;
“Beast,” magic marker drawing by Spencer Zahn
9 3 Manuscripts: Essays and notes, 10ℓ.
Holograph by Brian Zahn; Photographs and camera
ready copy for the issue; “The Boy,” 4ℓ. typescript
story by William Sturm (unpublished); “Tree of Life
Blue-print,” 1ℓ. Typescript by Tom Strife (unpublished)
(Xerox copy); “Kulu Beni Adam,” 3ℓ. holograph by
Ramdas-Pagaldas Bab (unpublished); Layout and
advertising, 19ℓ. Holograph and typescript; Note, from
Angelo Lewis to Brian Zahn, 1ℓ. holograph.
9 4 Photographs: “Henry,” 8” x 10” print by Carol
Lopez; Show at Etage, 2 8” x 10” prints by Robert
9 5 Secondary Material: “The Living Theatre
Collective,” broadside and 6ℓ. pamphlet.
10 1 Yarrowstalks #12, April-May, 1975. “Staff:
Brian Zahn, Publisher, Jacquelyn deB. Deichler,
Editor, Angelo Lewis, Executive Editor, J.C. Odell,
Contributing Editor, Renee Klein, Art Director. Visual
Credits: Cover Design: Renee Klein, page 6- Peter
McManmon, pages 10-18- Chris Soliday, page 16-
Steve Keller, page 21- Renee Klein, page 24- Renee
Klein, Steve Borns.”
10 2 Paste-up and layout guide for issue as
10 3 Manuscripts: Salvador Dali material: Letter
from J.C. Odell to Brian Zahn, concerning article in
Yarrowstalks, typescript (signed) 1ℓ.; “Holograms: A
Visit With Salvador Dali,” by J.C. Odell, typescript 5ℓ.;
Instructions for publication, holograph 1ℓ.
Peter Bralver material: “The Abbreviated
Model of unified Design Field” by Peter Bralver,
typescript 3ℓ.; “Generalized Model Theory of the
Unified Design-Field,” by __________, holograph 5ℓ.
(unpublished); “Pairs,” __________, holograph 2ℓ.
(unpublished); “On the Definition of the Largeness of
the Ennumerable Continuum,” ___________,
holograph, 2ℓ. (unpublished); “On the Topology of the
Continuum” ________, holograph, 2ℓ. (unpublished);
“Equality,” __________, holograph, 2ℓ.
(unpublished); “An Essay on the Moralities of Energy,”
__________ typescript, 18ℓ. (signed) (unpublished).
10 3 William Burroughs and John Giorno Poetry
reading: Letter from John Giorno to Brian Zahn,
typescript, 1ℓ. (signed); Letter from John Giorno to
Angelo Lewis, typescript, 1ℓ. (signed); Miscellaneous
advertising and housekeeping material for the
Other articles: “William Burroughs & the Wild
Boys,” by Angelo Lewis, typescript with revisions, 13ℓ.
(unpublished); “William Burroughs & the Unsacred
Word,” by Angelo Lewis, typescript with revisions, 2ℓ.;
Interview with Louis Kahn, typescript, 7ℓ.; Essay, by
Brian Zahn, holograph, 7ℓ.
10 4 Artwork: “Check the Oil,” pen and ink drawing
by Charles Parker.
10 5 Photographs: Harp player, 24” x 18” print by
Steve Keller; Salvader Dali 5 5” x 8” prints by Chris
10 6 Secondary Material: “Yarrowstalk Forum
International and Middle Earth Books Present William
S. Burroughs and John Giorno Poetry reading,” 18” x
11 1 Issue #13 was planned but never published.
Included are posters, cover art and negatives of
artwork. Original Art: “Sigurd and Slasher,” cartoon
in magic marker by Charles Dixon; “Circus Vargas,”
crayon etching by D. Deichler.
12 1 Miscellaneous: “Poex 7”, 24ℓ. pamphlet by
Brian Zahn and Ka Kavana in English and Dutch;
Letterhead and form letters on advertising.
12 2 Material for projected monthly tabloid “B-JAM,”
including music, articles, drawings and photographs.
12 3 Philly Joe Jones Concert: Tickets, promotional
material and housekeeping records for the concert on
June 13, 1975.
12 4 Touch Community Poster and Logos.
12 5 Brian Zahn personal effects: “Mirror
Magazine,” 1961 Central High School; U.S. Passport,
1969-1974; Statement of financial independence; 5
Photographs by Bonnie Nell Williams, 1966; Self-
portrait, in water colors and ink; Resume, 1975.
13 1 Printing plates and negatives for issues of
Yarrowstalks: 2 sets of plates for issue #9, negatives
for #8, plates and negatives for #10.
Robert Crumb (American Cartoonist)
Appearances in issues of
Issue #1 June 1967 p.  “stoned” illustration.
(folio/tabloid) p.  Caricature of Hippie couple
p.  “The Trip. Starring Novice
Kosher.” 20 box cartoon strip.
p.  “Mr. Natural. The Zen Master”
6 box cartoon strip.
Issue #2 July 1967 p.  “Head Comix.” Full page,
(folio/tabloid) 36 box cartoon strip.
Issue #3 August 1967 All Crumb issue of Yarrowstalks (7 of 8
pages). Includes box cartoons “Head
Comix,” “Eggs Ackley that number one
son of a gun!,” “Mr. Natural encounters
Flakey Foont,” “Itzy and Bitzy in ‘Cause
and Effect’,” “Big Freakout on Detroit
Ave.,” “Life Among the Constipated,”
and two “Mr. Natural” strips.
Issue #6 December 1968 p. [8-10] “City of the Future” strip. This
(folio/tabloid) was the aborted issue, printing
problems, only 50 or so bad issues
issued. Cover has a six box Crumb
drawing at bottom.
Issue #8 Dec./Jan. 1972/73 p.  “Mr. Natural. The Zen Master,”
(magazine) full-page, 6 box strip.
p. . Full page portrait drawing.
p. . Full page portrait drawing.
Issue #9 June 1973 p. . Full page drawing credited to
Issue #10 June 1974 p. . Full page “Ow! That’s the
(magazine) Bazoozis! “one-box cartoon.
p. . Full page drawing.
Issue #11 Feb/Mar. 1975 p.  (inside lower cover). Publisher’s
(magazine) advertisement offering free copies of
issue no. 3 (the all Crumb issue) to new
subscribers, reproducing the cover of
issue 3. (This drawing was also used by
the publisher, edited, for letterhead,
designs on contracts).