Jim Haynes

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Appearing (centre) on TV discussion programme After Dark in 1988, with Andrea Dworkin and host Anthony Clare

James Haynes (born 10 November 1933), commonly known as Jim Haynes, is a former figure in the British "underground" and alternative/counter-culture scene of the 1960s. He was involved with the founding of Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, the paper International Times and the London Arts Lab in Drury Lane for experimental and mixed media work.

Life and work[edit]

Edinburgh rhinoceros

Haynes was born in the United States in Haynesville, Claiborne Parish, in far northern Louisiana. He spent several years in Venezuela and attended an unnamed university. In 1956, Haynes was serving in the US military and stationed with a unit in Scotland; he decided to stay after his service ended.

He attended Edinburgh University and, among other writing and musical activities, helped to found the Traverse Theatre and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He ran the Paperback Bookshop in George Square ("at the sign of the rhinoceros head" - there was a stuffed trophy head on the pavement outside). He boasted that this was "Britain's first paperback only bookshop", until the University redeveloped the Square and he lost the premises.

In 1962, Haynes co-founded the International Writers Conference with John Calder and Sonia Orwell.

in 1963 Haynes and Calder and Kenneth Tynan created an International Drama Conference which ended in a scandal, a nude young women being involved in an happening.

The Haynes Nano-stage (sculpture by David Forsyth, dedicated to Jim Haynes)

In 1966 Haynes relocated to London in the middle of the "swinging 60s". He became deeply involved in the underground cultural scene, co-founding the alternative paper International Times, known as "I.T.", together with Barry Miles, John Hopkins, and others.[1] In September 1967 Haynes co-founded the Drury Lane Arts Lab space for mixed-media; it closed in late 1969. That year he co-launched with William Levy, Germaine Greer and Heathcote Williams Suck newspaper in Amsterdam to promote sexual freedom; it was also distributed in the United Kingdom. The first issue contained a long and unrestrainedly descriptive erotic poem attributed to W. H. Auden and an explicit photo of Germaine Greer. In 1968 he co-founded Videoheads with Jack Henry Moore in London.

In 1969 Haynes moved to Paris, where he taught Media Studies and Sexual Politics for 30 years at the University of Paris. He frequently held open house dinner parties on Sundays in Paris, and published an irregular newsletter about his life and times. In addition he has written an autobiographical memoir, titled Thanks for Coming. He frequently attends annual arts festivals such as the Edinburgh Festivals.

In 1970, he created and directed the Wet Dream Festival in Amsterdam.

At Christmas 2009, Haynes and his open house parties were featured in British television advertisements for multinational foods company Nestlé: "When the coffee and 'After Eight' mints come out, Jim's always got a story to tell."[2]

The documentary Echoes of the Underground includes footage of him, as well as featuring Lee Harris, Brian Barritt, Henk Targowski, and Youth. The score for the film was written and performed by The Moonlight Convention. It is drawn from his book by the same name.

Haynes had a heart attack in August 2011 on his way from Paris to the Edinburgh Festival, but he recovered. His newsletter is to be found on his website.[3]

2016 Haynes was invited to be a living exhibit at Victoria and Albert museum in London in their exhibit about London in the 1960s.

2017 Haynes was awarded an honorary PhD from Edinburgh Napier University.


  • Hello, I Love You! Voices from within the Sexual Revolution, First published in 1974 by Jim Haynes under various imprints, Jean Lafitte Editions, Almonde Editions, Handshake Editions, edited by Jeanne Pasle Green and Jim Haynes. Translated and published in French, German and Italian. A semi-pirate edition published by Times Change Press in California in 1974. Traverse Plays, Penguin Books, London, 1966. Edited by Jim Haynes.
  • Workers of the World, Unite and Stop Working! A Reply to Marxism, First published in a bi-lingual English/French edition by Dandelion Editions, Paris, in 1978. Later published in a German-language edition and a bi-lingual English/Russian edition in St. Petersburg. A new edition published by Glas, Moscow in English in 2002.
  • Everything Is! Soft Manifestos for Our Time, Published by Handshake Editions in Paris in 1980. Later published in German-language Edition by Volksverlag in 1981. Translated into French and published in a small edition by Handshake Editions in 1981. Also Glas Publications in Moscow brings out a new edition in English in 2002.
  • More Romance, Less Romanticism, Edited by Jim Haynes, Published in an extremely limited edition by Handshake Editions in Paris in 1982.
  • Thanks for Coming!, A Participatory Autobiography, published by Faber and Faber in 1984.
  • Round the World in 33 Days, edited by Jim Haynes, published by Glas, Moscow in 2002, in English.
  • Homage to Henry, a homage to Henry Miller, A collection of essays about Henry Miller edited by Jim Haynes and published by Handshake Editions, Paris in 1980. Re-printed in 1982. New edition in 2005.
  • THANKS FOR COMING! ENCORE! a memoir, Polwarth Publishing, London, 2014.
  • World Citizen in Paris published 2016.


  1. ^ "IT Staff - Issue 1, 14th October 1966". Internationaltimes.it. 14 October 1966. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Meet Jim". After Eight. Nestlé. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Jim Haynes Web site, newsletters". Jim-haynes.com. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.

External links[edit]