Judson Crews

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Judson Crews
Born(1917-06-30)June 30, 1917
Waco, Texas, U.S.
DiedMay 17, 2010(2010-05-17) (aged 92)
Taos, New Mexico, U.S.
OccupationPoet, bookseller, publisher, educator
EducationB.A. (1941) & M.A. (1944): Sociology, Baylor University
Literary movementSouthwest Poetry, U.S.A.
Years active1946 – 2010

Judson Crews (June 30, 1917 – May 17, 2010) was an American poet, bookseller and small press publisher.

Crews was born and raised in Waco, Texas. He first opened his Motive Bookshop and issued his first Motive Press publications in Waco. In 1947 he moved both concerns to Taos, New Mexico and married Taos photographer Mildred Tolbert. In addition to writing poetry, his activities in Taos over several decades included editing the poetry magazines Suck-egg Mule, The Deer and Dachshund, The Flying Fish, Motive, Vers Libre, Poetry Taos and The Naked Ear (which published poetry by Robert Creeley, Charles Bukowski, Kenneth L. Beaudoin, Stuart Z. Perkoff, Vincent Ferrini, Larry Eigner, LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Jack Anderson and Diane Di Prima, among others); and issuing chapbooks of his own poetry and poetry by his friends Wendell Anderson and Carol Bergé. Crews was a frequent contributor to Poetry Magazine, among many other literary journals. Besides operating his bookshop and press, he worked in newspaper production, as a teacher (including as a lecturer at the University of Zambia, 1974–1978), and as a social worker and counselor, until his retirement. He died on May 17, 2010 in Taos, NM and is buried in Tres Orejas, NM.

His daughters are artist and author Carole Crews, and photographer Anna Bush Crews.

Crews wrote and published under a number of pseudonyms, including Cerise Farallon, Willard Emory Betis, Trumbull Drachler, Tobi Macadams and Charley John Greasybear. Although he denied it, many in his literary circle believe that "Mason Jordan Mason"—a widely published and anthologized African American poet of the 1950s and 60s, recognized by the likes of Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Langston Hughes—was another of Crews's carefully constructed literary personae.[1]

A long-time proponent of the work of his friend Henry Miller (a reprint of Miller's Maurizius Forever was one of Motive Press's earliest publications), Crews was a lifelong activist against censorship in publishing. Crews lived with Miller briefly during his Big Sur, California days.[2]

Much of his own output as an independent, small press publisher consisted of short-run, inexpensively produced literary chapbooks and magazines, making him a notable figure in the 1960s-70s movement known as the Mimeo Revolution.

Select bibliography[edit]

  • The Southern Temper (Waco, TX, 1946)
  • No is the Night (Taos, NM, 1949)
  • Patrocinio Barela, Taos Wood Carver (with Wendell B. Anderson and Mildred Crews, Taos, NM, 1955)
  • Inwade to Briney Garth (Taos, NM, 1960)
  • A Unicorn When Needs Be (Taos, NM, 1963)
  • Selected Poems (Cleveland, OH, 1964)
  • Three on a Match (with Wendell B. Anderson and "Cerise Farallon," Taos, NM, 1966)
  • Nolo Contendere (Houston, TX, 1978)
  • Songs (as "Charley John Greasybear," Boise, ID, 1979
  • The Noose, A Retrospective: 4 Decades (Duende/Tooth of Time, Placitas, NM, 1980)
  • The Clock of Moss (Boise, ID, 1983)
  • Against All Wounds (Parkdale, OR, 1987)
  • Dolores Herrera/Nations and Peoples (Las Cruces, NM, 1991)
  • The Brave Wild Coast: A Year with Henry Miller (Los Angeles, 1997) This autobiographic narrative takes us from the fleshpots of LA bussing to bleak cliffsides over a raging ocean.


  1. ^ "Biographical Sketch". Retrieved 2010-05-19. From the Judson Crews Papers Inventory at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin
  2. ^ The Heart's Precision: Judson Crews and his Poetry by Wendell Anderson. Edited and with a Bibliography of Judson Crews by Jefferson P. Selth (Los Angeles, 1994)

External links[edit]