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This report is taken from PN Review 150, Volume 29 Number 4, March - April 2003.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

Peter Finch was among the first writers to have a website. He has always been at the forefront of developments at the confluence of literature and technology. Back in the 1970s, I found neither reason nor euphony in the distortion of words and odd sounds he and Bob Cobbing vented in public performance with the aid of microphone and tape-recorder. But then, I am (to be kind to myself) a sad reactionary in most matters artistic. I have, too, learned to appreciate the intelligence, wry humanity, variety and abundance of Finch's creativity. Some time ago, given a half-hour on Radio Wales, he produced a gem of a programme that might have taught the broadcasters a thing or two about the use of the medium. And he is constantly adding to his technical bag of tricks: his most recent productions are accessible only on mobile phones with WAP facility.

The design of the website (www.peterfinch.co.uk), which greeted me as visitor number 29792, is exemplary. I went in after `Real Cardiff' but was soon browsing the history and bibliography of Second Aeon, the magazine Finch founded as a nineteen-year-old in 1966. From the mimeographed issue 2, it set out an inclusive world-view of contemporary poetry and attracted an extraordinary array of contributors, including Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, Theodore Enslin and Theodore Weiss, among others, from the United States. There is nothing to compare with Second Aeon's resonating roll call in any other magazine ...


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