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This article is taken from PN Review 174, Volume 33 Number 4, March - April 2007.

Migrant the Magnificent Richard Price

In July 1959 several hundred copies of a magazine emerged from the house of a British doctor, then living in Ventura, California. They were posted to poets across the United States, Canada and the British Isles. With a light blue cover and soft yellow pages the magazine was unconventional but welcoming in design. The printing, from an unsophisticated rotary duplicator, had the look of a typewriter. The homespun atmosphere was also underlined by the text only appearing on one side of the page. Despite this - or, rather, because of it - Dr Turnbull, later better known as the poet Gael Turnbull, had started one of the most influential poetry magazines of the last half of the century. It would only run until September 1960, when its eighth issue brought the magazine to a close. Nevertheless, quietly, exploratively, and with the invaluable British editing of his old schoolfriend Michael Shayer, Migrant heralded the decade of ideas and creativity now thought of as the 1960s.

The Play Way

Born in Edinburgh in 1928, Gael Turnbull was the son of a Scottish minister and an American of Swedish descent. The family lived where his father preached, first in Jarrow and then, from 1934 to 1939, in Blackpool. At the beginning of the Second World War the family emigrated to Winnipeg in Canada. Turnbull returned to England in 1944 where he was a boarder at Perse School, Cambridge. It was here that ...


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