WCH WAY was conceived by Jed Rasula and Ron Barnard in Bloomington, Indiana in the fall of 1974, with the aim of providing more space for the poets than did other magazines at that time. We were particularly interested in longer poems and sequences. Wch Way found a patron in Arthur Jackson, a local book dealer, who published the first three issues. Shortly after the first issue appeared in spring 1975, disagreements about potential contributors led to Ron’s departure. The second and third issues (fall 1975, spring 1976) were conceived as a single unit, resulting in the misleading assignment of the numeral 22 to the third issue (there would be no properly numbered 3). Birth of a daughter and an itinerant existence halted Wch Way for several years, until a collaboration with Don Byrd resulted in the fourth in 1982. Lack of funds spelled its demise until, serendipitously, in 1984 Rasula found that Jerry Rothenberg had some remaining NEA funds for New Wilderness Letter, albeit with no plans to use them. In a long weekend session, Rasula and Rothenberg sorted through a mass of manuscripts both had accumulated, putting together the core of the fifth Wch Way co-published as New Wilderness Letter 12. With Byrd’s continuing participation, a final combined issue appeared in 1985, ending the run of both journals.
Co-creator, Wch Way