Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Bob Brown's 1933 Houdini poem reprinted

What is likely the earliest book of Houdini-inspired poetry, 1933's Houdini by Bob Brown, has been reprinted in a new paperback edition from Roving Eye Press.

Bob Brown (1886-1959) was an American writer and publisher, central to the pulp fiction factory of the early twentieth century, the expatriate avant-garde in France, and the Bohemian arts scene in Greenwich Village in the 1950s. Originally published in 1933, Houdini was a pamphlet-length book part of The Modern Edition poetry series under the editorial direction of Kathleen Tankersley Young. This new edition includes a Foreword by K. A. Wisniewski, an Introduction by Craig Saper, and a new cover and text design. It is the latest title from the revamped Roving Eye Press, the press originally started by Brown in the late 1920s.

You can buy Bob Brown's Houdini at Amazon.com (U.S.) and Amazon.co.uk (UK).

UPDATE: Be alerted that while this book is 19 pages, most of that is the introduction and forward. Brown's actual poem is only 4 pages.



  1. This is fascinating! I actually just bought a chapbook of Houdini poetry written in the 1970s. I found it at the Houdini museum in NYC.

  2. okay, so I adore Houdini themed poetry, and was super excited to read a book of poetry (even a small one) written by an author contemporary to HH, and as such this poem is still worth it to me, but I have to say I am disappointed with this book....it is 19 pages of introduction/foreword and literally three pages of poetry....this book is only one poem, and that one poem is only three pages...just felt it was worth noting so people know what this really is.

    1. ha! and apparently I should have clicked your provided related link as it clearly states there that the original was a four page booklet...silly me.

    2. Actually, when I wrote this, I had forgotten the that poem was just 4 pages and I also assumed it was a book of poetry. I'll do an update. Thanks.

    3. Reminds me of my favorite "Houdini poem":

      There was a young fellow named Sweeney,
      Whose girl was a terrible meanie,
      The hatch of her snatch,
      Had a catch that would latch,
      She could only be screwed by Houdini