Klactoveedsedsteen was a magazine founded by writer
Carl Weissner in 1965 in Heidelberg, Germany. Through his own PANic Press, Weissner
published five issues of Klacto from June 1965 to the
fall of 1967.
Weissner’s connection to a network of writers in England, the United States, and
throughout Europe enabled him to assemble a diverse group of contributors for
issue, including such luminaries as Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, and
Allen Ginsberg, as well as European writers like Henri Chopin and Claude Pélieu.
Frequent contributors included Doug Blazek, Diane Di Prima, Larry Eigner, Dick
Higgins, Gerard Malanga, Harold Norse, and Jeff Nuttall, among others. Weissner
contributed his own work, sometimes writing under the pseudonym Kwee Sinh, Sr.
such an international collection of writers, Klacto
was multilingual by design, incorporating pieces written in English, German, French,
Dutch, and even Bengali.
Above all, Weissner wanted to create a forum for experimenting with language. Klacto became an amalgam of innovative literary forms,
such as poem-drawings, concrete poetry, graffiti, and cut-ups, as well as more
traditional verse forms. To exemplify his philosophy, he published Klacto 2 as two 7-foot long scrolls overlapped to create
a series of cut-up texts. Subsequent issues were perhaps less daring in format,
continued to explore new forms. Klacto 3 included the
first published accounts of William S. Burroughs’ tape recorder experiments that
emerged from his collaboration with Ian Sommerville in London. Weissner’s own
interest in sound recordings prompted the fifth and final issue, Klacto 23, to be published concurrently with an
hour-long audio recording of readings by Klacto
contributors and others, most notably an experimental sound piece by Brion Gysin.
Weissner also published a variant edition of this final issue as Klacto 23 International.
One of Weissner’s closest connections in the United States, poet and contributor
Carol Bergé, helped distribute Klacto by contacting
bookstores in New York City and introducing Weissner to other writers. As was
practice in this circle, Weissner traded issues of Klacto for copies of other little magazines, such as Jeff Nuttall’s My Own Mag from London, to distribute them in Germany
and, in turn, circulate Klacto more widely.