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Book Specifications:

505 Pages

210 mm x 130 mm x 35 mm

Paperback inside hardback slipcase

Perfect Bound

Print run of 100

Publication Date: 15.05.23










Design: Lucy Wilkinson

Printed and bound at Dean Print, Stockport, UK

Slipcase handmade at Walker Print, Prestwich, UK

Editors: Lucy Wilkinson, Thomas Wrenck, Timothy Coster, Joseph Conway, Joshua Jones and Karolina Fedorowicz

Artworks: Evans Kati, Beth Wilkinson and Erin Black

Photography: Gordon Ball and Ann Charters

Additional contributors: Ann Charters, Gordon Ball, Jerome Poynton, Heike Mlakar

My True Stories (Limited Edition Collection), Brenda Frazer

  • Brenda Frazer published her first book Troia in 1966, which was republished in 2007 by Dalkey Archives (now Deep Vellum). She has also appeared in The Portable Beat Reader (edited by Ann Charters) and A Different Beat (Richard Peabody), as well as multiple periodicals from the 1950s and 60s such as Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts and Blue Beat. She was married to the poet Ray Bremser. She lived in New York City during the late 1950s and 60s and moved to Cherry Valley in New York in 1970, living at The Committee set up by Allen Ginsberg for poets, writers and artists to live communally. In 2020, death of workers whilst building skyscrapers published Some American Tales (due to be reprinted in August 2023).


    My True Stories (2023) is a collection of four manuscripts that recount Brenda Frazer’s life from 1959 until 1983. We follow her memories and reflections: a female perspective that is raw and exposing, accounting the contradictory turbulence of poverty and joviality that was experienced by the Beat Generation; the lower east side Manhattan amphetamine scene of the 1960s; her time spent in Guatemala and the communal movement of the 1970s in Cherry Valley.


    In Poets and Odd Fellows, Brenda Frazer recounts her own experiences of New York City and Hoboken from 1959 to 1960. Her aim was to resolve her feelings of deep love and disappointment for her then-husband, poet Ray Bremser. Brenda explains, "I was a 'fool for love' as Ray Charles sang it. Young love and the injustice we suffered under the law in New Jersey.” Brenda Frazer recounts the start of her relationship with Ray Bremser including the pregnancy of her first daughter, Rachel, whilst Ray was serving a prison sentence in New Jersey. Poets and Odd Fellows is a prequel to the previously published Troia: Mexican Memoirs. The first in the sequence of My True Stories, this book is from a female perspective of the Beat Generation, in which we find hunger, poverty and injustice. Including an introduction by Lucy Wilkinson, the editor and publisher.


    Brenda Frazer wrote Troia: Mexican Memoirs in 1963, recounting her experience living in Mexico from 1961-62 with her husband (Ray Bremser) and their daughter Rachel. It was published in 1966 with Croton Press, under her married name of Bonnie Bremser. It was then republished by Dalkey Archives Press in 2007. Death of workers whilst building skyscrapers will be re-releasing Troia inside a second edition collection of My True Stories in 2024. The day-to-day writing of the manuscript is described in Drug City. Both books are an attempt at self-analysis, expressing the inner conflicts that come with feeling you are owned by a justice system that was only in place to incriminate. In Drug City, Brenda and Ray have returned from Mexico, their child Rachel has been placed into the adoption system. Rife in drug addiction and drug sickness, they live in various places around New York City until Ray gets arrested. Whilst Ray serves his five-year prison sentence, they have very little communication, and Brenda writes one page letters to him, which became the manuscript for Troia. Including an introduction by Jerome Poynton.


    In Artista, Brenda Frazer recounts the true story of a woman on the road (1967-1970), beginning her journey from the Beat poetry scene of New York City to Guatemala. Fleeing the drug-infused New York City Beat scene, Frazer arrives in Guatemala with her husband Ray Bremser and their daughter, Georgia. Artista was originally a large manuscript that combined Drug City. Frazer accompanies the reader from New York City’s flourishing Beat poetry scene to Mexican flashbacks. Artista is a significant contribution to the female experience during the time of cultural and social transformations of the 1960s. Including an introduction by Heike Mlakar.


    Inside her 1999 journal entry, Brenda Frazer describes: “I had written regularly for several years, journaling and working on a manuscript about my time with poet husband Ray Bremser. I pushed myself to work and yet the more I forced the writing the less satisfaction I took in it. In fact, I came to the writing with a sinking feeling that I had wasted my time.” The final book in the collection My True StoriesCherry Valley Ballads and Stories recounts the years from 1970-83, written in 2010-15. It is the last mention of her husband Ray, entering a new love which she embraces through a forbidden domestic situation. Through her analysis of her environment, her relationships, and self-discovery, the book recounts the most active development of character: Hers, of course. In Brenda’s own words, “trying but not really succeeding in being a strong woman.” Including an introduction by Gordon Ball


    I want to thank Brenda for trusting me to publish these books for her and give us the responsibility to carry on sharing her “true stories”.

  • My True Stories collection: Poets and Odd FellowsDrug CityArtistaCherry Valley Ballads and Stories. You can also purchase a limited edition collection of all 4 books in a slipcase here. We will be republishing Some American Tales in the summer of 2023. I also recommend Troia: Mexican Memoirs published by Dalkey Archives Press in 2002 now called Deep Vellum.



    Love Above All Else: a Review of Brenda Frazer’s Poets and Odd Fellows, by Viola Ragonese


    'Finally Brought to Light: Brenda Frazer’s My True Stories(2022) by Heike Mlakar in Beatdom

    'Brenda Frazer' (2022) by Peter Hale (Allen Ginsberg Project)

    Interview with Brenda Frazer by Nancy Grace

    'Brenda Frazer's My True Stories' (2023) by Dawn Swoop in Beat Scene

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