Amherst nurtured Io, though Io never represented Amherst

                                                                      Richard Grossinger

After graduating in Spring 1966, Richard Grossinger and Lindy Hough married in 1967. The couple moved to Ann Harbor, Michigan, where they continued to publish Io. Although most of those who have contributed to Io thus far have also graduated, Grossinger wrote in the Amherst Student in 1967 in an effort to find a student representative and therefore maintain an Amherst connection. He has also sent copies of Io-3 and Io-4 to President Calvin Plimpton.

Letter from President Calvin Plimpton
Letter from President Plimpton (Dec. 26, 1967)

Letter from President Plimpton to Richard Grossinger and Lindy Hough:

I’m certainly much impressed by your energies in continuing this publication and you have my congratulations for it.

From a literary point of view and that of somebody unfortunately over thirty, I must confess I have a little difficulty in following some of the essays and poems but I suppose that even we old dogs can learn if given sufficient exposure.”



Io seeking to maintain connection with Amherst
Io seeking Amherst student distributor (the Amherst Student Oct. 16, 1967)

Article from the Amherst Student:

“In all four issues so far a great bulk of the material has been written by people who attended Amherst or who have read their work there. I have no way of knowing at this point if there any people there now who are interested in this kind of research and writing… The subject matter of the magazine runs from New American Poetry… to source material for cosmological systems”



Amherst’s contribution was subtle- a kind of intellectual toughness and spirit of inquiry- and in its disdainful criticism (on both student and faculty level) of our work there was some grudging admiration…


Four phases:

  1. Developmental/classic (issues 1-8): Io-1 was published in Amherst (Feb, 1965). Io-2 followed suit the next year, which also marked Grossinger’s and Hough’s graduation from Amherst and Smith, respectively.
  2. Populist (issues 9-18)
  3. Guest-edited collections about college courses (issues 19-24)
  4. North Atlantic Books Anthologies (issues 25 and on): published in Berkley, CA starting in 1977. Transformation into a publishing company.

The 12-year set: first series (1965-1977) would refer to the first three phases. By 13th issue, its success can be measured by a kind of iterative inspiration: one third of Io‘s subscribers had appeared in it, that is, those who bought and read the magazine also wrote for it. Grossinger and Hough worked in Vermont, and finally, Berkeley CA, where Io took roots as a publishing company called North Atlantic Books. The subsequent issues were thus published as North Atlantic Books anthologies. To celebrate the magazine’s fiftieth anniversary, North Atlantic Books published the Io Anthology (1963-1995), which includes introductions written by Richard Grossinger and Lindy Hough, among others.

Anthology abstract: “Io forged an eclectic path through the upheavals of the 1960s in art, literature, science, and the life of the spirit with writing that embraced astrophysics, science fiction, parapsychology, topology, poetry from Black Mountain, Beat, and New American traditions, wisdom from Hopi and Iglulik elders, homeopathy, hermetics, alchemy and the occult, astrology, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism. Portraying the roots and spirit which impelled Io to evolve into a publishing company, this volume shows the seriousness and depth of content which continues to enliven North Atlantic Books.”

For more information about these editors, visit their websites below.

Richard Grossinger:
Lindy Hough:


Eyes on Io ← BACK                           NEXTBibliography



Overview of Literary Magazines
Of Moons and Serendipity: the conception

Inside Io: mission statement, Io-1
Eyes on Io: the reception
Io after Amherst: post-Amherst transformation


Project by Phuong-Nghi Pham ’18