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Inventory of the Records of The Body Politic & Pink Triangle Press
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Twilight Trails
"Twilight Rose,"
TBP's first regular columnist

from # 2, Jan / Feb 1972


Page 23 / Inventory Series 15

Columns -- pieces appearing on a regular basis and distinguished in print by a continuing name -- were often the product of a given person's willingness to write regularly (and, of course, for free).

Many columns were identified with individual writers, some of them dealing consistently with thematically related material, others reflecting on a broader range of issues. Among those writers and their columns:

Most of these people also wrote features, reviews and essays for TBP, before, during and after their term as columnists.

Some story-header "flags" appeared often enough in Canadian and International News to become regularly expected features, almost columns in themselves. Among them were Around Toronto (later Toronto Beat, small bits often written by Ed Jackson, 1982-84); Growing (short stories on new gay / lesbian groups); Bawdy Politics (on bawdy house laws); Once Upon a Time (looking back five and 10 years) -- and the inevitable Discrimination, Censorship, Police and In Court.

Equally inevitable was AIDS, a regular flag from mid-1983 and, as AIDS Update, often a full news page from mid-1986 (though most major AIDS coverage, from Oct 1981, appeared as feature articles).

More formal columns -- usually given a half- or full-page space and a special note on the contents page -- were also set up to ensure coverage of certain issues and constituencies, or to allow space for various kinds of reflection. Such a column might not run in every issue and was not always written by the same person. But the intended themes (or styles) were relatively constant. Among them, in order of their first appearance:

One column was named for its place -- The Back Page, launched with the Nov 1979 issue. It was meant to ensure some editorial substance at the back of the mag (which had usually petered out in classified ads) and, as Michael Lynch said introducing it, "for a variety of pieces that grapple with quandariness."

The Back Page was sometimes reflective, often funny (especially in the hands of Stephen Stuckey and John Allec, who liked doing parodies there), and ended its days with TBP itself: Gerald Hannon used that last page of the last issue to ponder the passing of The Body Politic.

Columns were the editorial responsibility of individual collective members until the late '70s, by when most had come under the stewardship of one of the editorial working groups. More material on columns may be found in papers under Series 13: News and Series 14: Features and reviews than in the few listings noted here.

83-010 / 12
Correspondence and manuscripts, 1971-1980.

86-003 / 06
This Ain't Ann Landers, 1983-1984.

  1. It took some doing to get official permission for a prisoner to write regularly for TBP. See extensive documentation reprinted as an article: "Battling the bureaucracy," TBP # 85 (Jul / Aug 1982), pp 18-19. The column was interrupted for a time: "Mac" had escaped.
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