- Category : 1917-births
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Demands 1
American poet, bookseller and small press publisher.
Crews first opened his Motive Bookshop and issued his first Motive Press publications in Waco. In 1947 he moved both concerns to Taos, New Mexico and married Taos photographer Mildred Tolbert. In addition to writing poetry, his activities in Taos over several decades included editing the poetry magazines Suck-egg Mule, The Deer and Dachshund, The Flying Fish, Motive, Vers Libre, Poetry Taos and The Naked Ear (which published poetry by Robert Creeley, Charles Bukowski, Kenneth L. Beaudoin, Stuart Z. Perkoff, Vincent Ferrini, Larry Eigner, LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Jack Anderson and Diane Di Prima, among others); and issuing chapbooks of his own poetry and poetry by his friends Wendell Anderson and Carol Bergé. Crews was a frequent contributor to Poetry Magazine, among many other literary journals. Besides operating his bookshop and press, he worked in newspaper production, as a teacher (including as a lecturer at the University of Zambia, 1974–1978), and as a social worker and counselor, until his retirement.
Crews wrote and published under a number of pseudonyms, including Cerise Farallon, Willard Emory Betis, Trumbull Drachler, Tobi Macadams and Charley John Greasybear. Although he denied it, many in his literary circle believe that "Mason Jordan Mason"—a widely published and anthologized African American poet of the 1950s and '60s, recognized by the likes of Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Langston Hughes—was another of Crews's carefully constructed literary personae.
A long-time proponent of the work of his friend Henry Miller (a reprint of Miller's Maurizius Forever was one of Motive Press's earliest publications), Crews was a lifelong activist against censorship in publishing. Crews lived with Miller briefly during his Big Sur, California days.
Much of his own output as an independent, small press publisher consisted of short-run, inexpensively produced literary chapbooks and magazines, making him a notable figure in the 1960s-'70s movement known as the Mimeo Revolution.
He died on 17 May 2010 in Taos, survived by his daughters: artist and author Carole Crews and photographer Anna Bush Crews.