Franklin Rosemont

Franklin Rosemont (1943-2009) in 2007. Photo by Thomas Good/Next Left Notes. Licensed under Creative Commons, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Franklin Rosemont (October 2, 1943 - April 12, 2009) was a American poet, artist, historian, and street speaker, who co-founded the Chicago Surrealist Group.[1]



Over 4 decades, Franklin produced a body of work, of declarations, manifestos, poetry, collage, hidden histories, and other interventions intended to inspire a new generation of revolution, and became arguably "the most productive scholar of labor and the left in the United States."[2]


Rosemont was born in Chicago, Illinois, to father Henry, a labor activist, and mother Sally, a jazz musician.[3]


He edited and wrote an introduction for What is Surrealism?: Selected writings of Andre Breton, and edited Rebel Worker, Arsenal/Surrealist Subversion, The Rise & Fall of the DIL Pickle: Jazz-Age Chicago's Wildest & Most Outrageously Creative Hobohemian Nightspot and Juice Is Stranger Than Friction: Selected Writings of T-Bone Slim.

With his wife, Penelope Rosemont, and Paul Garon he edited The Forecast is Hot!. He also edited and introduced Hobohemia: Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons, Ben Reitman & other agitators & outsiders in 1920s/30s Chicago, by Frank O. Beck.[4]

Writing Edit

His work has been deeply concerned with both the history of surrealism (writing a forward for Max Ernst and Alchemy: A Magician in Search of Myth) and of the radical labor movement in America, for instance, writing a biography of Joe Hill.



  • The Morning of a Machine Gun: Twenty poems and documents. Chicago: Surrealist Editions, 1968.
  • The Apple of the Automatic Zebra's Eye: Poems. Cambridge, MA: Radical America, 1971.
  • Penelope. Chicago: Black Swan Press, 1977.
  • Lamps Hurled at the Stunning Algebra of Ants: Twenty-seven poems. Chicago: Surrealist Editions, 1990.
  • The Collective Window: An Exquisite Corpse poem (with Penelope Rosemont). Chicago: Black Swan Press, 1993.


  • Surrealism & Revolution. Chicago: Ztangi, 1966; London: Coptic Press, 1967.
  • Surrealist Exhibition (art catalog). Chicago: Gallery Bugs Bunny, 1968.
  • Andre Breton and the First Principles of Surrealism: A companion volume to 'What is Surrealism?'. London: Pluto Press, 1978.
  • Surrealism and its Popular Accomplices. San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books, 1980.
  • Surrealism: Revolution against whiteness. Cambridge, MA: New Abolitionists, 1998.
  • Joe Hill: The IWW & the making of a revolutionary workingclass counterculture. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 2002 [2003]
  • An Open Entrance to the Shut Palace of Wrong Numbers (illustrated by Artur do Cruzeiro Seixas). Chicago: Surrealist Editions, 2003.
  • The Rise & Fall of the Dil Pickle: Jazz-age Chicago's wildest & most outrageously creative hobohemian nightspot. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 2004.
  • Revolution in the Service of the Marvelous: Surrealist contributions to the critique of miserabilism. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 2004.
  • Jacques Vaché and the roots of surrealism : including Vaché's war letters & other writings. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 2008.


  • Arsenal: Surrealist subversion (magazine). 1970-1989. Chicago: Black Swan Press.
  • Andre Breton, What is Surrealism? Selected writings. New York: Monad, 1978.
  • Isadora Speaks: Writings and speeches of Isadora Duncan. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 1994.
  • The Forecast is Hot!: Tracts & other collective declarations of the Surrealist movement in the United States, 1966-1976 (edited with Penelope Rosemont and Paul Garoni). Chicago: Black Swan Press, 1997.
  • Slim Brundage, From Bughouse Square to the Beat Generation: Selected ravings. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 1997.
  • Rebel voices: An IWW anthology (edited with Joyce M. Kornbluth & Fred Thompson). Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 1998; Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2011.
  • Hobohemia : Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons, Ben Reitman & other agitators & outsiders in 1920s/30s Chicago. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 2000.
  • Surrealist Subversions: Rants, writings & images by the surrealist movement in the United States (edited with Ronald B. Sakolsky). New York: Autonomedia, 2002.
  • Dancin' in the Streets: Anarchists, IWWs, surrealists, Situationists & Provos in the 1960s as recorded in the pages of The rebel worker & Heatwave (edited with Charles Radcliffe). Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 2005.
  • Black, Brown, & Beige : Surrealist writings from Africa and the diaspora (edited with Robin D.G. Kelley). Austin: University of Texas Press, 2009.
  • Benjamin Péret, A Menagerie in Revolt: Selected writings. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 2009.
  • Haymarket Scrapbook: A profusely illustrated anthology in honor of the 125th anniversary of the Haymarket Affair, when the people took to the streets to demand the right to fair labor conditions and an end to oppression. Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2012.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. The Surreal Life of Franklin Rosemont by Paul Garon, David Roediger and Kate Khatib, April 16 2009
  2. The Surreal Life of Franklin Rosemont by Paul Garon, David Roediger and Kate Khatib, April 16 2009
  3. Bio
  4. Beck, Frank O. (2000) (in English). Hobohemia: Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons, Ben Reitman & other agitators & outsiders in 1920s/30s Chicago. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr. 
  5. Search results = au:Franklin Rosemont, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, June 16, 2013.

External linksEdit

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