Stephanie Coffin Interview

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
Transcript
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Index
Search This Index
X
00:00:00 - Disclaimers

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Are you ready to get your story going?

Segment Synopsis: Andy Reisinger discusses a few disclaimers before starting the interview.

00:01:34 - Introduction, Education, Family Background

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: STEPHANIE COFFIN: I, I was born in Seattle, Washington in 1944.

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin introduces herself and provides a bit of family background.

Keywords: Gary Snyder; Seattle, Washington

Subjects: Books and reading

00:08:30 - Childhood And Teenage Years

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: What -- What sort of books did you gravitate too?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses the activities she engaged in when she was younger as well as her experiences as a teenager and drug use.

Keywords: Drug use

Subjects: Hallucinogenic drugs; New York (N.Y.)

00:13:00 - Influences, Boyfriend, Husband

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: And so what, what sort of, as you said like -- this is on the cusp of something, a momentous watershed in -- in the postwar era the early 60's and the coffee houses and intellectual ideas right in the middle of all sorts of different social movements -- was there anything you were being exposed to that were turning on light bulbs for you?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses the lack of influences that were strong enough to click with her. She also talks a little bit about her boyfriend at the time as well as meeting her husband.

Subjects: Mexico

00:18:53 - Family Falling Apart

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: You mentioned that you attended a couple of demonstrations -- STEPHANIE COFFIN: Yeah, I don't have very clear memories of those, but I'm sure they were anti-war demonstrations.

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin talks a little about the demonstrations she took part in and then later discusses the falling out of her family and her father leaving.

Subjects: Families

00:25:22 - Moving And Adjusting To Atlanta

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: But you got out and you and Tom -- worked your way across the country, got married?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses marriage and her financial struggles after moving to Atlanta. She also discusses the differences between the South and Seattle.

Keywords: Decatur; The South

Subjects: Atlanta (Ga.); Racism

00:31:02 - Meeting Activists

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: STEPHANIE COFFIN: So, um, Tom -- you know we had a pretty good time. We met all these people very early. We met all these activists.

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin talks about meeting activists groups and becoming involved with the anti-war movement.

Keywords: Ted Brodek

Subjects: Political activists

00:35:25 - Political Coming Of Age

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Where would you mark your sort of political and social coming of age?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses influences that attributed to her political coming of age.

Subjects: Civil rights movements; Political activists; Segregation

00:39:06 - Starting The Bird And Role In The Bird

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: And so the big American review is starting and quickly is evolving into the Great Speckled Bird --

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses the sorts of people who were first involved with The Bird. She also discusses how the Bird was established and her role in its establishment.

Keywords: Ted Brodek

Subjects: Underground newspapers

00:46:33 - Logistics Of The Bird

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: STEPHANIE COFFIN: Okay, so Neil Herring came and made these layout tables for us and we went and bought press type.

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses the planning of how the Bird was created almost from scratch.

Subjects: Graphic artists; Underground newspapers

00:54:29 - Marketing The Bird

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: STEPHANIE COFFIN: So um.. the layout at the very beginning then -- within about four or five issues, it developed into a certain pattern in some ways.

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses the efforts made to market the Bird and make it accessible to their audience.

Subjects: Marketing; Underground newspapers

00:59:52 - The Bird And Social Movements

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: How do you remember the Bird... encountering or responding or interfacing with the social movements that existed at the time and that were quickly -- becoming bigger and more noticeable?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses the movements that existed at the time and how that impacted the Bird.

Keywords: Agnes Scott College

Subjects: Gay liberation movement; Social movements; Underground newspapers

01:05:14 - The Women's Movement

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: So how did the women's movement -- you said that it had a huge impact on you personally and on the Bird -- can you talk some more about that?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses the women's movement and how that impacted her and the Bird.

Subjects: Abortion; Atlanta (Ga.); Underground newspapers

01:12:51 - Gay Liberation Movement

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: STEPHANIE COFFIN: I did participate in the Atlanta women's liberation. Atlanta women's liberation did not last long and one of the major things that happened and that kind of goes into the next movement was the gay movement.

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses the clash between the gay liberation movement and the women's liberation movement in Atlanta. She explains how Atlanta's women's movement was split when the gay movement became prominent.

Keywords: Anti Monogamy; Black Lives Matter; Lesbian separatism; Political lesbianism; Rubyfruit Jungle

Subjects: Atlanta (Ga.); Gay liberation movement; Lesbians

01:22:46 - The Bird And Accessibility

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: STEPHANIE COFFIN: I, to this day, think that we did nothing -- I don't think we did anything unique. The Bird was not a unique paper.

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses her thoughts on the Bird's accessibility and how it presented its contents in a way that encouraged people to get involved in the social movements of the time.

Subjects: Underground newspapers

01:26:42 - Steve Abbott

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: You mentioned Steve Abbott earlier and his participation in the Bird and also in politics at Emory and then the issue of gay liberation comes up that we were talking about, can you talk a little bit about Steve's role in the paper?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses what she knew about Steve Abbott and his role in the Bird.

Keywords: Steve Abbott

Subjects: Gay liberation movement; Underground newspapers

01:31:16 - Atlanta Workshop For Nonviolence

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: I wanted to follow up on a couple of things. Can you explain what the Atlanta Workshop for Nonviolence was?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin talks a little bit about the Atlanta Workshop in Nonviolence as well as profanity in the Bird and how religion played a role.

Subjects: Draft registration; Religion and politics

01:35:37 - The Black Panthers, Hippie Scene, And Drug Scene

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Also to go back and follow up, you had mentioned um, I don't know if confrontation is the right word, but some representatives in the Black Panthers making some demands of the Bird. What's the story there?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses the Bird's relationship with the Black Panthers. She discusses how there was a division between the Bird, being a predominately white organization, and the Black Panthers, a black organization. She also discusses the hippie scene and drug scene and their relationships with the Bird.

Keywords: Black Panthers

Subjects: Drug abuse and crime; Underground newspapers

01:43:57 - The Bird's Challenges And Influential Members

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Were you ever on paid staff?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses the Bird's difficulties with paying staff members as well as organizational challenges.

Subjects: Underground newspapers

01:50:42 - The Bird's Reception

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: STEPHANIE COFFIN: We didn't get hung up in this whole thing about "everybody's got to agree with something" before we can function. You know, we took votes.

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses how the Bird decided what issues to publish. She also discusses the reception from other liberation movements and organizations.

Subjects: Underground newspapers

01:59:06 - Leaving The Bird

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: When did you leave the Bird?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses leaving the Bird and what influenced her decision.

Subjects: Underground newspapers

02:05:21 - Social Life During The Bird Years

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: In the Bird years, what did you do for socialization and relaxation? STEPHANIE COFFIN: Socialization? What do you mean?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses her social life during the time she worked on the Bird.

Subjects: Atlanta (Ga.)

02:10:55 - Life After The Bird

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: So when you left the Bird, say maybe 1973, um, what's your life been since then?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses how her life has been since working on the Bird. She also discusses going back to school and attending Georgia State University.

Subjects: Georgia State University

02:20:45 - Working At Georgia Perimeter College

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: STEPHANIE COFFIN: And so I went out to Georgia Perimeter College and got a job out there teaching ESL.

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses working at Georgia Perimeter College as well as some textbooks she wrote during that time. She also talks about the issues she became involved with at the school and the conflict with the Presidents of the school.

Keywords: ESL

Subjects: Citizenship; College presidents

02:24:24 - Various Jobs And Family Life

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: STEPHANIE COFFIN: (Clears throat) I also became an arborist and did an awful lot with trees when Tom went back to graduate school.

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses working as an arborist as well as a mosaicist. She also talks about her other family members and children and their career paths.

Subjects: Art; Families

02:30:47 - Amerasian Adoption

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: And didn't you also have an adoptive child or foster? Or?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses her adoptive child and some background on the adoption.

Subjects: Adoption; Vietnam

02:35:55 - Does The Bird Still Matter?

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: In what ways do you see the Bird continuing to inform or matter in your life? In the years after?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses the Bird and how it might continue to matter. She talks about how that experience -- being involved with the Bird -- has affected her life.

Subjects: Underground newspapers

02:42:10 - Relaunch Of The Bird

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Were you involved at all in the official relaunch, revitalization of the Bird in '85, '86?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses the problems with the relaunch of the Bird and her involvements with it.

Subjects: Underground newspapers

02:46:28 - How Politics Has Changed

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: So where you're at in life now, what are the things that are most important to you -- ideas, politically, otherwise?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin discusses the things that are important to her now and how the shift in politics (since the Bird) has affected what she cares about.

Keywords: Bernie Sanders

Subjects: Social action

02:53:36 - Reflecting On The Bird

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: From the standpoint of thirty to forty years after the fact, how do you reflect on the era of the Bird at that time?

Segment Synopsis: Stephanie Coffin reflects on the Bird and the politics of the time.

Subjects: Capitalism; Underground newspapers