Two typed aerogramme letters signed, the first to Lee Harris, editor of Home Grown magazine, dated Kathmandu June 3, 1977, and the second, dated August 6, 1977, to Hollingshead’s partner, Auriol Roberts, the latter featuring numerous holograph amendments and a handwritten 5-line addendum in red ink (“a first rough draft for a piece for Home Grown”).
Approx 724 words and 826 words respectively.
In the first letter, Hollingshead writes to Harris that he is “eager and anxious to hear about HOMEGROWN Vol 1 No 1”, announces his plans to “bring out FLOW again… limited to 1,000 copies” (it was published in January 1978), and mentions his “old friend from many years back”, Ira Cohen, who “has been putting out several limited signed editions of his own and friends’ poetry printed on Nepalese rice paper”.
Further on, he wonders if Harris still wants him “to keep an eye out for exceptional material that would be suitable for HOMEGROWN No 2?”, adding that “There are some interesting things happening, and in the dope field, too”, before describing details of local plant cultivation, “a bit like being in France and debating best vintages. It might make an interesting tiny piece, if you like.”
The second letter, envisaged by Hollingshead as an anonymous contribution “from Homegrown’s Kathmandu Correspondent”, opens: “I have been stoned every day since I arrived in Kathmandu three months ago, mainly on Nepalese Temple Balls but occasionally some fine Afghan or Bombay Black.”
Much of the letter/article concerns the “Westerners who stay on in Nepal” and their activities (“some make jewellery, some make Tibetan wood-block prints; some are into exporting local craftwork; or cloth; or shirts”), as well as the Nepali dancing, Buddhist meditation and Indian philosophy they study: “One of the things you learn here is the Law of Ahimsa, which you also discover very often whilst tripping… the sine qua non of Truth (Satya)… In fact it was in the course of my pursuit of Truth I discovered non-violence… The implications for the 15,000,000 or so persons who regularly turn on via hash, grass, or any of the range of psychedelic ‘old world’ plants are quite profound.”
The letter, which Hollingshead thought might be accompanied in Home Grown by “a photograph of myself holding up a Chillum placed in the middle of my forehead, and my face partly obscured by dense white smoke”, was never published.
It was Heathcote Williams who first introduced Hollingshead to Lee Harris, in 1976, and the first issue of Home Grown (published after Hollingshead had left for Kathmandu) lists him as one of its contributing editors, features an interview with him in which he discusses his time with Timothy Leary at Harvard, and includes the previously unpublished “Declaration of Evolution” by Leary, who had been persuaded by Hollingshead to contribute.
Auriol Roberts, to whom the second letter is addressed, joined him in Nepal in December 1977, where they separated, after which Hollingshead travelled to Goa, then back to London in Spring 1978, where he met up with Harris again, this time accompanied by his new partner, Everilda Dorothea Hesketh.
Paper loss to upper corner of first letter from having been roughly opened (not affecting the text); brief inscription by Auriol Roberts to head of second letter: “High Home Grown” (after receiving it Roberts passed the letter on to Lee Harris).