In an interview with 3AM, a British publication, Dr. Bax is asked about AMBIT’s anti-establishment reputation which has, indeed, caused controversy. AMBIT, by the way, is one of Britain's leading literary magazines and Martin, a physician, has edited the publication for over 40 years. Martin responds,
MB: Yes. We were strongly advised not to publish some drawings by Hockney in one of our early numbers. They were marvellous drawings of men in a club in Amsterdam. Now, one can't imagine why anybody would complain about them. A lady complained about a cover of ours, and a policeman came to see us during the Chicago riots, because it was a photo of the Statue of Liberty being raped by a policeman -- elegantly drawn by Mike Foreman. And we had trouble when we ran a competition for material written under the influence of drugs. I suppose, particularly early on in the Sixties, handling fairly explicit sexual material gave us that anti-establishment reputation. And we've never gone in for writing to establishment writers or asking people to contribute.
"We were in trouble again, when AMBIT launched a competition for the best fiction or poetry written under the influence of drugs. Lord Goodman, an intimate of Prime Minister Harold Wilson, raised the threat of prosecution. In fact, we were equally interested in the effects of legal drugs -- tranquillisers, antihistamines, even baby aspirin. The competition, and the 40 Pound prize which I offered, was won by the novelist Ann Quin -- her drug was the oral contraceptive…"
(J.G. Ballard from The Atrocity Exhibition, New Revised Edition, RE/Search)
Causes Robert Sward Supports
Audubon Society, National Geographic, "Green," the Environment, SPCA...