Register of the Martha Ronk Papers MSS.697

Finding aid prepared by Mandeville Special Collections Library
Mandeville Special Collections Library
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
858-534-2533
spcoll@ucsd.edu
2009-04-27


Title: Martha Ronk Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS.697
Contributing Institution: Mandeville Special Collections Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 4.6 lin. ft. (9 archives boxes and 11 oversize folders)
Date (inclusive): 1983-2008
Abstract: Papers of Martha Ronk, fiction writer, editor, and American poet. The papers primarily document Ronk's literary correspondence, poetry manuscripts, and editorial projects from the mid-1980s to 2008. The bulk of the collection is made up of Ronk's poetry manuscripts and typescript drafts from her published poetry collections, including State of Mind (1995), Displeasures of the Table: Memoir as Caricature (2001), and Why/Why Not (2003). Also included are numerous typescript drafts of individual poems by Ronk, correspondence with other writers and poets, and editorial work for Littoral Books and The New Review of Literature.
creator: Ronk, Martha Clare

Scope and Contents note

The Martha Ronk Papers contain materials documenting her activities as a poet, publisher, editor, and fiction writer, and features manuscripts of poetry and prose which date from 1983 through 2008. The papers also include editorial materials related to both Littoral Books and the journal The New Review of Literature, poetry workshops, poetry reading materials, articles, and art reviews. The majority of the collection is made up of typescript drafts from Ronk's collected poetry, which contain handwritten notes and revisions from Ronk and her publishers. The collection also contains general correspondence between Ronk and other poets, book publishers, and literary editors. The collection is arranged into six series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) WRITINGS BY RONK, 3) EDITORIAL PROJECTS, 4) CRITICISMS AND REVIEWS, 5) READINGS AND WORKSHOPS, and 6) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS.
SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE
The CORRESPONDENCE series contains letters from Paul Vangelisti, George Albon, Lee Hickman, Dave Smith, Bin Ramke, and other writers and poetry editors. The majority of the correspondence deals with Ronk's writing, including acceptance and rejection letters from publishers regarding collected and uncollected poetry and prose. This series also contains a small amount of personal correspondence between Ronk and other writers whom she befriended as an editor of Littoral Book and The New Review of Literature. This series is arranged in alphabetical order by correspondent.
SERIES 2: WRITINGS BY RONK
The WRITINGS BY RONK series is the largest series in the collection and is arranged in four subseries: A) Articles and Reviews, B) Unpublished Work, C) Uncollected Published Poetry, and D) Collected Published Poetry.
A) The Articles and Reviews subseries contains articles and drafts, both published and unpublished, written by Ronk. This subseries also contains art reviews written by Ronk for the journal Artweek in 1989 and 1990. Materials in this subseries are arranged in alphabetical order.
B) The Unpublished Work subseries includes typescript drafts of collected and uncollected poems written by Ronk. These unpublished manuscripts include work entitled: "Lost", "Letters from Hong Kong", and "Elegies, Alibis, and Spring".
C) The Uncollected Published Poetry subseries contains individual poems written by Ronk that were published in various poetry and literary magazines, including Hambone, The American Poetry Review, HOW(ever), and Talisman. Materials in this subseries are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the journal or publication.
D) The fourth subseries, Collected Published Poetry, contains correspondence, typescript drafts, galley proofs and final drafts of fourteen of Ronk's published poetry books. These books include typescripts by Ronk, as well as collaborative projects Ronk worked on with other authors or artists. One of these collaborations is the book Life in L.A., written by Ronk and other poets in 1983. This publication was printed on oversize paper and published by Paradise Press. The typescript drafts in this series contain handwritten notes by Ronk that show the evolution of the poems and document the publication process of each poetry manuscript. This subseries also contains criticism and reviews of some of Ronk's published poetry that appeared in literary magazines and other publications, such as the LA Times Book Review. Items in this final subseries are arranged in chronological order.
SERIES 3: EDITORIAL PROJECTS
The third series in this collection, EDITORIAL PROJECTS, contains material from both Littoral Books and The New Review of Literature journal. Both editorial projects contain correspondence, manuscript submissions, and contact information for contributors from both publications. The papers pertaining to Littoral Books also contain a galley proof for the cover of Empire Life by George Albon.
These materials also include reading announcements and flyers from local poets that were sponsored by Littoral Books; these flyers include an announcement for "A Futurist Dinner," which was the first fundraiser dinner put together for Littoral Books by Ronk, Phillips, and Vangelisti.
SERIES 4: CRITICISMS AND REVIEWS
The CRITICISMS AND REVIEWS series contains published and unpublished reviews of Ronk's work on collaborative projects, as well as her work as a whole. This series also contains commentary regarding Ronk's influence on the Southern California poetry scene over the past twenty years.
SERIES 5: READINGS AND WORKSHOPS
The READINGS AND WORKSHOPS series contains materials from various poetry workshops and conferences in which Ronk participated, including the Page Mother's Conference at UCSD, the Place as Purpose Conference, and the Poetics of Memory Conference. The materials from these conferences include correspondence, conference notes and outlines, and panelist writings and submissions. This series also contains flyers and pamphlets for various poetry readings in which Ronk performed. These readings sometimes included other poets from the Los Angeles area. Materials in this series are arranged in alphabetical order.
SERIES 6: MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS
The final series in the collection, MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, includes a small amount of teaching material from Occidental College and two articles about Ronk; one mentioning her involvement at a poetry conference, and a second highlighting her achievement in being awarded the Graham L. Sterling Award for Excellence at Occidental College.

Biographical/Historical note

Martha Clare Ronk was born on February 19, 1940, in Cleveland, Ohio. She received her B.A. in English from Wellesley College in 1962, and her PhD from Yale University in 1968. Her dissertation was entitled "The Theme of Creation in "Paradise Lost," under the direction of Louis L. Martz. From 1967 through 1971 Ronk taught at Tufts University as an assistant professor. In 1971 she moved to Los Angeles, where she did her post-doctoral studies at the School of Criticism and Theory at the University of California, Irvine, in the summer of 1976. In 1980 Ronk took a position at Occidental College as a professor of English and Comparative Studies; she received the Graham L. Sterling Faculty Award for Excellence from Occidental College in 1990.
In 1990 Ronk, along with Los Angeles writers Paul Vangelisti and Dennis Phillips, created Littoral Books, a co-operative publishing venture in Los Angeles. Littoral Books published both poetry and prose mainly for authors in Southern California, including numerous well-known poets such as George Albon, Norma Cole, and Stephen Ratcliffe. Early publications from Littoral Books were printed with help from Sun & Moon Press. Ronk became co-editor of the journal The New Review of Literature with Paul Vangelisti and Dennis Phillips in 2002. This journal was a product of the Graduate Writing Program of Otis College of Art and Design. Each issue included poetry, essays, reviews and criticism of modern literature. The New Review of Literature ceased publication in 2008 after its tenth issue, and was replaced in February 2009 by OR: A Literary Tabloid.
Ronk has published over ten books of poetry. Her first book, Desire in LA, was published in 1990 by the University of Georgia Press. Since then, Ronk has written numerous other books of collected poems, including Desert Geometries: Poems (1992), State of Mind (1995), and Eyetrouble (1998). Her most current publication, Glass Grapes: Stories, is a series of short stories published by BOA Editions Ltd. in 2008.
In 2005 Ronk was awarded the PEN USA award for poetry for her book In a Landscape of Having to Repeat. In 2006 her book Vertigo: Poems won the National Poetry Series award and a 2007 National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship. Ronk is currently the Irma and Jay Price Professor of English and Comparative Studies at Occidental College. Her instruction focuses on Renaissance studies, as well as poetry and fiction writing.

Preferred Citation note

Martha Ronk Papers. MSS 697. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

Access

Collection is available for research.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Albon, George
Corbett, William, 1942-
DiPalma, Ray
Eshleman, Clayton
Guest, Barbara
Vangelisti, Paul
American poetry--20th century
Publishers and publishing--United States--Archives
Women poets--United States

 

Correspondence

Box 1, Folder 1

A - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 2

Albon, George 1998

Box 1, Folder 3

Antioch Review 1993

Box 1, Folder 4

L'Art Pour L'Art 1989-1997

Box 1, Folder 5

B - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 6

Bennett, Guy 1998

Box 1, Folder 7

Bennington Writing Workshops 1990

Box 1, Folder 8

Brink, Leonard 1997-1998

Box 1, Folder 9

C - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 10

Chicago Review 1997-1999

Box 1, Folder 11

Colorado Review 1995-1998

Box 1, Folder 12

Conjunctions 1996

Box 1, Folder 13

Corbett, Bill 1996-1997

Box 1, Folder 14

D - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 15

DiPalma, Ray 1996-1998

Box 1, Folder 16

Dorland Mountain Arts Colony 1995

Box 1, Folder 17

Ela, Patrick and Shelley Whitaker 1999

Box 1, Folder 18

Eshleman, Clayton 1989-1992

Box 1, Folder 19

F - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 20

Foster, Ed 1991-1998

Box 1, Folder 21

G - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 22

Guest, Barbara 1994-1998

Box 1, Folder 23

H - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 24

Hambone 1990-1997

Box 1, Folder 25

Harvard Review 1997-2000

Box 1, Folder 26

Hickman, Lee 1988

Box 1, Folder 27

Hudson Review 1985

Box 1, Folder 28

K - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 29

Keelan, Claudia 1998

Box 1, Folder 30

LA Weekly 1998

Box 1, Folder 31

Lowther, John

Box 1, Folder 32

M - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 33

McCollough, Aaron 2002-2004

Box 1, Folder 34

N - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 35

National Poetry Series 1992-1998

Box 1, Folder 36

Novak, Estelle Gershgoren 1998

Box 1, Folder 37

O - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 38

O'Brien, John 2004

Box 1, Folder 39

Occidental College 1998

Box 1, Folder 40

P - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 41

Ploughshares 1990

Box 1, Folder 42

Princeton University Press

Box 1, Folder 43

R - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 44

Ramke, Bin 1987-1992

Box 1, Folder 45

Ratcliffe, Stephen 1997

Box 1, Folder 46

Revell, Donald 2001

Box 1, Folder 47

Rhizome 1996-2001

Box 1, Folder 48

S - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 49

Salerno, Mark 1996-1998

Box 1, Folder 50

Sandy, Stephen 1991

Box 1, Folder 51

Smith, Dave 1984-2001

Box 1, Folder 52

Solano, Louisa 1996-1998

Box 1, Folder 53

Southern Review 1990-1999

Box 1, Folder 54

Sun & Moon Press 1997

Box 1, Folder 55

U - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 56

University of Georgia Press 1988-1997

Box 1, Folder 57

University of Iowa Press 1992-2000

Box 1, Folder 58

University of Pittsburgh Press 1990

Box 1, Folder 59

Vangelisti, Paul 1999

Box 1, Folder 60

Vogelsang, Arthur 1986-1987

Box 1, Folder 61

W - Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 62

Wesleyan University Press 1985-1997

Box 1, Folder 63

Wolverton, Terry 2000

Box 1, Folder 64

Y - Miscellaneous

 

Writings By Ronk

 

Articles and Reviews

Box 2, Folder 1

"Coping with change: Sign language at the Southwest Museum," Artweek- Typescript draft and copy of published review

Box 2, Folder 2, Oversize FB-482-01

"Fooling with mother nature: John Divola at Jan Kesner Gallery," Artweek - Typescript, notes and final draft February 1, 1990

Box 2, Folder 3, Oversize FB-482-02

"Images etched in stone," Artweek - Typescript draft and notes November 4, 1989

Box 2, Folder 4

"More than urban" - Photocopy of article written for Occidental College by Martha Ronk, Mark McCloskey and David James

Box 2, Folder 5

"Review of On a Stair by Ann Lauterbach" - Typescript draft of poetry review

Box 2, Folder 6, Oversize FB-482-03

"The sky as landscape," Artweek - Typescript drafts, notes, and final draft July 15, 1989

Box 2, Folder 7

"Susan Rankkaitis: Meyers/Bloom Gallery," Artweek - Typescript drafts and notes November 1990

Box 2, Folder 8, Oversize FB-482-04

"Top dog: William Wegman photographs of Fay Ray at Linda Cathcart Gallery," Artweek - Typescript drafts and notes May 3, 1990

 

Unpublished Work

Box 2, Folder 9

"Elegies, Alibis, and Spring" typescript drafts

Box 2, Folder 10

"Letters from Hong Kong" typescript draft with notes and revisions 1993-1994

Box 2, Folder 11

"Lost" typescript draft with notes and revisions

Box 2, Folder 12

"Lost" typescript draft with notes and revisions

Box 2, Folder 13

"Not just a pronoun" typescript draft with notes and revisions 1994

Box 2, Folder 14

Typescript draft of early poems

Box 2, Folder 15

Typescript draft of miscellaneous poems and prose

 

Uncollected Published Poetry

Box 3, Folder 1

Publications List - Twenty-one poems published by journals and newspapers

Box 3, Folder 2, Oversize FB-482-05

American Poetry Review - "From Vertigo," published poems November - December 2004

Box 3, Folder 3, Oversize FB-482-06

American Poetry Review - "Martha Ronk Lifson: Three poems" newsclipping March - April 1988

Box 3, Folder 4

Antioch Review - "It's a desert still" photocopy of published poem 1987

Box 3, Folder 5

Arshile Magazine - Photocopy of published poems 1997

Box 3, Folder 6

Counter Clockwise - Final published poem 1996

Box 3, Folder 7

Denver Quarterly - "Hunger, a cookbook," photocopy of published poem 1993

Box 3, Folder 8

Hambone - Photocopies of published poems 1988-1998

Box 3, Folder 9

HOW(ever) - "From the sofa series," published poems 1990

Box 3, Folder 10

LA Weekly - "Memory: A Santa Fe moon," photocopy of published poem

Box 3, Folder 11

Magazine - Published poems 1984

Box 3, Folder 12, Oversize FB-482-07

Milkweed Chronicle - "Still life," photocopy of published poem 1984

Box 3, Folder 13

Quotidian - Typescript drafts of poems July - August 1999

Box 3, Folder 14

Talisman - Photocopy of published poems 1993

 

Collected Published Poetry

Box 3, Folder 15, Oversize FB-482-08

Life in L.A. (1983) - Published book

Box 3, Folder 16

Desire in L.A. (1990) - Poem drafts written before 1980, with notes

Box 3, Folder 17

Desire in L.A. (1990) - Poem drafts and notes

Box 3, Folder 18

Desire in L.A. (1990) - Poem drafts and notes

Box 3, Folder 19

Desire in L.A. (1990) - Poem drafts and notes

Box 3, Folder 20

Desire in L.A. (1990) - Published and unpublished reviews 1990-1991

Box 3, Folder 21

Desire in L.A. (1990) - Typescript drafts of early poems, includes unpublished poem drafts

Box 3, Folder 22

Desert Geometries (1992) - Old version of typescript drafts

Box 4, Folder 1

Desert Geometries (1992) - Typescript drafts, with notes and revisions

Box 4, Folder 2

State of Mind (1995) - "Mind of another", typescript draft

Box 4, Folder 3

State of Mind (1995) - Published and unpublished reviews 1995-2002

Box 4, Folder 4

State of Mind (1995) - Typescript drafts with revisions 1993-1994

Box 4, Folder 5

State of Mind (1995) - Book cover and final typescript draft

Box 4, Folder 6

Allegories (1998) - Typescript drafts

Box 4, Folder 7

Emblems ( 1998) - Contact lists for publishers and book subscribers 1998

Box 4, Folder 8

Emblems (1998) - Typescript drafts, with notes and revisions

Box 4, Folder 9

Eyetrouble: Poems (1998) - Typescript draft with notes and revisions

Box 4, Folder 10

Eyetrouble: Poems (1998) - Typescript drafts of poems

Box 4, Folder 11

Eyetrouble: Poems (1998) - Typescript draft with page numbers

Box 4, Folder 12

Eyetrouble: Poems (1998) - Final typescript draft

Box 4, Folder 13

Eyetrouble: Poems (1998) - Published book with handwritten notes from author

Box 4, Folder 14

Eyetrouble: Poems (1998) - Published reviews and press release

Box 4, Folder 15

Snapshots of the San Fernando Valley (2000) - Correspondence with Frank Romero, typescripts and final drafts 1999-2000

Box 4, Folder 16

Displeasures of the Table: Memoir as Caricature (2001) - Typescript draft with notes and revisions August 1993

Box 5, Folder 1

Displeasures of the Table: Memoir as Caricature (2001) - Typescript drafts with notes and revisions

Box 5, Folder 2

Displeasures of the Table: Memoir as Caricature (2001) - Typescript draft with notes and revisions

Box 5, Folder 3

Displeasures of the Table: Memoir as Caricature (2001) - Updated typescript draft with notes and revisions

Box 5, Folder 4

Displeasures of the Table: Memoir as Caricature (2001) - Final typescript draft with notes and revisions

Box 5, Folder 5

Displeasures of the Table: Memoir as Caricature (2001) - Published reviews 2001-2006

Box 5, Folder 6

Why/Why Not (2003) - Correspondence 2001-2002

Box 5, Folder 7

Why/Why Not (2003) - Poem drafts

Box 5, Folder 8

Why/Why Not (2003) - Published and unpublished reviews 2003

Box 5, Folder 9

Why/Why Not (2003) - Typescript draft, with notes and revisions August 1996

Box 5, Folder 10

Why/Why Not (2003) - Typescript draft with revisions December 1996

Box 5, Folder 11

Why/Why Not (2003) - Typescript draft, with notes and revisions 2002

Box 6, Folder 1

Why/Why Not (2003) - Part of typescript draft, with notes and revisions February 18, 2002

Box 6, Folder 2, Oversize FB-482-09

Why/Why Not (2003) - Galley proofs and book cover sample 2002

Box 6, Folder 3

In a Landscape of Having to Repeat (2004) - Correspondence 2003-2004

Box 6, Folder 4

In a Landscape of Having to Repeat (2004) - Typescripts and published reviews 2005-2007

Box 6, Folder 5

In a Landscape of Having to Repeat (2004) - Typescript draft with notes and revisions

Box 6, Folder 6

In a Landscape of Having to Repeat (2004) - Final typescript draft, with notes and revisions 2004

Box 6, Folder 7

Rotbahn (2005) - Typescript of translations by Ronk

Box 6, Folder 8

Vertigo (2007) - Correspondence with Coffeehouse Press regarding manuscript 2006-2007

Box 6, Folder 9

Vertigo (2007) - Miscellaneous poem drafts 2002

Box 6, Folder 10

Vertigo (2007) - Published review from Publisher's Weekly September 2007

Box 6, Folder 11

Vertigo (2007) - Typescript draft January 28, 2005

Box 6, Folder 12

Vertigo (2007) - Typescript draft, with notes and revisions May 3 - May 22, 2005

Box 6, Folder 13

Vertigo (2007) - Typescript draft, with notes and revisions May 3 - June 11, 2005

Box 6, Folder 14

Vertigo (2007) - Typescript draft, with notes and revisions May 3 - June 18, 2005

Box 6, Folder 15

Vertigo (2007) - Typescript draft with notes and revisions May 3 - July 15, 2005

Box 6, Folder 16

Vertigo (2007) - Typescript draft with notes and revisions August 12, 2005

Box 6, Folder 17

Vertigo (2007) - Typescript draft with notes and revisions September 16, 2005

Box 7, Folder 1

Veritgo (2007) - Typescript draft with notes and revisions September 17, 2005

Box 7, Folder 2

Vertigo (2007) - Typescript draft January 24, 2006

Box 7, Folder 3

Vertigo (2007) - Galley proof with corrections April 11, 2007

Box 7, Folder 4

Vertigo (2007) - Galley proofs with corrections May 16, 2007

Box 7, Folder 5

Glass Grapes: Stories (2008) - Typescript drafts with notes and revisions

Box 7, Folder 6

Glass Grapes: Stories (2008) - Typescript drafts with notes and revisions

Box 7, Folder 7

Glass Grapes: Stories (2008) - Typescript drafts with notes and revisions

Box 7, Folder 8

Glass Grapes: Stories (2008) - Final typescript draft with notes and revisions

 

Editorial Projects

Box 8, Folder 1

Littoral Books - Correspondence February 1990 - May 2000

Box 8, Folder 2, Oversize FB-482-10

Littoral Books - Empire Life by George Albon, galley proof of book cover 1998

Box 8, Folder 3

Littoral Books - Manuscript list and payment sales 1991-1998

Box 8, Folder 4

Littoral Books - Manuscript submissions

Box 8, Folder 5

Littoral Books - Notes, agendas and meeting minutes 1996-2000

Box 8, Folder 6

Littoral Books - Press releases and reviews 1991-2000

Box 8, Folder 7

Littoral Books - Reading announcement sponsored by Littoral Books

Box 8, Folder 8

Littoral Books - Subscriber contact information

Box 8, Folder 9

New Review of Literature - Correspondence March 2002 - October 2004

Box 8, Folder 10

New Review of Literature - Correspondence February 2005 - March 2006

Box 8, Folder 11

New Review of Literature - Correspondence July 2006 - April 2007

Box 8, Folder 12

New Review of Literature - List of contributors for various issues 2006-2007

Box 8, Folder 13

New Review of Literature - Miscellaneous manuscript submissions

Box 9, Folder 1

New Review of Literature - Submission guidelines and production schedule 2005 - 2007

 

Criticism And Reviews

Box 9, Folder 2

Frank, Peter - "Muses, self-help graphics, master drawings from Stanford University," photocopy of published review December 28, 1995

Box 9, Folder 3

Schaeffer, Standard - Impossible city: The poetic avante-garde in L.A., copy of publication 1998

Box 9, Folder 4, Oversize FB-482-11

Waldre, D.J. - "Our new Jerusalems," copy of article from the Los Angeles Times Book Review December 24, 2000

Box 9, Folder 5

Zachary, R.Y. - "Signs of new poetry in California," typescript draft

 

Readings And Workshops

Box 9, Folder 6

Associated Writing Programs Conference - Correspondence and proposal 1997

Box 9, Folder 7

First Annual Conference of the College of Neglected Science - Outline, notes and correspondence 1992-1997

Box 9, Folder 8

LA Poetry Festival - Essay and draft written by Ronk 1992

Box 9, Folder 9

La Terra Nova Festival - Correspondence, press releases and notes 1990

Box 9, Folder 10

Los Angeles Writers on Site Program - Application and CV 1998

Box 9, Folder 11

Page Mother's Conference - Correspondence 1999

Box 9, Folder 12

Page Mother's Conference - Schedule and notes 1999

Box 9, Folder 13

Place as Purpose Conference - Correspondence 2001-2002

Box 9, Folder 14

Place as Purpose Conference - Conference schedule and participant information 2002

Box 9, Folder 15

Place as Purpose Conference - Press releases and flyers 2002

Box 9, Folder 16

Poetics of Memory Conference - Correspondence 2005-2006

Box 9, Folder 17

Poetics of Memory Conference - Notes and conference outline 2006

Box 9, Folder 18

Poetics of Memory Conference - Panelist essays and criticism 1990-2006

Box 9, Folder 19

Reading Announcements - Flyers 1991 - 2007

Box 9, Folder 20

Words About the River Conference - Correspondence and typescript drafts November 1999

 

Miscellaneous Materials

Box 9, Folder 21

LA Times - "Meeting of minds for local poets," photocopy of newsclipping regarding workshop sponsored by UCLA Extension

Box 9, Folder 22

QuadAngle: The newsletter for employees of Occidental College - "Thorne packed for opening convocation" September 26, 1990

Box 9, Folder 23

Teaching materials - Occidental College core and faculty programs 1993 - 2000