Finding aid of the James L. White Papers

Michael C. Oliveira
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90007
Phone: (213) 741-0094
Fax: (213) 741-0220
Email: askone@onearchives.org
URL: http://www.onearchives.org
© 2006
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. All rights reserved.

Finding aid of the James L. White Papers

Collection number: Coll2006-003

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives

Los Angeles, California
Processed by:
Michael C. Oliveira
Date Completed:
November 13, 2006
Encoded by:
Michael C. Oliveira
© 2006 ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. All rights reserved.
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.


Descriptive Summary

Title: James L. White papers
Dates: 1970-1981
Bulk Dates: (bulk 1979-1981)
Collection number: Coll2006-003
Creator: White, James L., 1936-1981
Collection Size: 4 archive boxes 1.5 linear feet
Repository: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives.
Los Angeles, California 90007
Abstract: Journals and drafts of poetry, in particular the posthumously-published anthology, The Salt Ecstasies , and prose of the poet James L. White (1936-1981).
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Publication Rights

Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).

Preferred Citation

Box #, folder #, James L. White papers, Coll2006-003, One National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

Acquisition Information

Gift, together with the James White Review Association Records, the Tom Young Papers, and the David M. Lindahl Papers, of Philip H. Willkie, March 21, 2004.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Michael C. Oliveira, November 13, 2006.
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Biography

James L. White was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on March 26, 1936. From the age of 16 he received training in classical ballet. He was later awarded a scholarship to the American Ballet Theater in New York City, and while serving in the U.S. Army in West Germany he danced for the State Ballet in Karlsruhe. White obtained undergraduate degrees from Indiana University and Colorado State University, and an MA in Literary Criticism from the latter.
For three years in the 1960's, White worked as a poet-teacher with the Navajo in the American Southwest, where he created and directed the Navajo Folk Art Theater. In 1971, he relocated to Minnesota to serve as the Director of the Native American Project of the Poets in the Schools Program, and he later taught in the Writers in Schools Program sponsored by COMPAS (Community Programs in the Arts and Sciences). While teaching he collected and edited Time of the Indian (1976), contemporary poetry written by Native American children, and First Skin Around Me (1976), an anthology of American Indian writings. During the late 1970's, he worked with Allen Ginsberg at the Jack Kerouac School for the Disembodied Poetics, at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.
In addition to anthologies of Native American writings, White published three anthologies of his own works during his lifetime: Divorce Proceedings (1972), Crow's Story of Deer (1974), and Del Rio Hotel (1975). In 1978, the Bush Foundation awarded him a Literature Fellowship that enabled him to complete his final anthology, The Salt Ecstasies , published posthumously in 1982. White's works were also published in The Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Ironwood, The Ohio Review, Kansas Quarterly, Sonora Review, and Prairie Schooner.
White died of heart disease at his home in Minneapolis, in July 1981, at the age of 45.
Sources:
James White Review, 1, no. 1, 1983, 3.
"James White Review Visits Madison." Out! 1987, 3.
James L. White Papers, Coll2006-003, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
James White Review Association Records, Coll2006-004, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Willkie, Phil and Kevin Burke. "Jim, His Friends and the Heaven-Cafeteria." James White Review, no. 1, 1983, 3.

Scope and Content of Collection

James L. White's Papers consist almost entirely of his journals and drafts of poetry and prose. The collection forms a single series, arranged by format: interview, journals, poetry, prose, and notes, each arranged chronologically. The journals form the bulk of the collection, and contain photographs and other documents as pasted inserts. White sanitized his papers prior to his death, and they have been re-arranged several times since his death. During the course of these re-arrangements, all loose documents were removed from the journals; these materials are now filed with the journals, but their precise context has been lost. Other materials include a transcript of an interview with White; drafts of his poetry, in particular of his final work, The Salt Ecstasies; two audiocassettes with comments on The Salt Ecstasies by Tess Gallagher; a small amount of prose; and notes on the writings of others.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Diaries
Gays in literature
Gay men's writings, American
Gays' writing, American
Interviews
Poetry
Poets, American--20th century
White, James L., 1936-1981

Related Material

James White Review Association Records, Coll2006-004, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Tom Young Papers, Coll2006-005, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
David M. Lindahl Papers, Coll2006-006, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

Collection Contents

 

Interview

Box : Folder 1 : 1

October 1978

 

Journals

Box : Folder 1 : 2

October 1972-March 1979

Box : Folder 1 : 3

March 1974-June 1978

Box : Folder 1 : 4

December 1975-March 1980

Box : Folder 1 : 5

circa January 1977

Box : Folder 1 : 6

May 1977-November 1978

Box : Folder 1 : 7

September 1977-November 1977

Box : Folder 1 : 8

November 1977-June 1978

Box : Folder 2 : 1

June 1978-August 1979

Box : Folder 2 : 2

November 1978-February 1980

Box : Folder 2 : 3

May 1979-October 1979

Box : Folder 2 : 4

September 1979-October 1979

Box : Folder 2 : 5

October 1979

Box : Folder 2 : 6

June 1980-February 1981

Box : Folder 2 : 7

April 1981-July 1981

Box : Folder 2 : 8

Spiral notebooks (2) & paper tablet undated

 

Poetry

Box : Folder 3 : 1

Typescript 1975-1980

Box : Folder 3 : 2

The Salt Ecstasies, draft 1979

Box : Folder 3 : 3

The Salt Ecstasies, draft & correspondence 1980

Box : Folder 3 : 4

The Salt Ecstasies, draft 1980

Box : Folder 4 : 1

Paper tablets (2) circa 1978

Box : Folder 3 : 5

Paper tablets (4) undated

 

Prose

Box : Folder 3 : 6

Typescripts circa 1970

Box : Folder 3 : 7

Typescripts undated

 

Notes on Others' Works

Box : Folder 4 : 2

Paper tablets (2) undated

 

Commentary

Box : Folder 4 : 2

Audiocassettes by Tess Gallagher on The Salt Ecstasies 1980