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Hannah Weiner Papers MSS 504
MSS 504  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Restrictions
  • Publication Rights

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Hannah Weiner Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 504
    Contributing Institution: Mandeville Special Collections Library
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 6.5 Linear feet 16 archives boxes, 1 cardfile box and 3 oversize folders
    Date (inclusive): 1946-2002
    Abstract: Papers of Hannah Weiner (1928-1997), a New York City poet and significant member of the "language-centered" group of writers. The papers, covering the years 1946-2002, contain notebooks, typescripts of poems, prose works, typed transcriptions of notebooks, audiorecordings, and miscellaneous materials. Included are materials for Clairvoyant Journals 1974: March - June Retreat (1978), Code Poems: From the International Code of Signals for the Use of All (1982), The Fast (1992), The Magritte Poems (1970), and Spoke (1984).
    Creator: Weiner, Hannah

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Hannah Weiner Papers contain notebooks (1971-1979, 1984, 1990-1992, and 1997) and typed transcriptions from the notebooks which provided the basis for several of her books. Also included are significant unpublished materials in both notebook and manuscript form, typescripts of poems and prose works, cassette audiorecordings of several poetry readings, and a small amount of miscellaneous material. The bulk of the collection dates between 1971 and 1979 with some documentation of the early 1990s and the year prior to Weiner's death. The materials are arranged in three series: 1) WRITINGS, 2) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, and 3) AUDIORECORDINGS.
    The WRITINGS series is arranged in three subseries: A) Notebooks, B) Manuscripts and C) Posthumous Publications. The first subseries contains bound notebooks which are arranged chronologically. There are three primary sequences of notebooks, 1971-1975, 1976-1979, and 1990-1992. These notebooks consist largely of undated entries which document Weiner's creative process. The second subseries gathers typed transcriptions from the notebooks, as well as typescripts of poems published in magazines or anthologies and short prose pieces. The final subseries contains correspondence sent between Charles Bernstein and various other editors for the posthumous publication of some of Weiner's well-known works, including Clairvoyant Journal and Page. Editor-annotated manuscripts and page proofs are also included.
    The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series contains several versions of resumes and biographical lists of artistic activities and publications. It also includes miscellaneous photographs and memorabilia.
    The AUDIO RECORDINGS series contains tape recordings made of Hannah Weiner's readings between 1974 and 1994. All of the readings occurred in New York City, largely at the Poetry Project, St. Mark's.


    Hannah Weiner was born on November 4, 1928, in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated from Providence Classical High School in June 1946. She attended Radcliffe College and graduated with a B.A., magna cum laude, in English Literature in 1950. After a brief marriage, she took various jobs in New York City, and began writing poetry around 1963. Her first book, The Magritte Poems, was published in 1966. In the late 60s, Weiner participated in several events within the visual arts scene in New York City. Her most notable "poetry event" was the International Code of Signals. In the early 70s, she commenced her primary body of written work, a series of experimental journals which were in part "clairvoyantly" dictated. I See Words became both her manifesto and method of composition.
    Weiner's Clairvoyant Journal 1974 was published by Angel Hair Books in 1978, followed by LittleBooks/Indians (Roof Books, 1980) and Nijole's House (Potes and Poets, 1981). She became one of the most prominent individuals involved with the "language-centered" movement of poets and experimental prose writers. Her work was featured in Ron Silliman's anthology, In the American Tree, Douglas Messerli's Language Poetries, and The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book, edited by Charles Bernstein and Bruce Andrews. She was awarded a creative writing fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1986. Other important collections of her poetry include Spoke (Sun & Moon Press, 1984), The Fast (United Artists Books, 1992), Silent Teachers Remembered Sequel (Tender Button, 1994), and We Speak Silent (Roof Books, 1996). Weiner's manuscript Page, as well as selections from her Clairvoyant Journal and Little Books/Indians have been published posthumously by various presses.
    Hannah Weiner died in September 1997 in New York City.

    Preferred Citation

    Hannah Weiner Papers, MSS 0504. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available


    Original audiorecordings in box 17 are restricted. Users must request that a listening copy be produced.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Weiner, Hannah. Clairvoyant journal
    Weiner, Hannah. Code poems
    Weiner, Hannah. Spoke
    Weiner, Hannah -- Archives
    American poetry--20th century