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Register of the Jackson Mac Low Papers
MSS 0180  
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Collection Overview
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Papers of Jackson Mac Low, a poet, composer and performance artist who has frequently used systematic chance operations and other non-intentional compositional methods in his work. The bulk of the collection dates between 1937 and 1995. The collection contains notebooks (1948-1990); biographical material; correspondence (1943-1995); manuscripts of poetry, prose, essays, plays, music and performance instructions; writings of others; interviews with Mac Low; conference and residency documentation; posters and programs; and subject files. Prominent correspondents include Kathy Acker, Julian Beck, Carol Berge, Paul Blackburn, John Cage, Robert Creeley, Larry Eigner, Clayton Eshleman, Peter Ganick, Paul Goodman, Allen Ginsberg, Donald Hall, Spencer Holst, Vera Lachmann, Denise Levertov, George Maciunas, Judith Malina, Steve McCaffery, Nam June Paik, Jerome Rothenberg, Ron Silliman, John Taggart, Diane Wakoski, Anne Waldman, and William Carlos Williams. The collection is arranged in ten series: 1) NOTEBOOKS, 2) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL, 3) CORRESPONDENCE, 4) WRITINGS, 5) WRITINGS OF OTHERS, 6) INTERVIEWS, 7) CONFERENCES, FESTIVALS AND RESIDENCIES, 8) PROGRAMS AND POSTERS, 9) SUBJECT FILES, and 10) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.
Born in Chicago, Ill. on Sept. 12, 1922, Jackson Mac Low spent his grade school years studying music and poetry. In 1939, he entered the University of Chicago to study philosophy, leaving there in 1943 with an Associate of Arts Degree and relocating to New York City. In 1955, Mac Low enrolled in Brooklyn College, where he completed a Bachelors of Arts program in Greek in 1958. The bachelors degree allowed Mac Low to secure a number of better paying and more flexible jobs, thus giving him time for his artistic career. He worked as reference-book editor and taught courses at New York University.
33.15 linear feet (79 archives boxes, 1 records carton and 1 oversize folder)
Poems in Box 52, Folder 28 are restricted by the donor until 2020.