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Kathleen Fraser Papers
MSS 0529  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Creator: Fraser, Kathleen, 1935-
    Title: Kathleen Fraser Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1957 - 2006
    Extent: 24.50 linear feet (67 archives boxes, 3 card file boxes, and 1 oversize folder)
    Abstract: Papers of Kathleen Fraser, American poet, teacher and scholar. Influenced by the experimental poets of the New York School in the 1960s, Fraser became a prolific poet, an advocate of innovative women's writing, and a professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University. The collection contains correspondence with prominent poets and scholars; manuscript and typescript drafts of Fraser's published and unpublished poetry, prose and essays; administrative and production materials related to the literary magazine HOW(EVER); interviews with Fraser; teaching materials; and video and audiocassette recordings. Significant correspondents include Charles Bernstein, Ted Berrigan, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Robert Creeley, Beverly Dahlen, Patricia Dienstfrey, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Barbara Einzig, Kenward Elmslie, Susan Gervitz, Robert Gluck, Barbara Guest, Fanny Howe, Susan Howe, Frances Jaffer, Carol Muske, Adrienne Rich, Ron Silliman, and Diane Wakoski. The papers range from the late 1950s to 2000, but most materials date from the 1970s through the 1990s. Additions to the Kathleen Fraser papers, processed in 2007, contain further correspondence with poets and scholars through 2006. The collection also incorporates materials related to the HOW2 ONLINE JOURNAL MATERIALS and archive project, including typescripts and editorial correspondence, works published by Fraser from 2000-2004, teaching and conference materials, interviews, miscellaneous materials, and two audio recordings.
    Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Collection number: MSS 0529
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English

    Access

    Materials contained in box 40, folders 10-15 are restricted until the year 2052 according to state and federal laws. Materials contained in box 40, folders 16-17 are restricted until the year 2077 according to state and federal laws. Master videocassettes, reel-to-reel audiorecordings and cassette audiorecordings in Series 10 and in the second accession Series 8 are restricted. Researchers must request a listening copy to be produced.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    Kathleen Fraser Papers, MSS 0529. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Biography

    Kathleen Fraser was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1935 and attended high school in Covina, California. After discovering the work of writers such as Virginia Woolf, Walt Whitman and e.e. cummings while a student at Occidental College, Fraser decided to major in English literature and began to write her own poetry. She graduated in 1959 and moved to New York City where she developed her skills as a poet in workshops with Kenneth Koch and Robert Lowell at the New School for Social Research and with Stanley Kunitz at the Poetry Center at the YMHA.
    In Kunitz's poetry workshop, Fraser met her first husband, the poet Jack Marshall, whom she married in 1960. Their son David was born in 1966, and soon thereafter they relocated to San Francisco. In 1969, they were both offered teaching positions at the Iowa Writer's Workshop. After their separation in 1970, Fraser became director of the Poetry Center (1972-1975) and professor of creative writing (1972-1992) at San Francisco State University. In addition to teaching poetry workshops and seminars, she founded the American Poetry Archives and compiled a video anthology featuring women poets entitled WOMEN WORKING IN LITERATURE (1992).
    Responding to the need for a place to discuss women's language issues and to publish experimentalist poetry by women, Fraser founded the journal HOW(ever). From 1983 to 1992, Fraser published the work of living women poets and recovered the neglected work of modernist women poets such as H.D., Mina Loy, and Mary Butts. Fraser continued this investigation into innovative women's writing through the online journal How2 which she edited from 1999 to 2000. Fraser handed over the position as editor-in-chief to Australian scholar Ann Vickery in 2001 to allow more time for her own writing.
    Fraser has published fifteen volumes of poetry: CHANGE OF ADDRESS AND OTHER POEMS (1966), STILTS, SOMERSAULTS AND HEADSTANDS: GAME POEMS BASED ON A PAINTING BY PETER BREUGHEL (1968), IN DEFIANCE OF THE RAINS (1969), LITTLE NOTES TO YOU FROM LUCAS STREET: POEMS 1970-1971 (1972), WHAT I WANT (1974), MAGRITTE SERIES (1977), NEW SHOES (1978), EACH NEXT: NARRATIVES (1980), SOMETHING (EVEN HUMAN VOICES) IN THE FOREGROUND, A LAKE (1984), NOTES PRECEDING TRUST (1987), BOUNDAYR (1987), FROM A TEXT -- (1993), WHEN NEW TIME FOLDS UP (1993), WING (1995) and IL CUORE : THE HEART, SELECTED POEMS 1970-1995 (1996). Selections from her work were recorded on the cassette audiotape EVEN HUMAN VOICES (1986). She has also published a collection of critical essays entitled TRANSLATING THE UNSPEAKABLE: POETRY AND THE INNOVATIVE NECESSITY (2000).
    Fraser's poetry has been published in numerous journals and magazines since the late 1950s, and she has given readings and talks on poetry across the United States, as well as in Italy and Japan. Her poetry is characterized by a technically sophisticated deconstruction of language that is highly innovative. In addition to displaying her technical skill, Fraser's poetry is also intensely emotional, meditative, playful, and lyrical.
    Fraser divides her time between San Francisco and Rome with her second husband, the philosopher and playwright Arthur K. Bierman, whom she married in 1985, and she continues to be active as a poet, teacher and scholar.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Kathleen Fraser Papers document the literary and professional career of a prolific poet, advocate of innovative women's writing and professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University. Materials include correspondence with prominent poets and scholars, manuscript and typescript drafts of Fraser's published poetry, prose and essays; administrative and production materials related to the literary magazine HOW(EVER); interviews with Fraser; teaching materials; and video and audiocassette recordings. The materials date from the late 1950s to 2000. The papers are arranged in ten series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) HOW(EVER) MATERIALS, 3) WRITINGS BY FRASER, 4) WRITINGS BY OTHERS, 5) TEACHING MATERIALS, 6) CONFERENCES, 7) READING AND WORKSHOP FLYERS, 8) INTERVIEWS WITH/BY AND ARTICLES ON FRASER, 9) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, and 10) RECORDINGS.
    SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE
    The CORRESPONDENCE series, arranged alphabetically, is comprised of correspondence both to and from prominent poets and scholars. Carbon and printed copies of Fraser's outgoing correspondence are filed under the recipient's name. Among the major and well-known poets included are Charles Bernstein, Ted Berrigan, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Carolyn Burke, Norma Cole, Robert Creeley, Beverly Dahlen, Patricia Dienstfrey, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Barbara Einzig, Kenward Elmslie, Susan Gervitz, Robert Gluck, Barbara Guest, Fanny Howe, Susan Howe, Frances Jaffer, Adrienne Rich, Ron Silliman, and Diane Wakoski.
    Some correspondence relevant to Fraser's publications, academic positions, conferences, readings and workshops are located in the appropriate series.
    SERIES 2: HOW(EVER) MATERIALS
    The HOW(EVER) MATERIALS series incorporates resources connected with Fraser's HOW(ever) journal and related projects. The series is arranged in five subseries: A) Journal - Administrative, B) Journal - Production materials, C) Book Series, D) Online Archive and How2, and E) Correspondence.
    A) The Journal - Administrative subseries is arranged alphabetically by folder title, and includes financial records, mailing lists and rejection notices.
    B) The Journal - Production materials are arranged chronologically. For each published issue of HOW(ever), submissions, notes, drafts, correspondence, mock-ups, and proofs are included, as well as some correspondence with the other editors of HOW(ever).
    C) The Book Series subseries includes correspondence, publicity, reviews, and typescripts of books and chapbooks proposed for publication.
    D) The Online Archive and How2 subseries consists of chronologically arranged correspondence concerning the formation of the online archive of HOW(ever) located at http://www.scc.rutgers.edu/however/ and the online journal How2 at located http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/stadler_center/how2/. Proofs of the online archive are also included.
    E) The Correspondence subseries, arranged alphabetically, includes correspondence with HOW(ever) editors Carolyn Burke, Beverly Dahlen, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Susan Gervitz, Frances Jaffer, and Meredith Stricker.
    SERIES 3: WRITINGS BY FRASER
    The WRITINGS BY FRASER series is arranged in nine subseries: A) Collected Poetry - Published, B) Collected Poetry - Unpublished, C) Uncollected Poetry, D) Uncollected Prose, E) Collected Essays - Published, F) Collected Essays - Unpublished, G) Uncollected Essays, H) Translations, and I) Talks. Within each subseries, works are arranged in chronological order and included notes, drafts, correspondence, typescripts, proofs, production materials, publicity, and reviews of published materials, where appropriate. Almost all of Fraser's published collections of poetry are represented in the first subseries. Where possible, the publication places and dates of the uncollected poetry, prose and essays have been noted.
    SERIES 4: WRITINGS BY OTHERS
    The WRITINGS BY OTHERS series is arranged in alphabetical order and is comprised of poetry, essays and talks by fellow poets and scholars in the form of typescripts and photocopies of published work. Featured are the works of Susan Gervitz, Meredith Stricker, Ann Vickery, and the members of the Women's Writing Group (1977-1982), Beverly Dahlen and Frances Jaffer.
    SERIES 5: TEACHING MATERIALS
    The TEACHING MATERIALS series is arranged in five subseries: A) Tenure and Promotion, B) Letters of Recommendation, C) San Francisco State University, D) Poetry Center, and E) Miscellaneous Institutions.
    A) The Tenure and Promotion subseries is related to Fraser's employment at San Francisco State University.
    B) The Letters of Recommendation subseries relates to students and colleagues.
    C) The San Francisco State University subseries contains material related to teaching poetry workshops and seminars. Included are notes, syllabi, essays, poetry, prose, and other resources intended for classes. Most extensive are the materials for her course entitled Modernist Women Writing and Poetry's Abstract Expressionism (the New York School).
    D) The Poetry Center subseries is comprised of administrative materials related to Fraser's directorship (1972-1975), and features alphabetically arranged correspondence with poets Fraser invited to give readings at the Poetry Center. Prominent correspondents include John Ashbery, Ted Berrigan, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Bly, Robert Duncan, Kenward Elmslie, Allen Ginsberg, Louis Ginsberg, Robert Gluck, Barbara Guest, Thom Gunn, Lyn Hejinian, Kenneth Koch, Stanley Kunitz, Denise Levertov, Audre Lorde, Carol Muske, Jerome Rothenberg, and Diane Wakoski.
    D) Miscellaneous Institutions consists of Fraser's teaching materials for seminars at universities other than San Francisco State University.
    SERIES 6: CONFERENCES
    The CONFERENCES series is comprised of chronologically arranged materials associated with conferences where Fraser gave talks and readings from 1979 to 2000. Included are correspondence, notes, programs, and flyers.
    SERIES 7: READING AND WORKSHOP FLYERS
    The READING AND WORKSHOP FLYERS series contains chronologically arranged materials related to Fraser's readings and poetry workshops from 1974 to 2000. Included are correspondence and flyers.
    SERIES 8: INTERVIEWS WITH/BY AND ARTICLES ON FRASER
    The INTERVIEWS WITH/BY AND ARTICLES ON FRASER series features published and unpublished articles on Fraser from 1959 to 1998 arranged in alphabetical order by author. Of particular interest is Peter Quartermain's comprehensive biography of Fraser, with Fraser's annotations, for the DICTIONARY OF LITERARY BIOGRAPHY, Vol 169: AMERICAN POETS SINCE WORLD WAR II, FIFTH SERIES (1997).
    SERIES 9: MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS
    The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series is alphabetically arranged by folder title.
    SERIES 10: RECORDINGS
    The RECORDINGS series is arranged in five subseries: A) Videocassettes, B) Reel-to-Reel Audiorecording, C) Cassette Audiorecordings - By Fraser, D) Cassette Audiorecordings - Interviews, and E) Cassette Audiorecordings - By Others. The first subseries includes correspondence, drafts and flyers for Fraser's WOMEN WORKING IN LITERATURE (1992) video anthology, as well as the videocassette. Cassette audiorecordings in the third, fourth and fifth series are arranged in chronological order. The third subseries spans the years 1977 to 1997. Both interviews by and interviews with Fraser appear in the fourth subseries. This subseries includes tapes of Fraser's conversations with Patricia Dienstfrey and C.D. Wright, which formed the basis of Fraser's essays on these poets published in POETRY FLASH.
    Accession processed in 2007
    The additions to the papers of poet Kathleen Fraser contain correspondence, administrative and production material related to the online publication of HOW2 literary journal, collected and uncollected writings, teaching and conference materials, interviews, and miscellaneous biographical materials. The papers are arranged in eight series: 11) CORRESPONDENCE, 12) HOW2 ONLINE JOURNAL MATERIALS, 13) WRITINGS BY FRASER, 14) TEACHING MATERIALS, 15) CONFERENCES, 16) INTERVIEWS WITH/BY FRASER AND ARTICLES ON FRASER, 17) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, and 18) AUDIORECORDINGS.
    SERIES 11: CORRESPONDENCE
    The CORRESPONDENCE series, arranged alphabetically, consists of correspondence both to and from prominent poets and scholars. Noted correspondents include Charles Bernstein, Judy Chicago, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Clayton Eshleman, Barbara Guest, Susan Howe, Bernadette Mayer, Ron Silliman, and Anne Waldman.
    Correspondence related to the online publication HOW2 is located in the HOW2 ONLINE JOURNAL MATERIALS series.
    SERIES 12: HOW2 ONLINE JOURNAL MATERIALS
    The HOW2 ONLINE JOURNAL MATERIALS reflects editorial correspondence and production materials for the online poetry journal and archive HOW2. The series is arranged in two subseries: A) Correspondence and B) Production Materials.
    A) The bulk of the Correspondence for the HOW2 journal is editorial and administrative. The folders are arranged by type of correspondence and also by correspondent, including editors Kate Fagan, Redell Olsen, Roberta Sims, and JoAnn Wasserman.
    B) The Production Materials are arranged chronologically by publication date from March 1999 to August 2000. Materials include correspondence, notes, and typescripts for each issue.
    SERIES 13: WRITINGS BY FRASER
    The WRITINGS BY FRASER series is arranged in four subseries: A) Collected Poetry - Published, B) Uncollected Poetry and Prose, C) Translations, and D) Projects.
    A) The Collected Poetry - Published subseries represents works published between 2000-2004. The Materials include typescript drafts, page proofs, mockups, and correspondence. Titles are arranged chronologically by publication date.
    B) The Uncollected Poetry and Prose materials are manuscripts, drafts and notes of poetry and prose either published later in books or are unpublished. The titles are arranged alphabetically with miscellaneous materials at the end.
    C) The Translation subseries contains an Italian translation of "Kathleen Fraser: poesie scelte" with Marina Camboni and interview with Kathleen Fraser.
    D) The Projects files contain the "Letters to Young Poets" anthology and the NEW YIPES Reader poetry project event.
    SERIES 14: TEACHING MATERIALS
    The TEACHING MATERIALS series contains material related to teaching poetry workshops and seminars for the California College of the Arts, New College Poetics Program and private instruction. The materials include syllabi and research materials.
    SERIES 15: CONFERENCES
    The CONFERENCES series, arranged alphabetically, is comprised of materials associated with conferences from 2000-2006, where Fraser was a speaker or reading poetry. Included are flyers, transcripts of talks, and notes.
    SERIES 16: INTERVIEWS WITH/BY AND ARTICLES ON FRASER
    The INTERVIEWS WITH/BY AND ARTICLES ON FRASER series features published and unpublished articles on Fraser from 1998-2005, arranged by title of article. A noted article includes IN HER WORDS: CONTEMPORARY WOMEN POETS (WORKS AND INTERVIEWS), an interview with Kathleen Fraser and Barbara Guest by Cynthia Hogue and Elizabeth Frost. The series is arranged alphabetically by title.
    SERIES 17: MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS
    The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series is arranged alphabetically by folder title and contains biographical materials including, reading announcements, and book reviews.
    SERIES 18: AUDIORECORDINGS
    The AUDIORECORDINGS series contains two recordings: a performance piece titled "Mother Songs" with James and Dana Lentini and a radio interview with Jack Foley on KPFA.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- Archives
    How(ever) (San Francisco : 1983)
    American poetry -- 20th Century
    Women poets, American

    Contributors

    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- Change of address
    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- Stilts, somersaults and headstands
    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- In defiance of the rains
    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- Little notes to you, from Lucas Street
    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- What I want
    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- Magritte series
    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- New shoes
    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- Each next narratives
    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- Something (even human voices) in the foreground, a lake
    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- Notes preceding trust
    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- Boundayr
    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- When new time folds up
    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- Wing
    Fraser, Kathleen, 1935- -- Il cuore: the heart, selected poems, 1970-1995
    Fraser, Kathleen. 1935- -- Feminist poetics, a consideration of the female construction of language
    Fraser, Kathleen. 1935- -- Translating the unspeakable
    Bernstein, Charles, 1950- -- correspondent
    Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005 -- correspondent
    Dahlen, Beverly, -- correspondent
    Dienstfrey, Patricia, -- correspondent
    DuPlessis, Rachel Blau, -- correspondent
    Gervitz, Susan, -- correspondent
    Howe, Susan, 1937- -- correspondent
    Silliman, Ronald, 1946- -- correspondent
    Wakoski, Diane, -- correspondent