Register of the Gerald Burns Manuscripts and Other Documents
Finding aid prepared by Mandeville Special Collections Library
Mandeville Special Collections Library
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
Title: Gerald Burns Manuscripts and Other Documents
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 221
Mandeville Special Collections Library
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0175
Language of Material:
0.4 Linear feet
(1 archives box)
Date (inclusive): 1978-1985
Literary papers and artwork of Gerald Burns, "postmodern" poet, critic, artist, and editor. Included are typescripts of Burns'
untitled poetry collection; galleys for Burns' critical books
Toward a Phenomenology of Written Art
(1982); page proofs of Robert Trammell's
, for which Burns set the type; and reprints of three of Burns' critical essays.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Gerald Burns Manuscripts and Other Documents contain typescripts and photocopies of poet, artist, and critic Gerald Burn's
work. Also included are travel and journal writings, a review of Burns'
A Book of Spells, and correspondence with poet and editor of
Boxcar magazine, Leland Hickman. The collection is arranged in two series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, and 2) WRITINGS.
SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE
This series contains a letter from Scott Bowdan to Leland Hickman along with Bowdan's submission to
Boxcar, "Quest/Questions." Also included are two letters from Burns to Hickman.
SERIES 2: WRITINGS
This series is divided into four subseries: A) Poetry, B) Prose/Literary Essays, C) Art, Travel Writing, Journals, and D)
Reviews of Gerald Burns.
The Poetry subseries contains an untitled collection of Burns' poetry in two successive drafts, and a galley copy of Robert
Epics for which Burns did the typesetting "as a Christmas present to Bob."
The Prose/Literary Essays subseries contains much of Burns' critical and theoretical prose: two page proofs for Burns'
Prose, as well as a galley version of his
Toward a Phenomenology of Written Art, and three reprints from
The Southwest Review of various literary articles.
The third subseries includes Burns' artwork and diaristic writing. His long travel narrative, "Painting Statues Books" contains
the author's sketches of relevant "objets d'art" following the text. Also included is one full-sized sketch of Ezra Pound's
head from the travel sketches. Finally, Burns' "My Leatherette Reminder", something of a critical/scholarly diary, is included.
The final subseries, Reviews of Gerald Burns, consists of a review of Burns'
A Book of Spells by Julie Siegel as it appeared in
The Southwest Review.
Gerald Burns was born in 1940 in Detroit, Michigan. He was educated at Harvard, Trinity College (Dublin), and taught at Southern
Methodist University and New York University. In 1975 Burns moved to Dallas. In 1985, he was awarded an NEA Creative Writing
Fellowship for poetry. In addition to practicing as an amateur conjurer in his spare time, Burns is an artist. He has illustrated
several of his own books as well as designed many of their covers (most notably,
Boccherini's Minuet and
Burns is considered a leading practitioner of long-lined, thickly-textured verse. His wide reading and close observation of
a panoramic range of subjects allows his poetry to bridge formal and expressive gaps between the 19th- century Romantics,
early 20th-century Modernism, and later 20th-century language-oriented writing.
Gerald Burns Manuscripts and Other Documents, MSS 221. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
American poetry--20th century
Box 1, Folder 1
Bowdan, Scott, letter to Leland Hickman and submission, "Quest/Question," to
Box 1, Folder 2
Burns, Gerald, two letters to Leland Hickman - Contains photograph also used for initial cover of
Box 1, Folder 3
Epics, galleys - Introductory note and type setting by Burns
Box 1, Folder 4
Untitled collection of Burns' poems
1984 - 1985
Two drafts exist for most of the poems. Included are "Homer and Image," "Thought and Extension," "Emerged for Immersed," "Fame
in Retrospect," "Written Under German," "Imagining a World," "Concocting the Other," "Named After Days," "Orthodox in Appearance,"
"Waiting as Dispersion," "Good as Questionable," "Even Chisels Gold," and others.
Box 1, Folder 5
Duration is Destination--Verse in the Eighties - Reprint from
Selected Poems by Donald Justice,
The Venetian Nespers by Anthony Hecht, and
Greenwich Mean Time by Adrien Stoutenburg.
Box 1, Folder 6
Magnificence of His Rebuttles - Reprint from
The American Quest for a Supreme Fiction: Whitman's Legacy in the Personal Epic by James Miller, Jr., and
John Ashbery: An Introduction to the Poetry by David Shapiro.
Box 1, Folder 7-8
1981 - 1982
Box 1, Folder 9
Straddling the Brink - Reprint from
Southwest Review with author's handwritten notes
Words for Dr. Y by Anne Sexton,
Hearts of the Tattooed by Jim Hubert, and
Refractions by Paul Shuttleworth.
Box 1, Folder 10
Toward a Phenomenology of Written Art - Paste-ups
Art, Travel Writings, Journals
Box 1, Folder 11
Bound typescript journal commenting on all from recent readings to philosophical speculation to dinner menus
Box 1, Folder 12
Paintings Statues Books, a travel journal with sketches - Typescript with photocopies of drawings
Box 1, Folder 13
Gaudier Brzeska--Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound - Full size photocopy of drawing contained in Paintings Sculpture Books
Box 1, Folder 14
Tangible Magic From A Poet Who Cares - Tear sheet from
Southwest Review. Julie Siegel's review of Burn's
A Book of Spells