Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
George Oppen Letters (Ed. Rachel Blau DuPlessis)
MSS 0205  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (58.88 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
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: DuPlessis, Rachel Blau
    Title: George Oppen Letters (Ed. Rachel Blau DuPlessis),
    Date (inclusive): 1930-1982
    Extent: 1.40 linear feet (4 archive boxes)
    Abstract: Research files compiled by Rachel Blau DuPlessis concerning American poet George Oppen, comprising photocopies of Oppen's letters (1930-1982), copies of Oppen's FBI file, and miscellaneous correspondence between DuPlessis and others pertaining to those Oppen materials. The results of DuPlessis's research were published in THE SELECTED LETTERS OF GEORGE OPPEN (1990). The addition processed in 1993 consists of letters from George Oppen to Rachel Blau DuPlessis from August 1965 to April 1977.
    Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Collection number: MSS 0205
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Copies of Oppen letters in this collection that are identified as being held in the original elsewhere may not be photoduplicated. Researchers wishing to quote from the unpublished Oppen letters received in 1993 are required to ask for permission from Rachel Blau DuPlessis

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    George Oppen Letters (Ed. Rachel Blau DuPlessis), MSS 0205. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.


    An Oppen family friend for more than twenty years, Rachel Blau DuPlessis is Professor of English at Temple University. She is also both a poet and literary critic. Among her publications are WRITING BEYOND THE ENDING: NARRATIVE STRATEGIES OF TWENTIETH-CENTURY WOMEN'S WRITING (1985) and H.D.: THE CAREER OF THAT STRUGGLE (1986).
    In 1980, George and Mary Oppen gave DuPlessis permission to collect, select and edit George's letters. The collected letters were culled from holdings at numerous institutions and in private hands, including libraries at UC San Diego, Yale, Harvard, AND SUNY-Buffalo.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Accession Processed in 1992
    The Rachel Blau DuPlessis papers, comprising 1.4 cubic feet (4 archives boxes) of research files, consists mainly of photocopies of the collected letters (1930 to 1982) of Objectivist American poet George Oppen (1908-1984) from which DuPlessis edited and published THE SELCTED LETTERS OF GEORGE OPPEN (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1990). Also included is a censored photocopy of Oppen's FBI file (1941 to 1966) acquired in 1988 through the Freedom of Information Act. Occasional research notes dot the collection, and some of DuPlessis's inquiries regarding letters and the responses from correspondents are also included.
    The papers are arranged in two series:1) CORRESPONDENCE and 2) FBI MATERIALS.
    CORRESPONDENCE, mainly photocopies, the bulk of which was originally written between 1963 and 1976, is arranged chronologically. Prominent correspondents include family members June Oppen Degnan and Linda Oppen Mourelatos; poets William Bronk, Cid Gorman, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, David Ignatow, Robert Kelly, Denise Levertov, Ezra Pound, Charles Reznikoff, Jerome Rothenberg, John Taggart, William Carlos Williams, Louis Zukofsky, and others; editors, publishers, and professors, including John Crawford, L.S. Dembo, Milton Hindus, Eric Homberger, Hugh Kenner, David McAleavey. Oppen's letters detail his life not only at the forefront of contemporary American poetry, but en famille. In them he reveals his love of conversation, his coming to fame, his various public stances, his aesthetic opinions and positions, his participation in publishing. The CORRESPONDENCE series also includes "Miscellaneous queries," which contain name and address lists of Oppen correspondents, DuPlessis's letters of inquiry,and negative, but at times anecdotal, responses to her letters.
    FBI MATERIALS contains Oppen's censored file, together with correspondence with the FBI and CIA regarding its release.
    Accession Processed in 1993
    The accession processed in 1993 is made up of 43 typed letters, 1 autograph letter, 1 telegram, and 1 invitation that George Oppen sent to Rachel Blau DuPlessis between August 1965 and April 1977.

    Indexing Terms

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


    Oppen, George -- Correspondence
    DuPlessis, Rachel Blau
    American poetry -- 20th century
    Poets, American -- 20th century -- Correspondence


    Oppen, George, -- correspondent