Karen Brodine Papers

Finding aid created by James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center staff using RecordEXPRESS
San Francisco Public Library. James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 557-4567

Descriptive Summary

Title: Karen Brodine Papers
Dates: 1913-2015 (bulk 1970-1987)
Collection Number: GLC 191
Creator/Collector: Brodine, Karen.
Extent: 4.5 cubic feet (in 5 boxes)
Repository: San Francisco Public Library. James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center
San Francisco, California 94102
Abstract: Journals, files, photographs, correspondence, and writing of American lesbian feminist poet Karen Brodine.
Language of Material: English


Collection is unprocessed but open for research. Photographs are available during San Francisco Historical Photo desk hours: Tuesdays 1-5 pm, Thursdays 1-5 pm, and Saturdays 10-noon and 1-5 pm.

Publication Rights

Copyright is transferred to SFPL. SFPL may allow use of Karen Brodine's work for educational and literary purposes that respect her wishes, spirit, and general political viewpoint. Please note that a few poems are marked "Do not publish." Handwritten journals should not be published but may be quoted.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Karen Brodine Papers. Collection Number: GLC 191. San Francisco Public Library. James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center

Acquisition Information

Donated by Helen Gilbert, August 25, 2015.

Biography/Administrative History

Karen Brodine (1947-1987) was a feminist poet, activist, and teacher. She was born in Seattle, Washington, on June 14, 1947, the daughter of Val Daniel (a music teacher) and Mary (a music teacher; maiden name, Pierce) Brodine. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a B.A. in 1972, and from San Francisco State University, with an M.A. in 1974. Her published work includes: Slow Juggling (poems), Berkeley Poets Cooperative, 1975; Making the Park, Kelsey St. Press (Berkeley, CA), 1976, with Patricia Dienstfrey, Marina La Palma, Laura Moriarty, and Rena Rosenwasser; Illegal Assembly (poems), Hanging Loose Press, 1980; and, Woman Sitting at the Machine, Thinking (poems), introduction by Merle Woo, Freedom Socialist Publications, 1987. She was an instructor in creative writing at San Francisco State University from 1975-81; a typesetter and writer, 1981-87; an assistant editor of the American Journal of Human Genetics at University of California, San Francisco from 1987 on. She died of cancer on October 18, 1987.

Scope and Content of Collection

Journals, files, photographs, correspondence, writing, and copies of poetry publications. Some of the early journals and notebooks include notes on dances and choreography; other notebooks concern teaching. Correspondence files often address specific publications and submissions. Named correspondents include Merle Woo, Nellie Wong, Meridel Le Sueur, and Helen Gilbert. There is a little family correspondence which includes letters between Brodine's parents (1913+). There are several drafts of "Woman Sitting at the Machine, Thinking."

Indexing Terms

Lesbian poetry.
Women poets, American--20th century.
American poetry--Women authors.
American poetry--20th century.
Brodine, Karen--Archives.
Le Sueuer, Meridel.
Woo, Merle.
Wong, Nellie.
Gilbert, Helen.

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