Scope and Content of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: Stan Phillips Western Poetry Project Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0819
1.25 Linear feet
(1 archives box and 1 record carton)
Date (inclusive): 1962-1970
Abstract: The Stan Phillips Western Poetry Project Collection consists of spoken word poetry recordings and related correspondence between
Stan Phillips and poets James Broughton, Jess Collins, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Charles Olson and Louis Zukofsky.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Stan Phillips Western Poetry Project Collection consists of spoken word poetry recordings and related correspondence between
Stan Phillips and poets James Broughton, Jess Collins, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Charles Olson and Louis Zukofsky. The
recordings were made in 1962, with the intention of being produced into a record of Black Mountain poets reading their own
Arranged in two series: Series 1) SOUND RECORDINGS, and 2) PAPERS.
In 1953 Stan Phillips was a motion picture and audio-visual consultant at Western Cine, a film laboratory and sound recording
and editing studio in Denver, Colorado. He was also the cinematographer for
Interim, an experimental short film directed by his childhood friend, poet and filmmaker Stan Brakhage, who had become friends with
Robert Creeley and James Broughton. After Black Mountain College closed its doors in 1957, Phillips and Brakhage proposed
the idea of recording poets reading their own work and then making these recordings available to the public in the form of
long-playing records. This concept was influenced by Black Mountain poet Charles Olson, who believed poetry should be read
aloud in order for listeners to hear its rhythm, breath and nuances.
1962 Phillips and Western Cine were able to record, using studio reel-to-reel audio equipment, six poets reading poetry of
their choice: James Broughton, Jess Collins, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Charles Olson and Louis Zukofsky. Phillips also
sought to collect photographs of the poets and their background materials for the album cover and liner notes of the LP record.
After a decade at Western Cine, Phillips became an adjunct professor at the University of Denver in filmmaking and television
in 1962-1963, and subsequently started a business teaching screenwriting. When Phillips left Western Cine, the Poet Record
Project was without a manager to move the project forward, and eventually the tapes were sent to Phillips in the hopes that
he would complete the project on his own. A logo and the name Quest Records was draw up, but Charles Olson and Robert Duncan
never sent the final materials needed for the album cover, and although Phillips worked out an advertising plan, edited tapes
to length, and prepared them to be pressed, he was not able to raise enough funds to complete the project and LPs were never
Source material for this note is primarily from Judith Phillips's (spouse of Stan Phillips) account entitled "How Quest Records
Never Came to Be," which is in Box 2 of the collection.
Stan Phillips Western Poetry Project Collection. MSS 819. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Original sound recording reels are restricted. Researchers may inquire regarding listening copies in advance of their visit.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Phillips, Stan -- Archives
Broughton, James, 1913-1999
Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005
Duncan, Robert, 1919-1988
Olson, Charles, 1910-1970
Zukofsky, Louis, 1904-1978