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Phillips (Stan) Western Poetry Project Collection
MSS 0819  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Historical Background
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Publication Rights
  • Restrictions

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Stan Phillips Western Poetry Project Collection
    Creator: Phillips, Stan
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0819
    Physical Description: 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 work.
    Arranged in two series: Series 1) SOUND RECORDINGS, and 2) PAPERS.

    Historical Background

    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 produced.
    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.

    Preferred Citation

    Stan Phillips Western Poetry Project Collection. MSS 819. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 2019

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Restrictions

    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
    Jess, 1923-2004
    Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005
    Duncan, Robert, 1919-1988
    Olson, Charles, 1910-1970
    Zukofsky, Louis, 1904-1978