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Guide to the Ron Loewinsohn Papers Papers, 1953-1976
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Access Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Loewinsohn, Ron. Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1953-1976
    Collection number: M0856
    Creator: Loewinsohn, Ron.
    Extent: 6 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Abstract: The collection contains correspondence, published and unpublished manuscripts between American poet Ron Loewinsohn and many of the most prominent American authors of the mid-to-late 20th Century.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


    Purchased, 1996.

    Preferred Citation:

    Ron Loewinsohn Papers Papers. M0856. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased, 1996.


    Ron Loewinsohn has been associated with San Francisco poetry since the late 1950s. In the early 1960s he taught at San Francisco State College, and in 1963 he co-edited and published the little magazine Change with Richard Brautigan. Loewinsohn's poems first achieved a wide readership by virtue of their inclusion in Donald Allen's anthology, The New American Poetry. His first book, Watermelons, contains an introduction by Allen Ginsberg and a letter from William Carlos Williams. Loewinsohn acknowledges both writers as his major influences, along with Robert Creeley and Philip Whalen. A later collection of poems, L'Autre, was the first full-length publication of the Black Sparrow Press. Loewinsohn's later publications include Meat Air and Goat Dances, both of which are collections of poetry. A complete checklist of Loewinsohn's primary publications is included in Gary Lepper's Bibliographical Introduction to 75 Modern American Authors. Ronald William Loewinsohn was born December 15, 1937, in Iloilo, Philippines and came to the United States with his parents in 1945. After he graduated from high school in 1955, he traveled around the country and then worked at various printing jobs, before instructing at the San Francisco Poetry Center, 1960-61. He attended San Francisco State College and earned his bachelor's degree from University of California, Berkeley in 1967. Loewinsohn then again instructed poetry at the Center for Adult Education in Cambridge, Mass., in the summer of 1968. He earned his master's and doctorate from Harvard University, in 1969 and 1971, respectively. Loewinsohn returned to Berkeley where he received a professorship in the English Department teaching American literature and creative writing, beginning in 1970. Ron Loewinsohn's awards and honors include the Poets Foundation Award (1963), the Irving Stone Award of the Academy of American Poets (1966), and the Ina Coolbrith Memorial Prize for Poetry (1966).

    Scope and Content

    The Ron Loewinsohn Papers primarily consist of correspondence collected by Loewinsohn over more than two decades, as well as materials concerning both published and unpublished manuscripts. The primary group of correspondence is from contemporary authors and artists, including Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Philip Whalen, and others. Some letters, including those from Allen Ginsberg and William Carlos Williams were not identified in the original listing. Additionally, there is a wealth of correspondence from personal acquaintances, students, and family not directly involved in the San Francisco and New York poetry scenes of the 1960s. Loewinsohn also received a considerable amount of correspondence from universities with which he was affiliated and publishers regarding his works. The materials pertaining to Loewinsohn's published manuscripts concern several major works. These include, L'Autre, Meat Air, Goat Dances, and Loewinsohn's doctoral thesis on the life and influence of William Carlos Williams titled The Province of a Poem (William Carlos Williams and the Invention of America). The unpublished manuscripts series includes many drafts of poems and short stories, and ideas for more of the same. Notebooks kept by Loewinsohn and his second wife, Joanie, have observations and ideas for works, as well as personal notes. Also, a large portion of poetry was found in a series of folders labeled "Hopper," "Master Hopper," "Asleep," "Dead," "Dead and Buried," and so on. These folder titles supply some insight into projects Loewinsohn may have been considering for the future, and other projects he had set aside.

    Access Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Blackburn, Paul.
    Brautigan, Richard.
    Corso, Gregory.
    Creeley, Robert, 1926-
    Duerden, Richard.
    Irby, Kenneth, 1936-
    King, Basil.
    Koch, Kenneth, 1925-
    Kyger, Joanne.
    Levertov, Denise, 1923-
    Olson, Charles, 1910-1970.
    Palmer, Michael.
    Snyder, Gary, 1930-
    Stanley, George, 1934-
    Wah, Fred, 1939-
    Whalen, Philip.
    Wieners, John, 1934-
    American literature--20th century.