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Guide to the Rae Armantrout Papers, circa 1970-2001 M.1211
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Preferrred Citation
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Acquisition Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Arrangement
  • Other Finding Aids

  • Title: Rae Armantrout papers
    Identifier/Call Number: M.1211
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 10.5 Linear feet (21 manuscript boxes, 1 half box)
    Date (inclusive): circa 1970-2001
    Abstract: The collection documents Rae Armantrout's writing career from the 1970's through 2001.
    Physical Location: Special Collections materials are stored offsite and must be paged 36 hours in advance. For more information on paging collections, see the department's website: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/spc.html.
    creator: Armantrout, Rae, 1947-

    Preferrred Citation

    [Identification of item], Rae Armantrout papers, M1211. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    The collection is open for research, except box 22, which is closed until 2021.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94304-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Acquisition Information

    Accession numbers: MSS.2001-095, MSS.2001-140. This collection was purchased by Stanford University, Special Collections in April and May 2001.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains correspondence, notebooks, typescripts, teaching materials, and photographs. Much of the correspondence, from the late 1970's to the present, consists of substantive letters and emails from other poets and writers, including Fanny Howe, Lyn Hejinian, Bob Perelman, and Ron Silliman. The notebooks in the collection record random thoughts from which Armantrout's poems often evolve, as well as multiple versions of both published and unpublished work. The collection also includes typescripts for Armantrout's books, including Precedence (1985), Necromance (1989), Made to Seem (1995), True (1996), as well as typescripts for other miscellaneous poems and essays. Teaching materials in the collection consist of Armantrout's lecture notes, syllabi, and course readers for classes on poetry and personal narrative taught at the University of California, San Diego from the mid-1980's to the present.


    The poet and essayist Rae Armantrout was born in Vallejo, California on 13 April 1947 and grew up in San Diego. Graduating from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970, she later received a Master's degree in creative writing at San Francisco State University in 1975. Armantrout is the author of many books, including, among others, Extremities (1978), The Invention of Hunger (1979), Precedence (1985) Necroromance (1991), Made to Seem (1995), Writing the Plot about Sets (1998), True (a memoir, 1998), The Pretext (2001), Veil: New and Selected Poems (2001), Up to Speed (2004), and Next Life (2007). A founding member of the West Coast "Language Poetry" movement, Armantrout worked closely with a dynamic group of writers including Ron Silliman, Lyn Hejinian, Bob Perelman, Steve Benson, Barret Watten, Tom Mandel, and Carla Harryman. Although Language poetry can be seen as advocating a poetics of nonreferentiality, Armantrout's work, focusing as it often does on the local and the domestic, resists such definitions. Internationally known, Armantrout's work has been the subject of numerous essays (some of which are gathered in A Wild Salience: The Writings of Rae Armantrout, a collection dedicated to her work), and an entry in the Dictionary of Literary Biography (vol. 193). Currently, she teaches at the University of California, San Diego.


    The collection is arranged in five series:
    Series I: Correspondence
    Series II: Notebooks
    Series III: Writing
    Series IV: Teaching Materials
    Series V: Photographs

    Other Finding Aids

    Fanny Howe Papers, M0648, M0768, M0848
    Marjorie Perloff Papers, M1504

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Armantrout, Rae, 1947-
    Davis, Lydia.
    Hejinian, Lyn.
    Howe, Fanny
    Perelman, Bob
    Silliman, Ronald, 1946-
    American literature -- Poetry -- 20th Century
    Women authors.