Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Harry Northup Papers
MSS 0598  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Creator: Northup, Harry E.
    Title: Harry Northup Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1940-2002
    Extent: 15.00 linear feet (36 archives boxes, 2 cardfile boxes, and 1 oversize folder)
    Abstract: Papers of Harry Northup, Los Angeles poet, screen actor, and editor and founding member of Cahuenga Press. The papers largely comprise Northup's literary correspondence; his writings, including notebooks and journals, working papers, poem drafts, and manuscripts for collected published works, such as materials for THE RAGGED VERTICAL and REUNIONS; and materials related to his acting career. Of particular significance are Northup's notebooks which often chronicle and reflect his experiences as a screen actor. The collection documents Northup's talks and poetry readings with audiocassette and videocassette recordings and documents his work as an editor and founding member of the Cahuenga Press. Also included are photographs, newspaper clippings from his early stage acting career, and theater memorabilia. The papers are arranged in twelve series: 1) ORIGINAL FINDING AID, 2) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 3) CORRESPONDENCE, 4) WRITINGS, 5) TALKS AND READINGS, 6) TEACHING MATERIALS, 7) NOTEBOOKS, 8) CAHUENGA PRESS, 9) FILM AND TELEVISION SCRIPTS, 10) AUDIO CASSETTE RECORDINGS, 11) VIDEO RECORDINGS, and 12) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.
    Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Collection number: MSS 0598
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Collection is open for research

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    Harry Northup Papers, MSS 0598. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.


    Harry E. Northup was born in Amarillo, Texas, on September 2, 1940, and grew up in Ordville and Sidney, Nebraska. Harry began acting at age 14 in community and high school theatre. After a brief tour of duty as a radioman in the U.S. Navy between 1958-1961 he attended Nebraska State Teachers College at Kearney, where he performed in leading roles. In 1962, he worked in summer stock, where he got his Equity card. In 1963, Northup moved to New York City where he met Leland Hickman in Frank Corsaro's Method acting class. Hickman introduced him to poetry.
    After moving to Los Angeles, Northup acted in film and television roles to support his career as a poet with parts in Martin Scorsese's first six films including TAXI DRIVER and MEAN STREETS. He has acted in over thirty-six films, numerous television shows and series, and has worked with directors such as Jonathan Demme, who directed PHILADELPHIA and THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.
    Northup's first book of poetry entitled AMARILLO BORN was published in 1966. He has had seven additional volumes of collected works published including THE JON VOIGHT POEMS (circa 1973), EROS ASH (circa 1976), ENOUGH THE GREAT RUNNING CHAPEL (1982), THE IMAGES WE POSSESS KILL THE CAPTURING (1988), THE RAGGED VERTICAL (1996), REUNIONS (2001), and GREATEST HITS, 1966-2001 (2002). Northup's poetry has appeared in small magazines and literary journals, especially TEMBLOR and BACHY. His work is diaristic in nature, drawing from life and emotional experiences, and often emphasizes the long poem. In 1985, Northup completed his bachelor's degree in English from California State University, Northridge, where he studied verse with Ann Stanford.
    Two of Northup's books, THE RAGGED VERTICAL and REUNIONS, were published by Cahuenga Press, which he co-founded in 1989. The press was created in order to promote and inspire the work of its founders, Harry Northup, Holly Prado, Jimm Cushing, Phoebe MacAdams, Bill Mohr, and Celia Woloch. Northup works as an editor and writer at Cahuenga Press.
    Along with the written word, Northup is an adamant supporter of the spoken word. New Alliance Records has released his "Personal Crime," new and selected poems from 1966-1991 on CD and cassette audio recordings and "Homes" on CD. He has participated in numerous public poetry readings and talks and organized a weekly on-going reading series entitled "Gasoline Alley Readings." Poets who participated include Holly Prado, Bill Mohr and Lewis MacAdams.
    Harry Northup lives in Los Angeles with his wife, poet Holly Prado Northup.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The papers of Harry Northup document Northup's career as a poet, editor and actor. The collection also illustrates his journal-like writing style, as defined by his notebooks, working poem drafts, and collected manuscripts. Materials also include literary and professional correspondence; biographical materials including photographs and memorabilia; spoken word readings with audio and videotapes; teaching materials; and a range of film and television screenplays. Northup's work as an editor is reflected in the Cahuenga Press materials, which includes organizational records and published works. The collection is arranged in twelve series: 1) ORIGINAL FINDING AID, 2) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 3) CORRESPONDENCE, 4) WRITINGS, 5) TALKS AND READINGS, 6) TEACHING MATERIALS, 7) NOTEBOOKS, 8) CAHUENGA PRESS, 9) FILM AND TELEVISION SCRIPTS, 10) AUDIO CASSETTE RECORDINGS, 11) VIDEO RECORDINGS, and 12) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.
    The ORIGINAL FINDING AID series contains a detailed description of the original box list contents organized and written by Northup. Many of the pages were photocopied and included in the processed materials.
    Included in the BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series are mainly photographs of Northup spanning from his childhood to later Hollywood acting roles, early stage acting newspaper clippings, and personal memorabilia. The series is arranged alphabetically.
    The CORRESPONDENCE series, arranged alphabetically, contains letters from various family members and literary and professional colleagues.
    The WRITINGS series is comprised of five subseries: A) Collected - Published, B) Poem Drafts, C) Poems Published In Magazines, D) Criticism, and E) Recording Scripts.
    A) The Collected - Published subseries, arranged chronologically by publication date, contains working typescripts, edited drafts, page proofs, press releases, reviews, and other publication materials for seven out of eight published manuscripts with the exception of AMARILLO BORN (1966). The volumes include THE JON VOIGHT POEMS (1973), EROS ASH (1976), ENOUGH THE GREAT RUNNING CHAPEL (1982), THE IMAGES WE POSSESS KILL THE CAPTURING (1988), THE RAGGED VERTICAL (1996), REUNIONS (2001), and GREATEST HITS, 1966-2001 (2002).
    B) The Poem Drafts subseries is arranged partially by date and partially in alphabetical order. Included are typescript drafts and notes of working papers dating from 1966-1999. Because Northup wrote in a diaristic style, the chronological order of the manuscripts was maintained. In some instances, groups of drafts were titled.
    C) The Poems Published in Magazines subseries consists of copies of Northup's poems published in literary and local Los Angeles magazines. The subseries is arranged alphabetically by title of magazine.
    D) The Criticism subseries contains copies of magazine articles where Northup is mentioned, quoted, or critiqued arranged by magazine title.
    E) Included in the Recordings Scripts subseries are typescript drafts, reviews, and production materials of Northup's audio produced poetry collections. New Alliance Records released HOLLYWORD (1990), a compilation of several Los Angeles poets and two of Northup's individual works PERSONAL CRIME (1993) and HOMES (1994).
    The TALKS AND READINGS series is arranged in two subseries: A) General and B) Individual Readings.
    A) Included in the General subseries are reading announcements, notes, and correspondence related to spoken word events Northup participated in between 1977-2002.
    B) The Individual Readings subseries, arranged alphabetically, is composed of promotional materials related to spoken word events Northup helped organize and participate in between 1979-2002. Included is the organizational material surrounding the Gasoline Alley Readings which Harry initiated in 1986 and the Small Presses in Los Angeles Festival in 1990.
    The TEACHING MATERIALS series, arranged alphabetically, consists of correspondence and notes concerning Northup's involvement as a guest lecturer in various literature and poetry courses at the University of California, Los Angeles and Irvine. He also contributed to community workshops at the California Rehabilitation Center and the Beyond Baroque Festival.
    The NOTEBOOKS series contains handwritten drafts of poems, notes, and journal entries dating from 1971-2000. The notebooks are arranged chronologically to maintain the original order of the collection and reflect the diaristic nature of the writings.
    The CAHUENGA PRESS series is arranged in two subseries: A) General and B) Published Works.
    A) The first subseries documents Northup's administrative and literary role with the establishment and organization of the Cahuenga Press beginning in 1989. The group's original members Jimm Cushing, Phoebe MacAdams, Holly Prado, Celia Woloch, Bill Mohr, and Harry Northup developed the press in order to independently publish their writings. The materials include correspondence with authors and literary professionals, fundraising materials, meeting minutes, organizational history, photographs, press releases, and reading announcements.
    B) The Published Works subseries, arranged by author, consists of typescript drafts, edited drafts, correspondence, press releases, and reviews of the poets published through Cahuenga Press. The Press also released anthologies by the late Ann Stanford, DREAMING THE GARDEN (2000) and Jonathan Cott, HOMELANDS (2000).
    Series nine, arranged alphabetically by title, contains annotated screenplays and television scripts for Northup parts as a stage and screen actor from 1962-2002. The collection includes such films as THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, TAXI DRIVER, and PHILADELPHIA. The series also contains memorabilia from the film sets such as call logs and film reviews.
    The AUDIO CASSETTE RECORDINGS series contains selected voice recorded readings and documentations of Northup's own poetry and of others, including Ann Stanford and Walt Whitman from 1977-2001. The subseries also contains master and rough copies of his record releases PERSONAL CRIME and HOMES.
    The VIDEO RECORDINGS series contains mainly independently produced programs on cable community television from selections of Northup's anthology entitled THE RAGGED VERTICAL.
    The ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES series contains the originals of brittle or high acid content documents that have been photocopied.
    Additions to the papers of poet Harry Northup

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Northup, Harry E. -- Archives
    Cahuenga Press
    Poetry -- United States -- 20th century


    Ginsberg, Allen, 1926- -- correspondent
    Stanford, Ann -- correspondent
    Prado, Holly -- correspondent
    Corsaro, Frank -- correspondent
    Mohr, Bill -- correspondent
    Hickman, Leland -- correspondent
    Braverman, Kate -- correspondent
    Demme, Jonathan, 1944- -- correspondent
    Cushing, James -- correspondent
    Peters, Robert, 1924- -- correspondent
    MacAdams, Phoebe -- correspondent