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Momentum Press Archive
MSS 412  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Restrictions
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Historical Background
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Momentum Press Archive
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 412
    Contributing Institution: Mandeville Special Collections Library
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 19.2 Linear feet (28 archives boxes and 8 records cartons)
    Date (inclusive): 1976 - 1995
    Abstract: Production materials of Momentum Press, a Santa Monica, California, literary press operated by writer and editor William Mohr between 1974 and 1985. Materials include correspondence, manuscripts and production proofs for numerous monographic works by Los Angeles poets, typescripts and paste-ups for Momentum magazine, submissions of literary work, and materials for Momentum Press's two poetry anthologies, Poetry Loves Poetry: An Anthology of Los Angeles Poets and Streets Inside: Ten Los Angeles Poets. Also included are writings by Bill Mohr, documentation of his editiorial work on Bachy magazine and videorecordings of a television series hosted and produced by Mohr entitled Put Your Ears On.
    Creator: Momentum Press.


    The video cassette recordings in Series 5 are restricted. Researchers must request user copies be produced.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The MOMENTUM PRESS ARCHIVE consists of material related to Momentum magazine, the publication of Momentum Press books, Put Your Ears On video series, and, to a lesser extent, the writing career of poet and editor William Mohr. The archive is arranged in five series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) MOMENTUM PRESS, 3) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, 4) EDITING AND WRITING BY MOHR, and 5) PUT YOUR EARS ON.
    The bulk of the archive is contained in the CORRESPONDENCE series, which consists of professional and private letters written to William Mohr from other writers, publishers, editors, arts organizations, and presses. In some instances, photocopies of Mohr's letters are included as well. The largest files in the series are those that consist of letters exchanged between Mohr and authors published by Momentum, including Douglas Blazek, Kate Braverman, James Grabill, Leland Hickman, Michael Kincaid, James Krusoe, James Moore, Harry Northrup, Alicia Ostriker, Holly Prado, Marine Robert Warden, and William Witherup. Other notable correspondents include Clayton Eshleman, Lyn Hejinian, Kit Robinson, Mark Salerno, and Ron Silliman. The CORRESPONDENCE series is arranged alphabetically.
    The MOMENTUM PRESS series is arranged in four subseries: A) Anthologies and Books, B) Momentum magazine, C) Submissions, and D) Administrative Materials.
    A) The first subseries consists of typescripts, galleys, proofs, photographs, and mechanicals of Momentum Press publications, excepting the magazine. Also included is a limited amount of correspondence directly related to specific projects. The subseries is arranged alphabetically by author or, in the case of anthologies, by title.
    B) The second subseries consists of typescripts, galleys, proofs, photographs, and mechanicals of Momentum magazine. Also included is a limited amount of correspondence directly related to the serial. The subseries is arranged chronologically.
    C) The third subseries consists of unpublished submissions to Momentum Press and/or Momentum magazine. Included are book-length typescripts as well as single page submissions. The subseries is arranged alphabetically by author, and includes a substantial file of miscellaneous and/or anonymous submissions.
    D) The fourth subseries consists of administrative material related to Momentum Press. Included are address books, invoice books, and mailing lists.
    The MISCELLANEOUS series consists of flyers for poetry and/or arts related events in Los Angeles and other various items of cultural significance that are not directly related to Momentum Press.
    The fourth series consists of miscellaneous manuscript and typescript writings of William Mohr, including drafts of poems, notes, lists, and miscellaneous jottings. Also included are typescripts and correspondence related to Mohr's editorship of Bachy (1972-1973).
    The PUT YOUR EARS ON series consists of videotaped documentation of the reading and performance series produced and hosted by William Mohr, and recorded at the Century City Educational Arts Projects studios. Notable readers include Will Alexander, Leland Hickman, James Krusoe, Phoebe MacAdams, Harry Northrup, and Holly Prado. The videotapes are arranged chronologically.

    Historical Background

    Momentum Press was founded by poet William Mohr in 1973 when he served as poetry editor for BACHY, another Los Angeles poetry magazine, in 1972-1973. Established in association with the Century City Educational Arts Project, a non-profit group based in Los Angeles, Momentum Press published eight issues of the magazine Momentum between 1974-1978 and, between 1975-1988, books by numerous writers living in or associated with Los Angeles, including Kate Braverman, Leland Hickman, Michael Kincaid, Harry Northrup, Alicia Ostriker, and Holly Prado. Additionally, Momentum published two seminal anthologies edited by Mohr, The Streets Inside: Ten Los Angeles Poets (1975) and Poetry Loves Poetry: An Anthology of Los Angeles Poets (1985).
    When Momentum Press ceased publication for financial reasons in 1988, Mohr produced and hosted Put Your Ears On, a television poetry and performance events series recorded at the Century City Educational Arts Project studios. The series included readings and/or performances by Will Alexander, Leland Hickman, James Krusoe, Phoebe MacAdams, Harry Northrup, and Holly Prado, among others.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Preferred Citation

    Momentum Press Archive, MSS 412. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available



    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Alexander, Will
    Beyond Baroque Foundation.
    Grapes, Jack
    Hickman, Leland
    Mohr, Bill
    American poetry--20th century--California--Los Angeles