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Mac Low (Jackson) Papers
MSS 0180  
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Collection Overview
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Papers of Jackson Mac Low, a poet, composer and performance artist who frequently used systematic chance operations and other non-intentional compositional methods in his work. The bulk of the collection dates between 1938 and 2004. The collection contains notebooks; biographical material; correspondence; manuscripts of poetry, prose, essays, plays, music and performance instructions; writings of others; interviews with Mac Low; conference and residency documentation; posters and programs; audiovisual materials; and subject files. Prominent correspondents include Kathy Acker, Julian Beck, Carol Bergé, Paul Blackburn, John Cage, Robert Creeley, Larry Eigner, Clayton Eshleman, Peter Ganick, Paul Goodman, Allen Ginsberg, Donald Hall, Dick Higgins, Spencer Holst, Vera Lachmann, Denise Levertov, George Maciunas, Judith Malina, Steve McCaffery, Nam June Paik, Jerome Rothenberg, Ron Silliman, John Taggart, Diane Wakoski, Anne Waldman, and William Carlos Williams.
Born in Chicago, Ill. on September 12, 1922, Jackson Mac Low spent his grade school years studying music and poetry. In 1939, he entered the University of Chicago to study philosophy, leaving there in 1943 with an Associate of Arts Degree and relocating to New York City. In 1955, Mac Low enrolled in Brooklyn College, where he completed a Bachelors of Arts program in Greek in 1958. The bachelors degree allowed Mac Low to secure a number of better paying and more flexible jobs, thus giving him time for his artistic career. He worked as reference-book editor and taught courses at New York University.
141 Linear feet (231 archives boxes, 14 records cartons, 5 card files, 25 audiocassette boxes, 7 flat boxes, 6 oversize folders, and 3 films)
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Original sound recordings and digital media are restricted, though some have been digitized. Researchers may request user copies be produced in advance.