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Finding Aid for the Terry Wolverton papers, 1970s-2005
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Terry Wolverton papers
    Date (inclusive): 1970s-2005
    Collection number: 445
    Creator: Wolverton, Terry
    Extent: 63 boxes (29.5 linear feet) 8 oversize boxes (2 flat boxes, 6 shoeboxes) 1 map folder
    Abstract: Terry Wolverton (born 1954) is a poet, writer, editor, teacher of writing, performance artist, and management consultant. She has also worked as a promoter of the arts, primarily at the Los Angeles Woman's Building, and served in management positions at the Woman's Building. The collection consists of six college papers and research material; her teaching materials and letters and notes from her students and samples student correspondence and samples of student submissions; professional correspondence, research material, notes, drafts, manuscripts, publicity material, photographs, and reviews; and art collected, done by women artists, many connected to the Woman's Building.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Terry Wolverton, 2005.

    Processing Note

    Collection 445 was donated to the Library in 2005 and processed 2005-2006 by Dan Luckenbill, with data entry by Brooke Chappell. The finding aid was created by Dan Luckenbill, in consultation with the donor. The donor has not transferred personal materials, records for her consulting business, or records of her current administration and teaching at Writers at Work.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Terry Wolverton papers (Collection 445). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 6333465 


    Terry Wolverton was born in Cape Canaveral, Florida on August 23, 1954. Wolverton is a performance artist, poet, writer, editor, teacher of writing, and management consultant. She has been an activist for women's, lesbian and gay causes. Her teaching has included developing classes for students who are HIV positive.
    Wolverton studied at the University of Detroit (1972-1973), majoring in Psychology and Theater, the University of Toronto (1973-1974), and the Sagaris Institute, Lyndonville, Vermont (1975). She received her B.A. in Theater, Creative Writing and Women's Studies from Thomas Jefferson College, Allendale, Michigan (1978), with further study at the Los Angeles Woman's Building Feminist Studio Workshop (1976-1978). She worked as news writer, freelance copywriter, and publicist 1977-1980. She worked at the Woman's Building 1977-1989 and was Development Director 1984-1988 and Executive Director, 1988-1989. Beginning 1977 she has taught adult education classes at the Woman's Building, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, Connexxus Women's Center, UCLA Extension, and California Institute of the Arts. Beginning 1982 she has been the president of ConsultHer, a management consulting firm. Beginning 1997 she has been the founder of and instructor at Writers at Work, a private creative writing center. She has served on the Board of the Monette-Horwitz Trust Advisory Committee, 1998-2005.
    Wolverton began her professional creative work as a performance artist, writing or collaborating on the texts and appearing in the performances. She has published numerous articles and reviews in both Los Angeles and national periodicals; books of poetry, fiction, and memoir; and has edited many anthologies of lesbian and gay poets and writers, some specifically of Los Angeles writers. She has given numerous readings throughout the U.S., documented with invitations and flyers. She has won or been nominated for numerous awards. She received the University of Detroit New Poets Award in 1983 and the Woman's Building Vesta Award in 1991. She has been awarded several California Arts Council and other grants. She was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award (Lammy) in 1992, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, and 2004.
    Wolverton has edited 20 volumes, beginning 1990 with Harbinger: Poetry and Fiction by Los Angeles Writers, and including Blood Whispers: L.A. Writers on AIDS (1991), His: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Writers (1995, 1997, 1999), Hers: Brilliant New Fiction by Lesbian Writers (1995, 1997, 1999), and Circa 2000: Gay Fiction at the Millennium (2000) and Circa 2000: Lesbian Fiction at the Millennium (2001).
    Wolverton's books have included Blue Moon (poetry and prose, 1977), she was cracking rocks with a hammer (poem, 1991), Black Slip (poetry, 1992), Bailey's Beads (novel (1996), Mystery Bruise (poetry, 1999), Greatest Hits: Terry Wolverton (poetry, 2001), Insurgent Muse: Life and Art at the Woman's Building (memoir, 2002), and Embers (novel in poems, 2003). Among her performance art scripts and texts are works from 1979 to the present, including In Silence Secrets Turn to Lies / Secrets Shared Become Sacred Truth (1979), the collaborative work An Oral Herstory of Lesbianism (1979), Me and My Shadow (1983), and Under Eden (2001).

    Scope and Content

    The papers consist of six college papers and research material and document her activities related to her professional interests, through material collected about the Woman's Building and posters and works of art, by women artists and often relating to the Woman's Building. At the Woman's Building she studied under and worked with co-founder Arlene Raven to create a feminist system of education, documented with theoretical statements and teaching materials. Wolverton's teaching of writing is extensively documented with notes for lectures, rosters, and samples of student work submitted. The bulk of the collection pertains to her performance works and writings (performance and book reviews, poetry, interviews, non-fiction, memoir, fiction, and edited works), documented variously by research material, notes, drafts, manuscripts, publications, programs, correspondence, photographs, promotional materials such as posters and flyers, audio and video recordings, and post publication material such as reviews, notices, and some letters from readers. There are copies of many works published in periodicals.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The papers are arranged in the following series:
    1. Biographical [boxes 1, 13-20, 31-36, 61-69]
    2. Professional files for work not related to writing [boxes 21-30]
    3. Professional files relating to Performances and Writings [boxes 1-12, 14, 29, 38-60, 63-64]

    Indexing Terms

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


    Wolverton, Terry

    Related Material

    Books, including those edited, have been separated for cataloging in Special Collections, searchable online as Gift of Terry Wolverton.