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Register of the Gerald Burns Manuscripts and Other Documents MSS 221
MSS 221  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Publication Rights

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Gerald Burns Manuscripts and Other Documents
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 221
    Contributing Institution: Mandeville Special Collections Library
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, CA 92093-0175
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.4 Linear feet (1 archives box)
    Date (inclusive): 1978-1985
    Abstract: Literary papers and artwork of Gerald Burns, "postmodern" poet, critic, artist, and editor. Included are typescripts of Burns' untitled poetry collection; galleys for Burns' critical books Toward a Phenomenology of Written Art (1979) and Prose (1982); page proofs of Robert Trammell's Epics, for which Burns set the type; and reprints of three of Burns' critical essays.
    Creator: Burns, Gerald

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Gerald Burns Manuscripts and Other Documents contain typescripts and photocopies of poet, artist, and critic Gerald Burn's work. Also included are travel and journal writings, a review of Burns' A Book of Spells, and correspondence with poet and editor of Boxcar magazine, Leland Hickman. The collection is arranged in two series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, and 2) WRITINGS.
    This series contains a letter from Scott Bowdan to Leland Hickman along with Bowdan's submission to Boxcar, "Quest/Questions." Also included are two letters from Burns to Hickman.
    This series is divided into four subseries: A) Poetry, B) Prose/Literary Essays, C) Art, Travel Writing, Journals, and D) Reviews of Gerald Burns.
    The Poetry subseries contains an untitled collection of Burns' poetry in two successive drafts, and a galley copy of Robert Trammell's Epics for which Burns did the typesetting "as a Christmas present to Bob."
    The Prose/Literary Essays subseries contains much of Burns' critical and theoretical prose: two page proofs for Burns' Prose, as well as a galley version of his Toward a Phenomenology of Written Art, and three reprints from The Southwest Review of various literary articles.
    The third subseries includes Burns' artwork and diaristic writing. His long travel narrative, "Painting Statues Books" contains the author's sketches of relevant "objets d'art" following the text. Also included is one full-sized sketch of Ezra Pound's head from the travel sketches. Finally, Burns' "My Leatherette Reminder", something of a critical/scholarly diary, is included.
    The final subseries, Reviews of Gerald Burns, consists of a review of Burns' A Book of Spells by Julie Siegel as it appeared in The Southwest Review.


    Gerald Burns was born in 1940 in Detroit, Michigan. He was educated at Harvard, Trinity College (Dublin), and taught at Southern Methodist University and New York University. In 1975 Burns moved to Dallas. In 1985, he was awarded an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship for poetry. In addition to practicing as an amateur conjurer in his spare time, Burns is an artist. He has illustrated several of his own books as well as designed many of their covers (most notably, Boccherini's Minuet and Prose).
    Burns is considered a leading practitioner of long-lined, thickly-textured verse. His wide reading and close observation of a panoramic range of subjects allows his poetry to bridge formal and expressive gaps between the 19th- century Romantics, early 20th-century Modernism, and later 20th-century language-oriented writing.

    Preferred Citation

    Gerald Burns Manuscripts and Other Documents, MSS 221. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available



    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    American poetry--20th century