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Ignatow (David) Papers
MSS 0002  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • OFF-SITE STORAGE
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Access

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: David Ignatow Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0002
    Physical Description: 37.2 Linear feet (93 archives boxes, 4 map case folders)
    Date (inclusive): 1929-1994
    Abstract: Papers of David Ignatow, distinguished American poet.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Papers of David Ignatow, distinguished American poet. In the 1950s and 1960s, Ignatow edited several important periodicals, among them The Beloit Poetry Journal (co-editor, 1950-1959), Nation (poetry editor, 1962-1963), Chelsea (consulting editor, 1969-1971), and the American Poetry Review (editor-at-large, 1972-1976). Ignatow taught at many colleges and universities including the New School for Social Research (1964-1965), Southampton College (1967-1968), and Columbia University (1969-1976). The collection was processed in four major sections over time.
    Accessions Processed in 1987
    Includes manuscripts and typescripts of poems, notebooks, and extensive correspondence dated from the 1930s to the 1970s, though most of the material dates from 1955-1971.
    Arranged in four series (following the author's own arrangement): 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) NOTEBOOKS, 3) PUBLISHED POETRY, and 4) MISCELLANEOUS: REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS AND EPHEMERA.
    Accessions Processed in 1989
    A substantial addition of correspondence and fifteen of the poet's spiral-bound notebooks dated from 1978 to 1988. Also includes typescripts and proof pages of three of Ignatow's more recent books, New and Collected Poems, 1970-1985, The One in the Many, and Whisper in the Dark.
    Arranged in seven series: 5) CORRESPONDENCE, 6) NOTEBOOKS, 7) PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED POETRY, 8) WRITINGS OF OTHERS, 9) REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS, MISCELLANEOUS AND EPHEMERA, 10) FINANCIAL RECORDS, 11) AUDIO-VISUAL MATERIALS and 12) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.
    Accessions Processed in 1993
    Contains a chronological collection of original manuscripts and typescripts of Ignatow's poems and prose from the early 1930s to the late 1980s, correspondence, several notebooks, a collection of essays and reviews of his work, and the writings of colleagues.
    Arranged in eight series: 13) CORRESPONDENCE, 14) WRITINGS, 15) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, 16) WRITINGS OF OTHERS, 17) ARTICLES ABOUT IGNATOW, 18) REVIEWS OF IGNATOW'S BOOKS, 19) INTERVIEWS, and 20) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.
    Accessions Processed in 1994
    Contains correspondence, annotated poetry drafts, short stories and articles, book production materials for Against the Evidence (1993) and Gleanings: The Uncollected Poems of the Fifties broadsides, drafts of opening remarks he gave at various ceremonies, drafts of statements he made, copies and video tapes of interviews, and some ephemera. Most material dates from the 1970s and 1980s.
    Arranged in six series: 21) CORRESPONDENCE, 22) WRITINGS, 23) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 24) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, 25) RESTRICTED MATERIALS, AND 26) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.

    Biography

    David Ignatow, distinguished American poet and man of letters, was born in Brooklyn, New York, 7 February 1914, and has spent most of his life in New York City. Ignatow's parents were immigrants. His mother, Yetta Reinbach, from Austria-Hungary, was the illiterate daughter of a forest warden and his father was born a Jew in the Czarist Ukraine. After graduating from high school in 1932, Ignatow was employed as a writer in research by the Federal Government. In 1937, Ignatow married the artist Rose Graubart; their son David was born that year. From 1948 to 1960, Ignatow was office manager at his father's bookbindery, and from 1963 to 1964, before establishing his literary career, he accepted various employment as a Western Union auto messenger, a hospital admitting clerk, and a paper salesman to publishers. While so employed, Ignatow published a first book of poetry, Poems (1948), and later, The Gentle Weight Lifter (1955) and Say Pardon (1961). During the 1950s and early 1960s, Ignatow began to establish his literary career in a series of editorships, the first at the fledgling Beloit Poetry Journal, which Ignatow led from midwestern obscurity to national prominence. He was associated with BPJ from 1949 to 1958, and returned to edit the William Carlos Williams memorial chapbook in 1963. His successful political poetry issue at Chelsea led to an editorship at Nation, held from 1962 to 1963. In 1955, Ignatow's son developed serious mental illness, from which he did not recover. After 1955, Ignatow describes his writing as the record of his son's illness, and of his own recovery, years later, of faith. In 1956, a daughter, Yaedi, was born to Rose and David Ignatow.
    In his academic and literary career, Ignatow was Instructor at the New School for Social Research, New York (1964-1965); Visiting Lecturer, University of Kansas, Lawrence (1966-1967); and at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York (1967-1969). He was Poet in residence at York College of the City University of New York (1969), and from 1969, on faculty at Columbia University's School of the Arts. In the 1960s, Ignatow was active in opposition to the war in Vietnam. He participated in mass demonstrations and read at political poetry readings. He also supported the Berkeley free speech movement and the Afro-American struggle for equality. Among honors bestowed on Ignatow have been two Guggenheim Fellowships, an Award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1964), the Poetry Society's Shelley Memorial Award (1966), and, in 1977, the Bollingen Prize.
    For further reference, see Joseph Lipari's complete bibliography, The Poetry of David Ignatow: An Introduction and Bibliography of Primary Sources, 1931-1978 (University of Washington, 1983).

    OFF-SITE STORAGE

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS

    Preferred Citation

    David Ignatow Papers, MSS 2. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 1985-1994.

    Access

    Correspondence in box 13, folder 19 is restricted. The recommendations Ignatow wrote for colleagues and students listed in box 93, folders 47-52, are restricted for 75 years after their receipt, i.e., until 2069. Also, the recordings in the collection are restricted. Researchers must request user copies be produced

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    American poetry -- 20th century
    Ignatow, David, 1914-1997 -- Archives
    Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963 -- Correspondence
    Hall, Donald, 1928-2018 -- Correspondence
    Oppen, George -- Correspondence
    Hindus, Milton -- Correspondence
    Olson, Charles, 1910-1970 -- Correspondence
    Honig, Edwin -- Correspondence
    Mills, Ralph J. -- Correspondence
    Levertov, Denise, 1923-1997 -- Correspondence
    Lowenfels, Walter, 1897-1976 -- Correspondence
    Bly, Robert -- Correspondence
    Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005 -- Correspondence
    Antin, David -- Correspondence
    Dahlberg, Edward, 1900-1977 -- Correspondence
    Berg, Stephen, 1934-2014 -- Correspondence
    Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1927 -- Correspondence
    Berry, Wendell, 1934- -- Correspondence
    Zukofsky, Louis, 1904-1978 -- Correspondence
    Wakoski, Diane -- Correspondence
    Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931- -- Correspondence
    Reznikoff, Charles, 1894-1976 -- Correspondence
    Pearce, Roy Harvey -- Correspondence
    Burnshaw, Stanley, 1906-2005 -- Correspondence