Scope and Content of Collection
Archive for New Poetry (University of California, San Diego).
Title: Archive for New Poetry. Curator's Correspondence and Subject Files,
Date (inclusive): 1974 - 1989
3.00 linear feet
(8 archives boxes)
Abstract: Records created primarily by Michael Davidson, curator of the Archive for New Poetry (ANP), a collection housed in the Mandeville
Special Collections Library. The records include correspondence with many prominent figures in contemporary American writing,
and files on ANP projects such as the New Writing Series, Documents for New Poetry, the San Francisco Renaissance Conference
(1982), and the ANP NEWSLETTER. Also included are photographs of poets and materials relating to a 1984 public television
presentation "Rasgado en dos/Ripped in two," sponsored by UCSD and the California Council for the Humanities.
The collection is arranged in four series: 1) GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE, 2) POETS' FILES, 3) ANP PUBLICATIONS AND PROJECTS, and
University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Collection number: RSS 1034
Language of Material:
Collection materials in English
Collection is open for research.
Archive for New Poetry. Curator's Correspondence and Subject Files, RSS 1034. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
The Archive for New Poetry (ANP) is a collection of materials devoted to the work of significant English-language writers
who have published since 1945. It is located in the Mandeville Special Collections Library of the University of California,
San Diego. The ANP was conceived and begun by Literature Professor Roy Harvey Pearce. Establishing the collection in 1968,
Pearce donated to the UCSD Library important first editions of post-war American poets.
The ANP's holdings emphasize the ongoing "alternative tradition" in recent American writing -- particularly the Objectivist
movement, the Black Mountain poets, the San Francisco Renaissance, the New York School, and the "language" writers. This
interest has led the ANP to acquire a large number of manuscripts, audiotapes, monographs, rare and well-known serials, and
alternative printing (non-book) experiments.
The records in RSS 1034 were created primarily by Michael Davidson, Ph.D., who served as long-time curator of the ANP. Davidson
began as a post-doctoral appointee in 1974. Two years later he was permanently hired by the Library to serve as "Associate
Research Historian," the official title for the ANP curator. In the administrative hierarchy he reported to the head of
the Department of Special Collections.
Davidson's responsibilities included curating for the Archive's extensive book and manuscript collection, organizing a poetry-reading
series (called the "New Poetry Series" and later the "New Writing Series"), supervising the processing of manuscripts, editing
and producing a tri-annual newsletter, serving as adviser for several local poetry-related projects, and periodically publishing
issues of "Documents for New Poetry," a pamphlet focusing on a given aspect of ANP's collection. As a result of his long-term
employment at the library and his considerable knowledge of contemporary American poetry, Davidson strongly influenced the
shape and vision of the ANP -- encouraging and aiding in the acquisition of a number of its most prized papers and collections.
Throughout most of his term at the library, Davidson also taught in the Department of Literature. In 1985, after receiving
tenure in the Literature Department, he resigned his position at the ANP in order to teach literature full-time. The position
was subsequently filled by Stephen Rodefer (1985-1988) and John Granger (1988-1992).
Scope and Content of Collection
The correspondence and subject files for the Archives for New Poetry Curator consist of four series: 1) GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE,
2) POETS' FILES, 3) ANP PUBLICATIONS AND PROJECTS, and 4) PHOTOGRAPHS. The materials consist of letters and materials dating
The first series, GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE, includes letters sent to ANP curators Michael Davidson, John Granger and Stephen
Rodefer and copies of a few of their responses. The letters have been alphabetized by correspondent and are placed in folders
labeled with a letter of the alphabet. Most of the correspondence relates to the various business transactions of the Archive:
inquiries into the procedures and holdings of the Archive, funding concerns, the New Writing Series, and acquisitions of manuscripts,
books and serials.
The series POETS' FILES is mainly devoted to publicity information, resumes, press releases and correspondence of poets who
were asked to read or considered for reading in the New Writing Series. Each folder contains materials relating to a single
poet or writer, and folders have been alphabetized by writer.
ANP PUBLICATIONS AND PROJECTS is the third and final series, and it consists of materials relating to three special activities
involving ANP and the ANP Curator. The "Documents for New Poetry" is an ANP pamphlet format series publication which features
materials from the ANP's collection. Only two issues were ever published: "Roadtesting the Language: An Interview with Edward
Dorn" by Stephen Fredman (1978) and "Paul Blackburn: A Checklist" by Kathleen Woodward (1980).
In 1982 a third issue of "Documents for New Poetry" entitled "Objectivist Contexts: George Oppen and Charles Reznikoff" (edited
by Kathryn Shevelow) was prepared. However, it was never published due to funding problems. Textual materials for this third
issue can be found in the ANP PUBLICATIONS series. These materials include interviews with and about Oppen and Reznikoff,
unpublished comments by the two poets, and an article by Tom Sharp on the early publishing history of the Objectivists. Folders
are arranged by subject and chronologically by date of publication or possible publication.
Also in ANP PUBLICATIONS AND PROJECTS are materials that relate to the "Rasgado En Dos/Ripped In Two" Poetry-Video Project,
a thirty-minute sound-and-picture collage featuring the words of four local Chicano poets: Patrick Ojeda, Ruben Medina, Gina
Valdes and Alurista. It was sponsored by the California Council for the Humanities, ANP, the UCSD Department of Literature
and the UCSD Office of the Chancellor. It was produced by Valley Cable Television in 1984, and was broadcasted on several
PBS television stations. Davidson assisted and advised the program's two producers, Claire McClance and Alan McGlade. These
materials are organized by subject and arranged chronologically within each folder, and they include grant applications and
agreements, correspondence, publicity information, budget plans, schedules, legal documents and scripts.
Also included are materials relating to the San Francisco Renaissance Conference, a festival and conference organized by Davidson
and held at UCSD from February 9-12, 1982. Focusing on the San Francisco Literary Renaissance of the mid-fifties and sixties,
the conference brought together poets, scholars, editors and the general public. Many well-known figures in contemporary
writing attended. Items in this subseries are arranged by subject and include grant applications and agreements, legal documents,
correspondence, budget plans and publicity items.
Finally, this series contains materials related to John Granger's preparation of the ANP Newsletter for 1988 and for the Spring
Quarter of 1989. Materials include correspondence, selections of poems and writings and some rough drafts of essays written
for the newsletter. The materials are arranged chronologically.
The PHOTOGRAPHS series contains images of poets.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Davidson, Michael, 1944-
Pearce, Roy Harvey
Archive for New Poetry (University of California, San Diego) -- Curator -- Archives
Documents for new poetry
New writing series
UCSD new poetry series
Rasgado en dos/Ripped in two
American poetry -- 20th century -- Archival resources
Coleman, Wanda, -- correspondent
Coolidge, Clark, 1939- -- correspondent
Creeley, Robert, 1926- -- correspondent
Dorn, Edward, -- correspondent
Eshleman, Clayton, -- correspondent
Levertov, Denise, 1923-1997 -- correspondent
Mac Low, Jackson, -- correspondent
Rakosi, Carl, 1903-2004, -- correspondent
Rexroth, Kenneth, 1905- -- correspondent
Rothenberg, Jerome, 1931- -- correspondent
Snyder, Gary, -- correspondent
Whalen, Philip, -- correspondent
Davidson, Michael, 1944-