Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Bromige (David) Correspondence
MSS 0006  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (81.24 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Publication Rights

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: David Bromige Correspondence
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0006
    Physical Description: 0.25 Linear feet (1 archives box)
    Date (inclusive): 1962-1972
    Abstract: The correspondence of poet, playwright, and educator David Bromige (1933-2009).

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The David Bromige Correspondence includes exchanges with such noted American writers as Ted Berrigan, Robert Bly, Richard Brautigan, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Clayton Eshleman, Denise Levertov, George Oppen, and Gary Snyder. The collection is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. The materials cover the period from approximately 1962 to 1972 and include copies of written materials and often detailed exchanges concerning publishing and readings.


    David Mansfield Bromige, who resided in the Bay Area, is often associated with the Black Mountain School via the Vancouver nexus of poets centered around the magazine Tish.
    He was born to Harold and Ada Bromige on 22 October 1933 in London, England, where his father was a director of documentary films. Until he settled in the Bay Area in the early '70s, Bromige led a peripatetic life: he travelled, held various jobs, and received an education in Europe, Canada, and the United States.
    After attending prep school at Haberdashers' Aske's School for Boys in London, Bromige worked from 1950 to 1953 as a cowman on dairy farms in England, Sweden, and Canada. During the '50s he also supported himself as an attendant in mental hospitals in Canada and as an elementary school teacher in England and Vancouver, British Columbia. In the early 1960s he served as a freelance critic for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Vancouver.
    It was during his years in Vancouver that Bromige began gaining a reputation for his writing. In 1961 he won the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Playwriting Prize for "The Cobalt Poet," and in 1962 he won the KVOS TV Playwriting Prize for "Save What You Can." In 1961 Bromige divorced his wife of four years, actress Ann Livingston, and married Joan Peacock, with whom he had a son, Christopher.
    Bromige received his B.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1962. That same year he began working toward his Master's Degree at the University of California, Berkeley. Two years later he received his degree from Berkeley and returned to the University of British Columbia, where he worked as an instructor in English for a short time. Bromige then returned to Berkeley where he continued his studies and taught from 1964 to 1970. In 1965 he published his first book, The Gathering, and he wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on the poetry of Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan - Duncan having been particularly influential to Bromige's own work. In 1970 Bromige married the writer Sherril Jaffe, and he began teaching English at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California - a position he held until his retirement in 1993.
    Much of Bromige's influence on contemporary poetry has been the result of his association with various journals. He was poetry editor of the Northwest Review (1963-64), and editor of Raven (1960-62), R.C. Lion (1966-67), and Open Reading (1972-76).
    Starting with his earliest work, Bromige's poetry has been centered on the page, not in the "real" world. He describes his writing as an exploration process, saying, "I am interested in poetry as speech arising from dumb desire and passion and arousing further word clusters until constellations emerge I had previously no knowledge were within me."
    Bromige's publications include: The Gathering (Sumbooks, 1965), Please, Like Me (Black Sparrow Press, 1968), The Ends of the Earth (Black Sparrow Press, 1968), The Quivering Roadway (Archangel Press, 1969), In His Image (Twybyl Press, 1970), Threads (Black Sparrow Press, 1970), The Fact So of Itself (1971), They Are Eyes (Panjandrum Press, 1972), Birds of the West (Coach House Press, 1973), Ten Years in the Making: Selected Poems, Songs, and Stories, 1961-1970 (Vancouver Community Press, 1973), Tight Corners and What's Around Them (Black Sparrow Press, 1974), Spells and Blessings (Talon Press, 1974), Out of My Hands (Black Sparrow Press, 1974), Credences of Winter, (Black Sparrow Press, 1976), My Poetry (The Figures, 1980), Red Hats (Tonsure Press, 1986), and Desire: Selected Poems (Black Sparrow Press, 1988). Bromige died in Sebastopol, California in 2009.

    Preferred Citation

    David Bromige Correspondence, MSS 6. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 1978.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    American poetry -- 20th century
    Bly, Robert -- Correspondence
    Bromige, David -- Archives
    Berrigan, Ted -- Correspondence
    Brautigan, Richard -- Correspondence
    Corman, Cid -- Correspondence
    Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005 -- Correspondence
    Duncan, Robert, 1919-1988 -- Correspondence
    Eshleman, Clayton -- Correspondence
    Levertov, Denise, 1923-1997 -- Correspondence
    Oppen, George -- Correspondence
    Snyder, Gary, 1930- -- Correspondence
    Wakoski, Diane -- Correspondence