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Norse, Harold [Photographs from the Harold Norse papers].
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[Photographs from the Harold Norse papers]


Norse, Harold, creator, creator.


Chiefly portraits and snapshots of Harold Norse, taken throughout the poet's lifetime. Also includes photographs of family members, friends and lovers. Includes a relatively small number of photographs of Norse's literary associates. Noteworthy individuals depicted include Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Madame Rachou (Beat Hotel, Paris), Gerard Malanga, Gregory Corso, Ira Cohen, Julia Chenler Laurin, Barry Benjamin, Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams and Norse's mother Fanny Albaum.


1920 (issued)


Gay people -- Photographs
Poets, American -- 20th century -- Photographs
Personnes homosexuelles -- Photographies
Poètes américains -- 20e siècle -- Photographies
Poets, American
Norse, Harold -- Archives
Norse, Harold -- Photographs
Norse, Harold


Title devised by cataloger.
Collected by Harold Norse.
Also includes approximately 250 film negatives: 32 sleeves (NEG), 10 sleeves (NEG(strip)) and 1 portfolio (NEG).
Numerous photographers represented in collection, among them Ira Cohen, Frances McCann, Chris Felver, Steve Savage, Rink, Nina Glaser, Gregory Maloney, Martha Rocher, William Childress, Allen Ginsberg, Lars Movin, Charles Henri Ford and Arimondi.
For most negatives, corresponding prints are present.
COLLECTION STORED, IN PART, OFF-SITE: Advance notice required for use.
NEGATIVES: RESTRICTED. Available for use by appointment only. Inquiries should be submitted to Bancroft Reference via the Reference Inquiry form.
Transferred from the Harold Norse papers (BANC MSS 2010/172).
Gift ; of the estate of Harold Norse ; 2015.
Harold Norse was born in Brooklyn, New York, July 6, 1916, the illegitimate son of Fanny Albaum, an unwed Lithuanian Jewish immigrant. In 1934 he began attending Brooklyn College and received his B.A there in 1938. That same year, Norse met Chester Kallman. The following year, they were to both meet W.H. Auden. It was to be the beginning of Norse's uncanny ability of meeting and befriending literary and artistic greats. Norse went on to meet William Carlos Williams in 1951, the same year he received his master's degree in literature from New York University. Williams soon became a mentor and strong supporter of Norse's poetry. His first book of poems, "The Undersea Mountain," was published in 1953. In 1954, Norse travelled to Europe leading an expatriate life there until 1968. Norse was to explore the experimental literary technique of the cut-up along with William S. Burroughs, while both were living in a small, run-down hotel in the Latin Quarter of Paris in 1960. The experience of living and writing at the hotel, whose other residents at the time included Allen Ginsburg and Gregory Corso, was the groundwork of Norse's fictional novella "Beat Hotel" first published in German translation in 1975. In 1961, Norse had a brief dalliance as a visual artist producing a well-received body of ink on paper paintings collectively titled Cosmographs. Returning to America in 1968, Norse first arrived in Venice, California, nearby to the then nearly unknown poet Charles Bukowski. Norse was one of the first to champion Bukowski's work by introducing him to the broader public in the thirteenth issue of the series Penguin Modern Poets in 1969. Leaving Los Angles, Norse then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1972, briefly living in a home he bought in Monte Rio, a small town along the Russian River, before permanently settling in an apartment in the Mission District of San Francisco for the remainder of his life. The following decades until Norse's death were equally productive as the years in Europe, despite his health problems which ranged from chronic insomnia to open heart surgery. In 1974 City Lights published "Hotel Nirvana: Selected Poems, 1953-1973." With the ascendance of the gay liberation movement in the early 1970s, and San Francisco being an epicenter for that movement, Norse, who had been living openly as a gay man for years, solidified his reputation as a gay poet by publishing "Carnivorous Saint: Gay Poems 1941-1976" with Gay Sunshine Press in 1977. The theme of gay love and desire was revisited in "Harold Norse: The Love Poems, 1940-1985" published in 1986. In 1985 Norse began work on recounting the vivid episodes of his life (from birth though the Europe years and subsequent arrival in San Francisco) which was published in 1989 as "Memoirs of a Bastard Angel." Beginning in 1989 and through 1992, Norse, along with friend and business partner Gregory Maloney, ran the publishing venture Bright Tyger Press. His final published collection of poems, "In the Hub of the Fiery Force, Collected Poems 1934-2003," appeared in 2003 and included more than 100 previously unpublished works. Harold Norse died June 8, 2009.
Photographs from the Harold Norse papers, BANC PIC 2016.135, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.


group portraits.
Portraits de groupe.

Physical Description:

approximately 1,650 photographs in 4 boxes, 1 album and 4 oversize folders : color and black & white prints ; sheets various sizes







Copyright Note:

COLLECTION STORED, IN PART, OFF-SITE: Advance notice required for use.
NEGATIVES: RESTRICTED. Available for use by appointment only. Inquiries should be submitted to Bancroft Reference via the Reference Inquiry form.

Related Item:

Harold Norse papers : Norse, Harold.