John Wieners holograph poetry notebook

Summary

Creator: Wieners, John, 1934-2002
Date(s): 1962-1965
Call Number: MSS 0099, F0479
Language: Materials entirely in English.
Abstract: This holograph poetry notebook was kept by twentieth-century American poet and activist John Wieners (1934-2002), who was associated with the Beat movement and the Black Mountain School. The notebook contains several unpublished poems as well as prose writings and lists kept between 1962 and 1965.
Physical Description: 1 volume (26 pages) 26 x 20.5 cm
Source: Purchase, 1992.
Processing: Processed and encoded by Rachael Green, September 2013. Further encoded by George Apodaca, September 2015. Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Biographical and Historical Notes

John Wieners (1934-2002)

American poet John Wieners (1934-2002) is identified with both the Black Mountain School as well as the Beats. His poetry contains themes of drug abuse and mental illness, as well as a concern for women's rights, gay rights, and other social issues.

Sources

Raymond Foye, "John Wieners," Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 16. The Beats: Literary Bohemians in Postwar America. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1983. p. 572-583.

"John Wieners." Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2007. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2007. http://galenet.galegroup.com (Retrieved 2007 March 4).

John Wieners (1934-2002)

This holograph poetry notebook was kept by twentieth-century American poet and activist John Wieners (1934-2002), who was associated with the Beat movement and the Black Mountain School. The notebook contains several unpublished poems as well as prose writings and lists kept between 1962 and 1965.

During this time, Wieners was living in New York City with American Beat poet Herbert Huncke (1915-1996) until 1963, when he moved back to live with his parents in Boston until 1965.

The notebook contains ten titled poems: "The Ivy," "The Bateleur," "Diary of a Breakdown," "Memories," "On Books, Incorporated Lending Library," "Digression on a Theme," "The Big Apple," "The Magic of this Summer," "Main Str.," and "Amphetamine Blues," as well as one long, untitled poem and four short, untitled verses or poems.

"The Magic of this Summer" appeared in Selected Poems (1972) dated June 23, 1963, but the version in the present notebook bears little resemblance to the published piece. The remaining poems appear to be unpublished work.

The notebook also contains two lists: one Wieners titled "My Friends" and another "Names of participants and audience at reading." The list of friends contains almost exclusively names of women including, among others, people known from work at "Howard, Micro. Photography, and Jordan's," "the girls of Poet's Theatre" and "the female poets." The list includes American poets May Sarton (1912-1995), May Swenson (1913-1989), and Jean Garrigue (1914-1972).

"Diary of a Breakdown" is prose writing or a prose poem, as is another, untitled work on the same page as the beginning of the "My Friends" list. This work mentions Charles Olson, Wieners's mentor and teacher at the Black Mountain School whom he met in 1954 and an essay by Olson titled "Against Wisdom as Such." Also mentioned are Herbert Huncke and "Cisco," perhaps a shortened version of San Francisco, a major center of the Beat movement in the mid-to-late 1950s and home to Wieners from 1958-1960.

All of the writings contain extensive editing and some marginalia.

Using these materials

Shelving Summary

Box 28, F0479: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

MSS 0099, F0479, John Wieners holograph poetry notebook, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Related Materials in this Repository

This item forms part of MSS 0099 Miscellaneous Literary and Historical Manuscripts.

MSS 0138, John Wieners papers

MSS 0555, Robert A. Wilson John Wieners collection

MSS 0626, David Haselwood John Wieners publisher's files for The Hotel Wentley Poems.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, http://library.udel.edu/spec/askspec/

Container List

John Wieners holograph poetry notebook, 1962-1965 1 vol. Box 28, F0479

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