Collection inventory


Finding Aids

Diane Di Prima Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University


Finding aid created by: FD
Date: May 1972

Revision history:
Jul 1979 unspecified revisions (EL)
14 Sep 2006 converted to EAD (AMCon)
21 Sep 2006 bio updated (MRR)

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Di Prima, Diane.
Title: Diane Di Prima Papers
Dates: 1948-1971
Quantity: 2.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American poet, author, and editor. Correspondence (1960-1971); diaries, playscripts and miscellaneous writings (1948-1966); and original manuscripts by others (Paul Blackburn, Robert Creeley, Ed Dorn, Kirby Doyle, Robert Duncan, Anselm Hollo, Steve Jonas, LeRoi Jones, Allan Kaprow, Kenneth Koch, Joseph LeSueur, Ron Loewinsohn, Clive Matson, David Meltzer, Frank O'Hara, Charles Olson, Stuart Perkoff, Gary Snyder, Norman Solomon, Gilbert Sorrentino, A.B. Spellman, Mike Strong, James Waring, Philip Whalen, Jonathan Williams) submitted for publication in The floating bear.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

Diane di Prima, poet, editor and teacher, was born August 6, 1934, in New York City, the daughter of Francis and Emma (Mallozzi) di Prima. She attended Swarthmore College briefly in 1951-1952.

In the late 1950's and early 1960's Diane di Prima became a member of a group of New York poets and writers, frequently known as the "Beats," who were centered in Greenwich Village. There she wrote and published several volumes of verse, and helped to found the American Theatre for Poets. She was co-editor of a literary newsletter, The Floating Bear, with LeRoi Jones (Imamu Amiri Baraka) during 1961-1962, and became the sole editor from 1963 to 1968. She was also the associate editor for Signal Magazine (1963-1065) and contributing editor of Kulchur magazine. She was publisher and printer of her own small-scale publishing houses, The Poets Press (1963-1969) and Eidolon Editions (1972-1976) and taught at Naropa Institute School of Poetics, New College of California, California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco Art Institute, and California Institute of Integral Studies.

In addition to founding the American Theatre for Poets, di Prima was the director and co-founder of the New York Poets Theatre (1961-1965) and the San Francisco Institute of Magical and Healing Arts (1983-1990), and founder of the Poets Institute.

Her numerous books include more than thirty collections of poetry as well as plays, short stories, novels, non-fiction, translations, and an autobiographical novel, The Calculus of Variation (1966). She has twice received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1973, 1979) and her work has been translated into over twenty languages.

Diane di Prima was married twice, first to actor/director Alan S. Marlowe 1962-1969) and then to poet Grant Fisher (1972-1976). She has five children: Jeanne (b. 1957), Dominique (b. 1962), Alexander (b. 1963), Tara (b. 1967) and Rudra (b. 1970).


Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Diane di Prima Papers comprise Correspondence, Writings in manuscript and printed form, Manuscripts by other authors, Miscellaneous items, and a file of The Floating Bear newsletter. The papers, which date from 1948 to 1971, are arranged in six archival boxes.

Correspondence (boxes 1-2) dates from 1960 to 1971 and is arranged chronololgically. Incoming and outgoing letters are interfiled, but the bulk of the correspondence is addressed to Diane di Prima. Her correspondents include John Ashbery, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, Walter Lowenfels, Charles Olson, Kenneth Patchen, Louis Zukofsky, and other persons notable in contemporary American literature. There are 98 letters, 1969-1971, from Alan Marlowe and 18 letters from Michael McClure. Some of the letters (including those from "Miles Campion," Edwin Denby, Diane Wakoski, "Anton Webern," and John Wieners) were published in The Floating Bear. A complete name index of the letters is appended to this inventory, and a chronological shelf list of the letters is available in the Manuscripts Division.

Manuscripts submitted to The Floating Bear and copies of the published newsletter itself are arranged in box 3. Of the 37 newsletters that were published, the first 35, 1961-1968, are present in the papers. The 86 manuscripts are submission copies of articles, poems, and reviews, arranged alphabetically by the authors' names. Prominent among the authors are Robert Creeley, LeRoi Jones, Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, and Gary Snyder. Details on individual manuscripts appear in the accompanying shelf list; standard abbreviations indicate the physical form of the manuscripts, and dates are listed in the shelf list when they appear on the manuscripts. The number of the newsletter in which the manuscripts appeared is marked on most of them. All manuscripts of Diane di Prima are isolated in the next section, Writings.

Note: Other Floating Bear records are reported at Indiana University.

Writings of Diane di Prima in manuscript and printed form (boxes 3-6) date from 1948 to 1968 and have been organized first by type and then alphabetically by title. These include a diary, nine notebook volumes, four manuscript plays, four reels of recording-tape readings, manuscripts of three groups of collected verse, and two folders of miscellaneous verse. The physical form of the writings is indicated by standard abbreviations.

A group of Miscellaneous material closes the papers in box 6. There is one folder of material on the American Theatre for Poets. Other items relate to the editing of The Floating Bear.

Purchases, 1963, 1968-1971


Restrictions

Access Restrictions: The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions: Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.


Subject Headings

Persons

Ashbery, John, 1927-
Allen, Donald Merriam, 1912-
Baraka, Amiri, 1934-2014.
Bergé, Carol, 1928-2006.
Berkson, Bill.
Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976.
Bissett, Bill, 1939-
Blackburn, Paul.
Brilliant, Alan.
Codrescu, Andrei, 1946-
Corman, Cid.
Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005.
Cruz, Victor Hernández, 1949-
Dawson, Fielding, 1930-2002.
De Loach, Allen.
Denby, Edwin, 1903-1983.
Di Prima, Diane.
Dorn, Edward.
Doyle, Kirby.
Doyle, Mike, 1928-
Duncan, Robert Edward, 1919-1988.
Eigner, Larry, 1927-1996.
Ferlinghetti, Lawrence.
Fraser, Kathleen.
Gadd, Maxine.
Gervais, Charles Henry, 1946-
Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997.
Girodias, Maurice.
Guest, Barbara.
Henderson, David.
Hollo, Anselm.
Jonas, Stephen.
Jordan, Fred.
Kaprow, Allan.
Kelly, Robert.
Knox, Hugh.
Koch, Kenneth, 1925-2002.
Kupferberg, Tuli.
Lake, Larry.
Lansing, Gerrit.
Laughlin, James, 1914-1997.
LeSueur, Joe.
Levertov, Denise, 1923-1997.
Loewinsohn, Ron.
Lowenfels, Walter, 1897-1976.
Malanga, Gerard.
Marlowe, Alan.
Matson, Clive, 1941-
McClure, Michael.
Meltzer, David.
Merwin, W. S. (William Stanley), 1927-
Morris, James Ryan, 1933-
Motherwell, Robert.
O'Hara, Frank, 1926-1966.
Olson, Charles, 1910-1970.
Patchen, Kenneth, 1911-1972.
Perkins, Michael.
Perkoff, Stuart Z.
Reed, Sweeney.
Rexroth, Kenneth, 1905-1982.
Rumaker, Michael, 1932-
Snyder, Gary.
Solomon, Norman.
Sorrentino, Gilbert.
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987.
Spellman, A. B., 1935-
Strong, Mike.
Vas Dias, Robert.
Wakoski, Diane.
Waldman, Anne, 1945-
Waring, James, 1922-1975.
Whalen, Philip.
Wieners, John, 1934-2002.
Williams, Jonathan, 1929-2008.
Zukofsky, Louis, 1904-1978.

Associated Titles

Floating bear.

Subjects

American literature -- 20th century.
American literature -- Women authors.
American poetry -- 20th century.
Bohemianism -- United States.
Italian Americans.
Literature, Experimental.
Periodical editors -- United States.
Periodicals Publishing -- United States.
Women authors, American.
Women poets, American.

Genres and Forms

Correspondence.
Diaries.
Manuscripts for publication.
Scripts (documents)

Occupations

Authors.
Editors.
Poets.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Diane Di Prima Papers,
Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library


Table of Contents

Correspondence

The Floating Bear

Manuscripts by others

Writings

Miscellaneous material

Seelcted index to correspondence


Inventory

Correspondence
Box 1 1960-1963, 1965-1970 Mar-Jun (21 folders)
Box 2 1970 Jul-1971 Jun (11 folders)
Box 2 Undated - arranged alphabetically by sender
Box 2 no year - arranged by month and day
Envelopes not matched with letters
Box 2 1961-1969 (19 items)
Box 2 1970-1971 (23 items)
Box 2 Undated (13 items)
The Floating Bear
Box 3 The Floating Bear newsletter 1961-1968 - Issues #1-35 (35 folders)
Manuscripts by others
Box 3, Folder 1 Baker, Richard, "Beer" July 1961 - ts poem signed, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 1 Baker, Richard, "Struggle" June 1961 - ts poem signed, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 1 Blackburn, Paul, "Collecting the mail" - ts, 2 pp.
Box 3, Folder 1 Brecht, George, "Statement for James Goldsworthy" 7/11/60 - typescript carbon, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 2 Creeley, Robert, "The skeleton" - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 3 Dorn, Ed, "In my youth I was a tireless dancer" - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 3 Dorn, Ed, "Nose from newswhere" - ts signed, 3 pp.
Box 3, Folder 3 Dorn, Ed,"The poet lectures famous potatoes" - anno. ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 3 Dorn, Ed, "The song is ended" - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 3 Dorn, Ed, "Time blonde" - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 3 Dorn, Ed, "A wild blue,yonder" - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 3 Doyle, Kirby, "Moon poem" - typescript carbon poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 3 Duncan, Robert, "Night scenes" - ts poem, 3 pp.
Box 3, Folder 4 Elmslie, Kenward, Review of dance works by Yvonne Rainer and Fred Herko - ts, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 4 F[ ], A.M., "'The automobile graveyard' by Arrabel" - ts, 2 pp.
Box 3, Folder 4 Feldman, Morton, letter to the editor of Floating Bear. 1962 Oct 17 - als
Box 3, Folder 4 Hollo, Anselm, "Bertolt Brecht, A letter to his fascist friend Arnolt Bronnen in the summer of 1923" - ts, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 5 Johnson, Ray, untitled review of Claes Oldenburg happening. - ts signed, 1p.
Box 3, Folder 5 Jonas, Steve, "Green" 1958 - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 5 Jonas, Steve, "Reply to Koenig's (Nouvelle Vague) in the 'Bear' 6" 1960 - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 5 Jonas, Steve, "Sub voce" 1961 - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 5 Jones, LeRoi, ("Frank Buck") "Consumer's guide" - ts, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 5 Jones, LeRoi, "Footnote to a pretentious book" - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 5 Jones, LeRoi, "The politics of rich painters" - ts poem, 2 pp.
Box 3, Folder 5 Jones, LeRoi, ("John King") "Rejoinder: Concerning the reviews by Miss Zazeela and Mr. Marlowe in F.B. 16" - ts, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 6 Kaprow, Allan, "The construction of Boston" - anno. holo. signed, 9 pp., with a covering letter to Alan [Marlowe] dated May 20, [1962]
Box 3, Folder 6 Katz, Micheal, "4 short stories for Passover" and postmarked 1963 Apr 11 - four typed cards in an envelope addressed to William Linich
Box 3, Folder 7 Koch, Kenneth, "At the railway station" - anno. ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 7 Koch, Kenneth, "The building of Florence" - anno. ts signed with initials, 3 pp.
Box 3, Folder 7 Koch, Kenneth, "Chiarascuro" - ts poem signed, 1 p. On the same page is the ts poem "Religiously"
Box 3, Folder 7 Koch, Kenneth, "Dostoevski's The Gambler" - ts poem signed, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 7 Koch, Kenneth, "Heanorupeatomos" - ts poem signed, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 7 Koch, Kenneth, "Mateeyanah" - ts poem signed, 1 p. On the same page are the ts poems "Wahego" and "In harmonium"
Box 3, Folder 7 Koch, Kenneth, "The return of Yellowmay" - anno. ts poem signed with initials, 3 pp.
Box 3, Folder 7 Koch, Kenneth, "The revolt of the giant animals" - ts poem signed with initials, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 7 Koch, Kenneth, "Trieste e una donna" - ts poem signed, 1 p. On the same page are the ts poems "Morro rock" and "Schweitzerreich"
Box 3, Folder 7 Koch, Kenneth, "An X ray of Utah" - ts poem signed, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 8 Krim, Seymour, letter to the editor 1962 Feb 26 - tls
Box 3, Folder 8 Landers, Dale, "Of a growth of " - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 8 LeSueur, Joseph, "Random thoughts about recent plays, on and off Broadway" - anno. typescript, 3 pp.
Box 3, Folder 8 LeSueur, Joseph, "Rotten apples" - anno. typescript, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 8 Lima, Frank, "Pudgy" - mimeographed typescript, 2 pp.
Box 3, Folder 8 Loewinsohn, Ron, "Coda: As far as they pass" - anno. typescript, 2 pp. On the same sheet are the ts poems "Corky stupid" and "The footlights"
Box 3, Folder 8 Loewinsohn, Ron, "The world of the lie" 1959-1960 - ts poem, 1 p. Attached are the ts poems "The mendacity of windows," 1 p., 12/59; "The mendacity of radio," 1 p., 3/31/60; and "The mendacity of sculpture," 1 p., 3/31/60
Box 3, Folder 8 McNaughton, Ferencz, "May meeting with C. Coy" - ts, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 9 Matson, Clive, "Mainline to the heart" - anno. typescript, 23 pp., inscribed "For Diane & Alan from Clive Matson" One copy of the Poets Press, 1966 edition is enclosed in the folder.
Box 3, Folder 10 Meltzer, David, "Poem to H.P.Lovecraft" - ts poem, 2 pp.
Box 3, Folder 10 Meltzer, David, "The struggle/Poems for the Muse" - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 10 Meltzer, David, "Heroes: 7/ The comics" - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 11 Nalota, Louise, "Tap City Easter circus report" - holo. signed, 5 pp.
Box 3, Folder 12 O'Hara, Frank, "For the Chinese New Year & for Bill Berkson" 2/14/61 - ts poem, 3 pp.
Box 3, Folder 12 O'Hara, Frank, "Mary Desti's ass" 4/15/61 - ts poem, 2 pp.
Box 3, Folder 12 O'Hara, Frank, "St. Paul and all that" 5/20/61 - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 13 Olson, Charles, "In the face of a Chinese view of the city" 1962 Jan 5 - ts poem, 2 pp.
Box 3, Folder 14 Perkoff, Stuart, "The Christian philo" - typescript carbon poem, 2 pp.
Box 3, Folder 14 Perkoff, Stuart, "Three prayers" - typescript carbon poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 14 Perkoff, Stuart, "The swing" - typescript carbon poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 14 Rainey, Gertrude, "Sissy blues" - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 14 Schneemann, C., "About Claes Oldenburg's 'store'" - ts, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 14 Schulman, Howard, "Jan Müller (1922-58) at the Guggenheim thru 2/25/62" - ts review, 2 pp.
Box 3, Folder 15 Snyder, Gary, "The curse" - ts poem, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 15 Solomon, Norman, "962" - ts, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 15 Solomon, Norman, "A passion play. 1" - ts, 2 pp.
Box 3, Folder 15 Sorrentino, Gilbert, "Review of a review (John Fles, Yugen 1-7, KULCHUR 3)" - typescript, 2 pp.
Box 3, Folder 15 Sorrentino, Gilbert, "Prose of our time" - annotated typescript, 3 pp.
Box 3, Folder 15 Sorrentino, Gilbert, "In quest of Ugendun" - anno. ts signed, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 15 Spellman, A.B., "A home brew" and "Baltimore oriole" both poems dated 11/60 - ts poems, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 15 Stanley, George, "From a letter to Dale Landers" 3/16/61 - ts 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 15 Stanley, George, "The Italian" - ts poem signed, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 15 Strong, Mike, "After" - typescript carbon poem signed, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 15 Strong, Mike, "Mornings" - annotated ts poem signed, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 15 Strong, Mike, "Overture" - annotated ts poem signed, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 15 Waring, James, letter in answer to Diane Wakoski - annotated typescript, 2 pp.
Box 3, Folder 15 Waring, James, letter in answer to [Edwin] Denby 1962 Feb 1 - holo. 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 15 Waring, James, untitled poem 1961 Mar - typescript, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 16 Whalen, Philip, "The art of literature" 1962-63 - ts, 19 pp.
Box 3, Folder 17 Williams, Jonathan, "Best reading list" 1962 Feb - annotated typescript, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 17 Williams, Jonathan, "We take the golden road, to Samar, Kansas..." - typescript carbon, 2 pp.
Box 3, Folder 17 Yu Suwa, "A poem, 1961-1962" - holo. poem signed, 1 p.
Unidentified authors
Box 3, Folder 18 Aquarian, untitled fragment - annotated typescript, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 18 Aquarian, 1/10 of a minyun, "Best reading list." - annotated typescript, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 18 [ ], John - untitled typescript, including a poem, signed, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 18 [ ], "All Hallows Eve." 1968 - typescript carbon, 1 p., San Francisco
Box 3, Folder 18 [ ], "Canto." 1968 - typescript carbon, 1 p., San Francisco
Box 3, Folder 18 [ ], "A clinging." - typescript carbon, 1 p.
Box 3, Folder 18 [ ], "Cutting loose." 1968 - typescript carbon, 1 p., San Francisco
Box 3, Folder 18 [ ], "Last gift." 1968 - typescript carbon, 1 p., San Francisco, Halloween.
Writings
Box 3 Diary 1966
Notebooks - holo.
Box 4 1948-19521956-1958 Jan, (7 volumes)
Box 5 1958-1966 (2 volumes)
Plays
Box 5 Like 1960 - published version
Poets Vaudeville
Box 5 Draft A undated - holo.
Box 5 Draft B undated - repro. (2 copies)
Box 5 Draft C 1964 - repro. with covers
Box 5 Untitled play fall and winter 1959 - handwritten manuscript
Box 5 Untitled play autumn 1959 - handwritten manuscript
Box 5 Untitled play fall 1959 - handwritten manuscript
Readings
Box 5 "The Calculus" undated (2 folders)
Box 5 "The Calculus of Variation" and "Whale Honey" 1963
Box 5 Selections from The Floating Bear 1961
Short stories
Box 5 "The Boy Who Made Songs" undated - typescript carbon
Translations
Box 5 Untitled from the Latin. undated - mix of handwritten and typed
Verse, miscellaneous
Box 5 Typescripts, one signed 1959 undated
Box 6 Typescript, signed 1960-1965
Verse, collections
Box 6 Early Poems: 1940-1952 1940-1952 - typescript carbon
Box 6 Earthsong: Poems 1957-1959 1968 - typescript with revisions, original and photocopy (2 folders)
Box 6 "Freddie Poems." 1957-1966 - typescript carbon
Box 6 Miscellaneous 1962 - typescript, 3 pp.
Miscellaneous material
Box 6 American Theatre for Poets 1965
Box 6 Announcements and leaflets undated
Box 6 Announcements of poetry readings
Box 6 Copy and layout for Floating Bear #20 - incomplete, only one page
Box 6 Copy and miscellaneous items for Floating Bear #26
Box 6 Notes, handwritten and typed undated
Press release regarding the Floating Bear obscenity case 1961

Seelcted index to correspondence

Letters are listed alphabetically by sender. An asterisk before a letter's date indicates an accompanying envelope.