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Ron Padgett papers

 Collection
Call Number: YCAL MSS 721

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of material created and accumulated by Ron Padgett in the course of his work as a poet, translator, and editor. Material includes extensive correspondence with other poets and writers; manuscripts for Padgett's books of poetry, prose, and translations, as well as some juvenilia and early writings; and manuscripts for writings by others. Also included are "bokes," the term coined by Padgett to describe the "little unique editions" Ted Berrigan and he made for each other beginning in the 1960s, which encompass dozens of unique handmade works by Tom Clark, Anne Waldman, Bill Berkson, George Schneeman, Michael Brownstein, Larry Fagin, Tom Veitch, Aram Saroyan, Steve Carey, and Lewis Warsh, among others. Also found are notebooks, including numerous travel diaries, project notebooks, and personal journals; appointment books for the years 1971 to 2002; as well as teaching files; student papers; research material; printed material; and personal papers. The collection also contains files for White Dove Review, edited by Padgett, along with Dick Gallup and Joe Brainard, while they were high school students in Tulsa, and Full Court Press, edited and published by Padgett, Joan Simon, and Anne Waldman from 1974 to 1989.

Correspondents include John Ashbery, Paul Auster, Glen Baxter, Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Joe Brainard, Michael Brownstein, Rudy Burckhardt, Tom Clark, Clark Coolidge, Jim Dine, Kenward Elmslie, Clayton Eshleman, Larry Fagin, Kathleen Fraser, Dick Gallup, Lyn Hejinian, Susan Howe, Alex Katz, Kenneth Koch, Ann Lauterbach, Harry Mathews, Bernadette Mayer, Alice Notley, Maureen Owen, Tom Raworth, Charles Reznikov, Ed Sanders, Aram Saroyan, George Schneeman, James Schuyler, Tony Towle, Tom Veitch, Anne Waldman, Lewis Warsh, and Trevor Winkfield, among others. Among the highlights are a complete file of correspondence between Padgett and Joe Brainard from 1962 to 1993, including Padgett's letters to Brainard which were returned to Padgett upon Brainard's death in 1994; a complete file of correspondence between Padgett and Berrigan from 1959 to 1983; and extensive correspondence from James Schuyler, as well as correspondence from Schuyler to Joe Brainard, dating from 1966 to 1990.

The White Dove Review files consist of all known correspondence and manuscripts, including those of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, e. e. cummings, Robert Creeley, LeRoi Jones, David Meltzer, and Ron Lowinsohn, among others, and provide documentation of the magazine that helped launch Padgett's career and that influenced many of the Second Generation New York School little magazines and presses.

The Full Court Press files consist of all known correspondence, manuscripts, proofs, production material, promotion files, and business records. Writers published by Full Court include Joe Brainard, William Burroughs, Edwin Denby, Larry Fagin, Allen Ginsberg, John Godfrey, Frank O'Hara, Phillipe Soupault (William Carlos Williams, translator), and Tom Veitch.

Dates

  • 1929-2008

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Box 89: (computer disks): Restricted Fragile Material. Reference copies of electronic files are available. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Ron Padgett Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Granary Books, Inc. on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2009, 2019.

Associated Materials

Other material by or relating to Ron Padgett can be found by searching the Uncataloged Acquisitions Database and Orbis (Yale's Online Catalog).

Extent

87.4 Linear Feet (89 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.padgett

Overview

The collection consists of material created and accumulated by Ron Padgett in the course of his work as a poet, translator, and editor. Material includes extensive correspondence with other poets and writers; manuscripts for Padgett's books of poetry, prose, and translations, as well as some juvenilia and early writings; and manuscripts for writings by others. Also included are "bokes," the term coined by Padgett to describe the "little unique editions" Ted Berrigan and he made for each other beginning in the 1960s, which encompass dozens of unique handmade works by Tom Clark, Anne Waldman, Bill Berkson, George Schneeman, Michael Brownstein, Larry Fagin, Tom Veitch, Aram Saroyan, Steve Carey, and Lewis Warsh, among others. Also found are notebooks, including numerous travel diaries, project notebooks, and personal journals; appointment books for the years 1971 to 2002; as well as teaching files; student papers; research material; printed material; and personal papers. The collection also contains files for White Dove Review, edited by Padgett, along with Dick Gallup and Joe Brainard, while they were high school students in Tulsa, and Full Court Press, edited and published by Padgett, Joan Simon, and Anne Waldman from 1974 to 1989.

Ron Padgett

Ron Padgett was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1942. He began writing at the age of 13 and started a little magazine in high school called The White Dove Review with friends Dick Gallup and Joe Brainard. In its five issues, the magazine published Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Robert Creeley, LeRoi Jones (now Amiri Baraka), Ted Berrigan, and others.

In 1960, he moved to New York, where he attended Columbia College and studied with Kenneth Koch and Lionel Trilling. Padgett later spent a year in Paris on a Fulbright fellowship where he studied French literature.

His first collection of poems, Bean Spasms, written with Ted Berrigan, was published in 1967. Since then he has published several books of poetry, including How to Be Perfect (Coffee House Press, 2007), You Never Know (2002), Poems I Guess I Wrote (2001), New & Selected Poems (1995), The Big Something (1990), Triangles in the Afternoon (1979), and Great Balls of Fire (1969).

He has also published a volume of selected prose titled Blood Work (1993), as well as translations of Blaise Cendrars' Complete Poems (1992), Pierre Cabanne's Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp (1971), and Guillaume Apollinaire's The Poet Assassinated (1968).

Padgett was the editor-in-chief of World Poets, a three-volume reference book (Scribner, 2000). He served as director of the St. Mark's Poetry Project from 1978 to 1980 and then was the publications director of Teachers & Writers Collaborative for twenty years. He was elected as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2008. He lives in New York City.

Biographical note is drawn from Poets.org. More information about Padgett can be found on his website.

Separated Materials

Issue #1 of Sesheta, originally filed in Box 68, was separated from the collection and cataloged in February 2020.

Processing Information

The collection was received by the library in 157 boxes, which were organized and described by the dealer in ten sections, according to where the material originated and/or was stored. Six sections of the dealer list described material stored in Ron Padgett's apartment (in the living room, the closet, or above the bed); three sections described material stored in Manhattan Ministorage; and one section described material originating from Vermont, where Padgett spent summers. Similar types of material (for instance, correspondence and writings) could be found in all ten sections.

The collection was processed to a preliminary level in 2009 shortly after it was acquired. Preliminary processing included reboxing and refoldering all material, and organizing material at the box-level into series based on activity or format. Material within boxes and folders have not been sorted. Original section and box numbers have been recorded on each folder as part of rehousing so that it's possible to reconstruct the original physical groupings, or sections, of material.

Information included in the Description of the Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn almost entirely from the dealer description and list. This information has not been verified by the library, and is included in the finding aid in order to provide more detail about the context and content of the collection. In order to compensate for the lack of sorting within boxes and folders, the list of correspondents for each box or file has, when available, been incorporated into the contents list. Names are repeated throughout the finding aid and researchers will have to look in numerous boxes to locate all the correspondence of a particular individual; however, by doing a key word search, it will be possible for researchers to identify where such correspondence is located.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Former call number: Uncat MSS 1194.
Title
Guide to the Ron Padgett Papers
Author
by Leigh Golden and Jennifer Meehan
Date
July 2009
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2013-04-03: Updated call number.
  • 2010-02-10: Transformed with yale.addEadidUrl.xsl. Adds @url with handle for finding aid. Overwrites @url if already present.

Repository Details

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977