Abstract

The correspondence of an important member of the 'post-beat' West Coast poetry community. The bulk of the collection covers the period from 1957 to 1972. Included are letters, cards, drawings, and poems from Joe Brainard, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Spicer, Lewis Warsh, and Philip Whalen. Also included are eight folders of correspondence between Kyger and Gary Snyder, to whom Kyger was married from 1960 to 1964. The Kyger/Snyder letters range from August 1958 to February 1975, with the bulk of the materials falling between August 1958 and December 1959, the period during which Kyger and Snyder were preparing for their 1960 marriage in Kyoto, Japan. Kyger divorced Snyder in 1964 and married the painter Jack Boyce in 1966. The collection includes much ephemera from the travels of Boyce and Kyger through Europe.

Biography

Joanne Kyger is a West Coast poet who emerged as the Beat movement was beginning to wane in the 1960s. The daughter of Jacob and Anne Kyger, she was born 19 November 1934. Her father's career as a navy officer led to a peripatetic early life: by the time she was fourteen she had lived in Vallejo, Ca. (where she was born), China, Washington, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Illinois. Her father retired in 1949, and the family settled permanently in Santa Barbara, Ca.

Kyger attended the University of California at Santa Barbara from 1952 to 1956, where she took classes with Hugh Kenner and Paul Wienphal both of whom were important to the development of her poetry. She left the University one unit short of her degree, and the following year moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Kyger soon got a job working at Brentano's Bookstore in San Francisco's North Beach, and she usually spent her nights sharing poems with friends at poetry bars. In 1957 she met John Wieners at The Place one of the poetry bars and through him met Robert Duncan and Jack Spicer; it was also during this time that she first met Gary Snyder. Duncan and Spicer were the doyens of a group of poets who would gather on Sundays to read and discuss each other's work. Kyger said of those meetings: "They (Duncan and Spicer) would read what they had written, and everybody else would read what they had written. And you would be severely criticised. A lot of people would be so heavily criticised that they wouldn't come back."

Later Kyger moved to the East West House, where such writers as Philip Whalen, Lew Welch, and Jack Kerouac were occasional residents. In 1960 she moved to Japan, where she and Snyder were married on February 23. There were two ceremonies: one by the American consul and another at the Daitoku ji monastery in Kyoto. Her life with Snyder in Kyoto and later in India is the subject of Japan and India Journals 1960 64 (1981).

Following her divorce from Snyder in 1964 Kyger returned to the Bay Area. She has said about this time, "I just took off on this big energy cruise. I had lots to say to everybody, and it wasn't like playing second fiddle anymore." The following year Donald Allen published her first book, THE TAPESTRY AND THE WEB.

In 1966 Kyger married the painter Jack Boyce, and together they travelled through Spain, France, Italy, and England. Upon their return Kyger and Boyce stayed briefly in New York, and then returned to the San Francisco area. Within a few months they moved to Bolinas, north of San Francisco Bay, where Kyger has continued to live (she and Boyce separated in 1970). In the 1970s Bolinas was known for being a center for wandering poets, as well as a home for Philip Whalen, Robert Creeley, Donald Allen, Tom Clark, and others. Kyger has maintained an active presence in the community, and has been particularly concerned with environmental issues. She has also continued to travel extensively including several trips to Mexico while continuing to publish her poetry.

Selected Bibliography: THE TAPESTRY AND THE WEB (1965), JOANNE, PLACES TO GO (1970), DESECHEO NOTEBOOK (1971), TRIP OUT AND FALL BACK (1974), ALL THIS EVERY DAY (1975), THE WONDERFUL FOCUS OF YOU (1980), UP MY COAST, THE JAPAN AND INDIA JOURNALS 1960-64, MEXICO BLONDE (1981), GOING ON: SELECTED POEMS 1958-80 (1983).

Scope and Content

Accession Processed in 1988

The Joanne Kyger papers consist of the correspondence of an important member of the West Coast poetry community, including letters, cards, poems, and drawings from Joe Brainard, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, R.T. Fields, Lewis Warsh, and Philip Whalen. Also including Kyger's business correspondences with Saint James Press, Coyote Press, and Black Sparrow Press, each of which provide a glimpse into the inner workings of the publishing atmosphere of the late 60s and 70s.

The correspondence with Robert Duncan took place in 1959, when Kyger, Ebbe Borregaard, and Harold Dull all studied poetry with Mr. Duncan in Stinson Beach. Together with the letters is Kyger's "Poem in the Time of Sick Deer," 5 leaves of original typescript, with extensive notes in Mr. Duncan's hand. Duncan then retyped the poem, incorporating his changes and again adding more notes.

Of particular interest are the eight folders containing Kyger's correspondence with Gary Snyder. The Kyger/Snyder collection is filed chronologically and is made of two sources: forty-eight original letters and seven folders of photocopies of letters obtained from Simon Fraser University. The originals and xeroxes are mixed together, with the bulk of the collection covers the period from August 1958 to December 1959. This was the period directly preceding Kyger's marriage to Snyder. During this period Kyger was living in Bolinas and preparing for her journey to Japan, where Snyder was studying Buddhism. The letters are highly informative as to the dynamic of their relationship. Both Kyger and Snyder wrote often, at great length, and with much emotion, and the result is a lively and provocative exchange. A few miscellaneous post-divorce cards and letters bring the Kyger/Snyder correspondence up to February 1975.

The collection, as a whole, is reflective of Kyger's search for self-identity, and it documents her emergence as a respected poet. The early letters reveal a sense of Kyger's position in relation to Snyder and the other more established male poets of the star-system culture of Bolinas and San Francisco. The collection chronicles these relations and enables the reader to appreciate the difficulties involved in Kyger's gradual construction of a world-view -- a world-view that would eventually lead to her writing an intelligent 'post-beat' poetry of much textural density and beauty.

CORRESPONDENCE

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BoxFolderOversize
11 Abeyawardana, Soma. 2 ALs
12 Academy of American Poets. 1 TLs
13 Adam, Helen. 6 ALs, 1 D
14 Adams, Gerald. 1 TLs
15 Alexander, James. 1 ALs
16 Alexander, Paul. 14 ALs, 1 TLs
17 Allen, Donald. 2 ALs, 5 TLs, 2 T
18 Alpert, Barry. 1 TLs
19 Andrum, Mort. 1 TLs
110 Anselmi, Tom. 1 ALs, 2 MS
111 Ardery, Peter. 2 ALs
112 Arie (?). 2 ALs
113 Arif Press. 1 D
114 Aylon, Helene. 1 ALs
115 Bailey, Peter. 2 ALs, 2 ALs, 1 MS, 1 book inscribed
116 Baker, Richard. 4 ALs, 7 TLs. Organized the Berkeley Poetry Festival in 1965
117 Barba, Sharon. 2 ALs, 1 TLs
118 Barker, Ann. 1 TLs
119 Bathurst, Bill. 1 ALs, 1 TLs, 1 MSc
120 Batki, John. 1 ALs, 2 D
121 Bauersfield, Erik. 1 TLs
122 Baumer, Jack. 2 TLs
123 Beltrametti, Franco. 4 ALs
124 Bennett, Anne. 2 ALs
125 Bensky, Laurence. 1 TLs, 1 D
126 Benton, Bill. 1 ALs, 1 TLs, 1 MS
127 Berge, Carlo. 1 TLs
128 Berkson, Bill. 9 ALs, 4 TLs, 4 MS
129 Berrigan, Sandy. 2 ALs, 1 TLs
130 Berrigan, Ted. 1 TLs, 1 D, 7 MS
131 Bertholf, Robert. 6 TLs
132 Biller, Les. 1 ALs
133 Blackall, Simon. 6 ALs, 16 TLs
134 Black Sparrow Press, John Martin, ed.. 27 TLs
135 Blume, David. 1 ALs, 2 TLs
136 Bornstein, Steve. 1 ALs, 1 MS
137 Borregard, Ebbe. 13 ALs, 2 TLs, 2 MS, 1 MSc
138 Boyd, Bruce. 1 MS
21 Brainard, Joe. 29 ALs, 1 MS
22 Branaman, Bob. 1 D, 1 MS
23 Brautigan, Richard. 2 ALs, 7 TLs, 1 D
24 Brehm, Diane. 1 MS
25 Brodecky, Bill. 2 TLs, 6 ALs
26 Brodey, Jim. 3 ALs, 3 TLs, 14 TSs
27 Broughton, James. 1 ALs w/handmade book
28 Brown, Rebecca. 1 ALs, 1 TLs
29 Brown, William. 1 ALs, 12 TLs
210 Brownstein, Michael. 1 ALs, 1 TLs
211 Byers, John. 1 D
212 Cacchioni, Mark. 21 TLs
213 Chalmers, Penny. 1 TLs
214 Chancellor, Victor. 3 ALs
215 Chappell, Anja. 1 ALs, 3 TLs
216 Chassman, Neil A.. 1 TLs, 1 MS
217 Claire, James. 1 TLs
218 Clark, Tom and Angelica. 7 ALs, 3 TLs, 15 MS, 2 MSc
219 Congdon, Kirby. 5 TLs
220 Coyote Press Material- Brown, Bill; Koller, James; Kyger, Joanne. Chronicles Ms. Kyger's short tenure as New York representative for Coyote Books. Press documents: 8. Correspondence: 14 TLs, 1 ALs, 11 TL
221 Creeley, Robert. 10 ALs, 7 TLs, 1 MSs
222 Cregg, Magda (Welch). 12 ALs
31 Dalenberg, Claude. 1 ALs
32 Deemer, Bill. 1 ALs, 1 TLs, 2 MS
33 Dekker, George. 1 D, 1 MS
34 Delany, Samuel. 1 TLs
35 Deloach, Allen. 1 TLs
36 Dickert (?). 1 TLs
37 DiPrima, Diane. 1 postcard, signed
38 DiSuvero, Marc. 1 MS
39 Dorfman, Elsa. 1 ALs
310 Dorn, Ed. 1 ALs
311 Doss, John and Margot. 8 ALs, 1 TLs
312 Doyle, Kirby. 1 ALs, 2 TLs, 1 MS
313 Duncan, Robert. 3 ALs, 2 TS, 2 R
314 Dunn, Joe. 1 MS
315 Dull, Harold and Dora. 21 ALs, 13 TLs, 4 MS, 9 MSc, 1 bound MS with watercolor
316 Durand, Robert. 1 TLs
317 Early, Joe. 1 TLs
318 Edwards, Karen. 1 TLs
319 Ekstein, Maria. 1 TLs
320 Ellingham, Lewis. 10 ALs, 7 TLs, 1 MS
321 Elliot, Helen. 1 ALs, 2 TLs
322 Elmslie, Kenward. 3 ALs, 4 TLs
323 Eshleman, Clayton. 17 ALs, 9 TLs, 9 MS
324 Everson, Landis. 1 mimeobooklet, poems
325 Fagin, Larry. 6 ALs, 21 TLs, 3 MS
326 Faville, Curtis. 1 TLs
327 Ferlingetti, Lawrence. 1 ALs
328 Fields, R.T. 50 ALs, 9 TLs, 2 MS, 1 MSc
329 Fields, R.T. Poetry and lecture notes (1970s)
41 Fitzgerald, Russell and Dora. 10 ALs
42 Fox, Hugh. 4 TLs
43 Fraser, Kathleen. 1 TLs
44 Fredman, Steve. 1 MS
45 Gagnon, J. 2 MS
46 Gitin, David and Maria. 10 ALs, 1 TLs
47 Ginsberg, Allen. 1 TLs (see P. Orlovsky), original ink drawing titled "Happy 1970s Joanne." Signed and Dated
48 Glide Foundation. 3 TL
49 Granelli, Jerry. 1 TLs
410 Greenway, Robert. 1 TLs
411 Greenwell, Richard. 2 TLs
412 Grenier, Bob. 3 ALs
413 Griffin, Robert. 1 TLs
414 Griffith, E. V. 1 TLs
415 Grossinger, Richard. 3 TLs
416 Hacker, Marilyn. 2 ALs, 3 TLs, 1 MS, 1 D, 1Rs
417 Haile, Vera. 3 TLs
418 Hamilton, Steve. 1 TLs
419 Hatch, Jim and Anna. 10 ALs, 3 TLs
420 Hastings, Lee. 9 ALs
421 Hawkins, Bobbie Louise. 1 MS
422 Hazelwood, Dave. 1 ALs
423 Hazelton, D. R. 1 ALs
424 Herndon, Jim. 1 ALs
425 Hickman, Leland. 2 ALs, 3 TLs, 2 MS
426 Hickman, Michelle. 2 MSc
427 Holst, Spencer (Willy). 2 ALs, 3 TLs
428 Horovitz, Michael. 1 ALs
429 Hosaka-San. 1 ALs, 1 D
430 Howard, Rita. 1 ALs, 2 TLs
431 Hoyem, Andrew. 10 ALs, 5 TLs, 7 printed cards
432 Hunce. 1 TLs, 1R
433 Hunt, Byron. 1 MS
434 Hunt, Heida. 2 ALs
435 Hunter, Neale. 2 ALs
436 Hutchinson, Roger S. 1 ALs
437 Johnson, Robert. 2 TLs
438 Jones, Jan and Murray. 2 TLs, 1 D
439 Jones, Jeanetta. 4 TLs
440 Jordan, Larry and Lorna. 4 ALs, 5 TLs
441 Joesphy, Jennifer. 1 TLs
51 Kalba, Kas. 1 ALs, 1 TLs
52 Kandel, Lenore. 1 MS
53 Kearney, Larry. 1 ALs, 2 MS
54 Keilty, Jim. 1 ALs, 1 MSc, 3 D
55 Kelley, Jeremiah. 1 ALs, 1 TL
56 Kelly, Margaret N. 1 ALs
57 Kheridian, David. 1 D
58 Kissam, Ed. 2 TLs
59 Kiyooka, Roy. 1 TLs
510 Klogwin, Dic. 1 ALs
511 Koller, James. 14 ALs, 5 TLs, 1 MS
512 Koran, Dennis. 1 ALs
513 Krassner, Paul. 1 TL
514 Kray, Elizabeth. 2 TLs, 1 TL, 1 D
515 Kuhn, Donald. 1 TLs
516 Lally, Michael. 1 ALs, 3 TLs
517 Lampe, Keith. 1 ALs, 11 TLs (all with enclosures)
518 Lance, Jeanne. 1 ALs, 2 TLs, misc. D, 1 MSc
519 Landers, Dale. 1 ALs
520 Laws, Judy. 4 ALs
521 Lebovich, D. 1 ALs
522 LeMieux, Dottie. 1 ALs
523 Liljefelt, Stanley. 1 MS
524 Little, Bill. 1 ALs, 2 TLs, 2 MS
525 Loewinsohn, Ron. 11 TLs
526 Longville, Tim. 2 ALs, 4 TLs
527 Lourie, Iven. 1 TLs
528 MacAdams, Lewis. 2 ALs, 1 TLs, 1 D
529 MacClain, Martin. 1 MS
530 MacIntosh, Graham. 1 TLs
531 Main, Alvin. 1 TLs
532 Malanga, Gerard. 1 ALs, 5 TLs w/poems, 1 MS
533 Mallman, Jerome. 2 TLs, 1 D, 1 MS
534 Margolis, Susan. 1 TLc
535 Marlowe, Alan. 1 ALs, 1 D
536 Marron, John. 7 ALs
537 Martin, Link. 1 MS
538 McCord, Howard. 1 TLs
539 McCorkle, Locke. 1 TL
540 McHugh, Vincent. 1 TLs
541 McMann, Tim. 1 TLs
542 McNeil, William. 19 ALs, 1 TLs (several drawings included)
61 Mechem, James. 1 TLs
62 Meltzer, David and Tina. 2 ALs, 1 TLs
63 Millward, Pamela. 12 ALs, 3 TLs
64 Mixon, Eloise. 1 MS
65 Montgomery, John. 4 ALs, 8 TLs, 3 MS
66 Moore, Daniel. 1 D
67 Morris, Bill. 1 MS
68 Naka. 1 ALs
69 Nanao. 1 MSc
610 Opal Nations. 1 ALs
611 Nelson, Robert. 1 D
612 Newman, Julia. 2 ALs, 10 TLs
613 Nichols, James. 3 TLs
614 Nolan, Pat. 1 ALs, 1 MS
615 Novesky, Jerry. 2 TLs
616 Okamura, Arturo. 2 ALs
617 Oppenheimer, Joel. 1 TLsc
618 Orlovsky, Peter. 1 TLs
619 Oscar. 1 ALs
620 Padgett, Ron. 1 AL, 1 D
621 Peckinpah, Deneen. 1 ALs, 1 MS
622 Penguin Books. 7 TLs, 1 MS
623 Persky, Stan. 24 ALs, 15 TLs, 3 MS, 4 MSc; 5 R
624 Pesta, Ben. 1 TLs
625 Peterson, Robert. 4 ALs, 18 TLs, 1 MSc; 8 R
626 Phelps, Donald. 1 ALs
627 Fernando Pivan Anthology. 1 TL
628 Plymell, Charles. 2 ALs
629 Poetry Magazine, Chicago. 1 TLs
630 Quasha, George. 5 TLs
631 Reilly, Dan. 1 TLs
632 Rodefer, Steve. 1 ALs
633 Ross, Bob. 2 ALs, 1 TLs
634 Rumaker, Michael. 6 ALs, 8 TLs; 9 R
635 Sadhana. 1 ALs
636 Saint James Press. 3 TL
637 San Francisco Museum Of Art. 1 TLs
71 Schaff, David. 3 ALs, 1 TLs, 2 MSc
72 Schenker, Donald. 2 TLs
73 Sears, Loren. 1 ALs
74 Shekeloff, Mertis Golden. 3 ALs, 26 TLs, 1 D
75 Sherrod, Tony. 1 TLs
76 Shig. 1 TL
77 Shippee, Paul. 1 TLs
78 Siegerman, Beverly. 1 ALs
79 Silliman, Ron. 3 TLs
710 Simon, John. 1 ALs, 1 TLs
711 Simons, Louise. 1 ALs
712 Skold, Anny. 4 TLs
713 Snipper, Martin. 1 TLs
714 Snyder, Gary, 1958 - 1959. The originals are located at Simon Fraser University
715 Snyder, Gary, 1959. The originals are located at Simon Fraser University
716 Snyder, Gary, 1959. The originals are located at Simon Fraser University
717 Snyder, Gary, 1959. The originals are located at Simon Fraser University
718 Snyder, Gary, 1960 - 1975. The originals are located at Simon Fraser University
719 Snyder, Gary- undated materials. The originals are located at Simon Fraser University
720 Snyder, Gary- dated envelopes without letters. The originals are located at Simon Fraser University
721 Snyder, Gary- miscellaneous poetry by GS. The originals are located at Simon Fraser University
81 Spicer, Jack. 1 MSs ("For Kids"), 1 TS of 15 False Propositions About, God, 1 TS of Five Variations on the Earth w/Tish D containing first printing (not inc. in collected works)
82 Stanley, George. 7 ALs, 6 TLs, 6 MS, 1 MSc; 11 R
83 Stevens, Jean Andre. 1 ALs
84 Stoffer (?). 1 ALs
85 Taggart, John. 2 ALs, 4 TLs
86 Tallman, Warren. 2 TLs
87 Thatcher, Hale. 1 ALs
88 Thibeau, Jack. 5 ALs, 1 D
89 Todd, Glenn. 1 D
810 Van Alstyn, Ed. 1 TLs
811 Van Aver, Philip. 4 ALs, 1 TLs
812 Verdery, Doug. 2 ALs, 9 TLs
813 Vermont, Charlie. 2 TLs, 1 D, 1 MSca
814 Wachtel, Andrea. 1 TLs
815 Wagstaff, Christopher. 4 ALs, 1 TLs
816 Walden, Ken. 1 ALs
817 Waldman, Anne. 25 ALs, 27 TLs, 10 MS
818 Walsh, Tom. 1 ALs, 1 TLs,
819 Waltuch, Michael. 1 ALs
820 Warsh, Lewis. 11 ALs, 12 TLs, 1 D, 16 MS, 1 MSc
821 Warshaw, Howard. 1 ALs, 3 D
822 Watson, Burton. 2 ALs
823 Watten, Barrett. 1 MSc
824 Welch, Lew. 1 ALs, 7 TLs
825 Whalen, Philip. 81 ALs, 25 TLs, 2 TS, 45 TSc
91 Wieners, John. 6 ALs, 7 TLs
92 Wienphal, Paul. 5 TLs, 1 D
93 Wieshaus, Joel. 9 TLs, 1 MS
94 Wines, Morgan. 1 ALs
95 Winner, Langdon. 1 TLs
96 Wolfe, Michael. 1 ALs, 2 D
97 Woods (?). 1 ALs
98 Woodward, Jeff. 2 TLs
99 Wright, Barbara. 1 TLs
910 Wylie, Andrew. 1 TLs
911 Yardas, William. 1 ALs
912 Young, Geoff. 1 ALs
913 Young, Laura. 1 TLs
914 Young, R. K.. 1 ALs, 1 MS
915 Zabuur, Matakabbir. 1 TLs
916 Zagoni. 3 ALs
917 Zimmerman, Tom. 1 ALs
918 Zukofsky, Celia. 1 TL
919 Unidentified Correspondence. 4 postcards, 1 posterboard (3 pps), 1 poster for Kyger/Creeley reading, 11 L, "Expressions at Midnight," and "Flower Poem I" and "II" (dedicated to JEK)



Finding aid generated: 2005-10-28