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American Literary Studies

Rae Armantrout Papers

The Papers

Stanford holds the literary and professional papers of the poet Rae Armantrout. The collection contains her original manuscripts, correspondence, notebooks and teaching materials.

Location: Department of Special Collections, Green Library

Call Numbers of Collections: M1211

Size: 10.5 linear ft

Finding Guides: A printed version is available in the reading room of the Department of Special Collections. An electronic version of the finding guide is available here.

Research Access and Use: Materials in the Department of Special Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the Special Collections' Reading Room in the Cecil H. Green Library. The Reading Room is open 10:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Photocopies, photographs, and microfilm can be made of some materials in the collections. For more information about the collections and access policies, please contact Special Collections by telephone at (650) 725-1022, by electronic mail at or by regular mail at the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6004.

Career of Rae Armantrout (1947- )

The poet and essayist Rae Armantrout was born in Vallejo, California on 13 April 1947 and grew up in San Diego. Graduating from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970, she later received a Master's degree in creative writing at San Francisco State University in 1975. Armantrout is the author of many books, including, among others, Extremities (1978), The Invention of Hunger (1979), Precedence (1985) Necroromance (1991), Made to Seem (1995), Writing the Plot about Sets (1998), True (a memoir, 1998), The Pretext (2001), Veil: New and Selected Poems (2001), Up to Speed (2004), and Next Life (2007). A founding member of the West Coast "Language Poetry" movement, Armantrout worked closely with a dynamic group of writers including Ron Silliman, Lyn Hejinian, Bob Perelman, Steve Benson, Barret Watten, Tom Mandel, and Carla Harryman. Although Language poetry can be seen as advocating a poetics of nonreferentiality, Armantrout's work, focusing as it often does on the local and the domestic, resists such definitions. Internationally known, Armantrout's work has been the subject of numerous essays (some of which are gathered in A Wild Salience: The Writings of Rae Armantrout, a collection dedicated to her work), and an entry in the Dictionary of Literary Biography (vol. 193). Currently, she teaches at the University of California, San Diego.

Highlights and Research Potential of the Papers:

The Rae Armantrout Papers are organized in four major sections: Correspondence, Notebooks, Manuscripts and Teaching Materials. The major portion of her correspondence, from the late 1970's to the present, consists of conversations about their work between Armantrout and other poets and writers, including Fanny Howe, Lyn Hejinian, Bob Perelman and Ron Silliman. The Notebooks record random thoughts from which her poems often evolve as well as multiple versions of both published and unpublished work. The Manuscripts section of the archive consists of typed or printed manuscripts of Armantrout's books. The Teaching Materials are Armantrout's lecture notes, syllabi, and course plans for classes on poetry and personal narrative taught at the Univeristy of California, San Diego from the mid-1980s to the present.

Related Manuscript Collections at Stanford

Fanny Howe Papers, c. 1960-1992. Spec Coll - Green Library M0648, M0768, M0848




Last modified: May 11, 2009

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