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American Literary Studies

Ron Loewinsohn Papers

The Papers

Location: Department of Special Collections, Green Library

Call Number: M0856

Size: 6 linear ft

Finding Guide: A printed version is available in the reading room of the Department of Special Collections. Electronic versions of this finding guide are also available. If you have Microsoft's Internet Explorer version 6.0 or higher, click here to connect to the XML version on the Stanford server; if not, click here for the html version on the Online Archives of California server.

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 Ron Loewinsohn (1937 - )

Born in the Phillipines, Ron Loewinsohn has been a major figure of the San Francisco poetry scene since his student days at San Francisco State College. While there he published his first volume of poetry, Watermelons (1959), which featured an introduction by Allen Ginsberg. In 1963, he co-edited, with Richard Brautigan, Change, a magazine of poetry. His second book of poetry, The World of the Lie (1963) received the Poets Foundation Award. His later works include Against the Silences to Come (1965), L'Autre (1967), The Step (1968), the collection Meat Air : Poems 1957 - 1969 (1970), and Goat Dances : Poems and Prose (1976). Loewinsohn is also the author of the novels, Magnetic Fields (1983) and Where all the Ladders Start (1987). He was a teaching fellow in American Literature at Harvard University, 1968 - 1970, where he took a Ph.D. in 1971. He then returned to California and has since been on the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley, where he teaches American literature and creative writing.

Highlights and Research Potential of the Loewinsohn Papers

The papers contain both published and unpublished manuscripts of his poetry and prose criticism through Goat Dances in 1976, many with extensive notes and revisions. They also include a large correspondence from friends, fellow writers and publishers spanning the years 1958 - 1970. These correspondents include: Richard Brautigan, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, John Martin, Charles Olson, and numerous others. The published manuscripts include: The World of the Lie, L'Autre, The Step, The Province of the Poem (two versions), Melville and the Greeks, Record Book, 1968-74, Meat Air, and Goat Dances. Among the unpublished works are poetry, short fiction, and Lime Kiln Creek, a novel.

The Papers are arranged in six series:

1. Personal Correspondence (1953-74) - includes letters from noteworty acquaintances

2. General Correspondence from Individuals (1959-76) - includes letters from acquaintances and friends including authors, students, friends, etc.

3. General Correspondence from Organizations - includes universities, publishers, bookstores, etc.

4. Miscellaneous Corresp[ondence (1962-76) - all correspondence which was not included in the prior series ( solitary letters from unknown individuals, etc.)

5. Dated and Published Manuscripts - includes TS, MS, proofs, etc. of 9 major works

6. Unpublished Manuscripts - includes TS, MS, notes, short stories and poetry

Biographical/Critical sources

  • Lepper, Gary. M., A Bibliographical introduction to 75 Modern Authors (Berkeley, Calif. : Serendipity Books, 1976.), p. 281-83.
  • Contemporary Authors, Vol. 25-28, rev.ed., p. 436-37.
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vol. 52, p. 282-83.

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Last modified: July 5, 2006

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