David Bromige Papers, ca. 1960-2005 (MSS 6)

Extent: 42.5 Linear feet (approx. 42 record cartons, 1 flat box)

One container each of sound recordings on reel to reel, and correspondence of poet, playwright, and educator David Bromige (1933-2009). Signifigant additions to the collection are pending.

David Mansfield Bromige, who resided in the Bay Area, is often associated with the Black Mountain School via the Vancouver nexus of poets centered around the magazine Tish.

He was born to Harold and Ada Bromige on 22 October 1933 in London, England, where his father was a director of documentary films. Until he settled in the Bay Area in the early '70s, Bromige led a peripatetic life: he travelled, held various jobs, and received an education in Europe, Canada, and the United States.

After attending prep school at Haberdashers' Aske's School for Boys in London, Bromige worked from 1950 to 1953 as a cowman on dairy farms in England, Sweden, and Canada. During the '50s he also supported himself as an attendant in mental hospitals in Canada and as an elementary school teacher in England and Vancouver, British Columbia. In the early 1960s he served as a freelance critic for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Vancouver.

It was during his years in Vancouver that Bromige began gaining a reputation for his writing. In 1961 he won the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Playwriting Prize for "The Cobalt Poet," and in 1962 he won the KVOS TV Playwriting Prize for "Save What You Can." In 1961 Bromige divorced his wife of four years, actress Ann Livingston, and married Joan Peacock, with whom he had a son, Christopher.

Bromige received his B.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1962. That same year he began working toward his Master's Degree at the University of California, Berkeley. Two years later he received his degree from Berkeley and returned to the University of British Columbia, where he worked as an instructor in English for a short time. Bromige then returned to Berkeley where he continued his studies and taught from 1964 to 1970. In 1965 he published his first book, The Gathering, and he wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on the poetry of Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan - Duncan having been particularly influential to Bromige's own work. In 1970 Bromige married the writer Sherril Jaffe, and he began teaching English at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California - a position he held until his retirement in 1993.

Much of Bromige's influence on contemporary poetry has been the result of his association with various journals. He was poetry editor of the Northwest Review (1963-64), and editor of Raven (1960-62), R.C. Lion (1966-67), and Open Reading (1972-76).

Starting with his earliest work, Bromige's poetry has been centered on the page, not in the "real" world. He describes his writing as an exploration process, saying, "I am interested in poetry as speech arising from dumb desire and passion and arousing further word clusters until constellations emerge I had previously no knowledge were within me."

Bromige's publications include: The Gathering (Sumbooks, 1965), Please, Like Me (Black Sparrow Press, 1968), The Ends of the Earth (Black Sparrow Press, 1968), The Quivering Roadway (Archangel Press, 1969), In His Image (Twybyl Press, 1970), Threads (Black Sparrow Press, 1970), The Fact So of Itself (1971), They Are Eyes (Panjandrum Press, 1972), Birds of the West (Coach House Press, 1973), Ten Years in the Making: Selected Poems, Songs, and Stories, 1961-1970 (Vancouver Community Press, 1973), Tight Corners and What's Around Them (Black Sparrow Press, 1974), Spells and Blessings (Talon Press, 1974), Out of My Hands (Black Sparrow Press, 1974), Credences of Winter, (Black Sparrow Press, 1976), My Poetry (The Figures, 1980), Red Hats (Tonsure Press, 1986), and Desire: Selected Poems (Black Sparrow Press, 1988). Bromige died in Sebastopol, California in 2009.

Audiovisual materials including Reel-to-reel, microcassette, audiocassette, and video tape, and one container of correspondence of poet, playwright, and educator David Bromige (1933-2009). Signifigant additions to the collection are pending.

The David Bromige Correspondence includes exchanges with such noted American writers as Ted Berrigan, Robert Bly, Richard Brautigan, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Clayton Eshleman, Denise Levertov, George Oppen, and Gary Snyder. The collection is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. The materials cover the period from approximately 1962 to 1972 and include copies of written materials and often detailed exchanges concerning publishing and readings.

A major addition to this collection is in processing as of 2023-24.

This collection has additional unprocessed materials not described in this finding aid. See the UC San Diego Library catalog record to view the acquisition dates and extent of unprocessed additions.

Container List

AUDIOVISUAL RECORDINGS

Scope and Contents

Original formats of recordings are restricted. Listening coppies may be available. Folder numbers in this series may not be sequential due to appraisal of content during processing.

Reel-to-Reel

Box 1 Folder 1
Box 2 Folder 2
Box 2 Folder 1

Track list: Jesus sees us, Honky-tonk angel, There's room in my heart, The lighthousekeeper's daughter, Khoda Gombowicz, Since you arrived, Cast of liquor down in Costa Rica, Song 6-7-8.

Box 2 Folder 3

Introduction by Ron Loewinsohn.

Box 1 Folder 2

Includes "Do You Think," and "Numbers." Likely California College of the Arts.

Box 1 Folder 3

Side A: For Love. Side B: Words.

Box 1 Folder 4
Box 1 Folder 5

Includes "The Act of Love" and "In London."

Box 1 Folder 6
Box 1 Folder 7

These readings occur at different events/dates, April-May, unknown year.

Box 1 Folder 8

Side A: Edward Dorn and Clayton Eshelman. Side B: Louis Zukofsky, Paul Blackburn, and Robert Creeley.

Box 1 Folder 9

These readings take place in both Vancouver and Canada. Extensive notes of poems read with the reel.

Box 1 Folder 11-12
Box 2 Folder 4
Box 1 Folder 13

Extensive notes with list of poems read.

Box 1 Folder 14
Box 1 Folder 15

Introduction by David Bromige. Duncan reads "Passages 1-22."

Box 1 Folder 16

Side A: "Passages 22-34." Side B: Golden.

Box 1 Folder 17
Box 1 Folder 18-19

Side A: Robert Duncan (note: "reconstituted from a poor tape"). Side B: Ron Loewinsohn. Second reel, Side A: Ron Loewinsohn.

Box 1 Folder 20
Box 1 Folder 21
Box 1 Folder 22
Box 1 Folder 24
Box 1 Folder 25
Box 1 Folder 26

Side A: David Meltzer. Side B: George Stanley and Diane di Prima.

Box 1 Folder 27
Box 2 Folder 6

Other readers: Cliff Schwartz, Tom Sharp, Steve Collins, Joe Jeremy, and Lars Hansen.

Box 1 Folder 29
Box 1 Folder 30

Includes a reading of "Charms."

Box 1 Folder 31
Box 1 Folder 32
Box 1 Folder 33
Box 1 Folder 34
Box 1 Folder 37

Side A: Reading. Side B: Comments.

Box 1 Folder 38

Microcassette

Box 3 Folder 1
Box 3 Folder 4
Box 3 Folder 6
Box 3 Folder 8
Box 3 Folder 9
Box 3 Folder 12
Box 3 Folder 14
Box 3 Folder 17-18
Box 3 Folder 19
Box 3 Folder 20
Box 3 Folder 21
Box 3 Folder 24
Box 3 Folder 25
Box 3 Folder 26
Box 3 Folder 27
Box 3 Folder 28
Box 3 Folder 30
Box 3 Folder 31

With one other unidentified speaker.

Box 3 Folder 33
Box 3 Folder 35-36
Box 3 Folder 39

With one other unidentified speaker.

Box 3 Folder 40
Box 3 Folder 41
Box 3 Folder 42
Box 3 Folder 44
Box 3 Folder 46
Box 3 Folder 47
Box 3 Folder 48-51
Box 3 Folder 54
Box 3 Folder 55
Box 3 Folder 56
Box 3 Folder 57
Box 3 Folder 58
Box 3 Folder 59
Box 3 Folder 60
Box 3 Folder 61
Box 3 Folder 63
Box 3 Folder 64
Box 3 Folder 66
Box 3 Folder 67
Box 3 Folder 68
Box 3 Folder 69
Box 3 Folder 73
Box 3 Folder 74

Audiocassette

Box 4 Folder 1
Box 4 Folder 4
Box 4 Folder 5

Introduction by Dr. Robert Carlson.

Box 4 Folder 7
Box 4 Folder 8
Box 4 Folder 9
Box 4 Folder 10
Box 4 Folder 11

Chorus: families/the poet.

Box 4 Folder 14
Box 4 Folder 17
Box 5 Folder 1
Box 5 Folder 2
Box 5 Folder 3
Box 5 Folder 6
Box 5 Folder 12-13
Box 5 Folder 15-16
Box 5 Folder 18
Box 6 Folder 1

Includes Stephen Spencer, Michael Harper, Robert Duncan.

Box 6 Folder 2
Box 6 Folder 3
Box 6 Folder 4
Box 6 Folder 8
Box 6 Folder 9
Box 6 Folder 11
Box 6 Folder 14
Box 6 Folder 15-17

Includes Michael Palmer.

Box 7 Folder 2

Includes Olson in Berkeley reading poems from 1965. Program hosted by Jack Foley.

Box 7 Folder 7

Duncan reads "The H.D. Book," plus poems.

Box 7 Folder 8

Also includes Grenier talk, "Intersection/Language/Site/World Interrupted."

Box 7 Folder 9
Box 7 Folder 10
Box 7 Folder 11
Box 7 Folder 12

With Allen Fisher and Cris Cheek.

Box 7 Folder 13
Box 7 Folder 14
Box 7 Folder 15
Box 7 Folder 16
Box 7 Folder 17
Box 7 Folder 18
Box 7 Folder 19
Box 8 Folder 1

Curated by Carla Harryman. Includes Norman Fischer, Michael Davidson, and Lyn Hejinian.

Box 8 Folder 4

"Drawing from nature."

Box 8 Folder 8

Also includes songs: Rose of Oralee, Trouble in Mind, and Phone Booth.

Box 8 Folder 9-10
Box 8 Folder 11
Box 8 Folder 12-14
Box 8 Folder 15
Box 9 Folder 1-19

These tapes, mostly spanning the year 2004, are a collection of discussions and work done by Bromige and Denner in a collaborative effort to make a large work of cantos. They wanted the work to span 100 cantos, in 2006 Cantos 1-33 were published.

Video

Box 12 Folder 1-2
Robert Duncan - English department, hours 1-2, Between 1970 and 1985
Box 12 Folder 3
Zukofsky's A Book 9 - Sonoma State University, 1979 December

In order of appearance: David Bromige, Maurene Hurley, Greg Low, Martin Goldstein, Joe Walsh, Jamie Connerton, Wes Lee, and J.H. Montrose.

Box 13 Folder 1
#3B - Luster, Gains, Bradd, ca. 1977
Box 13 Folder 2
#6A - Bradd, Gains, Jacob (Monday), ca. 1977
Box 13 Folder 3
#6B - Soto, Fraiser, Jaffee, ca. 1977
Box 13 Folder 4
#7A - Jacobs, ca. 1977
Box 13 Folder 5
#10A - Soto and Fraiser, ca. 1977
Box 13 Folder 6
#16A - Perelman and Davidson, ca. 1977
Box 13 Folder 7
#17 - Hurley, Howard, Abato, Maxom, ca. 1977
Box 13 Folder 8
Perelman and others, 1977

Sara dancing solo.

Box 10 Folder 1
Ideas and Images - An interview with Simon Perchik, between 1975 and 2003
Box 10 Folder 2
Cyanosis reading - Bromige students, between 1975 and 2003
Box 10 Folder 3
Cyanosis reading - Tape 2, between 1975 and 2003
Box 10 Folder 4
Poetry in performance, between 1975 and 2003
Box 10 Folder 5
Poetry, between 1975 and 2003
Box 10 Folder 6
Steve McCaffery - Five Beyond the Idea, between 1975 and 2003
Box 10 Folder 7
TV Art Gellery Poetry #2 - Bromige/Hurley, between 1975 and 2003
Box 10 Folder 8
Poet and city - Sonoma State University, 1975 May
Box 10 Folder 9
Bromige reading, Jim Garrahan in Novato, 1976
Box 10 Folder 10-11
Bromige at San Francisco State, 1987
Box 10 Folder 12
Steve McCaffery, 1988 February 16
Box 10 Folder 13
Poets - Shoot tape, 1988 February

Reporter: Brown, cameraman: Tuzi.

Box 10 Folder 14
World poetry fest [1 of 2], 1989 February

Includes Bromige reading, Bromige interviewed by Hilary Brown, and Roo Borson reading.

Box 11 Folder 1
World poetry fest [2 of 2], 1989 February

Includes Bromige reading, Bromige interviewed by Hilary Brown, and Roo Borson reading.

Box 11 Folder 2-3
Bromige reading, 1990 March 21

Includes a reading of Prince George

Box 11 Folder 4
Bromige reading, 1990 November 15
Box 11 Folder 5-6
Bromige at LBC, 1994 September 18
Box 11 Folder 7
Dancing with Tears in my Eyes: Poetry and the Blues, 1994 October 10
Box 11 Folder 8
David Bromige and Don Emblem reading, 2002 May 1
Box 11 Folder 9
Evening with David Bromige, 2003 October 22
Box 11 Folder 10
Bromige reading - Kootney School of Writing, Vancouver, 2003 May 3
Box 11 Folder 11
David and Richard in conversation, ca. 2004

CORRESPONDENCE

Box 14 Folder 1
Berrigan, Ted

3 TScs, including the poems "Bolingbroke," "Ikonostasis," "Sunlight in Jungle-Land," and "Dick Gallup (Birthday)."

Box 14 Folder 2
Bly, Robert, 1971

1 ALs

Box 14 Folder 3
Brautigan, Richard, 1966

1 TSa, "The Pretty Office" (1966)

Box 14 Folder 4
Corman, Cid, 1963

2 TLs

Box 14 Folder 5
Creeley, Robert, 1963-1972

3 ALs, 6 TLs, 2 TLc, 1 TPC, 2 APC, TSc ("The Finger"); xerox announcement of Creeley reading.

Box 14 Folder 6
Duncan, Robert, 1962-1970

8 ALs, 2 APCs; copy of Central County Clarion, 12 May 1970, showing picture of Duncan reading; 19 TS, 1 TSc ("Concert Reading Version of Adam's Way prologue," including narrative bridge).

Box 14 Folder 7
Eshleman, Clayton, 1968-1972

6 ALs, 16 TLs, 7 APCs, 9 TSs, 39 TSc

Box 14 Folder 8
Levertov, Denise, 1965-1970

3 ALs, 4 APCs, 39 TSc, including xeroxed selections from "Entr'acte," and "Europe after 10 years, England after 20 years, Summer of 1970."

Box 14 Folder 9
Oppen, George

1 ANs, 1 TNs

Box 14 Folder 10
Snyder, Gary, 1966

3 TS, including the poems "The Six Hells of the Engine Room," "The Wipers Secret," and "RECTIFY in Accord with the THOUGHT of Chairman MAO."

Box 14 Folder 11
Wakoski, Diane, 1963-1972

6 TLs, 1 APCS