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

Extent: 1.25 Linear feet (1 record carton and 1 archives 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 process as of 2023.

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


Box 1 Folder 1
David Antin reading, between 1961 and 1973
Box 1 Folder 2
Robert Creeley reading - C. C. A. C., between 1961 and 1973

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

Box 1 Folder 3
Robert Creeley reading - Berkeley, between 1962 and 1965

Side A: For Love. Side B: Words.

Box 1 Folder 4
Robert Creeley reading - Berkeley, between 1962 and 1965
Box 1 Folder 5
Robert Creeley reading - Mills College, 1970 February 24

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

Note on the reel that tape is broken.

Box 1 Folder 6
Robert Creeley reading - Rhymer's Club, 1970 November 13
Box 1 Folder 7
Michael Davidson, Michael Palmer, and Robert Kelly reading, between 1961 and 1973

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

Box 1 Folder 8
Edward Dorn, Clayton Eshelman, Louis Zukofsky, Paul Blackburn, and Robert Creeley reading, ca. 1958

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

Box 1 Folder 9
Robert Duncan, Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Diane Wakoski, George Bowering, and Denise Levertov reading - Multiple locations, 1962-1963

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

Box 1 Folder 10
Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov reading - UC Berkeley, 1963
Box 1 Folder 11
Robert Duncan - Talk on Yeats (WBY radio), ca. 1965

Side A: Also includes "Marshall." Side B: end of "Marshall." Robin Blaser, Robert Creeley, and a Jack Spicer program on KPFA.

Box 1 Folder 12
Robert Duncan - Talk on Yeats (UC Berkeley), 1965 February 18

Duncan discusses Yeats' hermeticism and his influence on American poets. Possibly has recording of "Dr. Garden ?" in 1964.

Box 1 Folder 13
Robert Duncan reading - Rhymer's Club, 1966 October 12

Extensive notes with list of poems read.

Box 1 Folder 14
Robert Duncan reading - Berkeley, 1966 Fall
Box 1 Folder 15
Robert Duncan reading - Leconte School, Berkeley, 1970 March 6

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

Box 1 Folder 16
Robert Duncan reading - Berkeley, 1970 March 13

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

Box 1 Folder 17
Robert Duncan reading - Rhymer's Club, 1970 December 11
Box 1 Folder 18-19
Robert Duncan and Ron Loewinsohn reading - Rhymers Club, 1972 March 22

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

Box 1 Folder 20
Robert Duncan reading, 1972 March
Box 1 Folder 21
Eshelman, Clayton reading, between 1961 and 1973
Box 1 Folder 22
Thom Gunn reading - Rhymer's Club, 1972 November
Box 1 Folder 23
Sherril Jaffe, Ken McKean, Martin MacClain, and Ross Angier reading, 1966 November 10
Box 1 Folder 24
Hugh Kenner reading - UC Berkley, 1966 December 1
Box 1 Folder 25
Joanne Kyger reading, between 1961 and 1973
Box 1 Folder 26
David Meltzer, George Stanley, and Diane di Prima reading, between 1961 and 1973

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

Box 1 Folder 27
David Meltzer reading, between 1961 and 1973
Box 1 Folder 28
Michael McClure reading, 1972 February 23
Box 1 Folder 29
Charles Simic reading - CSC, 1973 March 14
Box 1 Folder 30
Gary Snyder reading, between 1961 and 1973

Includes a reading of "Charms."

Box 1 Folder 31
Gary Snyder reading - Berkeley, 1962-1963, 1966

Includes a copy of Robert Creeley reading at UBC between 1962-1963.

Box 1 Folder 32
George Stanley reading, 1967 January 26

Includes a copy of Hugh Kenner reading on side B.

Box 1 Folder 33
Diane Wakoski reading Coins and Coffins, 1962
Box 1 Folder 34
Leslie (Scalapino?) - 4 track tape, between 1961 and 1973
Box 1 Folder 35-36
Circus Maximus, undated
Box 1 Folder 37
A. Richards reads the Ode to the West Wind (Percy Shelley), undated

Side A: Reading. Side B: Comments.

Box 1 Folder 38
Rosenberg, undated


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