Richard Rubenstein Papers, 1950 - 1959 (MSS 229)


Extent: 0.4 Linear feet (1 archives box and 1 oversize folder)

Papers of Richard Rubenstein, American poet. The papers contain letters (1950-1958) to Rubenstein, letters his wife received after his death about his manuscripts, manuscripts, and a bound scrapbook of clippings and letters. His correspondence includes two letters from William Carlos Williams, numerous notes from small press publishers and several letters from admirers of his poetry. His writings include a typescript of his collected poems, short stories and miscellaneous poems.

Born on January 2, 1922, Richard Rubenstein began his literary career in a local prep school when he won a poetry contest. Associated with the Beat Poets in the San Francisco Bay Area, Rubenstein worked to found and edit several small press poetry journals - Neurotica, first published in spring of 1948; Inferno, in late 1949; and Gryphon, in spring of 1950. In Gryphon he published early works of Robert Creeley and Denise Levertov, as well as the established authors Henry Treece, D.H. Emblem, e.e. cummings, and Cid Corman. He himself published a small chapbook, Beer and Angels, and produced a long manuscript of collected poems which went unpublished. Rubenstein's health deteriorated because of his long-standing nervous condition and the alcohol he drank to combat it. He died on Yom Kippur in 1958.

The Richard Rubenstein Papers consist of correspondence sent to Rubenstein from 1950-1958 and manuscripts of his collected, unpublished poems. Also included is his personal scrapbook with pasted letters and newsclippings. Samuel Umland, a professor of literature at the University of Nebraska, wrote a short biographical article for the collection. The papers are arranged in three series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) WRITINGS, and 3) SCRAPBOOK.


Books and journals received in the Richard Rubenstein Papers have been separated from the collection and added elsewhere to the Mandeville Special Collections Library's holdings. To identify and list these items, conduct an author search in ROGER on the term "Rubenstein, Richard former owner."

Container List


Scope and Content of Series

SERIES 1) CORRESPONDENCE: Includes two folders: one for materials sent to Rubenstein between 1950-1958 (including two 1950 letters from William Carlos Williams and several from playwright Bill Inge), and five letters sent to his wife Anne Rubenstein after his death--condolence messages and letters regarding the possible of publication of his collected poems.

Box 1 Folder 1
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1950 - 1958
Box 1 Folder 2
Anne Rubenstein, 1958 - 1959


Scope and Content of Series

SERIES 2) WRITINGS: Includes a typed draft of his entire collected poems, an edited fragment of that same work, a transcript from part of a 1959 interview on poetry for the St. Louis Public TV station KETC entitled "The Beat Generation and the Angry Young Men," typed drafts of short stories, and Samuel Umland's "A Note on Richard Rubenstein."

Box 1 Folder 3
Biographical sketch
Box 1 Folder 4
Collected Poems - Typescripts of early poems and hospital poems
Box 1 Folder 5
Collected Poems - Typescripts fragments
Box 1 Folder 6
Box 1 Folder 7
Miscellaneous unpublished poems
Box 1 Folder 8
Short stories
Box 1 Folder 9
Umland, Samuel J. "A Note on Richard Rubenstein", 1992


Scope and Content of Series

SERIES 3) SCRAPBOOK: Includes Rubenstein's scrapbook containing pasted-in memorabilia. Also included is a single file containing photocopies of items Rubenstein filed or pasted in his scrapbook.

Box 1 Folder 10
Newsclippings - Scrapbook articles
Box 1 Folder 11 Oversize FB-002-22
Oversize scrapbook