David Smith Collection of Diane Wakoski Materials, 1950 - 2007 (MSS 0687)

Restrictions: The film and audio cassettes in Series 4: FILM & AUDIO RECORDINGS are restricted. Patrons must request, from the Director of Mandeville Special Collections Library, that user copies be produced.

Extent: 1.8 Linear feet (4 archives boxes, 1 card file box)

The David Smith Collection of Diane Wakoski Materials is comprised mainly of Smith's unpublished manuscript on Wakoski's writings. There is correspondence between Smith and Wakoski included, as well as some drafts of Wakoski's published works. The collection spans from 1950, when Smith and Wakoski began corresponding, to 2007.

Born in 1923, David Smith served in the Marine Corps from 1942-1946. He went on to earn his BA from Pomona College (1944) and his MA (1950) and PhD (1960) from Claremont Graduate School. Smith joined the faculty at Caltech, where he taught for more than three decades. It was there that Smith met Diane Wakoski, as Wakoski served as the poet in resident at Caltech. During the course of their acquaintance, David Smith & his wife Annette corresponded with Wakoski, exchanging her work and information for a book Smith was writing on Wakoski. David Smith started to write an extensive analysis of Diane Wakoski's work before he passed away in 1990. Smith analyzed and compared Wakoski's poems to her life experiences, through compiling correspondence and interviews he and others had with her. The manuscript was unpublished at the time of Smith's death.

The David Smith Collection of Diane Wakoski Materials consists mainly of writings and manuscripts of Smith and his collection of material on and by Diane Wakoski. The collection also contains Smith's unpublished manuscript on Wakoski. The collection is arranged in four series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) WRITINGS BY SMITH, 3) DIANE WAKOSKI, and 4) FILM & AUDIO RECORDINGS


The CORRESPONDENCE series is mainly correspondence between the Smith's and Wakoski. It is arranged in two subseries: A) Letters from Wakoski to David & Annette Smith, and B) Letters from Wakoski to Clayton & Caryl Eshleman.

A) The Letters from Wakoski to David & Annette Smith are arranged chronologically from 1950 to 2007. They are letters describing moves Wakoski was making or answers to inquiries from Smith regarding his manuscript. Wakoski continues to correspond with Annette Smith after David's death in 1990, discussing daily life, heath, and current events.

B) The Letters from Wakoski to Clayton & Caryl Eshleman is comprised of photocopies of letters to Clayton and Caryl Eshleman. Letters are arranged in chronological order from 1973 through 1988 and include personal correspondence as well as professional publishing information.


The WRITINGS BY SMITH series contains chiefly Smith's manuscript on Wakoski, but includes other short works, including commentaries on the writings of other authors. It is arranged in two subseries: A) Unpublished Manuscript on Wakoski and B) Other Works.

A) The Unpublished Manuscript on Wakoski subseries is arranged by chapter. Smith had done extensive research regarding the psychology of Wakoski's works and compiled his findings.

B) The Other Works subseries contains reviews and short articles written by Smith.


The DIANE WAKOSKI series is a collection of Smith's materials on Wakoski and other information she may have sent him. It is arranged in three subseries: A) Biographical Material, B) Published Works and C) Miscellaneous.

A) The Biographical Material subseries contains Wakoski's vita and information for an advisory board she was on in 1970.

B) The Published Works subseries is photocopies and some original drafts of Wakoski's poems, including The Motorcycle Betrayal Poems (1971) and Inside the Blood Factory (1968).

C) The Miscellaneous subseries includes interviews with Wakoski and reviews by others of Wakoski's work.


The last series, FILM & AUDIO RECORDINGS, contains a film entitled "George Washington Sleeps Here," as well as an interview with Wakoski regarding Inside the Blood Factory, recorded on nine cassette tapes. The contents of this series are restricted. Patrons wishing to view the film or listen to the audio cassettes must request user copies be produced.

Container List


Letters from Wakoski to David & Annette Smith

Box: 1 Folder: 1-30
1950 - 2005
Box: 2 Folder: 1-2
2006 - 2007
Box: 2 Folder: 3

Letters from Wakoski to Clayton & Caryl Eshleman

Box: 2 Folder: 4-10
1972 - 1978
Box: 2 Folder: 11
Box: 2 Folder: 12


Manuscript of Diane Wakoski

Box: 2 Folder: 13
Box: 2 Folder: 14-19
Chapters I - VI
Box: 2 Folder: 20-21
Notes on "Motorcycle Betrayer"
Box: 3 Folder: 1
Research into the psychology of Wakoski's Poems
Box: 3 Folder: 2
Research notes
Box: 3 Folder: 3
Research notes - "Diane and Politics"
Box: 3 Folder: 4
Research plans and notes
Box: 3 Folder: 5
Untitled typescript of book chapter

Other Works

Box: 3 Folder: 6
Smith, David - "Both Sides Now"
Box: 3 Folder: 7
Smith, David - Presentation to the Faculty Fellows of the Intercollegiate Program of Graduate Studies Seminar..
Box: 3 Folder: 8
Bibliography - "American Travelers"
Box: 3 Folder: 9
Notes on James Fenimore Cooper - Typewritten manuscript and handwritten notes
Box: 3 Folder: 10
Reviews of Wakoski, by Smith
Box: 3 Folder: 11
Interview with Diane Wakoski, by Smith - Transcript, 1974
Box: 3 Folder: 12
Commentary by David Smith on Wakoski's George Washington Poems
Box: 3 Folder: 13
Smith, David - "Obsession is Reason Enough", 1978


Biographical Material

Box: 3 Folder: 14
Advisory Board, The New York Quarterly, Winter, 1970
Box: 3 Folder: 15

Published Works

Box: 3 Folder: 16
Inside the Blood Factory (1968)
Box: 3 Folder: 17
The Motorcycle Betrayal Poems (1971)
Box: 3 Folder: 18
Smudging (1972)
Box: 3 Folder: 19
Dancing on the Grave of a Son of a Bitch (1973)
Box: 3 Folder: 20
Trilogy: Coins & Coffins... (1974)
Box: 3 Folder: 21
Virtuoso Literature for Two and Four Hands (1975)
Box: 3 Folder: 22
Waiting for the King of Spain (1976)
Box: 3 Folder: 23
Cap of Darkness (1980)
Box: 3 Folder: 24
Poems from "Sestina"
Box: 3 Folder: 25
"Diamond Story," "Mountain Road," and "Story History," in Chelsea, 1962
Box: 3 Folder: 26
"The Starving Vicuna," "Mill," "Largely because of Coincidence and Partly because of Chance I have Taken up a..." etc. - In Four Young Lady Poets, 1962
Box: 3 Folder: 27
"Software Report," in The Hardware Poets Occasional #3, June 1964
Box: 3 Folder: 28
"The Magi," The Pumpkin Pie, and "Gardenias", 1971 - 1972, 1981
Box: 3 Folder: 29
The Fable of the Lion and the Scorpion, 1975
Box: 3 Folder: 30
"Greed..." in Contemporary Literature, Autumn 1975
Box: 4 Folder: 1
"Searching for the Canto Fermo," The Missouri Review, Spring, 1978
Box: 4 Folder: 2
"The Marine Story," in The Burning World, 1986
Box: 4 Folder: 3
"The Day of the Autobiographical Frog," Ante
Box: 4 Folder: 4
"The Old Impossibilities," Ante No. 3
Box: 4 Folder: 5
Wakoski, Diane, drafts of poems


Box: 4 Folder: 6
Goya, Alan, "Galloping Goya: Diane Wakoski Interview," Whitman College Pioneer
Box: 4 Folder: 7
Interview with Diane Wakoski, last part of side 2 - Transcript
Box: 4 Folder: 8
Reviews of Diane Wakoski's works
Box: 4 Folder: 9
Wagner, Linda W., "Personism: Some Notes on the He and She of it"


Box: 4 Folder: 10
Film - "George Washington Sleeps Here"

Restrictions Apply

Box: 5 Folder: 1-9
Interview with Diane Wakoski, Inside the Blood Factory - Audio cassettes

Restrictions Apply