Joe Brainard Letters, 1957-1994 (MSS 0703)

Extent: 2.4 Linear feet (6 archive boxes)

Letters to Joe Brainard, author and artist. The collection is comprised of correspondence from various poets and artists, including John Ashbery, Ted Berrigan, and Kenward Elmslie, and includes letters, postcards, images and ephemera. The materials date from 1957 through 1994, with the bulk of the collection covering the period from 1964 through 1993.

Born in Arkansas in 1942 and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Brainard moved to New York City in 1961. There, he quickly developed friendships with Frank O'Hara, James Schuyler, Bill Berkson, Barbara Guest, and other participants in the New York School.

Brainard's achievement, however, is remarkable aside from his many associations. Brainard harmonized linguistic and visual materials in extraordinary ways. His graphic work is notably literary, often incorporating words and sentences into non-literary designs. Such qualities prompted Frank O'Hara to say that Brainard's work had "nothing to do with philosophy, it's all art." Both the art work and writing are full of information and frequently take erotic and semiotic risks. In one of his more scandalous serial works, Brainard subjected Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy to every imaginable erotic and high art situation.

A prolific artist, Brainard's work has been exhibited extensively in the New York City area since the early 1960s. The Joe Brainard Archive, located in the Mandeville Special Collections Library at UCSD, is the largest collection extant of Brainard's work.

Brainard died on May 25, 1994.

The Joe Brainard Letters include correspondence from such American authors and artists as John Ashbery, Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Robert Creeley, Kenward Elmslie, Joanne Kyger, and Alice Notley. The collection is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Materials cover the period from 1957 to 1994 and include copies of manuscript and typescript drafts of poems sent to Brainard from such writers as Ted Berrigan, Ray Johnson, and Lewis Warsh.

This collection includes 89 postcards, separated into 12 undated packets, from Frank Bidart. These postcards, in which Bidart wrote for Brainard, contain an overarching narrative in each packet, including such themes as "clothing", "hair", and "the wonder book."

Container List

LETTERS

Box: 1 Folder: 1
Adler, Stella, 1980-1984
Box: 1 Folder: 2
Albee, Edward, 1982
Box: 1 Folder: 3
Alan, Charles, undated
Box: 1 Folder: 4
Allen, Donald, 1972-1979
Box: 1 Folder: 5
Ashbery, John, 1967-1993

Includes a three page handwritten manuscript of introduction for Gegenschein Quarterly 1975, entitled "Joe Brainard."

Box: 1 Folder: 6
Bachardy, Don, 1963-1993
Box: 1 Folder: 7
Bamberger, Janet, undated
Box: 1 Folder: 8
Baxter, Glen, 1973-1974
Box: 1 Folder: 9
Berkson, Bill, 1966-1970
Box: 1 Folder: 10
Berkson, Bill, 1971-1972
Box: 1 Folder: 11
Berkson, Bill, 1973-1993
Box: 1 Folder: 12
Berkson, Lynn O'Hare, 1993
Box: 1 Folder: 13
Berrigan, Sandy, 1964-1978
Box: 1 Folder: 14
Berrigan, Ted, 1964-1982

Includes a fourteen page handmade booklet entitled "Corridors of Blood" and a copy of "Living with Chris," by Joe Brainard and Ted Berrigan.

Box: 1 Folder: 15
Bidart, Frank, January-July 1992
Box: 1 Folder: 16
Bidart, Frank, August-September 1992
Box: 2 Folder: 1
Bidart, Frank - Postcards, undated

Includes twelve undated packets containing six-twelve numbered and captioned postcards.

Box: 2 Folder: 2
Blaine, Nell , 1973
Box: 2 Folder: 3
Brainard, Marie, 1971-1973
Box: 2 Folder: 4
Bridges, Jim, 1978
Box: 2 Folder: 5
Brinkman, Rolf Dieter, 1968
Box: 2 Folder: 6
Britton, Donald, 1979
Box: 2 Folder: 7
Brodey, Jim, 1964
Box: 2 Folder: 8
Brown, Lee Ann, 1993
Box: 2 Folder: 9
Brownstein, Michael, 1969-1973

Includes a five page typescript entitled "More Short Poems for Joe."

Box: 2 Folder: 10
Burckhardt, Rudy and Yvonne Jacquette, 1967-1982
Box: 2 Folder: 11
Burrow, Ruby, 1975-1982
Box: 2 Folder: 12
Button, John, 1977-1982
Box: 2 Folder: 13
Butts, Robert, 1974-1994
Box: 2 Folder: 14
Bye, Reed, 1993
Box: 2 Folder: 15
Chernoff, Maxine, 1984-1993
Box: 2 Folder: 16
Clark, Tom, 1966-1972
Box: 2 Folder: 17
Clinton, William Jefferson and Hillary Clinton, 1993

Contains a holiday greeting card with a stamped signature from the Clintons in December 1993.

Box: 2 Folder: 18
Cooper, Dennis, 1977-1984
Box: 2 Folder: 19
Corbett, Bill, 1974-1993
Box: 2 Folder: 20
Cox, Chris, 1979
Box: 2 Folder: 21
Creeley, Robert, 1971-1974

Includes a seven page poem typescript entitled "The Class of '47."

Box: 2 Folder: 22
Dalrymple-Hollo, Jane, 1993
Box: 2 Folder: 23
Dine, Jim, 1970
Box: 2 Folder: 24
Dlugos, Tim, 1988-1990
Box: 2 Folder: 25
Dunn, Anne, 1991
Box: 2 Folder: 26
Elmslie, Kenward, 1964
Box: 2 Folder: 27
Elmslie, Kenward, 1965
Box: 2 Folder: 28
Elmslie, Kenward, 1966-1970
Box: 3 Folder: 1
Elmslie, Kenward, 1971
Box: 3 Folder: 2
Elmslie, Kenward, 1972-1973
Box: 3 Folder: 3
Elmslie, Kenward, 1974-1975
Box: 3 Folder: 4
Elmslie, Kenward, 1976-1979
Box: 3 Folder: 5
Elmslie, Kenward, 1980-1991
Box: 3 Folder: 6
Elmslie, Kenward, 1992-1993
Box: 3 Folder: 7
Elmslie, Kenward, undated
Box: 3 Folder: 8
Elmslie, Vivian, 1993
Box: 3 Folder: 9
Equi, Elaine, 1981-1993

Includes three page poem typescript entitled "Molecules."

Box: 3 Folder: 10
Evans, Donald, 1973
Box: 3 Folder: 11
Fagin, Larry, 1970-1979
Box: 3 Folder: 12
Falco, Louis, 1971-1977
Box: 3 Folder: 13
Fishbach Gallery, 1972
Box: 3 Folder: 14
Ford, Charles Henri, 1969-1970
Box: 3 Folder: 15
Ford, Ruth, 1970-1993

Includes a two page poem typescript.

Box: 3 Folder: 16
Freeman, Jonathan, 1993
Box: 3 Folder: 17
Freilicher, Jane Hazen, 1969-1973
Box: 3 Folder: 18
Fulmer, Frederick, 1975-1976
Box: 3 Folder: 19
Gander, Forrest, 1993
Box: 3 Folder: 20
Ginn and Company, 1975
Box: 3 Folder: 21
Ginsberg, Allen, 1971-1988
Box: 4 Folder: 1
Giorno, John, 1969-1973
Box: 4 Folder: 2
Godfrey, John, 1993
Box: 4 Folder: 3
Golde, Morris, 1973-1978
Box: 4 Folder: 4
Gooch, Brad, 1976-1984
Box: 4 Folder: 5
Gottlieb, Michael, 1993
Box: 4 Folder: 6
Greenwald, Ted and Joan Simon, 1969-1979
Box: 4 Folder: 7
Groffsky, Maxine, 1965-1975
Box: 4 Folder: 8
Grossinger, Richard, 1972-1973
Box: 4 Folder: 9
Guest, Barbara, 1965-1993
Box: 4 Folder: 10
Hannah, Duncan, 1991-1993
Box: 4 Folder: 11
Harwood, Lee, 1965-1973
Box: 4 Folder: 12
Hawkins, Bobbie Creeley, 1971-1982

Includes a seven page typescript entitled "The Valley Dark-And-Drear and The Girl who Couldn't Laugh."

Box: 4 Folder: 13
Henry, Gerrit, 1972-1973
Box: 4 Folder: 14
Higgins, Dick, 1970
Box: 4 Folder: 15
Holland, Joyce, 1972

Contains 5 issues of Matchbook poetry magazine.

Box: 4 Folder: 16
Hurwitz, Michael, 1991
Box: 4 Folder: 17
Isherwood, Christopher, 1972
Box: 4 Folder: 18
Jess [Collins, Jess], 1971-1974
Box: 4 Folder: 19
Johns, Jasper, 1971
Box: 4 Folder: 20
Johnson, Ray, 1971-1975
Box: 4 Folder: 21
Katz, Alex, Ada and Vincent, 1966-1978
Box: 4 Folder: 22
Kernan, Nathan, 1988-1993
Box: 4 Folder: 23
Kikel, Rudy, 1980-1992

Includes a two page poem typescript entitled "Boston."

Box: 4 Folder: 24
Koch, Kenneth, 1965-1993
Box: 4 Folder: 25
Kyger, Joanne, 1971-1993
Box: 4 Folder: 26
Lally, Michael, 1973-1993

Includes one envelope enclosure containing six cards of a Lally/Worthington poem entitled "Joe Brainard."

Box: 4 Folder: 27
Larson, Jack, 1969
Box: 5 Folder: 1
Lauterbach, Ann, 1974-1993
Box: 5 Folder: 2
Lehman, David, 1976-1980
Box: 5 Folder: 3
Le Seur, Joe, 1964-1979
Box: 5 Folder: 4
Levitt, Annabel, 1978
Box: 5 Folder: 5
Marberger, Aladar, 1973
Box: 5 Folder: 6
Martin, John, 1971-1973
Box: 5 Folder: 7
Mathews, Harry, 1966-1986
Box: 5 Folder: 8
Mayer, Bernadette, 1978-1993
Box: 5 Folder: 9
McConnell, David, 1984-1993
Box: 5 Folder: 10
McDermott, Keith, 1993
Box: 5 Folder: 11
McDermott, Ray, 1993
Box: 5 Folder: 12
Mikolowski, Ken and Ann, 1974
Box: 5 Folder: 13
Mitchell, John J., 1969-1979

Includes a six page typescript of "The Hairping Drop Heard Around the World."

Box: 5 Folder: 14
Moss, Barbara, 1981-1988
Box: 5 Folder: 15
Moynihan, Anne, 1977-1981
Box: 5 Folder: 16
The Museum of Modern Art, 1973
Box: 5 Folder: 17
Notley, Alice, 1972-1993
Box: 5 Folder: 18
Oliver, Douglas, 1993
Box: 5 Folder: 19
Owen, Maureen, 1979
Box: 5 Folder: 20
Palmer, Michael, 1993
Box: 5 Folder: 21
Pell, Margaret, 1994
Box: 5 Folder: 22
The Poet's Press, 1973
Box: 5 Folder: 23
Porter, Anne, 1988
Box: 5 Folder: 24
Purdy, James, 1973
Box: 5 Folder: 25
Raworth, Tom, 1970-1992
Box: 5 Folder: 26
Rivers, Larry, 1963
Box: 5 Folder: 27
Rorem, Ned, 1969-1993
Box: 5 Folder: 28
Rosenberg, David, 1971
Box: 5 Folder: 29
Rosenblum, Robert, undated
Box: 5 Folder: 30
Ryan, D. D., 1957-1972
Box: 5 Folder: 31
San Francisco Community Press, 1973
Box: 5 Folder: 32
Saroyan, Aram, 1965-1973
Box: 5 Folder: 33
Schjeldahl, Peter and Brooke Alderson, 1968-1971
Box: 5 Folder: 34
Schmidt, Paul, 1975
Box: 5 Folder: 35
Shapiro, David, 1970-1972

Includes a two page poem typescript draft.

Box: 5 Folder: 36
Solomon, Holly, 1975-1987
Box: 5 Folder: 37
Sondheim, Stephen, 1972-1973
Box: 5 Folder: 38
Stanton, Johnny, 1971-1972
Box: 6 Folder: 1
Stein, David, 1993
Box: 6 Folder: 2
Stern, Peter, 1980
Box: 6 Folder: 3
Thomas, Ronald and Serge Cao, 1993
Box: 6 Folder: 4
Thomson, Virgil, 1978
Box: 6 Folder: 5
Trinidad, David, 1983-1993
Box: 6 Folder: 6
Veitch, Tom, 1971-1972
Box: 6 Folder: 7
Watchel, Andi, 1971
Box: 6 Folder: 8
Waring, James, 1965
Box: 6 Folder: 9
Warsh, Lewis, 1968-1979
Box: 6 Folder: 10
Whalen, Philip, 1971-1972
Box: 6 Folder: 11
White, Edmund, 1973-1987
Box: 6 Folder: 12
Wieners, John, 1969
Box: 6 Folder: 13
Wilcock, John, 1966-1968
Box: 6 Folder: 14
Winkfield, Trevor, 1968-1979
Box: 6 Folder: 15
Williams, Jonathan, 1972-1982
Box: 6 Folder: 16
Young, Geoff, 1973-1975
Box: 6 Folder: 17
Zirlin, Harry, 1973-1975
Box: 6 Folder: 18
Zirlin, Larry, 1972-1976
Box: 6 Folder: 19
Unidentified correspondents
Box: 6 Folder: 20
Unidentified correspondent [Juan Antonio?], 1973-1975
Box: 6 Folder: 21
Unidentified correspondent [Doug?], 1981-1993