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