BUFFALO, N.Y. – As writers, Susan Howe and Charles
Bukowski don’t have much in common. Yet both wrote poems for
small press periodicals called “little literary
magazines” before achieving mainstream success.
Unfortunately, the contents of many of these magazines, which
serve as a proving ground for writers and budding literary
movements, aren’t well known outside of their literary
That is starting to change, thanks to the Poetry Collection at
the University at Buffalo, which received a $150,600 grant from the
Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to create
online records for the editorial archives of 11 such collections,
including magazines that featured Howe and Bukowski.
“These archives document 50 years of poetic history. They
represent different socio-aesthetic communities from Feminist to
academic avant-garde to verbo-visual poetry, and they have served
the careers of countless poets,” said Michael Basinski,
curator of the Poetry Collection.
UB was among 22 organizations to receive funding from CLIR,
which reviewed 75 proposals nationwide for its Cataloguing Hidden
Special Collections and Archives program.
“Cataloging these literary magazines will immediately
impact scholarship in the field of post-World War II American
Poetry,” said James Maynard, associate curator of the Poetry
Collection, who along with Basinski and Amy Vilz, university
archivist, worked on the grant application.
UB will use the grant money to buy supplies and hire a project
The archivist will work with two graduate students, as well as
Maynard, Basinski, Vilz and Marie Elia, a processing archivist in
the Poetry Collection, to create online finding aids for the 11
magazines’ editorial and business records.
The 11 magazines, published at various times from 1960 to 2010,
in the Poetry Collection’s archives are:
(New York, 1966-79)
Buckle”, Buckle & (Buffalo, 1977-82, 1998-2006)
Drafting (Baltimore, 2004-05)
Exit (Boston, 1968-75)
Intensity (Lawrence, Kan., 1993-2007)
& Found Times (Columbus, Ohio, 1975-2005)
(San Francisco, 1969-81)
(Schenectady, N.Y., 1972-2010)
(Oakland, Calif., 1983-90)
Wormwood Review (Stockton, Calif., 1960-99).
Winner of Yale University’s Bollingen Prize in American
Poetry in 2011 and a UB professor emerita, Howe is a celebrated
academic, essayist and critic who is lauded for her innovative and
unconventional poetry style. Her work is featured in a 1974 edition
of Fire Exit.
Described by Time magazine as the “laureate of American
lowlife,” Bukowski was a larger than life literary figure
whose novels, poetry and short stories endure in popularity despite
his death 20 years ago. He has been the subject of movies,
including “Barfly” and “Factotum.” His work
is featured in The Wormwood Review, which also published works by
E.E. Cummings, Gregory Corso and Henry Miller.
Two of the magazines the Poetry Collection is processing have
Buckle”, as well as its second incarnation, Buckle &,
were published by retired SUNY Buffalo State English professor
Chain was founded and published by Jena Osman and Juliana Spahr;
both received PhDs in English in poetics from UB. Osman is a
professor of English and creative writing at Temple University, and
Spahr is an English professor at Mills College.