Scope and Content of Collection
Northup, Harry E.
Title: Harry Northup Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1940-2002
15.00 linear feet
(36 archives boxes, 2 cardfile boxes, and 1 oversize folder)
Abstract: Papers of Harry Northup, Los Angeles poet, screen actor, and editor and founding member of Cahuenga Press. The papers largely
comprise Northup's literary correspondence; his writings, including notebooks and journals, working papers, poem drafts, and
manuscripts for collected published works, such as materials for THE RAGGED VERTICAL and REUNIONS; and materials related to
his acting career. Of particular significance are Northup's notebooks which often chronicle and reflect his experiences as
a screen actor. The collection documents Northup's talks and poetry readings with audiocassette and videocassette recordings
and documents his work as an editor and founding member of the Cahuenga Press. Also included are photographs, newspaper clippings
from his early stage acting career, and theater memorabilia. The papers are arranged in twelve series: 1) ORIGINAL FINDING
AID, 2) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 3) CORRESPONDENCE, 4) WRITINGS, 5) TALKS AND READINGS, 6) TEACHING MATERIALS, 7) NOTEBOOKS,
8) CAHUENGA PRESS, 9) FILM AND TELEVISION SCRIPTS, 10) AUDIO CASSETTE RECORDINGS, 11) VIDEO RECORDINGS, and 12) ORIGINALS
OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.
University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Collection number: MSS 0598
Language of Material:
Collection materials in English
Collection is open for research
Harry Northup Papers, MSS 0598. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Harry E. Northup was born in Amarillo, Texas, on September 2, 1940, and grew up in Ordville and Sidney, Nebraska. Harry began
acting at age 14 in community and high school theatre. After a brief tour of duty as a radioman in the U.S. Navy between
1958-1961 he attended Nebraska State Teachers College at Kearney, where he performed in leading roles. In 1962, he worked
in summer stock, where he got his Equity card. In 1963, Northup moved to New York City where he met Leland Hickman in Frank
Corsaro's Method acting class. Hickman introduced him to poetry.
After moving to Los Angeles, Northup acted in film and television roles to support his career as a poet with parts in Martin
Scorsese's first six films including TAXI DRIVER and MEAN STREETS. He has acted in over thirty-six films, numerous television
shows and series, and has worked with directors such as Jonathan Demme, who directed PHILADELPHIA and THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.
Northup's first book of poetry entitled AMARILLO BORN was published in 1966. He has had seven additional volumes of collected
works published including THE JON VOIGHT POEMS (circa 1973), EROS ASH (circa 1976), ENOUGH THE GREAT RUNNING CHAPEL (1982),
THE IMAGES WE POSSESS KILL THE CAPTURING (1988), THE RAGGED VERTICAL (1996), REUNIONS (2001), and GREATEST HITS, 1966-2001
(2002). Northup's poetry has appeared in small magazines and literary journals, especially TEMBLOR and BACHY. His work is
diaristic in nature, drawing from life and emotional experiences, and often emphasizes the long poem. In 1985, Northup completed
his bachelor's degree in English from California State University, Northridge, where he studied verse with Ann Stanford.
Two of Northup's books, THE RAGGED VERTICAL and REUNIONS, were published by Cahuenga Press, which he co-founded in 1989.
The press was created in order to promote and inspire the work of its founders, Harry Northup, Holly Prado, Jimm Cushing,
Phoebe MacAdams, Bill Mohr, and Celia Woloch. Northup works as an editor and writer at Cahuenga Press.
Along with the written word, Northup is an adamant supporter of the spoken word. New Alliance Records has released his "Personal
Crime," new and selected poems from 1966-1991 on CD and cassette audio recordings and "Homes" on CD. He has participated
in numerous public poetry readings and talks and organized a weekly on-going reading series entitled "Gasoline Alley Readings."
Poets who participated include Holly Prado, Bill Mohr and Lewis MacAdams.
Harry Northup lives in Los Angeles with his wife, poet Holly Prado Northup.
Scope and Content of Collection
The papers of Harry Northup document Northup's career as a poet, editor and actor. The collection also illustrates his journal-like
writing style, as defined by his notebooks, working poem drafts, and collected manuscripts. Materials also include literary
and professional correspondence; biographical materials including photographs and memorabilia; spoken word readings with audio
and videotapes; teaching materials; and a range of film and television screenplays. Northup's work as an editor is reflected
in the Cahuenga Press materials, which includes organizational records and published works. The collection is arranged in
twelve series: 1) ORIGINAL FINDING AID, 2) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 3) CORRESPONDENCE, 4) WRITINGS, 5) TALKS AND READINGS,
6) TEACHING MATERIALS, 7) NOTEBOOKS, 8) CAHUENGA PRESS, 9) FILM AND TELEVISION SCRIPTS, 10) AUDIO CASSETTE RECORDINGS, 11)
VIDEO RECORDINGS, and 12) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.
SERIES 1: ORIGINAL FINDING AID
The ORIGINAL FINDING AID series contains a detailed description of the original box list contents organized and written by
Northup. Many of the pages were photocopied and included in the processed materials.
SERIES 2: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS
Included in the BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series are mainly photographs of Northup spanning from his childhood to later Hollywood
acting roles, early stage acting newspaper clippings, and personal memorabilia. The series is arranged alphabetically.
SERIES 3: CORRESPONDENCE
The CORRESPONDENCE series, arranged alphabetically, contains letters from various family members and literary and professional
SERIES 4: WRITINGS
The WRITINGS series is comprised of five subseries: A) Collected - Published, B) Poem Drafts, C) Poems Published In Magazines,
D) Criticism, and E) Recording Scripts.
A) The Collected - Published subseries, arranged chronologically by publication date, contains working typescripts, edited
drafts, page proofs, press releases, reviews, and other publication materials for seven out of eight published manuscripts
with the exception of AMARILLO BORN (1966). The volumes include THE JON VOIGHT POEMS (1973), EROS ASH (1976), ENOUGH THE
GREAT RUNNING CHAPEL (1982), THE IMAGES WE POSSESS KILL THE CAPTURING (1988), THE RAGGED VERTICAL (1996), REUNIONS (2001),
and GREATEST HITS, 1966-2001 (2002).
B) The Poem Drafts subseries is arranged partially by date and partially in alphabetical order. Included are typescript drafts
and notes of working papers dating from 1966-1999. Because Northup wrote in a diaristic style, the chronological order of
the manuscripts was maintained. In some instances, groups of drafts were titled.
C) The Poems Published in Magazines subseries consists of copies of Northup's poems published in literary and local Los Angeles
magazines. The subseries is arranged alphabetically by title of magazine.
D) The Criticism subseries contains copies of magazine articles where Northup is mentioned, quoted, or critiqued arranged
by magazine title.
E) Included in the Recordings Scripts subseries are typescript drafts, reviews, and production materials of Northup's audio
produced poetry collections. New Alliance Records released HOLLYWORD (1990), a compilation of several Los Angeles poets and
two of Northup's individual works PERSONAL CRIME (1993) and HOMES (1994).
SERIES 5: TALKS AND READINGS
The TALKS AND READINGS series is arranged in two subseries: A) General and B) Individual Readings.
A) Included in the General subseries are reading announcements, notes, and correspondence related to spoken word events Northup
participated in between 1977-2002.
B) The Individual Readings subseries, arranged alphabetically, is composed of promotional materials related to spoken word
events Northup helped organize and participate in between 1979-2002. Included is the organizational material surrounding
the Gasoline Alley Readings which Harry initiated in 1986 and the Small Presses in Los Angeles Festival in 1990.
SERIES 6: TEACHING MATERIALS
The TEACHING MATERIALS series, arranged alphabetically, consists of correspondence and notes concerning Northup's involvement
as a guest lecturer in various literature and poetry courses at the University of California, Los Angeles and Irvine. He
also contributed to community workshops at the California Rehabilitation Center and the Beyond Baroque Festival.
SERIES 7: NOTEBOOKS
The NOTEBOOKS series contains handwritten drafts of poems, notes, and journal entries dating from 1971-2000. The notebooks
are arranged chronologically to maintain the original order of the collection and reflect the diaristic nature of the writings.
SERIES 8: CAHUENGA PRESS
The CAHUENGA PRESS series is arranged in two subseries: A) General and B) Published Works.
A) The first subseries documents Northup's administrative and literary role with the establishment and organization of the
Cahuenga Press beginning in 1989. The group's original members Jimm Cushing, Phoebe MacAdams, Holly Prado, Celia Woloch,
Bill Mohr, and Harry Northup developed the press in order to independently publish their writings. The materials include
correspondence with authors and literary professionals, fundraising materials, meeting minutes, organizational history, photographs,
press releases, and reading announcements.
B) The Published Works subseries, arranged by author, consists of typescript drafts, edited drafts, correspondence, press
releases, and reviews of the poets published through Cahuenga Press. The Press also released anthologies by the late Ann
Stanford, DREAMING THE GARDEN (2000) and Jonathan Cott, HOMELANDS (2000).
SERIES 9: FILM AND TELEVISION SCRIPTS
Series nine, arranged alphabetically by title, contains annotated screenplays and television scripts for Northup parts as
a stage and screen actor from 1962-2002. The collection includes such films as THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, TAXI DRIVER, and
PHILADELPHIA. The series also contains memorabilia from the film sets such as call logs and film reviews.
SERIES 10: AUDIO CASSETTE RECORDINGS
The AUDIO CASSETTE RECORDINGS series contains selected voice recorded readings and documentations of Northup's own poetry
and of others, including Ann Stanford and Walt Whitman from 1977-2001. The subseries also contains master and rough copies
of his record releases PERSONAL CRIME and HOMES.
SERIES 11: VIDEO RECORDINGS
The VIDEO RECORDINGS series contains mainly independently produced programs on cable community television from selections
of Northup's anthology entitled THE RAGGED VERTICAL.
SERIES 12: ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES
The ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES series contains the originals of brittle or high acid content documents that have
Additions to the papers of poet Harry Northup
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Northup, Harry E. -- Archives
Poetry -- United States -- 20th century
Ginsberg, Allen, 1926- -- correspondent
Stanford, Ann -- correspondent
Prado, Holly -- correspondent
Corsaro, Frank -- correspondent
Mohr, Bill -- correspondent
Hickman, Leland -- correspondent
Braverman, Kate -- correspondent
Demme, Jonathan, 1944- -- correspondent
Cushing, James -- correspondent
Peters, Robert, 1924- -- correspondent
MacAdams, Phoebe -- correspondent