Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Holly Prado Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 597
Mandeville Special Collections Library
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
Language of Material:
10.6 Linear feet
(28 archives boxes, 2 oversize folders)
Date (inclusive): 1952 - 2007
The Holly Prado Papers include material spanning the career of poet Holly Prado, from examples of early efforts written in
her youth in the 1950s, through her professional work into the early 2000s, with the greatest portion of material dating from
the 1970s and 1990s. Prado's personal journals, dating from 1960 - 1999, make up the largest portion of the collection. Influenced
by Jungian psychology, Prado has described journals an important tool for "nourishing" her writing. The second largest group
of material consists of poetry, sometimes including more than one draft, annotations, and corrections. The balance of the
collection includes personal and professional correspondence, notes, and materials relating to Prado's active involvement
with teaching and literary events.
Scope and Content of Collection
Accession Processed in 2006
The Holly Prado Papers include material spanning the career of Holly Prado, from examples of early efforts written in her
youth in the 1950s, through her professional work into the late 1990s, with the greatest portion of material dating from the
1970s and 1980s. Prado's personal journals make up the largest portion of the collection. The second largest group of material
consists of poetry, sometimes including more than one draft, annotations and corrections. The balance of the collection includes
correspondence, notes, and materials relating to Prado's active involvement with teaching and literary events.
The collection is arranged in ten series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS, 4) NOTES, 5) READINGS,
6) TEACHING MATERIALS, 7) CONFERENCES, 8) JOURNALS, 9) WRITINGS BY OTHERS, and 10) MISCELLANEOUS.
SERIES 1: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS
The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series contains material providing general background on Holly Prado's life and career. It includes
drafts of her resumes from the 1970s through late 1980s, brief biographies, a grant application, and newspaper clippings of
articles about Prado.
SERIES 2: CORRESPONDENCE
The CORRESPONDENCE series includes personal and professional correspondence. Given Prado's active involvement with poetry
publications and acquaintance with other writers, professional and personal may overlap, with personal letters from friends
occasionally including comments on Prado's work. Query letters to poetry journals and magazines are also present.
SERIES 3: WRITINGS
The WRITINGS series chiefly consists of Prado's poetry, typically in typescript form, sometimes annotated. Some examples of
Prado's earliest writing efforts from the 1950s and early 1960s are also present, including work Prado submitted for publication
while still a student at Albion College and clippings of a column Prado wrote for the Albion College student newspaper.
The series is arranged in six subseries: A) Childhood and Early Writings, B) Student Work, C) Poems, D) Poetry Collections,
E) Poetry Miscellaneous, and F) Prose.
A) The Childhood and Early Writings subseries includes material Prado describes in a note as writing created "before I had
any idea I could have a writing life." Earliest material includes poems from the early 1950s. Short prose and a one act play
are also present.
B) The Student Work subseries primarily includes short prose written while Prado was a student at Albion College, between
1954 and 1960, writing under her given name, Holly Johnson. Several clippings of her column for the Albion College student
The Pleiad, are also included. A paper, written for a Contemporary American Literature class taught by Peter Marin at Cal State, Los
Angeles, is located is this subseries as well.
C) The Poems subseries includes individual poems and prose-poems, finished and unfinished, some in more than one version.
Poems are typically typed, occasionally with handwritten annotations, and date from the late 1970s to early 1990s.
D) The Poetry Collections subseries includes groups of poems from Prado's files with a collective title. Some work is grouped
thematically, some created as a poem cycle, and some grouped in collections intended for publication. Work dates from the
1970s to early 1990s.
E) The Poetry Miscellaneous subseries consists of poems and prose-poems from Prado's files grouped to represent various date
spans. The largest portion of material dates from the 1970s.
F) The Prose subseries includes several works of short prose, typed drafts and newspaper clippings of Prado's reviews for
Los Angeles Times, and a draft of her unpublished novel The Bright Obvious from 1989.
SERIES 4: NOTES
The NOTES series chiefly consists of notepads which Prado and her husband, actor and poet Harry Northup, kept by their bedside
between 1980 and 1995. On the notepads Prado and Northup shared thoughts, feelings, observations, and short messages. The
subseries also includes a small amount of Prado's writing notes, notes from and about classes she attended in 1963 and 1964,
and some working lists of material she had submitted for publication and information about sources for grants and awards.
SERIES 5: READINGS
The READINGS series includes preparatory material and annotated poems used for live readings during the 1970s and 1980s.
SERIES 6: TEACHING MATERIALS
The TEACHING MATERIALS series includes preparatory material for writing workshops led by Prado, and courses for which Prado
was a guest lecturer.
SERIES 7: CONFERENCES
The CONFERENCES series chiefly consists of notes and organizational material for conferences in which Prado participated.
The largest amount of material relates to the Woman's Words Conference (1975), including promotional materials which Prado
helped create and a packet of writings by various authors who participated in the conference.
SERIES 8: JOURNALS
The JOURNALS series comprises the largest amount of material in the collection. Prado's personal journals date from 1960 through
1999. Influenced by Jungian psychology, Prado has described journals an important tool for "nourishing" her writing. They
record thoughts, experiences, and dreams, and sometimes include drawings, photographs, or ephemera. Some journals deal specifically
with trips Prado took, or dreams and are typically handwritten.
This series is restricted. Patrons must obtain written permission from Holly Prado before viewing these journals.
SERIES 9: WRITINGS BY OTHERS
The WRITINGS BY OTHERS series includes a small selection of material, chiefly short prose, by authors other than Prado on
subjects of interest to her. Works of particular note in this series are essays written by students evaluating Prado's writing.
SERIES 10: MISCELLANEOUS
The MISCELLANEOUS series includes material relating to a memorial service for poet Leland Hickman; a collection of newspaper
clippings, correspondence and other material relating to a dispute between Los Angeles area poets and the
Los Angeles Times Book Review, which led to an organized demonstration in 1988; an abstract photograph; a calendar; and miscellaneous publication announcements.
Accession Processed in 2008
The accession processed in 2008 compliments the previous accession. It includes material spanning Prado's work mainly through
the 1980s and 1990s. It is arranged in four series: 11) CORRESPONDENCE, 12) WRITINGS, 13) READINGS, and 14) JOURNALS.
SERIES 11: CORRESPONDENCE
The CORRESPONDENCE series includes personal and private correspondece from 1988-2007. It includes letters with publishers,
as well as personal correspondence that may also include professional comments.
SERIES 12: WRITINGS
The WRITINGS series consists chiefly of Prado's poetry collections as well as works published in other journals. It is arranged
in four subseries: A) Poetry Collections, B) Prose, C) Works Within Journals, and D) Miscellaneous.
A) The Poetry Collections subseries includes collections of poems compiled under one title, including Prado's works
American Poetry and
Orpheus. The work spans from 1991 through 2003.
B) The Prose subseries includes essays and publishing information on Prado's novel
Gardens, 1982 through 1987.
C) The Works Within Journals are instances of Prado's work in other publications, from 1973 through 2006.
D) The Miscellaneous subseries includes essays written by others on Prado's work and other unnamed writing projects.
SERIES 13: READINGS
The READINGS series includes annotated materials used for live readings during the 1990s.
SERIES 14: JOURNALS
The JOURNALS series includes Prado's personal journals from 1999 to 2004. All are titled by date span. The journals are typically
handwritten and occasionally include drawings and clippings. This series is restricted. Patrons must obtain written permission
from Holly Prado before viewing these journals.
Poet Holly Prado was born in 1938 in Lincoln, Nebraska. She received a B.A. from Albion College in 1960. After graduating,
she moved to Los Angeles, where she remained to become an active, influential member of the Southern California literary community
as a poet, educator, and regular participant in live poetry readings and literary events. She married actor and poet Harry
Northup in 1990.
Prado has been involved in poetry and literary education for all age groups since the mid-1960s. She taught English at John
Marshall High School in Los Angeles (1965-1972), participated in a Poetry in the Schools Program sponsored by the Department
of Labor and National Endowment for the Arts (1973-1974), and has taught numerous writing workshops offered through a variety
of schools and organizations. As of 2006 she is included as a faculty member of the University of Southern California Master
of Professional Writing Program.
Prado began writing for publication while still in college, but attributes a 1970 writing workshop taught by Alvaro Cardona-Hine
with helping her develop her mature style. Prado's first published collection was
Nothing Breaks Off at the Edge (1976). Her other published collections include
Specific Mysteries (1990),
Esperanza: Poems for Orpheus (1998), and
These Mirrors Prove It: Selected Poems and Prose, 1970-2003 (2005). Her poetry has also appeared in various anthologies, poetry journals, and magazines such as
Rolling Stone. In addition to poetry, Prado has contributed essays and reviews to several periodicals, notably the
Los Angeles Times Book Review, and published two books of prose,
Feasts (1976) and
Gardens (1985). Prado became a founding member of the Cahuenga Press Poets Publishing Cooperative in 1989 with James Cushing, Phoebe
MacAdams, and Harry Northup.
Prado's work is often noted for her use of a mythic voice and references to classical myths and mysteries. In the introduction
to her collection
Greatest Hits (2000), she described the work in
Specific Mysteries and
Word Rituals (released as a spoken word recording in 1993) as "ceremonies making words sacred." Jungian psychology has also had a significant
influence on Prado's work, especially her enthusiasm for keeping personal journals. In the literary journal
Chrysalis (no. 7, 1979) she discussed personal journaling as an important tool for keeping in touch with the unconscious, developing
intuitiveness, and exploring emotional states without self-censoring, as well as a means of "nourishing" writing intended
for publication. Her personal journals record thoughts, experiences, and dreams and sometimes include drawings, photographs,
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Holly Prado Papers, MSS 597. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Prado's journals may not be viewed without written permission from Holly Prado. Also, documents containing personal information
are restricted until 2088. Redacted copies remain and may be consulted.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Northup, Harry E.
Woman's Words Conference.
American poetry--20th century
Poetry -- Congresses
Poetry -- Study and teaching (Secondary)