Finding Aid of the Peter Shneidre papers 0163

Finding aid prepared by Rebecca Hirsch and Rajanabh Bahukhandi
The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid was funded by the generous support of the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.
USC Libraries Special Collections
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California, 90089-0189
July 2010

Title: Peter Shneidre papers
Collection number: 0163
Contributing Institution: USC Libraries Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 20.0 Linear feet 19 boxes
Date (inclusive): 1974-2007
Abstract: This collection contains the papers of Peter Shneidre, who ran the small poetry press Illuminati Press and who published a number of small poetry periodicals. Shneidre was also a nationally published poet and he corresponded with a number of poets about both business and personal matters between 1980 and his death in 2007. This collection also includes the financial records of Illuminati Press and the Press's publication files.
creator: Illuminati Press.
creator: Shneidre, Peter, 1950-2007

Biographical Note

Peter Shneidre, born in 1950, grew up in Claremont, California, and moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA in the 1970s. In 1974, Shneidre began publishing small books of poetry and a year later he started Marilyn: The Magazine of Poems with his longtime friend Jeff Powers. After closing down Marilyn in 1978, Shneidre began to collect poetry for his first solo venture, the magazine Orpheus (1980-1983). In 1981, Shneidre began the influential small press, Illuminati Press, which published approximately 100 items over twelve years. Authors published by Illuminati Press include Viggo Mortensen, Charles Bukowski, Kate Braverman, Richard Meltzer and Lyn Lifshin, among others. Between 1985 and 1987, Shneidre also published three issues of his journal Nude Erections, which presented mild eroticism and disquisitions on love.
While Shneidre was running Illuminati Press, he was also involved with the Los Angeles Poetry Theatre (1980-1981) and the organization of poetry readings in various Los Angeles venues including the Beverly Center, Al's Bar and the Ocean Park Branch Library in Santa Monica. The readings and panel discussions included both local and visiting poets. Illuminati Press did not publish any of Shneidre's works, but he was a poet published in many national periodicals, including the Paris Review, Rolling Stone, the Antioch Review and Shenandoah.
After Illuminati Press ceased publication in 1994, Shneidre focused on his own poetry and began to write short fiction, essays and translations of Buddhist texts. He also began writing a series of folk operas on various religious leaders, including Jesus, Buddha and David. Shneidre was an active member of the Vedanta Society of Southern California with his wife, Anya Cronin, until he passed away in 2007.

Scope and Content

Collection contains the records of the small press publisher Illuminati Press and the three poetry periodicals Peter Shneidre ran-- Nude Erections, Orpheus and Marilyn. Records consist of correspondence, galleys, proofs, published works and administrative files. Also included are a few audiocassette recordings of poetry events and documents pertaining to the productions of the Los Angeles Poetry Theatre in the early 1980s.

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection contains published materials; researchers are reminded of the copyright restrictions imposed by publishers on reusing their articles and parts of books. It is the responsibility of researchers to acquire permission from publishers when reusing such materials. The copyright to unpublished materials belongs to the heirs of the writers. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name], Peter Shneidre papers, Collection no. 0163, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California


Purchased from Peter Shneidre, circa 2004-2005.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Braverman, Kate -- Correspondence
Gray, Janet -- Correspondence
Illuminati Press. -- Archives
Lifshin, Lyn -- Correspondence
Shneidre, Peter, 1950-2007 -- Archives
American poetry--20th century--Archival resources
Authors, American--20th century--Archival resources
Page proofs
Poets, American--20th century--Archival resources
Small press books--Archival resources
Small presses--California--Los Angeles--20th century--Archival resources

Box 1-5, 11

Correspondence Files

Scope and Content

Series contains files of correspondence and poetry arranged in alphabetical order by correspondent. Files pertain to publications with which Shneidre was involved, but also include social and other business correspondence. Correspondents include Kate Braverman, Lyn Lifshin, Richard Meltzer, David Lincoln Fisher, Janet Gray, Nichola Manning, Greg Kuzma, F.A. Nettelback, and Henry Rollins.

Publication Files

Scope and Content

Series contains the publication files (arranged by title of work) for Shneidre's various projects, including works published by Illuminati Press, Marilyn, Orpheus and Nude Erections. Files include drafts, galleys and proofs of works along with correspondence about the individual publications.
Box 6-7, 11-17

Illuminati Press

Box 7


Box 7

Nude Erections

Box 7


Box 7

Unidentified Works

Box 7

Los Angeles Poetry Theater

Scope and Content

Series contains programs, scripts and ephemera from productions produced by the Los Angeles Poetry Theater.
Box 8

Administrative Files

Scope and Content

Series contains files pertaining to the administration of Illuminati Press. Included in this series are flyers advertising events, letterhead, forms, reviews of Illuminati Press books and other press clippings pertaining to poetry and Illuminati Press.
Box 18-19

Sound Recordings

Scope and Content

Series contains six audiocassette recordings of poetry readings.


Scope and Content

Series contains works published by Illuminati Press, Shneidre's short-lived periodicals Nude Erections, Orpheus and Marilyn, publications in which Sneidre's poetry and prose were published and other miscellaneous publications included in the collection (frequently by authors also published by Illuminati Press).
Box 8-10

Illuminati Press


Bachardy, Don. 70x1 (Illuminati, 1983).


Bogen, Laurel Ann. (Illuminati, 1982).


Bogen, Laurel Ann. Do Iguanas Dance, Under the Moonlight (Illuminati, 1987).


Bogen, Laurel Ann. The Great Orange Leonard Scandal (Illuminati, 1987).


Bogen, Laurel Ann. The Projects (Illuminati, 1987).


Bogen, Laurel Ann. Rag Tag We Kiss (Illuminati, 1987).


Bogen, Laurel Ann. Origami: The Unfolding Hearts Poem (Illuminati, 1987).


Braverman, Kate. Hurricane Warnings (Illuminati, 1987).


Braverman, Kate. Postcard from August (Illuminati, 1987).


Bukowski, Charles. A Visitor Complains of His Disenfranchise (Illuminati, 1987).


Carr, Robin. 101 Girls (Illuminati, 1988).


Clark, Tom. Property (Illuminati, 1984).


Crosson, Robert. Calliope (Illuminati, 1988).


Danks, Rabindra. Shadow Boxing (Illuminati, 1979).


Dougherty, Jay. coveringdeertrackswithwords (Illuminati, 1984).


Ford, Michael C. Ladies Above Suspicion (Illuminati, 1987).


Ford, Michael C. Goddess Latitudes and The Great American Grab-bag of 1945 (Illuminati, 1983).


Fox, Laurie. Sweeping Beauty; or, Notes on Cinderella (Illuminati, 1986).


Fox, Laurie. Sweeping Beauty; or, Notes on Cinderella (Illuminati, 1984).


Fox, Laurie. I [heart] Walt (Illuminati, 1984).


Gerstler, Amy. Martine's Mouth (Illuminati, 1985).


Gerstler, Amy. White Marriage and Recovery (Illuminati, 1984).


Gray, Janet. Flaming Tail out of the Ground Near Your Farm (Illuminati, 1987).


Gray, Janet. I Hate Men (Illuminati, 1987).


Gray, Janet. To Pull Out the Peachboy (Illuminati, 1983).


Kessler, Jascha. To Kolonus (Illuminati, 1988).


Klotz, Suzanne and Jeffery Powers. everything's the same (Illuminati, 1978).


Klotz, Suzanne and Jeffery Powers. everything's the same (Illuminati, 1984).


Krusoe, James. abcedefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz (Illuminati, 1984).


Krusoe, James. Hotel de Dream (Illuminati, 1991).


Kuzma, Greg. A Horse of a Different Color. (Illuminati, 1993).


Lifshin, Lyn. Naked Charm (Illuminati, 1984).


Lifshin, Lyn. Naked Charm (Illuminati, 1990).


Lifshin, Lyn. Raw Opals (Illuminati, 1987).


Locklin, Gerald. The Phantom of the Johnny Carson Show (Illuminati, 1984).


Lummis, Suzanne. Idiosyncrasies (Illuminati, 1984).


Manning, Nichola. All Down to a River (Illuminati, 1984).


Meltzer, Richard and Nick Tosches. Frankie, Part One (Illuminati, 1984).


Meltzer, Richard and Nick Tosches. Frankie, Part Two (Illuminati, 1987).


Meltzer, Richard. A Sitting Duck for Your Tender, Loving Spiked Heel on My Scrotum (Illuminati, 1987).


Meltzer, Richard. Post-Natal Trash (Illuminati, 1984).


Meltzer, Richard. Prickley Heat and Cold (Illuminati, 1984).


Meltzer, Richard. Guide to the Ugliest Buildings of Los Angeles (Illuminati, 1986).


Morris, Herbert. Afghanistan (Illuminati, 1984).


Mortensen, Viggo. Ten Last Night (Illuminati, 1993).


Nettelbeck, F.A. Americruiser (Illuminati, 1983).


Perez, Tony. On Earth (Illuminati, 1980).


Peters, Robert. Brueghel's Pig (Illuminati, 1989).


Pillin, William. Another Dawn (Illuminati, 1984).


Ratch, Jerry. Lenin's Patinings (Illuminati, 1987).


Skelley, Jack. From Fear of Kathy Acker (Illuminati, 1984).


Skelley, Jack. More Fear of Kathy Acker (Illuminati, 1984).


Spacks, Barry. Brief Sparrow (Illuminati, 1988).


St. John, David. The Orange Piano (Illuminati, 1987).


Thomas, John. Nevertheless (Illuminati, 1990).


Trinidad, David. Living Doll (Illuminati, 1986).


Trinidad, David. Pavane (Illuminati, 1988).


Webb, Charles. Nose Collector (Illuminati, 1985).


Young, Gary. Hands (Illuminati, 1979).


Young, Gary. Hands (Illuminati, 1981).

Box 8

Nude Erections


Number 1 1984


Number 2 1985


Number 3 1986

Box 8

Orpheus: The Magazine of Poems


Volume I, Number 1: Spring 1980


Volume I, Number 2: Fall 1980


Volume I, Number 3: Winter 1980

Box 8

Marilyn: A Magazine of New Poetry


Volume I: Autumn 1975


Volume II: Spring 1976


Volume III: Autumn 1976


Volume IV: Spring 1977

Box 8

Other Publications


Anderson, Eldridge. Through the Awakening Eye (Pygmalion Press, 1976).


Gray, Janet. The Purse (no publisher, 1991).


Nettelbeck, F.A. Bar Napkin Poems (1982).


Nettelbeck, F.A. Bug Death (Alcatraz Editions, 1979).


Fisher, David. Teachings (Ross/Backroads Books, 1978).


Krusoe, James. History of the World (Bombshelter Press, 1977).


Nettelbeck, F.A. The Used Future (Alley Island Press, 1978).


The Wormwood Review. Volume 25, Number 1, Issue 97 (1985).


McDaniel, Wilma Elizabeth. A Girl from Buttonwillow (Wormwood Review, 1990).


Krusoe, James. Small Pianos (Momentum Press, 1978).


Grove: Contemporary Poetry and Translation. Number 1 (Summer 1975).


Nettelbeck, F.A. Spectator (The Drivel Press, 1977).


Nettelbeck, F.A. No Place East (Rough Life Press, 1976).


Nettelbeck, F.A. destroy all monsters (konglomerati press, 1976).

Box 10

Shneidre's Publications


Suspended Sentences (Los Angeles, Pygmalion Press). 1974


Seven Men of Letters, Grain. 1974 December


"The Art of Life," Westwind. 1975


"Prayer of a Surrealist," Westwind II. Spring 1975


"The Bump that Hurt" and "1890 Uncle Sam," Kayak #40. November 1975


"An April Obsolescence," Grain. February 1976


"Bore Your Friends," Aspen Anthology. 1976


"The Mixed Blessing," Mysterious Barriaces #4. Winter 1976


"Roy Roger's Last Will & Testament," Screen #7. 1976


"Tip of Your Tongue," Marilyn II. Spring 1976


"Children of Necessity" and "Lyrist in a Twilit Field," Invisible City #18-20. October 1976


"Why Did I Join Them" and "The Sacred Horses of Thakur," Canto 2:3. Fall 1978


"Aphorisms," Shenandoah 29:1. Fall 1978


"Cafe L.A.," Shenandoah 30:2. Winter 1979


"After Rilke: 3 Strophes," Jazz #5. 1979


"Aphorisms," Terminal Island News. August 1979


"From Exile, In Memory," Madrona V:17/18. Fall 1979


"A Clean Sheet," Foreign Exchange (Biographis Press). 1979


"Still More Aphorisms," Terminal Island News XXVI:1a&b. January 1980


"Seasonal," L.A. Weekly 5:3. December 17-23, 1982


"Ready To Die," Rolling Stone #392. March 31, 1983


"Scenario" and "The Day I Saw You," Madrona VI:19. Spring 1984


"Publicity Dept.," Shattersheet #6. Feb 1986


"What To Do," Shattersheet #7. March 1986


"What To Do," Shattersheet #8. April 1986


"Do I Love You," Men Talk: An Anthology of Male Experience Poetry (Pacific House Books). 1985


"Note," Clock Radio. Spring 1986


"Lyric," Rolling Stone #472. April 24, 1986


"Badness," Shattersheet #11. July 1986


"Cafe L.A.," Smoke (UK). September 1986


"Synopses," Crawlspace #12. Spring 1986


"The Art of Life," L.A. Weekly 8:17. March 21-27, 1986


"Poet," Exquisite Corpse 4:5-8. May-August 1986


"She Knows or Thinks She Knows," Rolling Stone #478/479. July 17-31 1986


"The Sacrifice," Pinchpenny 7:2. 1986


"What Not To Name a Baby," Poetry Model. 1986


"Precocious," Exquisite Corpse 4:9-10. September-October 1986


"What To Do," Rattler #4. 1987


"At Her Party," Zyzzyva III:4. Winter 1987-8


"Mass Good Guy," Shattersheet #22. July 1987


"Finally," California Quarterly. Winter 1988-1989


"What It Will Be Like," Global Tapestry #19 (UK). March 1988


"What To Do," Idomo (UK). 1986


"Children of Necessity" and "Publicity Department" Sepia (UK). 1989


"The Minute," "To Death," "Your Key" Santa Monica Review 2:2. Spring 1990


12 Sidesteps, Los Angeles: tadbooks. 1994


"Thank You for Letting Us Look at Your Work," Exquisite Corpse #47. 1994


Skits for Adults (Los Angeles). 1995


"A Word," Chiron Review #43. Summer 1995


"The Scream," Exquisite Corpse #53. 1995


Let Kali Dance (Los Angeles: privately printed). 1995


"Get Your Coat," Western Humanities Review 49:4. Winter 1995


"Doorstep of the Universe," [pseud. Hiranyagarbha] Prabuddha Bharata, or Awakened India 101. January 1996


"The Dance of Shiva," Prabuddha Bharata, or Awakened India 101. July 1996


"Preface," Exquisite Corpse #56. 1996


"The Spiritual Life of God," Prabuddha Bharata, or Awakened India 101. October 1996


"The World He Came To," Prabuddha Bharata, or Awakened India 102. February 1997


"A Family that Valued God," Prabuddha Bharata, or Awakened India 102. June 1997


"And Let Shyama Dance There," Prabuddha Bharata, or Awakened India 102. October 1997


"Utilizing Floyd," Paris Review #145. Winter 1997-8


"Christopher Under the Wishing Tree" in The Isherwood Century: Essays on the Life and Work of Christopher Isherwood ed. James J. Berg & Chris Freeman (Madison: University of Wisconsin). 2001


"The Alarm of Silence in the Ear of Nothing" [Part I], American Vedantist 11:1. Spring 2005


"The Alarm of Silence in the Ear of Nothing" [Part II], American Vedantist 11:2. Summer 2005


"I'm not Interested in Being Myself--I'm Overqualified for that," Glendale Focus 2:11. June 9-20, 2005


"Yes, I Dipped my Bread in Your Soup. But Look at all the Crumbs I Left You," Glendale Focus 2:12. June 23-July 15, 2005


"My Life is Based on a True Story," Glendale Focus 2:13. July 14-23, 2005


"If He Gives You Two Reasons, He's Hiding a Third," Glendale Focus 2:13. September 16-30, 2005


"If God is Everywhere, How Can I Bow Down Without Mooning Him?" Glendale Focus 2:18. October 1-15, 2005


"If You Want Something Done, Give it to a Busy Man. Keep Me Out of it." Glendale Focus 3:1. January 16, 2006


Swami Vivekananda, Peter Shneidre, translator. All of Love (Unstruck Editions, 1995).