Scope and Content
Title: Philip Whalen Correspondence,
Date (inclusive): 1978-1987
0.8 linear feet
Abstract: Philip Whalen (1923-2002), American poet of the beat generation, authored
On Bear's Head, and
The Invention of the Letter, among other works. This
collection contains letters to Whalen from his fellow poets, Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, Bernadette Mayer,
Michael McClure, Alice Notley, Gary Snyder, and Anne Waldman.
Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many
are stored offsite.
University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special
Davis, California 95616-5292
Collection number: D-492
Language of Material: Collection materials in English.
Philip Whalen (1923-2002) graduated from Reed College in 1951 on the GI Bill after serving in the Army Air
Corps in World War II. It was at Reed that Whalen met and became friends with poets Gary Snyder and Lew Welch.
Several years later, Whalen was one of the poets who read with Snyder and others at the historic Six Gallery
reading in San Francisco on October 13, 1955. Allen Ginsberg first performed his poem, Howl, at the Six Gallery
After spending several years in Japan, Whalen was ordained a Buddhist monk in 1973 and spent two decades in Zen
Centers in San Francisco and New Mexico.
Whalen wrote nearly two dozen books including
Memoirs of an Interglacial Age,
Like I Say,
On Bear's Head,
The Kindness of Strangers: Poems, 1969-1974,
Canoeing up Cabarga Creek: Buddhist Poems, 1955-1986, and
He passed away on June 26, 2002.
Scope and Content
The collection contains correspondence from poets, Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, Bernadette Mayer, Michael
McClure, Alice Notley, Gary Snyder, and Anne Waldman. The letters which span from 1978-1987 discuss topics such
as poetry, fellow poets, and arrangements for poetry readings, among other topics.
The letters are arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley holds the Philip Whalen Papers.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public
Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005--Correspondence
Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997--Correspondence
Notley, Alice, 1945---Correspondence
Snyder, Gary, 1930---Correspondence
Waldman, Anne, 1945---Correspondence
Poets, American--20th century--Correspondence
Collection is open for research.
Acquired from Michael Sherick in 1988.
Sara Gunasekara processed these papers and created and encoded this finding aid. Student employee Linda Trach
assisted with data entry work.
[Identification of item], Phillip Whalen Correspondence, D-492, Department of Special Collections, General
Library, University of California, Davis.
Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to
publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission
for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of
California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the
copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.