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Guide to the Robert Creeley Computer Files, 1988-2002
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical note
  • Biographical chronology
  • Scope and Content
  • Access Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Creeley, Robert, Computer Files,
    Date (inclusive): 1988-2002
    Collection number: M1081
    Creator: Creeley, Robert
    Extent: .5 linear ft. (51 floppy disks, 5 Zip Disks, 3 CD-ROMs)
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Abstract: Working papers and correspondence (principally outgoing but also incoming email) from the late 1980s through 2002.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    All medical records for Robert Creeley and his family have been restricted, as have student recommendations and certain financial documents.
    Electronic access to the Robert Creeley's Computer Files is currently being developed. Researcher's interested in accessing these materials should direct their requests to Michael Olson, Special Collections Assistant Librarian for Electronic Media Materials at (650) 723-1704 or mgolson@stanford.edu.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation

    Robert Creeley, Computer Files. M1081. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased, 1999.

    Biographical note

    Recognized as a seminal figure of American letters in the second half of the 20th century, Robert White Creeley was born in Arlington, Massachusetts, on May 21, 1926, attended the Holderness School and then Harvard College. He received degrees from The Black Mountain College (B.A., 1956) and the University of New Mexico (M.A., 1960).
    After serving as an ambulance driver for the American Field Service in India and Burma, then living for a year outside Aix-en-Provence, France, Creeley moved in 1952 to Mallorca, where he founded and edited the Divers Press. Upon his return to the United States and at the invitation of Charles Olson, Creeley moved to North Carolina where he joined the faculty of the Black Mountain College and edited the short-lived but highly influential journal, The Black Mountain Review (1954 -1957). Though he left the college in 1955, Creeley had already established himself as one of the leading figures of the literary avant-garde of the 1950s, establishing with Charles Olson the "Black Mountain School,"one of the most important movements in American letters, the foundation of Projective Verse, a break from the New Criticism and its "insistence on form as extrensic to the poem. He is notable for having established a lasting association with his literary mentors-Pound, Williams, Zukofsky, Bunting, and Dahlberg, among others-as well as those poets, writers and visual artists associated with the experimental arts of Black Mountain and the 1950s avant-garde. Among these are Paul Blackburn, John Chamberlain, Francisco Clemente, Cid Corman, Fielding Dawson, Jim Dine, Elsa Dorfman, Ed Dorn, Robert Duncan, Robert Indiana, R.B. Kitaj, Denise Levertov, Marisol, and especially Charles Olson, with whom Creeley corresponded extensively and collaborated on Mayan Letters (1953). Creeley was also a presence in the San Francisco poetry renaissance, where he formed a life-long association with Barth, Corso, Ginsberg, Kerouac, and McClure. Creeley is currently the SUNY Distinguished Professor of English and holds the Samuel P. Capen Chair of Poetry and Humanities at the State University of New York, Buffalo, a center of innovation and postmodern poetics, particularly that or those of the so-called "L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E" poets.
    While his oeuvre includes short stories, essays, a novel, as well as criticism, Creeley is known principally as a poet. His friend and fellow poet John Ashbery has said of Creeley and his work, "He is the best we have." He has published over thirty volumes of verse since 1952, including: Words (1967); Pieces (1969); St. Martin's (1971); A Day Book (1972); Thirty Things (1974); Presences : A Text for Marisol (1976); Away (1976); Echoes (1982); Mirrors (1983); Memory Gardens (1986); and Windows (1990). His most recent collections of poems are Echoes (1994), published by New Directions, and Loops (1995), published by Nadja. Among his collections of poems are: For Love : Poems, 1950-1960 (1962); Poems 1950-1965 (1966); The Charm (1971); The Finger : Poems 1966-1969 (1970); The Door : Selected Poems (1975); Selected Poems (1976); The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1945-1975 (1982); and Selected Poems 1945-1990 (1991).
    Creeley has been awarded numerous literary prizes, including the Horst Bienek Lyrikpreis from the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Fulbright Award, and a Rockefeller Grant. He was named New York State Poet Laureate in 1992. Creeley is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
    He lives with his wife, Penelope Highton Creeley, and two of his six children in Buffalo, New York.

    Biographical chronology

    1926 Robert White Creeley born in Arlington, Massachusetts, May 21 to Oscar Slate and Genevieve Jules Creeley
    1928 Left eye injured in accident
    1930 Father died. Family moves to West Acton
    1940 Entered Holderness School
    1943 Entered Harvard College
    1944-1945 Served in the American Field Service in India and Burma
    1945 Returned to Harvard
    1946 First published poem. Married Ann MacKinnon.
    1947 Left Harvard without a degree
    1948 Son David born
    1948-1951 Lived in Littleton, NH where he bred pigeons
    1950 Son Thomas born. Began correspondence with Charles Olson. Became American editor for Ranier Gerhardt's Fragmente
    1951 Lived outside Aix-en-Province, France
    1952 Daughter Charlotte born. Published Le Fou, his first book of poems. Moved to Majorca to establish Divers Press
    1953 The Kind of Act of [poems] The Immoral Proposition [poems]
    1954 The Gold Diggers [short stories] Taught at Black Mountain College First issue of Black Mountain Review, edited by Creeley, published in March
    1955 Divorced from Ann MacKinnon All that is lovely in men [poems]
    1956 Left Black Mountain College. If you [poems] Visited San Francisco Moves to Albuquerque Receives B.A. from Black Mountain College
    1957 Married Bobbie Hall The Whip [collection of poems] Daughter Sarah born
    1959 Daughter Katherine Williams born Moved to Guatemala A Form of Women [poems]
    1960 Received M.A. from University of New Mexico Received Levinson Prize Included in The New American Peotry : 1945-1960
    1961 Instructor at University of New Mexico
    1962 For Love : Poems 1950-1960 Instructor at University of British Columbia
    1963 Moved to Placitas, NM Vancouver Poetry Festival The Island [novel]
    1964 Received Guggenheim Fellowship Received Oscar Blumenthal Prize
    1965 Berkeley Poetry Conference The Gold Diggers and other stories [short stories] Edited with Donald Allen New American Story Words [poems] Received Rockefeller Grant
    1966 National Educational Television Film, "Poetry : Robert Creeley"
    1966-1970 Visiting Professor at State University of New York, Buffalo
    1967 Words [poems] Edited with Donald Allen The New Writing in the USA Colloborated with R.B. Kitaj on A Sight Robert Creeley Reads [recorded reading]
    1967-present Named Professor of English at SUNY, Buffalo
    1968 Taught at University of New Mexico The Finger [poems] Numbers [poems]
    1969 Pieces [poems] The Charm [poems]
    1970 Moved to Bolinas, CA Taught at San Francisco State University A Quick Graph : Collected Notes & Essays [criticism]
    1972 A Day Book [journal and poems] Listen [a radio play]
    1973 Edited Whitman: Selected Poems Moved to Buffalo His Idea [poems]
    1974 Thirty Things [poems]
    1976 Presences : a text for Marisol [prose] Away [poems] Selected Poems Divorced Bobbie Hall Creeley
    1977 Married Penelope Highton
    1978 Boundary 2 published a double issue called Robert Creeley : A Gathering
    1979 Later [poems]
    1980 First volume of Charles Olson and Robert Creeley : The Complete Correspondence published by Black Sparrow Press
    1981 Son William born Awarded Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America
    1982 NEA Grant
    1983 Daughter Hannah born Hello : a journal [poems] DAAD Fellowship in Berlin
    1984 Appointed David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters, SUNY Buffalo
    1985 Awarded Leone d'Oro Premio Speziale, Venice
    1987 2nd DAAD Fellowship in Berlin Awarded Frost Medal by Poetry Society of America
    1988 Robert Creeley's Life and Work published Received Distinguished Fulbright Award as Bicentennial Chair in American Studies, Helsinki University
    1989-1991 New York State Poet
    1990 Named Capen Professor of Poetry and Humanities, SUNY Buffalo
    1991 Autobiography [essay]
    1993 Tom Clark's Robert Creeley and the Genius of the American Common Place published Received Horst Bienek Lyrikpreis from Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts Tales out of School : Selected Interviews
    1994 Echoes [poems]
    1995 Loops : Ten Poems

    Scope and Content

    Robert Creeley's Computer Files document the life work of a leading American poet of the 20th century, one of the core members of the "Black Mountain School." They also document several important movements in American poetics in the second half of the century. The computer files include Creeley's personal and professional correspondence, journals, business records, personal mementos, games, and other documents generated and collected by him from 1988 to 1997.
    Wherever Creeley's original arrangement of materials was encountered, his order has been respected. However, in many instances the computer files arrived without any clear indication of Creeley's own intellectual organization and disk numbers were assigned as the floppy disks were preserved. The disk numbers do not refer to the order in which the computer files were created and researcher's should reference the date ranges to determine correct chronological order.

    Access Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    American literature--20th century.
    Computer files.
    Floppy disks.