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Paul Blackburn Papers
MSS 0004  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Papers of an American poet, translator, editor, and literary agent, containing materials that detail the course of his career and personal life from the early 1940s through the early 1970s. Blackburn was the author of nineteen books of poetry published between 1955 and 1980, the last six appearing posthumously. He translated the work of such writers as Pablo Picasso, Federico Garcia Lorca and Julio Cortazar, and served as Cortezar's agent. He was also a contributing editor of the BLACK MOUNTAIN REVIEW and the poetry editor of THE NATION for a short time. Over half of the collection is composed of photographs and correspondence. The photographs are primarily of Blackburn's family and friends. The correspondence relates to both personal and professional matters, and consists not only of letters received by Blackburn, but also of many copies of his own letters. Among the prominent correspondents are Julio Cortazar, Charles Reznikoff, Ezra Pound, Octavio Paz, Charles Olson, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, and Blackburn's mother, Frances Frost. The collection also includes manuscripts and typescripts of poems, prose and translations dated from the 1940s through the early 1970s and materials relating to the business aspects of Blackburn's career, including contracts, reading schedules and some business correspondence.
Background
Born in Saint Albans, Vermont, November 24th 1926, Paul Blackburn influenced contemporary literature through his poetry, translations and the encouragement and patronage he offered to fellow poets. His parents, William Gordon Blackburn and Frances Frost (also a poet, novelist and author of children's books) separated when Blackburn was three. He was cared for primarily by his maternal grandparents until he was fourteen, when his mother took him back to New York City to live with her in Greenwich Village. He began writing poetry in his late teens under her encouragement.
Extent
20.50 linear feet (49 archives boxes, 2 card file boxes and 8 oversize folders)
Restrictions
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Availability
Collection is open for research.