Olson, Charles, 1910-1970

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Charles Olson, the leading voice of the Black Mountain poets, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, and was a notable student at Wesleyan University, where his groundbreaking work on Herman Melville evolved into the highly praised monograph, Call Me Ishmael. Inspired by Franklin Roosevelt, Olson worked his way up through the Democratic Party, but quit after Roosevelt's death, and began a brilliant career as a writer and educator. His manifesto, Projective Verse, influenced a generation of poets with its thesis that traditional verse was artificial; Olson's own poetry was widely praised, and he is seen as the successor of Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams in promoting modern verse.

From the description of Charles Olson letter to Frances Motz Boldereff, circa 1948. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 69937737

Charles Olson was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on 27 December 1910, to Karl Joseph and Mary Hines Olson. He attended Wesleyan University where he received a B.A. in 1932 and a M.A. in 1933. He continued his graduate studies at Harvard University from 1936 to 1938. His daughter Katherine was born during his first marriage, to Constance Wilcock. His second marriage, to Elizabeth Kaiser, produced a son, Charles Peter. Elizabeth, or Betty as she was known to her friends, died tragically in a car accident in March 1964. Charles Olson received several prestigious awards during his long career, including two Guggenheim Fellowships, in 1939 and 1948; a Wenner-Gren Foundation grant in 1952; a Longview Foundation award for The Maximus Poems in 1961; and an Oscar Blumenthal Prize (Poetry magazine), 1965. Charles Olson died from cancer on 10 January 1970.

From the guide to the Charles Olson Research Collection., 1910-1970., (Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center .)

In 1960, Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems was published by the Jargon Society in conjuction with Corinth Books.

From the guide to the Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976, (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Rare Book Collection.)

In 1960, Charles Olson's "The Maximus Poems" was published by the Jargon Society in conjuction with Corinth Books.

From the description of Manuscripts regarding the publication of Charles Olson's "The Maximus Poems," 1959-1976. (Oceanside Free Library). WorldCat record id: 475551224

Poet, theorist, and teacher and rector at Black Mountain College, Black Mountain, N.C.

From the description of Charles Olson papers, ca. 1930-1969. (University of Connecticut). WorldCat record id: 28419698

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Gordon Cairnie papers, 1922-1973. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Papers, 1927-1999 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Mary Caroline Richards papers, 1928-1994 Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Trocchi, Alexander, 1925-1984. Alexander Trocchi collection of papers relating to the Edinburgh international writer's conference, 1962-1967. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Dorn, Edward. Edward Dorn papers, 1956-1993. University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library
referencedIn Rich, Adrienne Cecile. Papers: Series I-II, 1933-1999 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005. Robert Creeley papers, ca. 1940-1978. University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library
creatorOf Allen, Donald, 1912-2004. Donald Allen collection, 1930-2005. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
referencedIn Lavigne, Robert. Robert Lavigne papers, 1954-1969. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Raworth, Tom. Papers, ca. 1960-1978. University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library
referencedIn Loewinsohn, Ron. Papers, 1953-1976 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005. Papers, 1951-1990. Washington University in St. Louis, .
referencedIn Manuscripts and proofs of New Directions books, 1937-1997. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Economou, George. George Economou papers, 1954-1996. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn George Economou Papers, 1954-1996. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn John Taggart Papers, 1965-1974 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Rodefer, Stephen. Stephen Rodefer papers, 1955-1994. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Lowenfels, Walter, 1897-1976. Papers, 1966-1967. Washington University in St. Louis, .
referencedIn Catherine Seelye Papers., undated, 1917-1978 [bulk 1973-1976]. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
referencedIn Cid Corman collection of papers, 1941-1983, 1951-1974 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn New Yorker records, ca.1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Allen Ginsberg papers, 1937-1994 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Tom Raworth Papers, 1964-1977 Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries
referencedIn Loewinsohn, Ron. Ron Loewinsohn papers, 1953-1976. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Papers, 1920-1995. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Oppenheimer, Joel. Papers, ca. 1953-1989. EO Smith High School
creatorOf Olson, Charles, 1910-1970. Letter to George Starbuck. Gloucester. [1966] Oct. 7. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Lekakis, Michael, 1907-1987. Michael Lekakis papers, 1940-1990. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Poems and Letters of Charles Olson University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Department of Special Collections
referencedIn Dorfman, Elsa,. Elsa Dorfman photographs of Charles Olson, manuscript, [ca. 1970] Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Evans, George, 1948-. George Evans papers, 1931-1991. University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library
creatorOf Blackburn, Paul. Papers, 1900-1971, bulk 1919-1971. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
referencedIn Niagara Frontier Review, Collection., 1964. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
referencedIn McPheron, William. Research notes and papers pertaining to the prose writings of Charles Olson, ca. 1932-1999. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Gunn, Thom. Typed letter signed : San Francisco, to Lee Smith, 1988 June 21. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Grove Press Records, 1953-1985 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
creatorOf Corman, Cid. Cid Corman collection of papers, 1941-1983 bulk (1951-1974). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Goliard Press. Goliard Press records, 1961-1970. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Charles Olson Research Collection., 1910-1970. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
referencedIn Lane, Mervin. Mervin Lane manuscripts, 1987-1989. North Carolina Division of Archives & Hist
creatorOf Olson, Charles, 1910-1970. Poem on postcard, [ca. 1969]. Brown University, John Hay Library
referencedIn Woodberry Poetry Room (Harvard College Library) poetry readings, 1931- (ongoing). Woodberry Poetry Room, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Grand Valley State Colleges Oral History Project, 1976-1977 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Diane Di Prima Papers, 1948-1971 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Richard Gaither Walser Papers (#4168), 1918-1988 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Stony Brook Poetics Foundation. Stony Brook Poetics Foundation collection. [1961-1968]. University of Victoria Libraries, UVic
referencedIn Chase, Richard Volney, 1914-1962. Richard Volney Chase papers, ca.1930-1984. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Engel, Monroe,. Letters from Marianne Moore and Charles Olson, 1947-1962. Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Clark, Tom, 1941-. Tom Clark papers, ca. 1965-1990. University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library
referencedIn Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997. Allen Ginsberg papers, 1944-1991. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn (Everett) Leroi Jones (aka Amiri Baraka) Papers, 1957-1965 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
creatorOf Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Rare Book Collection.
referencedIn David Ignatow Papers, 1929-1994 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
creatorOf Alternative Press (Detroit, Michigan). [The Alternative Press collection], 1969-1992. Wayne State University
referencedIn Wieners, John, 1934-2002. Charles Olson-John Wieners Papers, 1952-1968. Boston College, Thomas P. O'Neill Library
creatorOf Olson, Charles, 1910-1970. Office files of The American Poetry Review, n.d. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Paul Blackburn Papers, 1919 - 1971 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
referencedIn Donald Allen Collection, 1930-2005 Mandeville Special Collections Library
referencedIn Allen Ginsberg papers, 1937-1994 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Rumaker, Michael, 1932-. Michael Rumaker papers, ca. 1957-1990. University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library
creatorOf Olson, Charles, 1910-1970. Letter to Larry Eigner : Black Mountain, N.C. : ALS, [1956?] June 20. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Richard Volney Chase Papers, ca.1930-1984. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Antioch Review mss., 1940-2007 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
referencedIn Brown, William D., 1918-. William D. Brown letters, 1946-1968. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Bronk, William. William Bronk papers, 1908-1999. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Tallman, William,. Poems by students in English 410, summer session, 1963, University of British Columbia, 1963, Vancouver. Brown University, John Hay Library
referencedIn Oyez Press Records., 1963-1987. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
referencedIn Robert A. Wilson collection, 1906-2011 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
creatorOf Schaff, David. Poetry and correspondence relating to the publication of Cassiopeia and Ephemeris, 1964-1974. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Olson, Charles, 1910-1970. Charles Olson letter to Frances Motz Boldereff, circa 1948. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Joel Oppenheimer Papers, 1925-1988. Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries
creatorOf Olson, Charles, 1910-1970. The fiery hunt : a dance-play / by Charles Olson for Erick Hawkins. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Wodening, Jane, 1936-. Jane Wodening and Stan Brakhage scrapbooks, 1958-1967. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Olson, Charles, 1910-1970. Charles Olson papers, ca. 1930-1969. University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library
referencedIn Ann Charters Papers., 1966-1982. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Center.
referencedIn Robert LaVigne Papers, 1954-1969. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Abbe, George, 1911-1989. [Free lance archives]. Washington University in St. Louis, .
referencedIn Edward Dorn Papers., undated, 1956-1993. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
referencedIn University of Connecticut, English Department Records, 1944-1982 Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries
referencedIn Vincent Ferrini Papers., n.d., 1949-1977. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Center.
referencedIn Corso, Gregory. Gregory Corso papers, 1949-1996. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Olson, Charles, 1910-1970. Photograph of Charles Olson [manuscript], n.d. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Allen, Donald, 1912-2004. Papers, 1957-1971. University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library
referencedIn Neville, Tove. Berkeley Poetry Conference photographs [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Gerard Malanga Papers, 1944-1971 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Ossman, David, 1936-. Tape recordings of interviews with poets and poetry readings, 1960-1970. University of Toledo, William S. Carlson Library
referencedIn Autograph File, O, 1706-1966. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Abbe, George, 1911-1989. Free lance magazine archives, ca. 1964-1969. Washington University in St. Louis, .
referencedIn Raworth, Tom. Tom Raworth papers, 1964-1977. University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library
referencedIn Ferrini, Vincent, 1913-2007. Vincent Ferrini papers, 1949-1977. University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library
creatorOf Olson, Charles, 1910-1970. Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, [between 1933 and 1947]. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Letters from Marianne Moore and Charles Olson, 1947-1962. Houghton Library.
referencedIn George P. Garrett Papers, 1929-2008, (bulk 1960-2000) David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Gregory Corso Papers, 1949-1996. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Gary Snyder Papers, 1910-2003;, (1945-2002 bulk) University of California, Davis. General Library. . Dept. of Special Collections
referencedIn Oyez Press Records., 1963-1987. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
creatorOf Seelye, Catherine. Catherine Seelye papers, 1973-1978. University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library
creatorOf Aldan, Daisy. Papers, 1946-1966. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Olson, Charles, 1910-1970. Manuscripts regarding the publication of Charles Olson's "The Maximus Poems," 1959-1976. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Oppenheimer, Joel. Joel Oppenheimer papers, 1925-1988. University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library
referencedIn Daisy Aldan Papers TXRC94-A18., 1946-1966 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Joel Oppenheimer Papers, 1925-1988. Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries
creatorOf Tallman, Warren, 1921-. Poems by students in English 410, summer session, 1963, University of British Columbia, 1963. Brown University, Brown University Library
referencedIn William Bronk Papers, 1908-1999. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997. Allen Ginsberg papers, 1937-1994. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Seelye, Catherine M., 1926-1982. Catherine Seelye - Olson/Pound papers. University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Aldan, Daisy. person
associatedWith Aldan, Daisy, 1923- person
associatedWith Allen, Donald, 1912-2004. person
associatedWith Alternative Press (Detroit, Michigan) corporateBody
associatedWith Antioch review. corporateBody
associatedWith Baraka, Amiri, 1934- person
correspondedWith Blackburn, Paul person
associatedWith Blackburn, Paul. person
associatedWith Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith Boer, Charles corporateBody
associatedWith Boldereff, Frances M. (Frances Motz), 1905- person
associatedWith Bronk, William. person
associatedWith Brown, William D., 1918- person
associatedWith Butterick, George F. person
correspondedWith Cairnie, Gordon. person
associatedWith Charters, Ann. person
associatedWith Chase, Richard Volney, 1914-1962. person
associatedWith Clark, Tom, 1941- person
associatedWith Corinth Books. corporateBody
associatedWith Corman, Cid. person
associatedWith Corso, Gregory. person
associatedWith Creeley, Robert, 1926-2005. person
associatedWith Di Prima, Diane, Archives person
associatedWith Dorfman, Elsa, person
associatedWith Dorn, Edward. person
associatedWith Dorn, Edward. person
associatedWith Economou, George. person
associatedWith Economou, George. person
associatedWith Eigner, Larry, 1927-1996. person
associatedWith Engel, Monroe, person
correspondedWith Engel, Monroe, recipient. person
correspondedWith English Department corporateBody
associatedWith Evans, George, 1948- person
associatedWith Ferrini, Vincent. person
associatedWith Ferrini, Vincent, 1913-2007. person
correspondedWith Garrett, George P., 1929-2008 person
associatedWith Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997. person
associatedWith Goliard Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Grand Valley State Colleges Oral History Project corporateBody
associatedWith Grove Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Gunn, Thom. person
associatedWith Hawkins, Erick. person
correspondedWith Ignatow, David, 1941- person
associatedWith Jargon Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Lane, Mervin. person
associatedWith Lavigne, Robert. person
associatedWith Lekakis, Michael, 1907-1987. person
correspondedWith Levin, Harry, 1912-1994 person
associatedWith Loewinsohn, Ron. person
associatedWith Lowenfels, Walter, 1897-1976. person
associatedWith Malanga, Gerard. person
associatedWith McPheron, William. person
associatedWith Melville, Herman, 1819-1891. person
associatedWith Neville, Tove. person
associatedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
correspondedWith New Yorker Magazine, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Oppenheimer, Joel. person
associatedWith Ossman, David, 1936- person
associatedWith Oyez Press corporateBody
associatedWith Raworth, Tom person
associatedWith Raworth, Tom. person
associatedWith Rich, Adrienne Cecile. person
associatedWith Richards, Mary Caroline person
associatedWith Rodefer, Stephen. person
associatedWith Rumaker, Michael, 1932- person
associatedWith Schaff, David. person
associatedWith Seelye, Catherine. person
associatedWith Seelye, Catherine M., 1926-1982. person
associatedWith Snyder, Gary person
associatedWith Stony Brook Poetics Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Taggart, John, 1942- person
associatedWith Tallman, Warren, 1921- person
associatedWith Tallman, William, person
associatedWith Trocchi, Alexander, 1925-1984. person
associatedWith University of California Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Walser, Richard Gaither, 1908- person
associatedWith Wieners, John, 1934-2002. person
associatedWith Wilentz, Elias. person
associatedWith Williams, Jonathan, 1929-2008. person
associatedWith Wilson, Robert A. (Robert Alfred), 1922- person
associatedWith Wodening, Jane, 1936- person
correspondedWith Woodberry Poetry Room (Harvard College Library). corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
North Carolina
Black Mountain (N.C.)
Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Subject
Poetry--Study and teaching
Universities and colleges
Poets as teachers
Poets, American--20th century
Poets, American--20th century--Correspondence
American poetry
Authors, American--20th century
Private libraries
American poetry--20th century
American literature
American literature--20th century
Publishers and Publishing
Occupation
College teachers--North Carolina
Poets, American
Poets
Function

Person

Birth 1910-12-27

Death 1970-01-10

Americans

English

Information

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SNAC ID: 43157383