Ford, Charles Henri

Alternative names

Hide Profile

Charles Henri Ford (1913- ), writer, editor, and poet, is best known for his collections of surrealist poetry and for editing Blues, 1929-30, and View, 1940-1947.

From the guide to the Charles Henri Ford Papers Addition, 1928-1947, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Poet, artist, filmmaker, and editor, Charles Henri Ford was regarded as America's first surrealist poet.

Charles Henri Ford was born on February 10, 1908, in Hazelhurst, Mississippi. In 1929, having dropped out of high school, Ford began his literary career as co-editor, with Parker Tyler, of Blues: a magazine of new rhythms (1929-1930). The magazine showcased the new schools of modern art and literature, publishing such contemporary writers as Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, Erskine Caldwell, Ezra Pound, and e. e. cummings.

By 1931 Charles Henri Ford had left the United States for France and began his world travels. During his first few years abroad, Ford wrote his only novel, The Young and the Evil (Obelisk, 1933). Later Ford lived in Morocco, Italy, France, Crete, and New York City; and his poetry, films, and artwork reflected his international travels and multicultural experiences.

From 1940 until 1947, Ford was editor and publisher of both the little magazine View and of View editions. Published in New York, View featured the works of avant-garde American and European artists and writers, especially the surrealist artists.

View, recognized as one of the most important little magazines of the 1940s, bore covers designed by such artists are Man Ray, René Magritte, Marcel Duchamp, and Alexander Calder, and contained the prose, fiction, critical essays, stories, and art of Wallace Stevens, Edouard Roditi, Max Ernst, Lincoln Kirstein, William Carlos Williams, Paul Bowles, James T. Farrell, Marc Chagall, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus.

In addition to his editorial achievements, Charles Henri Ford was a recognized poet and an accomplished artist. Since his first book of poetry, A Pamphlet of Sonnets (Caravel Press, 1936), more than fifteen collections of his poems have been published.

Charles Henri Ford was also a graphic artist, filmmaker and photographer. His photography, paintings, and drawings were exhibited in London, Paris, and New York; and frequently included collaborations with international craftsmen. For example, The Kathmandu Experience (New York Cultural Center, 1975) included sculptures in wood, embroideries in silk and appliques, all executed by Nepalese craftsmen from Ford's original designs; and his An Operation Minotaur Manifestation (The October Gallery, 1976) included the collages of Nepalese artists, Reepak Shakya and Indra Tamang.

Ford's motion pictures included Poem Posters (1966), which received the Fourth International Avant-Garde Film Festival Award in 1966, and Johnny Minotaur (1972).

Charles Henri Ford died September 27, 2002, in New York City.

African-American poet, jazz musician, and surrealist painter Ted Joans was a self-described "jazz poet" of the Beat generation. Joans, who was also considered by many to be part of the French surrealist movement, was the only African-American painter to be viewed as part of that group. He was born July 4, 1938, in Cairo, Illinois. Through his associations with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, in Greenwich Village during the 1950s, Ted Joans has been identified as part of the Beat generation. In 1957, his first book of poetry, Beat Poems , was published by Deretchin, which also published his Funky Jazz Poems in 1959. In the 1960s Joans became an expatriate, traveling the world, and later settling in Tangier, Morocco. As he painted and wrote poetry, Joans supported himself primarily through the sale of African artwork, which he collected during his travels in Africa. Some of his African experiences are reflected in the poems in his Afrodisia: new poems (1971). Joans edited Dies und Das (1984), the first surrealist magazine published in Germany, and contributed to Black World , Coda Jazz Magazine , Jazz , and Presence Africaine . Ted Joans died May 07, 2003, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

May, Hal and Deborah A. Straub (eds.) Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series, Volume 25. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1989, pp. 237-238. "Charles Henri Ford," The Telegraph. April 11, 2008. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1409048/Charles-Henri-Ford.html (accessed May 2011). Metzger, Linda (ed.) Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series, Volume 13. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1984. pp. 191-192. Page, James A. and Jae Min Roh. Selected Black American, African and Caribbean Authors. Littleton, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, Inc., 1985. p. 146. "Ted Joans." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Gale Biography In Context. http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/bic1/ (accessed May 5, 2011).

From the guide to the Charles Henri Ford letters to Ted Joans, 1964-1987, (University of Delaware Library - Special Collections)

Poet, artist, filmmaker, and editor Charles Henri Ford was regarded as America's first surrealist poet.

Charles Henri Ford was born on February 10, 1908, in Hazelhurst, Mississippi. In 1929, having dropped out of high school, Ford began his literary career as co-editor, with Parker Tyler, of Blues: a magazine of new rhythms (1929-1930). The magazine showcased the new schools of modern art and literature, publishing such contemporary writers as Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, Erskine Caldwell, Ezra Pound, and e. e. cummings.

By 1931 Charles Henri Ford had left the United States for France and began his world travels. During his first few years abroad, Ford wrote his only novel, The Young and the Evil (Obelisk, 1933). Later Ford lived in Morocco, Italy, France, Crete, and New York City; and his poetry, films, and artwork reflected his international travels and multicultural experiences.

From 1940 until 1947, Ford was editor and publisher of both the little magazine View and of View Editions. Published in New York, View featured the works of avant-garde American and European artists and writers, especially the surrealist artists.

View, recognized as one of the most important little magazines of the 1940s, bore covers designed by such artists are Man Ray, René Magritte, Marcel Duchamp, and Alexander Calder, and contained the prose, fiction, critical essays, stories, and art of Wallace Stevens, Edouard Roditi, Max Ernst, Lincoln Kirstein, William Carlos Williams, Paul Bowles, James T. Farrell, Marc Chagall, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus.

In addition to his editorial achievements, Charles Henri Ford was a recognized poet and an accomplished artist. Since his first book of poetry, A Pamphlet of Sonnets (Caravel Press, 1936), more than fifteen collections of his poems have been published.

Charles Henri Ford was also a graphic artist, filmmaker, and photographer. His photography, paintings, and drawings were exhibited in London, Paris, and New York; and frequently included collaborations with international craftsmen. For example, The Kathmandu Experience (New York Cultural Center, 1975) included sculptures in wood and embroideries in silk and appliques, all executed by Nepalese craftsmen from Ford's original designs; and his An Operation Minotaur Manifestation (The October Gallery, 1976) included the collages of Nepalese artists Reepak Shakya and Indra Tamang.

Ford's motion pictures included Poem Posters (1966), which received the Fourth International Avant-Garde Film Festival Award in 1966, and Johnny Minotaur (1972).

Charles Henri Ford died September 27, 2002, in New York City.

Charles and Pamela Plymell, with Josh Norton, founded Cherry Valley Editions in 1974. The Plymells edited and published Charles Henri Ford's Om Krishna II in their Cherry Valley Editions in 1981.

Poet and publisher Charles Plymell was born April 26, 1935, in Holcomb, Kansas. He attended Wichita State University (1955-1961) and in 1970 received a Master of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University. In 1966 Plymell married Pamela Beach, who has assisted him in the publication of Cherry Valley Editions.

In addition to Cherry Valley Editions, Plymell has published several magazines, including Poet's Corner (1959), Mikrokosmos (1959), Now (1963-1965), The Last Times (1967), and Bulletin from Nothing .

Having lived with Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady in San Francisco during the early 1960s, Charles Plymell and his poetry have been identified with the Beat Generation. Some of his poetry was published in Beat journals and by Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights Books. His first collection of poems, Dreams of Straw, was published in 1963.

"Charles Henri Ford," The Telegraph. April 11, 2008. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1409048/Charles-Henri-Ford.html (accessed May 2011). Metzger, Linda (ed.) Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series, Volume 13. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1984. pp. 191-192. Evory, Ann and Linda Metzger (eds.) Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series, Volume 11. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1984. pp. 408-409. Evory, Ann and Linda Metzger (eds.) Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series, Volume 11. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1984. pp. 408-409. Biographical information is also derived from this collection.

From the guide to the Charles Henri Ford papers related to, Om Krishna II, 1966-1981, 1979-1981, (University of Delaware Library - Special Collections)

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Henri Ford, the American poet, playwright, publisher and painter, was born Feb. 10, 1910, in Hazelhurst, Mississippi and died in 2002. Ford's early and avid interest in poetry prompted him to publish a magazine while he was still a young man in Mississippi. Blues: A Magazine of new rhythms attracted submissions from well-known writers such as Gertrude Stein and William Carlos Williams, as well as from new voices, James Farrell, Erskine Caldwell and Paul Bowles. Through the magazine Ford struck up a literary conversation with Parker Tyler, whose descriptions of bohemian life in New York's Greenwich Village drew Ford to New York. Ford turned their correspondence into the collaborative novel, Young and evil (Obelisk Press, 1933), described by Michael Duncan as “a fragmented record of cruising, drag balls and brittle repartee.” ( Art Forum, p.25) It was when Young and evil was published that Ford re-stated his birthdate as 1913 to become (in his words) “younger and more evil.” (Information from MaryLynn Broe, Grinnell College in a scholar note dated 27 March 1998 in Getty Research Library files.) Michael Duncan lists Ford's birthdate as 1908 in his essay on Ford in Art Forum, 41, no.5, Jan. 2003, p. 25.

In 1933 Ford traveled to Europe for the first time to meet artists and writers. In Paris he met the Russian painter Pavel Tchelitchew. Pavel, apparently dazzled by Ford, moved with Ford to New York City and thus began the stormy 26-year relationship that continued until Tchelitchew's death in 1957.

Ford is probably best remembered for editing the influential avant-garde magazine View (1940-1947). Parker Tyler became the associate editor and they published the avant-garde, of which they were now a part.

Ford lived for extended periods in Nepal and Crete, keeping a home base in the Dakota in New York City. Besides his publishing projects, Ford wrote poetry and plays, produced photographs, collages, and an experiental film. Shortly before he died he exhibited his art works at the Scene Gallery in New York City.

In 1927 Ford wrote in his diary, “In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. This is my oath.” His papers document his intent, and his circle of intimates and acquaintances, the little known and the famous.

From the guide to the Charles Henri Ford papers, 1906-1989, 1939-1989, (Getty Research Institute)

The American surrealist, Charles Henri Ford, was both an influential writer and an editor. In 1933 he published The Young and the Evil, a novel he wrote with Parker Tyler. He is better known, however, for his collections of surrealist poetry, including The Garden of Disorder (1939) and The Overturned Lake (1941), and for editing the surrealist magazines, Blues and View . He published Blues from 1929-30 while he was still a teenager. View ran from 1940-47 and contained works of young artists and poets like Joseph Cornell, Randall Jarrell, and Allen Ginsberg.

Ford was born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, on February 10, 1913 to Charles Lloyd and Gertrude Cato Ford. He attended the Christian Brothers College Grammar School in Memphis, Tennessee, where he lived with his mother and sister Ruth. In 1922 he was sent away to the Webb School in Bellbuckle, Tennessee, and later attended the Morgan School in St. Petersburg, Tennessee. In 1929, he went to St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, for at least one semester.

Later in 1929, Ford lived in both Columbus, Mississippi, and New York City, while he edited Blues . In 1930 he moved to Paris, where he lived for four years. During this period he developed friendships with several literary figures, among whom were Gertrude Stein and Djuna Barnes. After traveling through Europe and North Africa, Ford returned to New York in October, 1934.

Following his return, Ford concentrated on writing poetry and editing View . Poems for Painters was published by View editions in 1945, followed by The Half-Thoughts in 1947 and Sleep in a Nest of Flames in 1949, which included a foreword by Edith Sitwell. He also edited The Mirror of Baudelaire in 1942 and A Night with Jupiter and Other Fantastic Stories in 1947. The book of stories was a View edition and included two pieces by Henry Miller. His later collections of verse include Spare Parts (1966), Silver Flower Coo (1968), Om Krishna (1978), and Secret Haiku (1982). His selected poems, Flag of Ecstasy, edited by Edward B. Germain, was published in 1972.

From the guide to the Charles Henri Ford papers, 1928-1947 (inclusive), (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers, 1897-1930. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Dame Edith Sitwell Collection TXRC06-A5., 1904-1964, (bulk dates 1918-1960) Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn William S. Burroughs papers, 1951-1972, 1958-1972 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Charles Boultenhouse and Parker Tyler papers, 1927-1994 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Vanguard Press Records, ca.1925-ca.1985 Columbia University, Rare Book and Manuscripts Library,
referencedIn Tiger's Eye records, 1939-1955 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Robert D. Graff collection of papers concerning Karen Blixen, 1934-1972 (inclusive), 1953-1967 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Allen Ginsberg papers, 1937-1994 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Peter Neagoe Papers, 1928-1967 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
creatorOf Charles Henri Ford papers, 1928-1947 (inclusive) Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Kulchur Foundation records, 1936-1994, [Bulk Dates: 1969-1989]. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Manuscripts and proofs of New Directions books, 1937-1997. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Daisy Aldan Papers TXRC94-A18., 1946-1966 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Vera Zorina papers, 1910-2001 (inclusive), 1933-2001 (bulk). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Rochelle Owens Papers, 1900-1997 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Charles Henri Ford papers, 1906-1989, 1939-1989 Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Paul Bowles Collection TXRC99-A15., 1897-1995 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Papers of the magazine Transition, 1933-1941. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Paul Bowles collection, 1929-2011 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
referencedIn E. E. Cummings papers, 1870-1969. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Lynne Tillman Papers, Bulk, 1984-2006, 1923-2006 Fales Library & Special Collections
referencedIn Claude McKay collection, 1853-1990, 1922-1948 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Fantasy Magazine papers, 1929-1979 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Charles Henri Ford papers related to, Om Krishna II, 1966-1981, 1979-1981 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1850-2020 (inclusive), 1936-2008 (bulk) Houghton Library.
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1850-2020 (inclusive), 1936-2008 (bulk) Houghton Library.
referencedIn William A. Bradley Literary Agency Records TXRC06-A20., 1909-1982 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Charles Boultenhouse and Parker Tyler papers, 1927-1994 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997. Houghton Library.
referencedIn E. E. Cummings additional papers, 1870-1969. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Manuscripts and proofs of New Directions books, 1937-1997. Houghton Library.
referencedIn John Digby papers, 1963–2004, 1974–2002 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
referencedIn Sherry Mangan papers, 1923-1961. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Red Ozier Press records, 1971-1986 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Pavel Tchelitchew collection, 1907-1971, 1928-1957 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas papers, 1837-1961 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Charles Henri Ford letters to Ted Joans, 1964-1987 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
creatorOf Charles Henri Ford Papers Addition, 1928-1947 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Aldan, Daisy, 1923- person
associatedWith Bentley, Eric, 1916- person
associatedWith Borrero, Angel person
associatedWith Boultenhouse, Charles person
associatedWith Bowles, Paul, 1910- person
correspondedWith Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962 person
correspondedWith Brilliant, Alan person
associatedWith Burk, Ronnie person
associatedWith Burroughs, William S., 1914-1997 person
associatedWith Cherry Valley Editions. corporateBody
associatedWith Chick, John person
associatedWith Cleveland, Buster person
associatedWith Cohen, Ira person
correspondedWith Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962 person
associatedWith Cunard, Nancy, 1896-1965 person
associatedWith Digby, John, 1938- person
associatedWith Dreva, Jerry person
associatedWith Fantasy Magazine. corporateBody
associatedWith Fini, Leonor, 1908-1996 person
correspondedWith Ford, Ruth, 1911-2009 person
associatedWith Ford, Ruth, 1915- person
associatedWith Friar, Kimon person
associatedWith Genet, Jean, 1910-1986 person
correspondedWith Germain, Edward B. person
correspondedWith Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997 person
associatedWith Graff, Robert D., 1919- person
associatedWith Grillo, Paul, 1943- person
correspondedWith Joans, Ted person
correspondedWith Joans, Ted, correspondent. person
associatedWith Johnson, Ray, 1927- person
associatedWith Kostakis, Peter person
associatedWith Kulchur Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Malanga, Gerard person
correspondedWith Mangan, Sherry, 1904- person
associatedWith Mariën, Marcel, 1920- person
associatedWith McKay, Claude, 1890-1948 person
associatedWith Miller, Henry, 1891-1980 person
associatedWith Neagoe, Peter. person
associatedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith Oisteanu, Valery person
associatedWith Owens, Rochelle. person
correspondedWith Plymell, Charles person
correspondedWith Plymell, Pamela person
associatedWith Reavey, George, 1907- person
associatedWith Red Ozier Press corporateBody
associatedWith Reynolds, Mary. person
associatedWith Serbanne, Claude. person
associatedWith Sitwell, Edith, Dame, 1887-1964 person
associatedWith Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946 person
correspondedWith Tamang, Indra person
associatedWith Tchelitchew, Pavel, 1898-1957 person
associatedWith Tillman, Lynne person
correspondedWith Transition. corporateBody
associatedWith Tyler, Parker person
associatedWith Vanguard Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
associatedWith William A. Bradley Literary Agency, 1923-1982 corporateBody
associatedWith Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963 person
associatedWith Young, Kathleen Tankersley, d. 1963 person
correspondedWith Zorina, Vera. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Art, Modern--20th century
Surrealism
Modernism (Art)
American poetry--20th century--Correspondence
Painting, Modern--20th century
Literature, Modern--20th century
Poetry, Modern--20th century
Mail art
American artists--20th century--Correspondence
Poets, American--20th century
Theater--United States
Modernism (Literature)
Little magazines
Magazine illustration--20th century
Gay liberation movement
Publishers and publishing--United States--20th century--Correspondence
Haiku
American poets--20th century--Correspondence
Occupation
Publisher
Editors--United States
Artists--United States
Authors
Poets
Function

Person

Birth 1908

Death 2002

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6rk6r6k

Ark ID: w6rk6r6k

SNAC ID: 55021193