Finding-aid for the Walter Lowenfels Papers (MSS074)


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spec@wumail.wustl.edu
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Table of Contents

Collection Outline

Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents Note

Restrictions

Administrative Information


Collection Outline

Incoming Correspondence

Outgoing Correspondence.

Files related to edition of Where is Vietnam

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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Lowenfels, Walter
TitleWalter Lowenfels Papers
Identification: MSS074

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Biographical Note

Accession numbers: 783, 826, 927, 793, 23987

Walter Lowenfels (May 10, 1897 – July 7, 1976) was an American poet, editor, translator and journalist. Born in New York City, Lowenfels published his first collection of poems, Episodes & Epistles, in 1925. The following year, Lowenfels traveled to Europe and was exposed to the European literary scene, meeting Henry Miller, T. S. Eliot, and Ford Madox Ford among others.

In 1930, while in Paris, Lowenfels co-founded Carrefour Press with Michael Fraenkel, which published the pamphlet Anonymous: The Need for Anonymity. Carrefour later anonymously published Lowenfels' play USA with Music, but was forced to reveal the identity of the playwright in 1932 when it filed a plagiarism suit against composer George Gershwin. He continued to write and publish his poetry, which showcased his leftist political views, as well as editing the poetry of others.

Lowenfels returned to the United States in 1934. In 1938, he published Steel 1937, which commemorated the 18 steelworkers killed by US Steel during the 1937 Little Steel Strike, and also discussed the Spanish Civil War. Following the publication of Steel 1937, Lowenfels quit writing poetry and would not resume for 17 years.

In 1938, Lowenfels moved to Philadelphia, where he became involved in the Civil Rights movement and the struggles of working people. He began writing for the Pennsylvania edition of the Daily Worker, later rising to the position of editor, which he held from the late 1930s until 1953. As a journalist and editor, his work focused on the lives of working people, especially African Americans.

On July 29, 1953, the FBI raided Lowenfels' cabin in New Jersey and arrested him. He was charged with conspiracy to overthrow the US government, a violation of the Smith Act. During this period, Lowenfels completed Sonnets of Love and Liberty. He was convicted in 1954, but his conviction was overturned in higher courts shortly thereafter for lack of evidence.

Following his release, Lowenfels stopped editing the Daily Worker and returned to writing poetry. He became best known as an anthologist of avant-garde poetry. His most famous anthology was the 1967 Where is Vietnam?, a compilation of the poetic responses to the Vietnam War. He was active in the anti-Vietnam War peace movement, serving as the associate editor of the anti-war publication Dialog.

In total, he wrote more than two dozen books of poetry. He also wrote an autobiography, My Many Lives, the second half of which is published in The Portable Walter, an anthology of his writings.

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Scope and Contents Note

The Lowenfels collection includes letters primarily to Walter Lowenfels or Marjorie Elizabeth (Nan) Braymer, arranged alphabetically by sender, concerning contributions to Where is Vietnam?, payments, editorial policy, criticism, little magazines, sales of worksheets, reactions to book's publication, and including biographical and bibliographic sketches of many correspondents. Principal correspondents include: George Abbe, Robert Bly, Nan Braymer, Kirby Congdon, James Dickey, Richard Eberhart, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, David Ignatow, Sybil Kaufman, Harry Lewis, Marya Mannes, Morton Marcus, Felix Pollak, David Rogers, John Tagliabue, others, including Lynn Deming, Doubleday editor of anthology, ca. 365 items; Lowenfels letters (largely carbons), March 1966-Oct. 1967, to various poets, publishers, others, soliciting, accepting, rejecting poems for book, discussing textual and editorial changes, and answering various oriticisms of book, ca. 450 items; biographical sketches of contributors drafted from information sent to Lowenfels, drafts of the foreword and table of contents of the anthology (partially restricted), ca. 313 pp.

Also included are manuscript, typescript and photocopies of poems submitted to or chosen by Lowenfels, arranged alphabetically by author, some with comments by Lowenfels or Nan Braymer; ts. draft of entire book; one printer's copy and two galley proofs of book; copies of permission to reprint poems and various copyright materials; clippings of announcements and reviews concerning book; clippings, pamphlets, announcements, and instruction concerning peace read-ins; and various peace publications and other miscellaneous items, 340 items.

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Restrictions

Use Restrictions

Open, portions restricted.

Users of the collections must read and abide by the Rules for the use of manuscript collection materials.

Users of the collections who wish to use items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication (as defined in the form) must sign and submit to the Washington University Department of Special Collections a hard copy of the Notification of intent publish manuscript collection materials form.

All publication restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder.

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Administrative Information

Sources

Purchase

Processing begun

Oct. 25, 1966

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Box/folder
1/1-12

Incoming Correspondence,

ca. 365 items
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Box/folder
1/1
Letters to Lowenfels Abbe - Bly,
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Box/folder
1/2
Letters to Lowenfels Bodones - Dana,
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Box/folder
1/3
Letters to Lowenfels Deming,
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Box/folder
1/4
Letters to Lowenfels Dickey - Gavronsky,
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Box/folder
1/5
Letters to Lowenfels Gelbin - Hollander,
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Box/folder
1/6
Letters to Lowenfels Hughes - Kinnell,
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Box/folder
1/7
Letters to Lowenfels Kizer - Marcus,
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Box/folder
1/8
Letters to Lowenfels Marshall - Pillsbury,
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Box/folder
1/9
Letters to Lowenfels Pollak - Rutsala,
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Box/folder
1/10
Letters to Lowenfels Rukeyser - Stafford,
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Box/folder
1/11
Letters to Lowenfels Stanley - Zinnes,
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Box/folder
1/12
Letters to Lowenfels Colin - , n.d.

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Box/folder
2/13-21

Outgoing Correspondence.,

Alphabetically arranged by addressee, with some names cataloged.
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Box/folder
2/13
Lowenfels outgoing Abbe - Bly,
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Box/folder
2/14
Lowenfels outgoing Bowers - Degnan,
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Box/folder
2/15
Lowenfels outgoing Deming,
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Box/folder
2/16
Lowenfels outgoing Dialog - Ginsberg,
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Box/folder
2/17
Lowenfels outgoing Gitlin - Lardas,
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Box/folder
2/18
Lowenfels outgoing Laughlin - Pollak,
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Box/folder
2/19
Lowenfels outgoing Rabinowitz - Starbuck,
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Box/folder
2/20
Lowenfels outgoing Stone - Zinnes,
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Box/folder
2/21
Lowenfels outgoing Allie - , n.d.

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Box/folder
3-8/22-41

Files related to edition of Where is Vietnam,

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Box/folder
3/22
Biographical sketches, (ca. 100pp.)
Sketches drafted by Lowenfels, others, of selected contributors to Where is Vietnam?, arranged in groups of three and four on ts. and ts.(carbon) sheets, annotated, often with bibliographic information.
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Box/folder
3-4/23-31
Manuscript, typescript, typescript carbon and photocopy, clippings, of poems submitted to or selected by Lowenfels for consideration for Where is Vietnam?,
Some include notes on places of publication, comments by Lowenfels or Nan Braymer. Alphabetically arranged by author. A full list of titles has been indexed above. ca. 283 items
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3/23Poems considered Abbe - Binder,
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3/24Poems considered Black - Dugan,
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3/25Poems considered Eigner - Georgakas,
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3/26Poems considered Gibson - Katzman,
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4/27Poems considered Kelley - Lowenfels,
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4/28Poems considered Major - Ray,
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4/29Poems considered Reed - Rogers,
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4/30Poems considered Rosenberg - Yip Wai Lim,
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4/31Poems considered...and the burning - Because you too...,
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Box/folder
5/32-33
Drafts of table of contents for Where is Vietnam?, (ca. 83pp.)
Includes Ts. and autograph notes designating additions to and deletions from anthology, with textual comments on poems, notes on alterations of poems, reminders on acknowledgements and dates of original publications of poems. Notes on these drafts appear to have been exchanged among Nan Braymer, Lyan Deming, and Lowenfels. drafts of table of contents, one marked final, loose sheets. Ts., Ts.(carbon), and Ts.(photocopy) with ms. notations, ms. Folder 33 is restricted.
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Box/folder
5/34
Drafts of foreword to Where is Vietnam?, (ca. 171pp.)
Drafts, one apparently final, with attached title page and table of contents. Two apparently full drafts are in loose sheets, with numerous insertions, deletions and with significant variations from final draft. One draft, though similar to final draft, is incomplete. Two drafts vary from final draft but duplicate each other. There are other fragmented drafts. Ts., Ts.(carbon), and Ts.(photocopy) with ms. notations, ms.
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Box/folder
5/35
Typescript draft of complete book, described by Lowenfels as "3rd copy of script.", (ca. 295pp., 1 item.)
Excludes final table of contents (see Box 5, Folders 32-33) to which poems in this draft correspond by author and title. Includes title page, acknowledgments, and one heavily corrected version of foreword (see Box 5, Folder 34) Ts., Ts.(carbon), and Ts.(photocopy), Ts. with ms. notations, ms.
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Box/folder
6/36
Typescript printer's copy of Where is Vietnam? with autograph printer's notes. Ts., Ts.(carbon), Ts.(photocopy), ms., (124pp., 1 item.)
Includes title page, acknowledgments, poems, biographical notes, and a corrected version of the foreword.
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Box/folder
6/37
Two galley proofs of Where is Vietnam?, (143pp., 2 items.)
One is noted as the final galley proof. Printed.
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Box/folder
7/38
Copies of agreement for permission to reprint poems, addresses of possible contributors and of publishing houses, miscellaneous acknowledgment material., ()
Includes permission from Wesleyan University Press to reprint The fire-bombing by James Dickey, and a Walter Appreciation Week letter from Nan Braymer. Ts., Ts.(carbon), and Ts.(photocopy) with ms. revisions.
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Box/folder
7/39
Clippings and photocopies of clippings of newspaper and magazine announcements, advertisements, and reviews concerning Where is Vietnam?, (26pp., 24 items.)
Included in the chronological arrangement are clippings or photocopies from: Author's Guild Bulletin, Barnard Bulletin, The Christian Century, Commentary, The Courier Post (Camden, N.J.), Jeane Afrique, The Lambertville Beacon (New Jersey), The Nation, The National Observer, New York Times, New York Times Book Review, Paperback Book Guide, Paperbound Books in Print, People's World Publishers' Weekly, and The Worker. Printed, Printed(photocopy), Ts.(carbon).
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Box/folder
7/40
Clippings, pamphlets, announcements, instruction, concerning peace read-ins,, (ca. 26 items.)
Includes lists of participants, held February-May, 1966. Clippings, Ts.(carbon), printed items and printed items photocopied.
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Box/folder
7/41
Various peace publications,, (ca. 11 items.)
Includes first issue of Liberation USA, Fallout, Kauri/Gargoyle, March-July, 1966, and sections of the S[ausalito]-B[elvedere] Gazette; a collection of workshop poetry produced at a meeting of the Federation of Religious Liberals, White Sulphur Springs, Nov. 12-14, 1965; miscellaneous other items conc. Lowenfels, promotion of Where is Vietnam? Printed items, clippings.

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