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University Archives & Manuscripts - Collection Guides
Louis Zukofsky Papers


The papers of Louis Zukofsky (1928-1969) were purchased by Kansas State University Libraries in April 1984. Louis Zukofsky was an American poet, critic and translator. He was associated in the "objectivist" movement of the early 1930's and was thought of as a disciple of William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound.

The papers are housed in two document boxes. They are divided into four series: 1) Correspondence (1928-1969), 2) Literary works (1931, n.d.), 3) Printed material (1930-1933) and 4) Miscellaneous.

The bulk of the collection contains correspondence from Zukofsky to Rene Taupin discussing mutual friends and documenting his career. The collection also offers insight into what life was like in the 1930's for a poet, economically and socially.

The Louis Zukofsky Papers are identified as accession number PC 1994.07 and are available at the University Archives. Processing of the papers was completed by Cindy Von Elling in September 1994.

Biographical Sketch

1904      Born January 23, New York, NY

1920      Poems first appeared in print

1924      M.A. degree, Columbia University

1927      Friendship with Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams began; began writing "A"

1930      Travelled in France, Hungary & Italy

1930-1931 Taught at University of Wisconsin

1934      Le Style Apollinaire (with Rene Taupin) published

1939      Married Celia Thaew, August 30

1947      Visiting assistant professor, Colgate University

1947-1966 Taught at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, NY

1958      Poet in residence, San Francisco State College

1959      "A" 1-12 published

1965      First complete American edition of his poetry

1966      Retired from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn

1968      Translated Catallus Fragmenta (with Celia Zukofsky, music by Paul Zukofsky)

1969      Translated Catallus (with Celia Zukofsky)

1978      Died May 12, Port Jefferson, NY

Scope and Content Note

The Louis Zukofsky Papers (1928-1969) chronicle his relationship with a number of his contemporaries, particularly Rene Taupin, as well as describing what life was like for a poet in the 1930's. The papers contain correspondence, printed material and typescripts. They are housed in two document boxes.

The papers are divided into four series: 1) Correspondence (1928-1969), 2) Literary works (1931, n.d.), 3) Printed material (1930-1933) and 4) Miscellaneous. The most significant part of this collection is the correspondence. It is divided into four sub-series: a) Louis Zukofsky to Rene Taupin (1930-1941), b) Louis Zukofsky to various others (1942-1969), c) various individuals to Rene Taupin (1923-1946) and d) other correspondence (1927-1940). The correspondece in each sub-series is arranged in chronological order.

The correspondence from Zukofsky to Taupin is the largest and most significant part of the collection (70 items) containing references to works in progress and contemporaries, such as Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Harriet Monroe, George Oppen, Basil Bunting, Jesse Loewenthal, Tibor Serly and Robinson Morton. Other comments offer insight into the economy and social atmosphere of 1930's America.

The second sub-series of correspondence (22 items, 7 correspondents) focuses primarily on Zukofsky's literary career: responses to inquiries to reprint his poetry, notification of new works and mention of reviews. His family and contemporaries are mentioned in a number of letters. Primary correspondents are: Clayton Hoagland and Tom Pickard.

The third sub-series of correspondence (60 items, 47 correspondents), various individuals to Rene Taupin, focuses primarily on the creation of La France en Liberte (13 items) and responses to a questionnaire concerning France's survival under German occupation (8 items). A significant portion of these letters (29 items) is in French and has not been translated. Notable correspondents include: Ivan Goll, Sommerville Story, Germaine Sinclair, Warre Bradley Wells, Carl Van Doren, Patrick Braybrooke, Dorothy Canfield Fischer, A. E. Bacon, Charles A. Beard, Charles M. Stern and Tibor Serly.

The fourth sub-series of correspondence is primarily in French and has not been translated. The correspondence in English contains comments on Taupin's abilities and promotional information about La France en Liberte. Correspondents include: Jean de Gourmont, Raymond Arne and Fernand Baldensperger.

The literary works series includes typescript reviews by Zukofsky of Hidden Flame by Bunichi Kagawa and Redimiculum Matellarum by Basil Bunting. Also included is an essay in French on Andre Salmon by Rene Taupin.

The printed material series contains a review of Zukofsky's Objectivists' Anthology, an essay on Ezra Pound by Zukofsky, a review of Maldorer by Taupin and reviews of Taupin's L'Influence du symbolisme Francais sur la poesie Americaine (de 1910 a/ 1920)

The final series contains a prescription sheet, a bibliographical sketch of Taupin (1923-1930) and the first page of an essay entitled Profession of Faith.

The Special Collections unit of the Kansas State University Libraries' contains a collection of publications written by Louis Zukofsky.

Container List

Box     Folder 


01      01-70      Louis Zukofsky to Rene Taupin

        71-92      Louis Zukofsky to various people
                         Clayton & Kitty Hoagland (12)
                         Bill Turner (1)
                         Geraldine Lust (1)
                         Mr. Merwin (2)
                         Tom Pickard (12)
                         Lawrence H. Scott (1)
                         Richard Johns (2)

02      01-60       Various people to Rene Taupin
                         Marcel Lecomte (1) Fr
                         Ada Dwyer Russell (3)
                         Marcel ??? (1) Fr
                         Laura Maude H??? (1)
                         Kate (2)
                         Jean de Bosschere (3) Fr
                         Harriet Monroe (1)
                         Philippe Soupault (2) Fr
                         Giovanni Gol??ielli (1) Fr
                         Tibor Serly (1)
                         R. W. Urie (1)
                         H???? ??? ?? ?ace (1) Fr Q
                         Ivan Goll (5) Fr
                         G. Chinard (1) Fr
                         Fernand Baldensperger (1) Fr
                         Carl Van Doren (1) LFeL
                         Patrick Braybrooke (1) LFeL
                         Dorothy Canfield Fisher (1) LFeL
                         John Charles Jones (1) LFeL
                         P. Legarde (1) Fr
                         Sommerville Story (2) Fr
                         Germaine Sinclair (1) Fr
                         Henry D. Davray (1) Fr
                         H. Foster (1) LFeL
                         Warre Bradley Wells (1) LFeL
                         Margaret Fuge (1) LFeL
                         Vera S. Wainwright (1) Fr
                         C. Holroyd Doveton (1) LFeL
                         Stephen Duggan (1) Q
                         Johannes Steel (1) Q
                         M. Manusset Brimicombe (1) Fr
                         Mary E. Woolley (1) Q
                         Noel Hinrichs (1) LFeL
                         George N. Shuster (1) Q
                         Kathryn Lewis (1) Q
                         M. Alice Matthews (1) LFeL
                         James Arnold Blaisdell (1) LFeL
                         Georges Deutsch (1) Fr
                         Bretano's Bookstore (1) LFeL
                         Charles M. Stern (1) Fr
                         Percival Price (1) LFeL
                         A. E. Bacon (1) 
                         Charles A. Beard (1) Q
                         Albert Guerard (1) Q
                         F. Cudworth Flint (1) 
                         A???? S???? (3) Fr
                         Fab?ureau (1) Fr

        61-67       Other Correspondence
                         Jean de Gourmont [?] to Madame (1)
                         Francis ??? Griffin to Mademoiselle (1)
                         Raymond Arne to Andre Malraux (1)
                         Fernand Baldensperger to Henry Dupont(1)
                         Rene Taupin form letter (1)
                         R. W. Urie return address (1)

        68-70  Literary Works

        71-75  Printed Material

        76     Miscellaneous