Collection Number: PS3529.L655_M2775

Collection Title: Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 59 items
Abstract In 1960, Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems was published by the Jargon Society in conjuction with Corinth Books. The collection contains correspondence and other papers relating to publication of The Maximus Poems. Correspondence is primarily among Charles Olson, Elias Wilentz of Corinth Books, and Johnathan Williams of the Jargon Society. There are contracts, title page and signature mock-ups by Johnathan Williams, notes on the book's typography, and proofs of the book's cover, among other items. There is also some correspondence relating to the publication of subsequent volumes of The Maximus Poems as well as a photograph of Olson.
Creator Olson, Charles, 1910-1970.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems (#PS3529.L655 M2775), Rare Book Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from Morgan and Rosenthal of Pownal, Vt., in January 2008.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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

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The collection contains correspondence and other papers relating to publication of The Maximus Poems. Correspondence is primarily among Charles Olson, Elias Wilentz of Corinth Books, and Johnathan Williams of the Jargon Society. There are contracts, title page and signature mock-ups by Johnathan Williams, notes on the book's typography, and proofs of the book's cover, among other items. There is also some correspondence relating to the publication of subsequent volumes of The Maximus Poems as well as a photograph of Olson.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976.

59 items.
Folder 1

Charles Olson to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 1959 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 1

Concerning sections in The Maximus Poems.

Contract for The Maximus Poems, signed by Charles Olson, Jonathan Williams and Elias Wilentz, 28 September 1959 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 1

Elias Wilentz to Charles Olson, typed letter (carbon copy), 21 October 1959, 1959 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 1

Concerning advance on The Maximus Poems.

Charles Olson to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, undated, circa after 21 October 1959 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 1

Concerning advance on The Maximus Poems.

Elias Wilentz to Charles Olson, typed letter signed (carbon copy), 7 November 1959 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 1

Concerning reprints from The Maximus Poems.

Charles Olson to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 9 November 1959 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 1

Concerning Don Allen's anthology reprint.

Folder 2

Charles Olson to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, circa 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Concerning Ed Dorn's notice for The Maximus Poems.

From Jonathan Williams, autograph note, 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

About costs for The Maximus Poems.

M.L. Rosenthal to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 6 March 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Asking for permission to quote from The Maximus Poems.

Elias Wilentz to M.L. Rosenthal, typed letter signed (carbon copy), 8 March 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Giving him permission to quote from The Maximus Poems.

Jonathan Williams to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 11 May 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Concerning galleys of The Maximus Poems. Also mention of Denise Levertov's husband.

Jonathan Williams to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 12 May 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Concerning the layout of The Maximus Poems.

Jonathan Williams to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 12 May 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Concerning blurbs for The Maximus Poems.

Charles Olson to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 23 May 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Concerning printing decisions.

Elias Wilentz to Jonathan Williams, typed letter (carbon copy plus 2 carbon pages), 10 June 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Concerning The Maximus Poems proofs and paging.

Jonathan Williams to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 27 June 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Concerning proofs for The Maximus Poems. Also discusses Robert Creeley and other publishing matters.

Robert Duncan's "Notes on the Poetics of Charles Olson in Maximus", typed manuscript (carbon copy), 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Four pages, probably typed by Jonathan Williams to send to Corinth Books.

Jonathan Williams to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 27 July 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Concerning ink colors for The Maximus Poems and other matters. Williams mentions his printer in Asheville, N.C.

Jonathan Williams to Ted Wilentz, typed letter signed, 25 August 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Concerning personal matters, politics, travel, and book sales.

Jonathan Williams to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 3 September 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Concerning publishing matters.

Charles Olson to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 12 October 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Thank you letter in the form of a poem, for The Maximus Poems .

Charles Olson to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 6 November 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Concerning reviews of The Maximus Poems.

Jonathan Williams to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 12 November 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Concerning a Pulitzer Prize nomination for The Maximus Poems .

Charles Olson to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 26 November 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 2

Providing biography and photograph for Pulitzer Prize committee.

Folder 3

Mock-up of title page and first 12 pages of first signature for The Maximus Poems, Jargon/Corinth Books, 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 3

Probably designed by Jonathan Williams.

5 pages of typographer's notes for The Maximus Poems , Jargon/Corinth Books, 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 3

Jonathan Williams' suggestions for blurbs and notes for printing The Maximus Poems, 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 3

Two typescript pages.

Five letters from William Carlos Williams to Jonathan Williams, typed letters (carbon copies), 21 July 1954, 3 August 1954, 11 August 1954, 18 August 1954 and 13 October 1956 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 3

Appear to have been retyped in 1960 by Williams and sent on to Corinth Books One is on the verso of a flyer announcement for Jargon books #4-8.

Two variations of cover proofs for The Maximus Poems , 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 3

Six typesetting bills for The Maximus Poems #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 3

Copyright registration for The Maximus Poems, date of publication 6 October 1960 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 3

Folder 4

Benjamin Clemenson to Corinth Books, typed letter signed, 30 January 1961 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 4

Asking for review copy.

Charles Olson to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 30 January 1961 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 4

Concerning reviews and asking for royalties.

Clipping from "New York Times Book Review," 9 July 1961 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 4

Review of The Maximus Poems.

Charles Olson to Ted Wilentz, typed letter signed, undated, circa March 1961 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 4

Concerning reviews and publishing matters.

Dedication page for The Maximus Poems, for Robert Creeley, #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 4

Folder 5

Charles Olson to Elias Wilentz, autograph letter signed, 9 December 1963 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 5

Concerning The Maximus Poems.

Jonathan Williams to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 13 December 1963 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 5

Concerning a new edition of Charles Olson, Louis Zukofsky, and William Carlos Williams.

Letter to Johnathan Williams and Elias Wilentz, autograph letter signed, undated #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 5

Author of the letter is unidentified, but possibly Charles Olson. Suggesting Further Maximus Poems as title for book.

Folder 6

Contract for Maximus Poems IV, V, VI, 5 February 1964 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 6

Signed by Charles Olson and Jonathan Williams for Corinth Books.

Barrie and Rockliff to Citadel Press, typed letter signed, 26 March 1964 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 6

Asking permission for an Chales Olson item.

Donald Hall to Corinth Books, typed letter signed, 25 February 1964 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 6

Concerning permission to reprint from The Maximus Poems.

Charles Olson to Elias Wilentz, typed letter signed, 31 August 1964 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 6

Concerning a new edition of The Maximus Poems.

Suhrkamp Verlag to Corinth Books, typed letter signed, 27 April 1964 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 6

Asking for German rights.

Donald M. Allen to Corinth Books, typed letter signed, 6 May 1964 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 6

Concerning the printing of essays by Charles Olson.

Donald M. Allen to Corinth Books, typed letter signed, 3 September 1964 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 6

Concerning the printing of essays by Charles Olson.

Donald M. Allen to Corinth Books, typed letter signed, 26 May 1964 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 6

Concerning the printing of essays by Charles Olson.

Cover proofs for The Maximus Poems #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 6

3 copies.

Folder 7

Charles Olson to Elias Wilentz, autograph letter signed, 2 September 1965 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 7

Concerning advance.

Pre-publication brochure for Human Universe and Other Essays , by Charles Olson, published by The Auerhahn Society, 1965 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 7

Folder 8

James Laughlin to Ted Wilentz, , typed letter signed, 20 October 1967 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 8

Concerning the second volume of The Maximus Poems.

James Laughlin to Charles Olson, typed letter (carbon copy), 20 October 1967 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 8

Concerning the second volume of The Maximus Poems.

Ted Wilentz to James Laughlin, typed letter (carbon copy,) 23 October 1967 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 8

Concerning the second volume of The Maximus Poems.

Folder 9

Photograph: Charles Olson #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 9

5x7 color publicity photograph, undated.

Folder 10

Contract between Corinth Books and Jonathan Cape for Cape's edition of The Maximus Poems, 4 August 1970 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 10

Signed by Tom Maschler for Cape.

Charles Boer (Storrs, CT) to Corinth Books, autograph post card signed, 21 August 1970 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 10

Concerning future Olson publications.

Jonathan Cape Limited to Corinth Books, typed letter signed, 22 December 1970 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 10

Concerning the contract for The Maximus Poems.

Folder 11

David A. Leach to Corinth Books, typed letter signed, 28 September 1976 #PS3529.L655_M2775, Series: "Manuscripts Regarding the Publication of Charles Olson's The Maximus Poems, 1959-1976." Folder 11

Ordering a copy of The Maximus Poems.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Rare Book Collection staff, November 2009

Encoded by: Jackie Dean, November 2009

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