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Prepared by Barbara Bass, June 14, 2002; updated June 2011
1 document case, .33 cubic foot., 11th floor
A poet of the Beat Generation, John Wieners was born near Boston in 1934. Wieners
graduated from Boston College in 1954 with an A.B. in English. Later that year,
he found himself walking past a café where the poet Charles Olson was reading,
and decided on the spot to pursue poetry. Thereafter he became involved in the
beat scene, reading and traveling all over the United States and also studying
at Black Mountain College and SUNY-Buffalo (under Olson himself). Although felled
by personal problems at various points in his career, Wieners published many
volumes of poetry, notably The Hotel Wentley Poems (1958), Ace of
Pentacles (1964) and Nerves (1970). Weiners died in 2002.
The John Wieners papers includes poems and drafts of poems, most of which are undated. Also included is a manuscript journal from 1970 to 1972 which was posthumously published as A Book of Prophecies in 2007.
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