Special Collections and Archives

John Wieners papers

Special Collections and Archives

John Wieners papers

John Wieners, Papers, 1958-1972

Finding Aid

Prepared by Barbara Bass, June 14, 2002; updated June 2011
1 document case, .33 cubic foot., 11th floor

Biographical Note

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.

Scope and Content

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.

Box 1

Folder -- Contents

  1. "And always tropical songs call me forth," 1958
  2. "Beauty never was mine," undated
  3. "Buds on the trees," undated
  4. "Cage," undated
  5. "Drug fantasy," undated
  6. "The Exercise," undated
  7. "For Ed Dorn," undated
  8. "The Guy in the garage," undated
  9. "Love takes over," undated
  10. "Menu," undated
  11. Notebook," undated
  12. "Yonnie," undated
  13. Manuscript journal, 1970-1972. 145 leaves, written on both sides. The bulk of the journal is poetic and includes drafts or versions (heavily corrected) of a number of poems. Transcribed and published in 2007 as A Book of Prophecies.