In 2009 the Poetry Collection received a Preservation and Access grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to reformat, catalog and make accessible over 1,300 endangered cassette and reel-to-reel audio recordings of poetry materials. Dating between 1962 and 2000, the recordings fall into three categories:
Capturing poetry readings, lectures, interviews, conferences and other literary events, these tapes document the development of innovative and avant-garde poetries and their communities throughout the second half of the twentieth century as well as Buffalo’s role within that history. Readings by both canonical and non-canonical poets are featured in the collection, including such prominent American and international figures as John Ashbery, Robert Bly, Basil Bunting, Robert Creeley, Diane Di Prima, Ed Dorn, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Graves, Denise Levertov, Robert Lowell, Frank O’Hara, Charles Olson, George Oppen, Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, Diane Wakoski and Louis Zukofsky.
Occurring as they do in a particular place and time and before a particular audience, poetry readings by their nature are spontaneous events that can differ drastically from one place and location to another, and the recordings of these events offer literary scholars and students in the humanities a host of highly significant resources for research and education. Audio recordings:
Consequently, these tapes are potentially significant for all sorts of historical, biographical and genetic scholarship, and can serve an important pedagogical use in the classroom. For research purposes, where possible the description of these items includes not just the titles of the poems read but information about the conversations that take place around them.
Recordings have been grouped accordingly based on their source in a number of the Poetry Collection’s literary archives, each of which can be searched as a sub collection above:
More collections will be digitized and added in the future as funding allows.
Streaming audio and copyright
Streaming versions of these audio recordings have been incorporated directly into their vufind catalog records. All recordings are accessible to individuals with a University at Buffalo user name and password. Unrestricted access is available for those recordings for which permission has been granted by the relevant copyright holders or for those designated as orphan works. If you are the copyright holder for any material included in this audio archive please contact the Poetry Collection at firstname.lastname@example.org. All of our audio is made available for educational purposes only and permission for any subsequent use of these recordings must be directed to the authors or their estates.
Help us improve the catalog records
If you have any suggestions for correcting or improving these catalog records please contact email@example.com and we will do our best to update the records in a timely manner.
Additional audio donations
The Poetry Collection is always interested in adding to our audio collection. Although we feature readings from around the country, we are especially interested in continuing to collect recordings of local poetry events in Buffalo and Western New York. If you would like to discuss such a gift of materials, please contact one of the curators at (716) 645-2917 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.