Collection ID: LMC 2106
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Collection context


Zukofsky, Louis, 1904-1978
The Zukofsky mss., 1928-1933, consist of letters and writings of Louis Zukofsky, 1904-1978, poet.
1 Box (1 standard)
Materials are in English and French .
Preferred citation:

[Item], Zukofsky mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Biographical / Historical:

Louis Zukofsky (1904-1978) was an American poet who coined the term "Objectivist" to describe his own poetry plus the work of a loosely affiliated group of avant-garde poets including Charles Reznikoff, George Oppen, Carl Rakosi, Basil Bunting, and Lorine Niedecker. Objectivist poetry has an imagist concern with the poem as a shaped object.

Zukofsky was born in New York City, the son of Jewish Lithuanian immigrants. He graduated high school at the age of 15 and entered Columbia University at the age of 16. Zukofsky's first major work, "Poem beginning 'The'" (1926), styled after Eliot's "The Waste Land," was published in Ezra Pound's magazine The Exile in 1928. Zukofsky was asked by Pound to edit and write the manifesto for the 1931 Objectivist issue of Poetry magazine. Pound also introduced Zukofsky to William Carlos Williams, who would become a lifelong friend and collaborator.

Zukofsky's magnum opus is the 24-part poem "A," which Zukofsky wrote over the course of several decades. He composed the first seven sections between 1928 and 1930, and the eighth section in 1935. He finished the final section in 1974.

Scope and Content:

The Zukofsky mss., 1928-1933, consist of letters and writings of Louis Zukofsky, 1904-1978, poet. The letters are addressed to René Taupin, 1905-1981, French critic and translator, who for part of this period was living in New York City. The letters are written from New York City; Berkeley, California; Madison, Wisconsin (where Zukofsky was an instructor of English for a year); Chicago, Illinois; and one letter from Budapest, Hungary. There are no letters for the year 1932. They are concerned largely with his work "A," his application for a Guggenheim fellowship, classes at the University of Wisconsin, financial matters, publication and writing problems. Some of the writers mentioned in the letters include: Basil Bunting, Thomas Stearns Eliot, Theodore Hecht, Norman Wicklund Macleod, Harriet Monroe, Ezra Loomis Pound, André Salmon, William Carlos Williams. Theodore Hecht has also written a letter in French to Taupin on the verso of Zukofsky's of August 7, 1933.

Writings present include various drafts and stages of Zukofsky's long poem "A," manuscripts of his "Immature Pebbles" and "Pro. LXI" and two fragments of miscellaneous notes and aphorisms. Also present is Zukofsky's translation of René Taupin's review "Three Poems by André Salmon," published in Poetry (Feb. & Mar. 1931).

Acquisition information:
Purchase: 1980 .

The collection is arranged into the following series: I. Correspondence and II. Writings, each arranged chronologically.

Physical location:
ALF (Auxiliary Library Facility)



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[Item], Zukofsky mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Bloomington
1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500, USA
Indiana University Bloomington
(812) 855-2452