University of Arizona

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Diane Wakoski Papers

Greeting Card Sent to Diane Wakoski, 1970

Diane Wakoski is an American poet who is associated with the deep image poets as well as the confessional and Beat poets of the 1960s.  She was born on August 3rd, 1937 in Whittier, California.  Wakoski received her bachelor's degree in English from the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied with Thom Gunn, Josephine Miles, and Tom Parkinson.

After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree, Wakoski moved to New York City where she participated in the thriving poetry scene in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. During this time she produced work that appeared in several chapbooks and journal collections of poetry. In 1976 she moved to East Lansing, Michigan, and taught at Michigan State University.

Much of her poetry focuses on the relationship between men and women, and includes conversations with larger than life historical figures such as George Washington, the Buddha, and the King of Spain.

The collection includes manuscripts, chapbooks, reviews, interviews, proofs and copies of books. Some are signed; many are published by Black Sparrow Press of Los Angeles. Much of the correspondence and manuscripts are from Wakoski to John Martin of Black Sparrow Press. Some correspondence is to Martin from Tony Weinberger, a selection of whose published and unpublished material is also included in this collection. Also present are Little magazines, recordings of Wakoski's readings, broadsides, postcards, and posters--many signed by the author.

The addendum to the collection, added in 2013, contains primarily correspondence between Wakoski and various authors, intellectuals, editors and fans, a bulk of it between the years of 1960-1975. Also included in the addendum is later work, loose and unpublished poetry, collaborative works, and later works found in chapbooks and small journals from 1965-1975.