Information for Researchers
Scope and Content
Collection Title: Jack Micheline Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1948-1986
Collection Number: BANC MSS 87/174 c
Micheline, Jack, 1929-
Number of containers: 3 boxes, 5 cartons
Linear feet: 7.5
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Contains correspondence, manuscripts of his poetry, prose, and plays, notebooks and personal papers, and a few of his drawings.
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts
must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft
Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which
must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], Jack Micheline Papers, BANC MSS 87/174 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Materials Cataloged Separately
- Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.
- Sound recordings of East Bleeker have been transferred to the Microforms Division of The Bancroft Library.
Acquired from Jack Micheline through Jeffrey H. Weinberg of Water Row Books, Inc., Sudbury, Mass., January 22, 1987.
Jack Micheline, né Harvey Martin Silver, was born in the Bronx in 1929. He quit high school and ran away from home at the
age of 16, and at 17 joined the army. In 1949 he went to Israel and worked on a kibbutz in the Negev, and from 1950 to 1957
traveled throughout the United States, working odd jobs to support himself. His first poem was published in the
American Friends Service Committee Newsletter in 1954. Moving to Greenwich Village, he became identified with the Beat Poets, although he himself disputes the tag, as well
as that of "street poet." In 1957 he won the Revolt in Literature Award at the Half Note Club in the East Village. His first
collection, River of Red Wine, was published in 1958.
In 1963 Micheline married Mimi Redding and they spent a year travelling in France, Spain, England, and the Netherlands. Shortly
after their return to the United States, the marriage broke up and Micheline returned to the Village. In February 1964 his
only child, Vincent Silver Micheline, was born to a woman he had known before his marriage to Redding.
East Bleeker: A Drama with Music, was produced at Café LaMama in 1967.
North of Manhattan: Collected Poems, Ballads, and Songs was published in 1976.
Skinny Dynamite, a collection of short stories which appeared in 1968 and led to an obscenity trial, was published by Second Coming Press in
1980. Several of his works have been translated into German and Spanish. Recently he has written fewer poems and has become
known as a primitive painter.
Micheline's poetry chronicles the different worlds in which he has lived and travelled, as well as the pain and triumph of
being a poet. Much of Micheline's work is meant to be read aloud, and he continues to give poetry readings
Information taken from
's article in the
Dictionary of Literary Biography
and from notes by the poet.
Scope and Content
The correspondence of Jack Micheline characterizes the personal and financial difficulties of a writer living and working
outside of the mainstream culture of his time. Letters to and from his family, friends, acquaintances, publishers, and other
business associates reveal a great deal about his personal and creative life. Several well-known figures of the Beat Generation
are represented in the correspondence (Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg, and others) as well as many
lesser-known writers of the era. Included are copies of letters of support for Micheline in his "Skinny Dynamite" obscenity
case of 1969 by Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, and others.
The bulk of the collection consists of Micheline's writing. Many stages of the writing process are in evidence, from the first
random jottings to the printed product. A group of notebooks for the years 1958 to 1978 contains notes, poems, pictures, and
addresses, chronicling time spent in New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Paris. Also included is a selection of prose works,
ranging from short character sketches and descriptions to polished stories, which often introduce subjects treated again in
his poetry. The poetry collection, like the prose, has works in all stages of preparation. Frequently there are several manuscript
and typescript versions of the same piece, many of which are signed and annotated by the author. A small section of dramatic
writings contains the original and working scripts for East Bleeker, as well as other sketches and short plays
In addition to Micheline's own manuscripts, the collection includes poems addressed to Micheline and a small number of poems
collected by Micheline. There are also two folders of his drawings and some personal papers, including his petition to change
his name and sketches of Micheline.
Key to Folder Abbreviations:
Folders often contain variant versions of the same poem. On the outside of the folder is a list of abbreviations indicating
the types of drafts within the folder:
- ms: autograph manuscript
- ts: typescript
- printed: published version
- photocopy: photocopy made by the author
- carbon: carbon copy of typescript
- drafts: texts of the copies are different (either minor or major revisions)
- annotated: author has revised the text by hand
- illustrated: page contains drawing as well as text
- signed: copy signed by author
- ts [photocopy]: photocopy made by The Bancroft Library. Original is elsewhere in the collection.