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Twentieth-Century Counterculture Poets’ Libraries

June 6, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EDT

Sponsored by The Grolier Club

Grolier Club member Mary Catherine “MC” Kinniburgh, currently at Granary Books (a NYC-based rare book and archives dealer, and independent publisher), and creator of her own small editions of artists’ books under the imprint TKS, will explore how the characteristics of 20th-century counterculture poets’ libraries shed light on the history of information management and knowledge preservation, and underscore the idea that a life of poetry (and perhaps even book-collecting!) is a political and spiritual act. Dr. Kinniburgh’s new book, Wild Intelligence: Poets’ Libraries and the Politics of Knowledge in Postwar America [UMass Press, 2022], looks at how postwar technological innovations led to a profusion of information – mass-market paperbacks, xerographic technology, and other media – at the same time that publishing in the United States was subject to strict censorship. In this climate, information management serviced Cold War demands, whether for demonstrations of American culture via government-funded arts programs, or types of scientific research. Counterculture poets worked at the crosshairs of this profusion and restriction while outside of the mainstream, politically and socially. And of course, they were collecting books and organizing them in bespoke ways. MC will ask, “What if we crafted an alternative history of libraries and information management from poets?” She focuses on writers whose careers began during the 1950s and 1960s: Charles Olson (1910–1970), Diane di Prima (1934–2020), Gerrit Lansing (1928–2018), and Audre Lorde (1934–1992). In doing so, she examines how poets’ book collecting and organizing practices can function as unique archival resources, revealing types of knowledge and traditions that have been overlooked, buried, occulted, or censored. For in-person attendees, a reception will follow.

Register on The Grolier Club’s Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grolier-club-virtual-lecture-on-20th-c-counterculture-poets-libraries-tickets-330088131487?aff=ebdsoporgprofile


June 6, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EDT
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