Original Application Form for the Legendary 1965 Berkeley Poetry Conference. Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, LeRoi Jones, Joanne Kyger, Charles Olson, Jack Spicer, Gary Snyder, Lew Welch.
Original Application Form for the Legendary 1965 Berkeley Poetry Conference

Original Application Form for the Legendary 1965 Berkeley Poetry Conference

Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley, 1965. First Printing. Single Sheet. There is a reason why the Berkeley Poetry Conference of 1965 lives on, spoken of in hushed tones and sunned by the rays of legend. Some events require the passage of time to apprehend their magnitude. Not so with the Berkeley Poetry Conference, where all who attended—lecturers and attendees alike—were quick to speak of it, write of it, to pass on that sense of momentum and enchantment which made those twelve days in Berkeley so special. A review of the contributor list alone does much to this end. In it, we see names which populate the recorded histories of Mid-Century American Literature writ large like Allen Ginsberg—but the Berkeley Poetry Conference of 1965 is about more than the figureheads on the marquee. It’s about the intellectual leadership behind the participants’ literary milieu; it’s about the groundbreaking emergence of new ideas about composition spellbindingly presented by the groundbreakers themselves. Ultimately, the Berkeley Poetry Conference of 1965 is about what Melville called “…a bold new statement of the power of live belief.” Essentially a two-week long class-&-conference, it featured both lectures in the mornings and poetry readings in the evenings, both of which were slated to go on for an hour-&-a-half each yet gloriously (and notoriously) ran far longer, like in the case of Master Bellower Charles Olson, Maxi-mustering with all his might and unceasingly rambling in rapt, adamantine bliss. Lecturers included Robert Duncan (“Psyche-Myth and the Moment of Truth”); Jack Spicer (“Poetry and Politics”); Gary Snyder (“Poetry and the Primitive”); Charles Olson (“The Causal Mythology”); Robert Creeley (“The Sense of Measure”); Allen Ginsberg (“What’s Happening on Earth”); and LeRoi Jones (“Poetry and Murder”). “Tickets” were “sold” in the form of enrollment costs in a class, and to get the full weight and worth of the Berkeley Poetry Conference, you had to buy all four seminars ($90; two-hour formal lectures by Snyder, Duncan, Jones & Olson) plus a separate ticket to the Lecture Series ($9 and probably the biggest bang for your buck), featuring additional lectures from Duncan, Spicer, Snyder, Olson, Creeley, Ginsberg, and Jones. The readings were structured in the following manner: a featured poet (or group of poets) per night for each week of the conference. For example, July 13 was Gary Snyder’s night, the 14th featured John Wieners, the 15th Jack Spicer, and so on. Offered here is an incredibly rare piece of ephemera, unsubmitted sign-up sheet for the legendary Berkeley Poetry Conference, a capstone rarity for any collector of Mid-Century American literature and The Beat Generation. Original, unrestored application form in near fine condition, horizontally folded into three panels; tiny bump to bottom right hand corner of recto; small, clean tear at top right-hand corner of same; tiny instance of chipping at leftmost fine-edge of same; slight yellowing-staining near the top left-hand corner of verso, virtually invisible when viewed from the front of the document but visible from verso; small pencil marking at top-right hand corner of same. Near Fine. [Item #4579]

Price: $200.00