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Charles Olson and Frances Boldereff
A Modern Correspondence
Charles Olson, Frances Boldereff; Ralph Maud, ed.; Sharon Thesen, ed.




Wesleyan
1999 • 564 pp. 6 x 9 1/4"
Biography / Poetry Criticism

$34.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6364-4



A remarkable series of letters between Black Mountain poet Charles Olson and his most ardent reader.

The highly influential yet undisclosed relationship between modern American poet Charles Olson (1910-1970) and Frances Boldereff comes to light in this first collection of their extensive, often impassioned, correspondence. What starts with a fan letter from the idiosyncratic intellectual Boldereff soon surges to an exchange numbering hundreds of pages. In these letters, one views the early stages of the “Maximus” poems and the developing poetics embodied in Olson’s 1950 essay on “Projective Verse.” While this correspondence reveals much about the work and life of a man who became the dominant figure among the Black Mountain poets, Boldereff herself stands out as an extraordinary collaborator, occasional lover, and intellectual rival to Olson. Here are two great minds and creative spirits caught up in an exchange every bit as riveting as the letters of de Beauvoir and Sartre.

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Reviews / Endorsements

“Fascinating reading. Here is Olson at the threshold of his career, still tentative, still feeling his way into his poetics, discussing his poems, his philosophy, his dreams, with someone equipped to understand him, sometimes better than he understood himself. The correspondence provides a window on Olson before he became Olson. It’s an intimate, arresting portrait of the artist in the process of becoming.” Marjorie Perloff



RALPH MAUD is Professor Emeritus of English at Simon Fraser University and author of two books on Olson. SHARON THESEN teaches at Capilano College in British Columbia.



Sat, 17 Jun 2017 11:48:01 -0500