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The Black Box recorded poetry magazine, DC poets collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS2172

Scope and Contents Note

The collection contains audiotapes, audiocassettes, and index cards for the Washington poets who participated in The Black Box cassette-tape poetry magazine. These tapes are recordings of local Washington D.C. poets for a special issue of the Black Box. Each audiotape includes an information sheet with technical data about the recording and a list of the poems read by the poets. The poets include among others E. Ethelbert Miller, Essex Hemphill, Grace Cavalieri, Chasen Gaver, Roland Flint, Lady Amir, and Adesanya Alekoye. There are also recordings of a poetry reading at the University of Maryland and a symposium in the District of Columbia. The recordings date from 1973-1986 with the bulk falling between 1973-1986.

Dates

  • 1973-1986
  • Majority of material found within 1974 - 1985

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Historical note

The Black Box, the cassette-tape poetry magazine, undertook an ambitious documentary project in 1975 to record all the working poets in the Washington area. The editors estimated that this amounted to between two and three hundred poets. A representative spectrum was chosen for a special D.C. issue of Black Box and to air on several radio programs. The staff of the D.C. project included writers, editors, teachers of poetry and communtiy activists. The project was designed to be multi-racial and multi-cultural.

An issue of Black Box consisted of two 90-minute cassettes and included between 18 and 20 poets. Black Box was funded through a grant from the National Edowement for the Arts.

This special D.C. issue dated 1976 was the eighth issue of Black Box and was devoted exclusively to Washington, D.C. poetry. The editor, Alan Austin, remarked on the project that "an unusually large number of Washington poets --both black and white-- seem to be writing 'story' poems, narrative or dramatic poems which focus on character development; such poems are frequently concerned with encounters across barriers of class and race. . . . Another interesting discovery was that many of the poems we recorded were either influenced by or directly related to music."

Extent

7 Linear Feet

Language

English

Overview

The Black Box, the cassette-tape poetry magazine, undertook an ambitious documentary project in 1975 to record all the working poets in the Washington area. The editors estimated that this amounted to between two and three hundred poets. A representative spectrum was chosen for a special D.C. issue of Black Box and to air on several radio programs. The staff of the D.C. project included writers, editors, teachers of poetry and communtiy activists. The collection contains audiotapes, audiocassettes, and index cards for the Washington poets who were part of The Black Box cassette-tape poetry magazine. These tapes are recordings of local Washington D.C. poets for a special issue of the Black Box. Each recording includes an information sheet with technical data about the recording and a list of the poems read by the poets. The recordings date from 1973-1986 with the bulk falling between 1973-1986.

Arrangement Note

Organized into three series: audiotape poetry recordings, Black Box audiocassettes, and Index.

Physical Location

Materials may be stored off-site, and may require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Acquisition Note

Gift of the Watershed Foundation and the Poetry Committee of the Greater Washington Area, June 12, 1986.

Creator

Title
Preliminary Guide to The Black Box recorded poetry magazine, DC poets collection,1973-1986
Status
Completed
Author
The Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Date
2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

Contact:
2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America