Scope and arrangement
The Parnassus: Poetry in Review Records (1971-1996) consist mostly of general and editorial correspondence and revised and corrected typescripts, authors' galleys, and page proofs of pieces which appeared in the magazine. This material documents the editorial procedures of the journal. The correspondence also traces Herbert Leibowitz's personal and professional relationships with many notable and aspiring writers, poets, critics, artists, and academics and, to some extent, his professional life as an editor, publisher, and professor. The records include additional editorial files, including interoffice communications and readers' reports that complement the information provided by the correspondence, typescripts, and galleys; typescripts of rejected or otherwise unpublished submissions to the magazine; art files, which include some original art and photographs; administrative and financial files, which document the efforts of Leibowitz to produce, distribute, promote, fund, and staff the journal, through various corporate, governmental, and cooperative means; and sound recordings, mostly of interviews with poets later published in the magazine.
The Parnassus: poetry in review records are arranged in five series:
- 1971-199624 boxes
This series consists of correspondence between the staff of Parnassus and its writers and potential contributors. It is comprised mostly of letters from contributors to Leibowitz. There are also copies of Leibowitz's replies, most prevalent in the 1990s, throughout the correspondence; a file of some of his letters written between 1979 and 1983 (SEE Box 13, f. 11); and some correspondence between staff, including Donna Dorian, Suzanne Fox, Robert Carnavale, and Ben Downing, and contributors. The correspondence mainly addresses editorial matters, and often traces an essay's passage from idea to published work and sometimes includes edited typescripts and reader's reports. Personal letters, Christmas cards, wedding and birth announcements, as well as dedicated poems and drawings document Leibowitz's relationships with several poets and critics.
The series is full of resumes, cover letters, dedicated essays and poems, and requests for written recommendations sent to Leibowitz from both unknown and notable critics, poets, and academics. These materials are evidence of the professional status and role of Leibowitz and his journal in the literary and academic communities. Young or unknown writers often wrote Leibowitz, sending him samples of their work, in the hopes that he would recognize their talents as critic or poets. Leibowitz often responded at length to these solicitations, sometimes forming relationships with young writers as he helped them work through their ideas or, later, specific editorial problems; some of these relationships lasted several years, continuing when the young writer had become a respected critic or poet and a regular contributor to the journal.
Writers represented by large amounts of correspondence include Cal Bedient, R. W. Flint, Edwin Fussell, Judith Gleason, Rachel Hadas, William Harmon, Colette Inez, William Logan, Rick Lyon, Sherman Paul, Marjorie Perloff, M. L. Rosenthal, and Paul West.
- ca.1972-199544 boxes
Typescripts, proofs, and galleys for each issue from Volume 1 through 20 make up the majority of the Editorial series. Typescript drafts, sometimes referred to as "Foul Copy" throughout the collection, are author's typed manuscripts, often edited, sometimes in several stages of revision, accompanied by readers reports, and, in a few cases, by editorial correspondence. Files for issues with any drafts do not necessarily have drafts of every essay in that issue. Issues for which typescript drafts exists do not necessarily include all these drafts. Setting Copy, the copy sent to the printer, is most often made up of edited manuscript but sometimes includes page proofs or authors galleys. Authors' Galleys are proofs corrected by authors, sometimes accompanied by correspondence or lists of corrections. Corrected Proofs are proofs from the printer onto which edits and author corrections were entered and sent back to the printer; they may include typescripts when new articles were added and/or received later in the production process. General Material includes interoffice communications, readers' reports, assignments, contracts [SEE ALSO: Box 73, f. 10 Contributor Payments / Contracts], correspondence regarding production, drafts of tables of contents and contributors notes, and background material. [SEE ALSO other Editorial subseries.]
Other editorial subseries include assignments; interoffice communications, which include miscellaneous readers reports, editorial memos between staff, and some memos concerning administrative business; a manuscript log for December 1989; a style sheet from 1991; and several subject files. Much of this same sort of material pertaining to a particular issue can be found in the other files for that issue. Unpublished Manuscripts are typescripts, sometimes accompanied by readers' reports or Leibowitz's rejection letter, most of which are in the writer's correspondence file.
- undated3 boxes
The Art series consists of camera-ready ads placed in Parnassus and by Parnassus; Artist Files, which are collections of printed samples of artists' work, and clippings about particular artists; idea files, an assortment of catalogues, postcards, photographs, and clippings saved for future reference; issue files, which include some photographs and tear sheets of art which appeared in the journal; and photos of poets.
- ca.1975-199414 boxes
Administrative / Financial records consist of correspondence, bills, invoices documenting the journal's selling and exchanging ads; paying and contracting writers and artists; registering each issue under copyright; distributing issues through book clubs, book stores, distributors, and subscriptions; granting permission to reprint articles in other publications; marketing through mailings; coordinating and paying for the production and design of each issue; tracking its inventory of back issues; managing office space; hiring and paying staff; and addressing legal issues.
The Financial subseries includes the journal's tax returns, annual reports, bank statements, and spreadsheets recording cash disbursements and receipts. The Funding files include plans and invitations for fundraising events, background material on potential individual and institutional sources of money, proposals for future initiatives to keep the journal afloat, and the journals applications for funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and the Research Foundation (three bodies from which the journal received funding regularly) along with attendant correspondence. The Literary Organizations, Prizes and Programs subseries document Parnassus's role in cooperative efforts attempting to support literary journals and programs.
- undated8 sound recordings
This series consists interviews with poets mostly conducted for publication in the journal. Interviewees include Rita Dove, Adrienne Rich, Donald Graham, Sonia Sanchez, April Bernard, and Amy Clampitt.