Gil Ott papers
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Gil Ott, born February 27, 1950, is a widely published essayist and poet. He is the publisher of Singing Horse Press, a literary press, which has produced over twenty-five titles by emerging poets and writers in the past twenty-seven years. The journal Paper Air, which the Press published from 1976 through 1990, was the recipient of an Editors' Fellowship from the Council of Literary Magazines and presses in 1985.
According to Ott, "there are a lot of writers who are not getting national exposure"; consequently he founded the Philadelphia Publishing Project, which addresses this problem by printing one book by a Philly poet each year. For this project, Ott looks for people who are "stepping outside the accepted notions of language and have a willingness to take risks with the materials itself."
Ott's own writing has won several awards, including fellowships from the Headlands Center for the Arts (California), and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Gil Ott has written thirteen books of poetry and prose, including The Yellow Floor (Sun & Moon, 1985), Within Range (Burning Deck, 1987), Public Domain (Potes & Poets, 1989), The Whole Note (Zasterle, Canary Islands, Spain, 1996), Traffic (Chax Press, 2001), and his final book, The Amputated Toe (Cuneiform Press, 2005). Essays focusing on the role of the arts in social change have appeared in American Poetry Review, High Performance, American News Service, M/E/A/N/I/N/G, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Cultural Democracy, and other sources.
Ott has several poems and songs on the Frequency Audio Journal.
In 2004, Ott turned the press over to Paul Naylor.
Ott is a fund-raising professional with decades of experience in cultural and community-based nonprofit management. From 1981 through 1995, he worked at Philadelphia's Painted Bride Art Center, first conducting a capital campaign, then creating an extensive network of community-based arts and educational collaborations. He served as the first Director of Development for Liberty Resources, a consumer-run organization, which advocates for the rights of people with disabilities. He has served on the Boards of Directors of the Community Education Center and Point Breeze Performing Arts Center.
He lived in Philadelphia with his wife, poet and educator Julia Blumenreich and their daughter Willa. Gil Ott died in 2004.
The papers of Gil Ott at the University of Pennsylvania Library consist of his correspondence, as well as his personal writings. Also included are Ott's submissions, journal/notebooks, press clippings and even an audio tape of Ott telling stories. The papers also comprise Ott's grant and financial records, and his computer files and computer hard-drive.
Purchased from Gil Ott, 2003.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Patricia D. Hopkins
- Finding Aid Date
- May 2006
- Access Restrictions
The bulk of this collection is open for research use; however, access to original audio/visual materials and computer files is restricted. The Kislak Center will provide access to the information on these materials from duplicate master files. If the original does not already have a copy, it will be sent to an outside vendor for copying. Patrons are financially responsible for the cost. The turnaround time from request to delivery of digital items is about two weeks for up to five items and three to seven weeks for more than five items. Please contact Reprographic Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) for cost estimates and ordering. Once digital items are received, researchers will have access to the files on a dedicated computer in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.