Julia Blumenreich 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
Julia Blumenreich is a Philadelphia-based poet who received her Master's degree in poetry from Temple University in 1986. Her poems have been published in a number of journals including o-blék, Central Park, Aerial, and Chain; as well as in separate volumes, including Meeting Tessie (Singing Horse Press) and Artificial Memory (Leave Books). Julia also served as an editor of 6ix, a poetry journal based in Philadelphia.
A recipient of a Pennsylvania Arts Council Fellowship for her poetry, Julia has read her work widely at a variety of venues, including Temple and Brown Universities, The Cleveland New Music Festival, and Small Press Distribution in San Francisco. Julia worked for a number of years as a poet-in-the-schools before becoming a fourth-grade teacher (first for eight years in West Philadelphia and currently at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington). Since working in the schools, she received a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award in 2000.
Julia's late husband, Gilbert Ott (1950-2004), was a poet with over a dozen published books and a community arts activist. Ott served as development director at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia for over 15 years, acted as the driving force behind the Bride's development of community-based programs, and pioneered artistic practices that articulated the Bride's work with communities.
This collection documents Blumenreich's work as a poet as well as her editorship of 6ix from 1991 to 1998. To a lesser degree, the collection touches on her personal and family life with her husband Gilbert Ott (1950-2004) and her daughter Willa. This collection, which dates from 1983 to 2003, consists of Blumenreich's published poetry (in poetry volumes and anthologies, as well as poetry journals), correspondence relating to her editorship of the Philadelphia-based poetry journal 6ix, submissions to 6ix, drafts of her own poetry, her master's thesis, and personal family correspondence and records.
The collection is arranged in four series: Writings by Blumenreich, Editorship of 6ix, Writings by others, and Personal and family records. Writings by Blumenreich includes drafts for poems, journals and anthologies containing Blumenreich's poems, and two stand-alone publications of Blumenreich's work: Artificial Memory and Meeting Tessie. In addition, Blumenreich's master's thesis, entitled "Who's Who" and written while she was a student at Temple University, is included. This series is arranged alphabetically.
Editorship of 6ix documents Blumenreich's role in editing this magazine of new writing. Along with five other Philadelphia-area poets, Blumenreich reviewed submissions, corresponded with poets, selected material for the magazine, and brought about its publication. According to publicity for 6ix, the magazine was "meant to provoke, challenge, and encourage dialog among readers and writers." (Box 2, Folder 5). The collection does not contain a full run of the finished journals; Volume 3, Number 2 and Volume 4, Number 1 are not present. Submissions and correspondence have been linked to the relevant editions as best as possible, however, many are undated and not all submissions were accepted by the editors. This series is arranged chronologically.
The third series, Writings by others, includes publications of poetry in which Blumenreich's poems are not included. It is unclear if these works contained material of poets she admired or if they were sent to her as part of her position as editor of 6ix. Paper Air was edited by and contains a poem by her husband Gilbert Ott.
The Personal and family records series consists of a variety of records including wills and estate records for Blumenreich and Ott's parents and vacation records, in addition to a small number of documents about Gilbert Ott's career. These more substantive records include grant proposals to the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts and applications for fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. There is minimal correspondence in this series; only a few letters from Blumenreich to Ott, and one addressed to Ott from Lorraine, Gerry, and Gabe. This series is arranged alphabetically.
This collection would be of value to scholars of poetry, particularly those interested in Philadelphia-based poets and artists, and researchers interested in the poetry and arts scene in Philadelphia in the 1980s and 1990s.
Gift of Julia Blumenreich.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Jessica Hoffman
- Finding Aid Date
- The processing of this collection was made possible through the generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' "Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives" Project.
- Use Restrictions
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