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
Victor Bockris is a poet, editor, and biographer of artists, authors, and musicians. Born in Sussex, England in 1949, Bockris and his parents moved to Philadelphia when he was four years old. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971, and while there contributed to the Pennsylvania Review. During his early career in Philadelphia, Bockris wrote poetry and began his work as a biographer with a work entitled "The Poetry of Performance: An Interview with Patti Smith," in 1972. Through Red Room Books, several of Bockris' writings were published, including Finished: A Novel and poems in both Contact and Sly. He also founded Telegraph Books.
In 1973, Bockris left Philadelphia to live and work in New York. He has written biographies on Lou Reed (and The Velvet Underground), Andy Warhol, Keith Richards, William S. Burroughs, Terry Southern, Blondie, Patti Smith, and Muhammad Ali, as well as a book called Beat Rock.
The Victor Bockris papers contain works from his early writing career (1972-1973), along with his personal collection of publications and correspondence. Numerous contributions to independent publications and an interview with Patti Smith form a significant part of this collection. The Victor Bockris papers document the activities of a community of avant-garde poets and artists of the early 1970s, mainly active in Philadelphia and New York City.
The collection is arranged in four series, Letters to Victor Bockris, Writings by Victor Bockris, Writings by Others, and Memorabilia. In Letters to Victor Bockris, researchers will find both professional and personal letters. To the letters, auxiliary material was attached; including poems, snapshots, and publicity for poetry readings and other events. A letter from Patti Smith includes a snapshot by Robert Mapplethorpe. Many of the letter writers are identified only by first or last name, but the content provides an interesting glimpse into the lives of Bockris and his fellow poets.
Writings by Victor Bockris, includes works only from 1970 to 1973, during his early career in Philadelphia. His writings are primarily poems, but the collection does include "The Poetry of Performance, an Interview with Patti Smith," from 1972. Most of Bockris' works were published by Red Room Books, which was located on Powelton Avenue in Philadelphia.
Writings by Others, consists of books of poetry, largely published by Angel Hair Books. These writings are arranged alphabetically by author; and Kodak is signed by author Patti Smith.
Finally, Bockris' Memoriabilia includes a review of his book In America; photographs and a cover, possibly for "Back from Boston;" and flyers and publicity for poetry readings and other events in which Bockris participated.
This collection would be of interest to researchers interested in Bockris' early career as well as Philadelphia's avante-garde poetry circles in the 1970s.
Sold by Victor Bockris in 1973.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Alina Josan and Carey Hedlund
- Finding Aid Date
- The processing of this collection was made possible through 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
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.