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Jack Micheline Collection

An inventory of his collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Micheline, Jack, 1929-
Title: Jack Micheline Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1958-1965
Quantity: 2 folders (SC)
Abstract: Papers of the American poet, author. Manuscript for Micheline’s book In the Bronx and Other Stories, including typescript and holograph copies of "In the Bronx" as well as a number of other selections with corrections and notations by the author.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Jack Micheline was born Harvey Martin Silver on November 6, 1929, in New York, N.Y., to Herman (a mechanic and postman) and Helen (Michelin) Silver. He changed his name legally in 1963, choosing "Jack" after Jack London and "Micheline" by adding an e to his mother's maiden name.

Micheline's first poem was published in 1954 as he worked a series of odd jobs; a year later, he moved to Greenwich Village and in 1958 his collection River of Red Wine, which boasted an introduction by Jack Kerouac and garnered favorable reviews from critic Dorothy Parker, established him as a writer. Today he is also a painter and painting instructor and has also gained recognition for his primitive-style paintings.

Although relatively unknown to many in the literary world, Micheline is nevertheless regarded as one of the few Beat generation poets who continues to produce important work. Both the style of his writing (his poetry is intended to be read aloud and reflects the rhythms of the spoken word, particularly ethnic dialects, as well as jazz music) and its substance (populated by society's rejects such as destitutes, dreamers and drunks) place him squarely within the Beat milieu, although he himself considered the "Beat Movement" to be an invention of publishers' propaganda. He was also closely associated with many prominent Beat artists, writers and poets, particularly Jack Kerouac with whom he maintained a long-standing friendship (in 1982 Micheline gave a public poetry reading at the Jack Kerouac Conference of the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado).

Writers such as Langston Hughes, William Saroyan, Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey, and Miriam Patchen have praised his work, and he is considered an inspiration by many young San Francisco writers. In his essay on Micheline, Gerald Nicosia writes, "[Micheline found] a new conception of the poet as a peripatetic witness, whose job it was to discover beauty beneath the various lies with which men had masked it and to record everything he saw."

(Adapted from "Jack Micheline," Contemporary Authors Online, Thomson Gale, 2005 and from "Jack Micheline" by Gerald Nicosia, in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 16: The Beats: Literary Bohemians in Postwar America., The Gale Group, 1983. pp. 410-415. Gale Database)

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Jack Micheline Papers consist of a single series, Writings, which contains the manuscript for his book In the Bronx and Other Stories. Included are typescript and holograph copies of "In the Bronx" as well as a number of other selections with corrections and notations by the author.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Micheline, Jack, 1929-

Associated Titles

Micheline, Jack, 1929- -- In the Bronx and other stories


American literature -- 20th century.
American poetry -- 20th century.
Bohemianism -- United States.
Literature, Experimental.
Poets, American.

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts for publication.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Jack Micheline Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: KM
Date: Jul 1987
Revision history: 30 Oct 2006 - converted to EAD (AMCon)

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SC 26 "In the Bronx and works in progress - stories, sketches, jazz" 1958-1964 - typescript and holograph manuscript with corrections and notations by Micheline
SC 26 In the Bronx and Other Stories 1965

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