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Kenneth Patchen Correspondence

A description of his correspondence at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: LMD
Date: 10 December 2009

Biographical History

Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972) was an American poet, novelist and artist. Patchen was an early experimental poet who began writing and publishing in the late 1930s. He was the first poet to begin reading poetry while accompanied by jazz music, and became a major influence on later Beat poets such as Allen Ginsberg. Patchen also experimented with "picture poems," which were illustrated by his own paintings and drawings.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Kenneth Patchen Correspondence consists of approximately 10 letters and cards sent by Patchen and his wife Miriam. The bulk of the collection is Christmas cards, most designed by Patchen and including poems written by him, such as "I Have Lighted the Candles, Mary," "Nothing Has Changed," and "Peace on Earth." Most of the items are addressed to either Dante Zaccagnini or Connie and Dante Thomas. Also included are two printed announcements advertising Patchen's published works, one from 1958 and another from 1965 announcing the initial publication of But Even So by the Nantahala Foundation in Jargon 50.

Arrangement of the Collection

Items are arranged in chronological order.


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.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center holds most of Kenneth Patchen's published works, including many first editions and rare printings.

Subject Headings


Patchen, Kenneth, 1911-1972.


Christmas -- Poetry.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Thomas Patchen Correspondence,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

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