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Guide to the Ken Wainio Papers, 1970-1999

Abstract

Ken Wainio (1952-2006) was an American surrealist author and poet based in San Francisco, California.

Collection includes manuscripts and drafts of many of Wainio's poems and writings, including his novel, Starfuck. Also includes his journals and diaries, published poetry and printed materials, some correspondence, snapshots, and other biographical information.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Wainio, Ken.
Title
Ken Wainio papers, 1970-1999
Language of Material
English
Extent
9.4 Linear Feet, 7050 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The majority of the collection consists of drafts or manuscripts of Wainio's writings, which ranged from poetry to short stories to novels to plays. The condition of the drafts is fairly good, although many are incomplete or only excerpts of the text. There are many draft versions of Amorfos, Letters from Al-Kemi, and The Spiral Canyon, which was later published by New Native Press as Starfuck, Wainio's first novel. Small amounts of material exist for several poems, short stories, and plays.

The remainder of the Writings, Manuscripts, and Drafts series includes some of Wainio's published works, present in both broadside form as well as in journals or other serials. Of note are the several issues of Beatitude, edited by Wainio at one point, as well as two issues of Vanishing Cab, his own publication. Also in the series is a small amount of Wainio's artwork.

Another notable series is Wainio's Journals. There are over 30 present in the collection and they include diary entries, travel plans and notes, drafts of writings and poems, as well as sketches and artwork. They offer excellent insight into Wainio's thought process as an author, as well as his methods of writing.

The remainder of the collection contains correspondence, including a series of correspondence between Wainio and Thomas Rain Crowe; personal materials, including obituary information, some of Wainio's college papers, and other miscellaneous materials; and photographs, which are largely undated snapshots taken by Wainio during his travels through Greece and the United States.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Includes handwritten and typescript drafts of Wainio's poetry, prose, and plays. The largest amount of material is from his work on Starfuck and Amorfos. Also includes a small amount of his artwork; published versions of his poetry and prose; as well as some works published by others.

The Sprial Canyon was renamed to Starfuck. It is a novel published by New Native Press.

Outline
Box 1
Debris
Box 1
Draft No. 1, 1993
(4 folders)
Box 1
First draft, undated
(4 folders)
Box 1
Draft, 1996
(3 folders)
Box 1
Draft, copy 2, 1996
(3 folders)
Box 1
Draft, 1997
(3 folders)
Box 1
Starfuck, 1997
Box 1
California memoir manuscript, undated
(2 folders)
Box 1
Bits
Box 2
Outline
Box 2
Draft, 1987
(3 folders)
Box 2
Drafts, 1987
(2 folders)
Box 2
Drafts, undated
(2 folders)
Box 2
Draft, undated
(8 folders)
Box 2
Early poetry and other writings, undated
Box 2
Unfinished and first drafts, Summer 1976
Box 2
Poems, undated
Box 2
Copies of poems, 1970s and undated
(2 folders)
Box 2
Early poems, unfinished poems, and other writings
(2 folders)
Box 2
Poetry, 1974-1978 and undated
Box 3
Poems, 1980s
(2 folders)
Box 3
Copies of poems, undated
Box 3
Dead file (poetry), undated
Box 3
Poem originals, 1993
Box 3
Egypt poems, undated
(2 folders)
Box 3
Automatic Antiquity (poem), undated
Box 3
Essays and poems, 1990s
Box 3
Miscellaneous drafts and manuscripts, undated
Box 3
Old stuff, undated
(2 folders)
Box 3
Voyeur One, undated
Box 3
Sasquatch, undated
Box 3
Maldorer--Adaptation of Comte de Lauremont's Les Chants de Maldorer, 1974
Box 3
Two Children Menanced by a Nightingale (play), undated
Box 3
Stories, 1999
Box 3
Close Quarters, undated
Box 3
Public Enema, undated
Box 3
Vancouver to Paris, undated
Box 3
Vancouver to Athens, undated
Box 3
Eyes of the Night, undated
Box 3
Free Milk, undated
Box 3
Hawk Eggs, 1987 and 2001
(2 folders)
Box 3
Jacking Off, 1987
Box 3
The Loon, undated
Box 3
Hoop Snakes, 1987
(2 folders)
Box 3
Crossroads of the Other (poem), undated
(2 folders)
Box 3
Fountain of Wolves, 1990s
(2 folders)
Box 3
Child of the Sun (book in progress)
Box 3
Letters from a Future Ancestor, undated
Box 3
Scene of the Crime, 2005
Box 3
Apocalypse Rave: A Coda, 2002
(2 folders)
Box 3
Book in Progress, 1980
Box 3
Rock Bottom (play), undated
Box 3
Necropolis, undated
Box 3
Slab Window, undated
Box 3
Camaroon, undated
Box 3
Inn of Dreams, undated
Box 3
The Island Where Homer Died, undated
Box 3
Pink Olympics, undated
Box 3
The Ugliest Woman in the World, undated
Box 3
Egypt
Box 4
Pages and print proofs
Box 4
Egypt paraphenalia
Box 4
Upper Egypt
Box 4
First drafts
Box 4
Cairo draft
Box 4
Published version, 1980-1981
Box 4
Computer art by Wainio, undated
Box 4
Original artwork, 1978 and undated
Box 4
Posters and promotional materials
Box 4
Printed poetry, broadsides, 1977-1996
Box 4
Beatitude issues 21-26, 31, 33, dated 1975-1985
(2 folders)
Box 4
Crow issues 1-4, 6, dated 1985-1986
Box 4
Vanishing Cab issues 1, 3, dated 1975
Box 4
Published artwork, 2001
Box 4
Published poetry
Box 4
Published prose
Box 4
The Baby Beats and 2nd San Francisco Renaissance, 2004-2005
Box 4
Printed works by others
(3 folders)
Box 4
Oversize poetry and draft
Oversize Folder 1

Wainio's personal journals: bound volumes with his diaries, drafts, and artwork.

Journals
Box 5
Journals
Box 6

Majority of the correspondence consists of letters from Thomas Rain Crowe. Also includes miscellaneous incoming correspondence dating from the 1970s to the 1990s, as well as correspondence between Crowe and Wainio's friends and family following his death in 2006.

Incoming correspondence from Thomas Rain Crowe, 1970s-1990s
(4 folders)
Box 6
Emails, 2004-2005
(3 folders)
Box 6
Incoming correspondence, miscellaneous, 1970s-1990s
(2 folders)
Box 6
Outgoing correspondence from Cairo, 1979
Box 6
Copies of outgoing correspondence, 2000 and undated
Box 6
Correspondence regarding Wainio's death, 2006
Box 6

Includes obituary information, Wainio's numerology chart, some college papers, a statement on poetries, and other miscellaneous materials.

Biographical information and obituary materials, 2006
Box 6
Surrealism history essay by Steve Schwart, undated
Box 6
Publishing history
Box 6
College papers, 1973 and undated
Box 6
Letters of recommendation
Box 6
Statement on poetries
Box 6
Numerology chart
Box 6
Portraits of Wainio
Box 6

Color snapshots of Wainio or by Wainio, including portraits, scenery from various vacations and travels, and pictures of his friends and colleagues. Most are unlabelled and undated.

Photographs
Box 7

Historical Note

Ken Wainio was born in Ukiah, California, about two hours north of San Francisco, in 1952. He began to write at age fifteen--having been influenced by the writings of the French poets Lautreamont, Rimbaud, and Nerval. He moved to San Francisco at the beginning of the 1970s to study at San Francisco State University with the Greek surrealist poet Nanos Valaoritis, and met the American surrealist poets Philip Lamantia and Stephen Schwartz. A couple of years later, in an informal "poetry class" being conducted in the home of Harold Norse, he met Thomas Rain Crowe, Neeli Cherkovski and Luke Breit--along with whom he would later help to resurrect Beatitude magazine. Wainio was co-editor of issue No. 26 which appeared in 1977. During the 1970s, his poems were regularly published in Bay area literary magazines. With Jerry Estrin, Wainio was a founding editor of the surrealist publication Vanishing Cab. After driving a taxicab for the entire decade of the 1980s, he moved to Glenhaven, California. His travels took him to Greece and Egypt, where he spent considerable time in the 1980s and 1990s. His poems and fiction were published both in America and abroad in such journals as Nexus, Asheville Poetry Review, Litterature en Marche and Gregasin Montpellier, France. His books included Crossroads of the Other (written in the 1970s and published in 1994), Letters to Al-Kemi, Starfuck(a novel published on computer disk in 1996) and Automatic Antiquity(a collection of poetry published in 2004). Wainio died on January 26, 2006.

Biographical note source: The Baby Beats & The 2nd San Francisco Renaissance. New Native Press, 2005.

Subject Headings

Related Material

Related Material

Ken Wainio was a friend of Thomas Rain Crowe, whose papers are also held by Duke Univeristy.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ken Wainio Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Ken Wainio Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Meghan Lyon, February 2011

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, February 2011

This collection is minimally processed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.