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Michael Benedikt papers

Identifier: PCMS-0111

Scope and Contents

The Michael Benedikt papers includes manuscripts, photographs, letters, and other related material to the life and works of Micahel Benedikt. The first series Manuscripts includes drafts of poems, plays, and anthologies written and edited by Michael Benedikt. Series II: Correspondence relates to letters between Michael Benedikt and various people. Photographs consist of pictures of Happenings and from Benedikt's personal life. Finally, Series IV includes additional material such as posters, ephemera, documents related to a legal case involving Benedikt's apartment, and condolences written after Michael Benedikt's death.


  • Majority of material found within 1947-2008
  • circa 1939-2012


Language of Materials


Terms of Access and Use

Pursuant to Poetry Collection Restricted Records Policy, access to portions of this collection is RESTRICTED until February, 2057 (Box 4, Folders 69-82, and Box 7, Folders 12-13).


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and [University Archives or Poetry Collection] before requesting photocopies and/or publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Once permission is obtained, most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical / Historical

Born 1935, Michael Benedikt earned his BA degree from New York University and MA in English and comparative literature from Columbia University. He was the editorial assistant of Horizon Press 1959-1962. From 1963 to 1964 he served as managing editor for the literary magazine Locus Solus. Benedikt also helped bring European avant-garde poetry and theater to the U.S., mainly through his editorship of the anthologies The Poetry of Surrealism (1974) and The Prose Poem: An International Anthology (1976). From 1975-1978 Michael Benedikt was the editor of the Paris Review. Benedikt taught at institutions such as Sarah Lawrence, Bennington, Vassar, and Boston University in the 1960’s to 1970’s. His poems appeared in publications such as Agni, Iowa Review, the New Republic, the Paris Review, and Partisan Review. Benedikt earned fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council for the Arts. Michael Benedikt passed away in February of 2007.


7 Linear Feet (5 cartons, 3 legal manuscript boxes, 1 artifact box, 1 card file box)


Collection of materials relating to the personal life, photography, and writings of Michael Benedikt. Michael Benedikt was a writer and editor who was also active in documenting "Happenings" in the 1960's and 1970's The collection includes poetry drafts, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and other related materials.


The collection is arranged into four series: Series I. Manuscripts, Series II. Correspondence, Series III.Personal/misc., and Series IV. Photographs. Series I is arranged by manuscript title. Series II is arranged by date. Series III and Series IV are arranged by subject.

Acquisition Information

The Michael Benedikt papers were gifted to the Poetry Collection by Laura Boss and William Morgan in September, 2015 and in December, 2015.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Matthew Gadziala, July 2019; finding aid encoded by Matthew Gadziala, August 2019


Finding Aid for the Michael Benedikt papers
Finding Aid prepared by Matthew Gadziala
7 July 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The Poetry Collection Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
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