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Kayak collection

Identifier: PCMS-0006

Scope and Content Note

The Kayak collection contains manuscript submissions and correspondence sent to George Hitchcock during the life of the magazine (1964-1984).


  • 1964-1984

Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The Kayak collection, 1964-1984, is open for research.


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 the 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.

Historical Note

A teacher, publisher, poet, actor, novelist, and playwright as well as an editor, George Hitchcock produced 64 issues of Kayak in San Francisco and then Santa Cruz, California. Describing itself as being "particularly hospitable to surrealist, imagist and political poems; prose poems and vehement articles on modern poetry," the magazine featured over its twenty-year span a fairly consistent group of writers including Robert Bly, Philip Levine, W. S. Merwin, Charles Simic, David Ignatow, Hayden Carruth, and Wendell Berry, as well as figures like David Antin, Kathleen Fraser, Paul Blackburn, Gary Snyder, and Anselm Hollo who are usually associated with other literary communities. Kayak also published occasional English translations of influential writers such as François Villon, Rafael Alberti, Paul Eluard, and Georg Trakl. Distinguishing the magazine visually are its covers and numerous illustrations featuring eclectic nineteenth-century drawings and engravings as well as contemporary collages. In 1968 Kayak was awarded $10,000 by the National Council on the Arts for its contributions "made in advancing the cause of the unknown, obscure or difficult writer, and in the publication of books visually and typographically distinctive."


43 Linear Feet (172 boxes)


The Kayak collection contains manuscript submissions and correspondence sent to George Hitchcock during the life of the magazine (1964-1984).


This collection is arranged in three series.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by issue from George Hitchcock over the life of the magazine.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

kayak. Poetry Periodical Collection (no call number; shelved by title)

Hitchcock, George. One-man boat: the George Hitchcock reader. Joseph Bednarik, Mark Jarman, and Robert McDowell, eds. Ashland, OR: Story Line Press, 2003. Call number: Poetry H57.232G 2003 O53 1.1

Processing Information

Collection processed by Poetry Collection staff.


Finding aid for the Kayak collection
Finding aid prepared by James Maynard and revised by Marie Elia.
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Local Best Practices
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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