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Kristin Prevallet Helen Adam research papers

Identifier: PCMS-0119

Scope and Contents

The Kristin Prevallet Helen Adam research collection contains notes, clippings, correspondence, business records, poetry transcriptions, original writing, and audiovisual materials of presentations, interviews, and performances of Helen Adam’s work. The bulk of the material covers the years Prevallet was researching and writing The Helen Adam Reader from 1993 until the publication of the book in 2007, however some copies of materials from Helen Adam’s life, spanning the years 1909-1993, exist within the collection. Geographically the collection is largely limited to Buffalo, NY and Brooklyn, NY, where Prevallet lived and worked while conducting her research. Other items originate or focus on locations Adam was active in during her lifetime, including San Francisco, CA, and New York City, NY.


  • 1955-2007
  • Majority of material found within 1993 - 2007


Terms of Access and Use

The Kristin Prevallet Helen Adam research papers are open to researchers. Portions of this collection have been minimally processed. Privacy protected information (including but not limited to certain educational, medical, financial, criminal, attorney-client, and/or personnel records) may be revealed during use of archival collections, particularly in collections that are unprocessed or have been minimally processed. Researchers agree to make no notes or other recordation of privacy protected information if found within the archival collections, and further agree not to publish, publicize, or disclose such information to any other party for any purpose if found within the archival collections.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

Biographical / Historical

Poet, educator, literary critic, essayist, and mind-body coach, Kristin Prevallet was born on December 17, 1966 in Denver, Colorado. Prevallet holds a BA from the University of Colorado and a MA in poetics and humanities from the University at Buffalo. Her first published book of poetry was Perturbation, My Sister (First Intensity Press, 1997). Since then, she has published four poetry collections, including Scratch Sides: Poetry Documentation and Image-text Projects (Skanky Possum, 2004), Shadow Evidence Intelligence (Factory School, 2007), I, Afterlife: Essay in Mourning Time (Essay Press, 2007), and Everywhere Here and In Brooklyn (A Four Quartets) (Belladonna, 2012). Her book Third Mind: Creative Writing Through Visual Art (Teachers and Writers Collaborative, 2002) focuses on her unique form of instruction centering on merging visual art with writing and how engaging with visual mediums can be a catalyst for creativity in disparate disciplines. Her writing has also appeared in Bomb Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, The New Republic, and The Boston Review. In 2003, Prevallet, in collaboration with Anne Waldman and Bob Holman, founded a school for poets at the Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan’s East Village.

Prevallet has spent a substantial amount of her career contributing to the promotion, scholarship, collection, and understanding of the work and life of poet, playwright, filmmaker, and artist, Helen Adam. Through her work with the University at Buffalo Helen Adam collection and interviews with Adam’s contemporaries, Prevallet has proven to be one of the foremost authorities on Adam and the artistic and literary movements she was a part of. Her exhaustive research on this topic culminated with The Helen Adam Reader (National Poetry Foundation, 2007), a thorough unearthing of the life and work of one of the most prolific yet enigmatic figures of the beat generation. In addition to traveling around the United States giving lectures and presentations on Adam, Prevallet has also contributed to other works on Helen Adam, including The Collages of Helen Adam (Further Other Book Works/Cuneiform Press, 2018).

More recently, Prevallet has focused on her teaching of trance poetics and her work as a mind-body coach. Her 2013 book Trance Poetics: Your Writing Mind (Wide Reality Books, 2013) outlines her philosophy of writing and creativity as therapeutic practices. Many of the lessons from this work and her courses emphasize engaging a writing process based on free association, automatic writing, and other methods to counteract work/memory blocks. She continues to put this instruction philosophy into practice at The New School, St. John’s University, Bard College, New York University, Pratt Institute, and Spalding University. She also founded a private practice of clinical hypnotherapy in Westchester, NY.


3 Linear Feet (3 record cartons)

17.039 Gigabytes (1493 files)

Language of Materials



The Kristin Prevallet Helen Adam research papers document the processing of the Helen Adam collection and Prevallet’s research for A Helen Adam Reader and other related projects, ca. 1993-2007.


The collection is arranged into five series based on subject, with Series IV divided into four subseries based on format. Prior to rehousing the materials, photocopies of books, articles, and archival objects already held in the poetry collection were removed. Paper items were delivered to the poetry collection in stacks and binders in no discernable order. The order of items within binders has been maintained, with the exception of Series II, which has been arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. The order of the items within the correspondence folders has been kept intact. All paper materials have been removed from the binders and rehoused in folders for preservation purposes.

Audiovisual materials were delivered in no discernable order, but this order has been kept intact as much as possible. The audiocassettes and VHS tapes have been rehoused in archival plastic cases.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection was donated and purchased from Kristin Prevallet in 2019.


Future accruals to this collection are not expected.

Processing Information

Paper and analog audiovisual materials processed by Kolbe Resnick in 2022. Born-digital materials processed by Sarah Cogley in 2022. Materials were received in varying degrees of organization. Where possible the original order has been maintained, exceptions to this have been noted.

Digital files created by Kristin Prevallet were transferred to the Poetry Collection on various types of storage media including zip disk, digital video disk, and compact discs. Where possible, digital content saved on storage media was migrated from the storage media, normalized to standard preservation and access formats, and transferred to a stable preservation environment following the University Libraries' Digital Preservation guidelines. Some file names were changed to assist researchers in locating and identifying digital content.


Finding aid for the Kristin Prevallet Helen Adam research papers
In Progress
Finding aid prepared by Sarah Cogley and Marie Elia.
January 2022
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
716-645-3714 (Fax)