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Alan Horvath Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: PCMS-0084
The Alan Horvath Collection contains mainly of personal and professional correspondence, including letters between Horvath and contemporaries of d. a. levy who were prominent figures in Cleveland's emerging poetry and small press scene in the 1960s, such as Robert J. Sigmund (known professionally as rjs), Jim Lowell, Russell Salamon, and Kent Taylor. There is a small selection of publications, ephemera, and business records relating to three of his presses: Falling Down Press, Mostly Broken Scabs Press, and Kirpan Press. A small personal series contains Horvath's manuscripts, artwork, high school and college writing, recording of poetry readings, personal documents such as his wedding invitation, and cremated remains of Jim Lowell.

Dates

  • 1970-2012

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The Alan Horvath Collection, 1970-2012 is open for research.

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.

Extent

10 Linear Feet (22 containers)

Overview

The Alan Horvath Collection is mainly composed of correspondence saved from the mid-1970s until Horvath's death in 2010. The collection also contains a small selection of publications, ephemera, and business records relating to three of Alan Horvath's presses: Falling Down Press, Mostly Broken Scabs Press, and Kirpan Press. Additionally, there are selected manuscripts of Horvath's own poetry, writing from high school and college courses, recordings of poetry readings, a piece of artwork, and other personal documents and effects.

Historical Note

Alan Robert Horvath (1952-2010) was an American poet and the founder and editor of several small presses. He is best known for his effort to collect and reprint the poetry of Cleveland poet d. a. levy. Born and raised in Cleveland, Horvath credited his interest in poetry to his ninth grade English teacher, who held a class discussion on the d. a. levy poem “One Death in the Life of Julie” in 1967. From 1970-1973, Horvath attended Ohio University where he studied journalism but never lost interest in poetry. In 1973, Woodland Farm Press published his first book of poems, An Almost Man, which was a collaboration between Horvath and his roommate, who was an amateur photographer. After graduation Horvath returned to Cleveland where he began work at H.K. Ferguson, an engineering company. During this time Horvath began seeking out copies of d. a. levy poetry in libraries and bookstores around Cleveland. He struck up correspondence with many of levy’s friends and collaborators, including Robert J. Sigmund (known professionally as rjs), Jim Lowell, and Tom Kryss. In exchange for stapling and delivering rjs’ publications, Horvath was given the mimeograph machine that was used to print some of d. a. levy’s early work. Using this mimeograph, Horvath started publishing under his first press, Falling Down Press, 1975 to 1976. The press published two short-lived serials, Burnt River and White Heap, as well as reprints of d. a. levy’s works, and cards, chapbooks, and broadsides of poets including Mike Schaefer, Dave Pishnery, and Charlotte Pressler. In 1977 Horvath began Mostly Broken Scabs Press, which published sporadically until 1984. A single serial, Scratch, was published as well as reprints of levy’s works, and cards and chapbooks or poets including Mark Solars and Dave Pishnery. In 1981, Alan relocated to San Francisco with H. K. Ferguson, eventually moving to Vancouver, Washington. In 1984, Horvath began Fuck If I Know Press, which published two chapbooks: Tom Kryss’ Falling Through the Cracks in 1984 and Horvath’s Hard Winter (In Cleveland) in 1985. In 1998, Horvath returned to publishing with the creation of his fourth press, Kirpan Press. The press published work by poets such as Tom Kryss, Hugh Fox, Kent Taylor, rjs, Jim Lowell, Geoffrey Cook, Cheryl Townsend, Grace Butcher, and John Bennett. Horvath also used this press to reprint many of d. a. levy’s works, as well as create a bibliography of levy’s works in two volumes, titled Looking for d. a. levy - the d. a. levy bibliography. Horvath continued Kirpan Press until his death, despite a number of health problems that plagued him during his final years. Horvath’s ashes were laid to rest in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Vancouver, Washington. His grave marker memorializes him as the “Keeper of the Mimeo Flame.”

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in three series:

  • Presses, 1975-2003
  • Personal File, 1970-2008
  • and
  • Correspondence, 1974-2012
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The Alan Horvath Collection, 1970-2012 was donated to the Poetry Collection in one accession in 2017 by Kathy Horvath, wife of Alan Horvath.

    Accruals

    No further accruals are expected to this collection.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Sarah Akers, 2017.
    Title
    Finding aid for the Alan Horvath Collection
    Status
    completed
    Description rules
    Finding aid prepared using local best practices.
    Language of description
    eng

    Repository Details

    Part of the The Poetry Collection Repository

    Contact:
    420 Capen Hall
    Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
    716-645-2917
    716-645-3714 (Fax)