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First Intensity Collection

Identifier: PCMS-0041

Scope and Content Note

The First Intensity Collection is primarily a collection of editorial correspondence from 1992 to 2010 between Lee Chapman and the poets and artists featured in the magazine. Items found in the collection include electronic mail, handwritten letters, poetry cards, published material, poetry manuscripts, submissions, page proofs, photographs, reviews, and newspaper clippings. Manuscript material and submissions are indicated where present at the file level and written as (mss) in the title.


  • 1992-2010


Language of Materials


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access and Use

The First Intensity Collection 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

First Intensity, a magazine of new writing, was edited and published by artist Lee Chapman from Summer 1993 to Winter 2008, out of Lawrence, Kansas. The title First Intensity comes from Vorticism by Ezra Pound, which reads: "The work of art which is most 'worth while' is the work which would need a hundred works of any other kind of art to explain it... Such works are what we call works of the 'first intensity.'" The magazine's twenty-two issues include artwork, poetry, short stories, and reviews, and published such authors as Robert Kelly, Larry Eigner, Diane Di Prima, Nathaniel Tarn, John Taggart, Theodore Enslin, Rochelle Owens, Elizabeth Robinson, John Olson, Dallas Wiebe, Kent Johnson, Forrest Gander, Nathaniel Mackey, Barry Gifford, Vincent Ferrini, Hoa Nguyen and others. First Intensity Press continues with occasional books.


6.25 Linear Feet (8 legal manuscript boxes, 7 letter manuscript boxes)


The First Intensity Collection contains the editorial correspondence for Lee Chapman's literary magazine from 1992 to 2007. Correspondence contains poetry submissions, page proofs, reviews, and articles from poets featured in First Intensity.


This collection is arranged in alphabetical order by correspondent. Individual author files were created by Lee Chapman and original order has been maintained. Chronological order has been imposed within each file. Boxes 1-8 contain materials from accession 2009-PCMS-001. Boxes 9-15 contain materials from accession 2015-PCMS-014.

Acquisition Information

Collection purchased by the Poetry Collection from Lee Chapman.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Separated Materials

The following material has been integrated into the Poetry Collection. Items bearing notes and inscriptions have been photocopied and facsimiles have been placed in the manuscript collection.

  1. poem card: "Paul Klee, Drafted at 35, for David Miller" by John Levy bearing handwritten note from Lawrence Fixel to Lee Chapman
  2. MenCard 101: "Life and Death of a Guide" by Lawrence Fixel with note to Lee Chapman
  3. MenCard 137: "Around the World in Eighty Years" by Lawrence Fixel, inscribed to Lee Chapman
  4. poem card: "The smile of Gioconda floats upon" by Rochelle Owens, bearing handwritten note to Lee Chapman
  5. poem card: "How Much Paint Does the Painting Need" by Rochelle Owens, bearing handwritten note to Lee Chapman
  6. poem card: "I said a work is a mutation" by Rochelle Owens bearing handwritten note to Lee Chapman
  7. poem card: "Oklahoma too" by Rochelle Owens, bearing handwritten note to Lee Chapman
  8. A.bacus no. 108 (poems by Elizabeth Robinson)

Processing Information

Collection processed by Elliot McNally.


Finding Aid for the First Intensity Collection
Finding aid prepared by Elliot McNally.
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Local Best Practices
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' "Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives" Project.

Repository Details

Part of the The Poetry Collection Repository

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