Skip to Content

Aerial Magazine collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: PCMS-0092

Scope and Contents

The Aerial Magazine collection contains poetry submissions, correspondence, financial records, and other printed material. The materials of Series I relates to Issues 1-9 of Aerial. The drafts, cover art, letters, and poetry submissions of issues 6/7, 8, and 9 are matched with their corresponding issue. Series II includes submitted poems and letters which are not directly linked to a particular issue of Aerial. Series III includes receipts and invoices related to printing, shipping, and other expenses. Some material in this series contain private information and is located in a folder labeled "restricted." Finally Series IV consists of ephemera and other printed materials. Some of the materials included are directly related to Aerial such as brochures and flyers. Other material included in Series IV are non-Aerial publications of newspaper articles, catalogs, and invitations to events.


  • 1984-2010


Terms of Access and Use

The Aerial Magazine collection is open to researchers.

Pursuant to Poetry Collection Restricted Records Policy, access to portions of this collection is RESTRICTED.


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 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 Note

Rod Smith was born in Gallipolis, Ohio in 1962 and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1987. Rod Smith has taught creative writing at George Mason University and Cultural Studies at Towson University. He has written multiple poetry publications including In Memory of My Theories, Deed, Protective Immediacy, and Music or Honesty.

In 1984, Rod Smith began Aerial Magazine with Wayne Kline. In 1989, Smith began publishing books under the name EDGE Books. Aerial (spelled Ariel for issue #1) focuses on many of the individual poets associated with the avante garde and experimental poetry. Many of the poets featured in Aerial discuss the influence of groups such as Black Mountain poets, the New York School, Language poets, and the San Francisco Renaissance. Contributors to the magazine have included Lyn Hejinian, Carla Harryman, Elaine Equi, Charles Bernstein and Tina Darragh. Many issues of Aerial have focused on the work of a particular poet such as John Cage, Barrett Watten, and Bruce Andrews.


6.25 Linear Feet (5 Record Cartons)

Language of Materials



Materials related to Aerial Magazine, a poetry magazine founded by Rod Smith in 1984, that focuses on avant garde and experimental poetry. The collection includes submissions of poems related to Ariel/Aerial issues one through nine, letters to the editor, promotional material, financial records, and other printed materials.


The collection is organized into 4 series: I. Issues, II. Other Submissions/Letters, III. Financial Records, IV.Printed material/Ephemera.

Series I is subdivided into Sub-series by issue number: Ariel/Aerial Issue 1-4, Aerial Issue 5, Aerial Issue 6/7, Aerial Issue 8, and Aerial Issue 9. Arial/Aerial issues 1-4 sub-series separated into four files for each issue. , Aerial Issue 5, Aerial Issue 6/7, Aerial Issue 8, and Aerial Issue 9 have separate files for letters, submissions, and cover/proofs.

Other submissions are arranged alphabetically by last name of author. Other letters are arranged by date.

Series IV Printed materials/ephemera are divided into three subgroups: printed material, Aerial ephemera, and ephemera.

Note: Some poems submitted and letters that relate to a particular issue of Aerial may be stored with different issues. For example, Letters that may reference work on issue 9 of Aerial may be with material from Aerial 8. If a particular letter or submission is not with a particular issue, it may be with "Other Submissions/Letters."

Items from various series that are too big to fit into other folders are stored in Box 5. These include from Issue 1, 3, and 5 as well as printed material/ephemera.

Acquisition Information

The Aerial Magazine collection was purchased by the Poetry Collection from Rod Smith in April, 2012.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected for this collection.

Separated Materials

Editions of non-Aerial poetry journals have been removed from the collection. See Curator for more details.

Processing Information

Processed by Matthew Gadziala, October 2018; Finding aid encoded by Matthew Gadziala, October 2018

Finding aid for the Aerial Magazine collection
Finding aid prepared by Matthew Gadziala
10 October 2018
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)