"Anima telluris is the secret of correspondences. The word has
gone out: empty, to fill."
- From "The Writ," The Collected Poems of Charles Olson, p. 417
Charles Olson was an avid correspondent, exchanging letters with more than 1,000 individuals worldwide. The Correspondence Series of the Charles Olson Research Collection encompasses over 10,000 items, including letters, postcards, telegrams, manuscripts, clippings, and manuscript envelopes. All items are filed alphabetically by last name of sender, including outgoing correspondence from Olson. Outgoing correspondence is subdivided and arranged alphabetically according to the last name of the recipient.
The Correspondence Database is a complete record of all letters in the Charles Olson Research Collection. The database is searchable by Name, Location, and Professional Affiliation of Sender, Name of Recipient, Date, and Type of Correspondence. Entries for each item contain as much information as was available to the processor. In cases where limited identifying information is available about an item, the first line of the correspondence is given.
Correspondents of Note provides brief biographies of some of Charles Olson's more prominent associates.
Original Olson correspondence is also located in several other collections in Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center:
- Donald Merriam Allen Papers, 1957-1971
- Bill Berkson Papers, 1960-2002
- Fielding Dawson Papers, 1949-1997
- Edward Dorn Papers, 1956-1993
- George Evans Papers, 1931-1991
- Vincent Ferrini Papers, 1949-1977
- Joel Oppenheimer Papers, 1953-1989
- Oyez Press Records, 1963-1987
- Michael Rumaker Papers, 1957-2002
- Ed Sanders Papers, 1961-1978
Researchers have published numerous volumes of Olson correspondence:
Anastas, Peter, ed. 1992. Maximus to Gloucester: The Letters and Poems of Charles Olson to the Editor of the Gloucester Daily Times, 1962-1969. Forward by Gerrit Lansing. Gloucester MA: Ten Pound Island Book Co.
Christensen, Paul, ed. 1990. In Love, In Sorrow: The Complete Correspondence of Charles Olson and Edward Dahlberg. New York NY: Paragon House.
Butterick, George, ed. 1980. Charles Olson & Robert Creeley: The Complete Correspondence. Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press.
Evans, George, ed. 1987. Charles Olson & Cid Corman: Complete Correspondence 1950-1964. Orono ME: National Poetry Foundation, University of Maine.
Glover, Albert Gould, ed. 1968. Letters for Origin.
Maud, Ralph, ed. 2000. Charles Olson: Selected Letters. Los Angeles CA: University of California Press.
Maud, Ralph and Sharon Thesen, eds. 1999. Charles Olson and Frances Boldereff: A Modern Correspondence. Hanover NH: Wesleyan University Press.
Olson, Charles. 1968. Pleistocene Man: Letters from Charles Olson to John Clarke during October 1965. Buffalo NY: Institute of Further Studies.
Sealts, Merton Jr. 1982. Pursuing Melville, 1940-1980: Chapters and Essays. Madison WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
Seelye, Catherine, ed. 1975. Charles Olson & Ezra Pound: An Encounter at St. Elizabeth's. New York NY: Paragon House.