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Guide to the Elaine Equi and Jerome Sala Papers MSS.204

Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-2596

Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Jacqueline Rider

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on October 12, 2018
Finding aid written in English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Equi, Elaine
Creator: Sala, Jerome
Title: Elaine Equi and Jerome Sala Papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1972-2012
Abstract: Elaine Equi and Jerome Sala are downtown poets who were active in Chicago's performance poetry scene. Both continue to write and publish their work. Elaine Equi teaches at New York University and in the Master of Fine Arts program at The New School. This collection contains correspondence with both Equi and Sala, poetry publications, audiovisual recordings of their works, and items from two recent exhibitions of Equi's work.
Quantity: 15 Linear Feet 22 manuscript boxes, 3 record cartons, 2 oversize flat boxes, one shared box
Quantity: 4 sound discs (cd) 4 commercial CDs
Quantity: 1 sound discs (lacquer) 1 45 RPM phonograph record
Quantity: 1 videocassettes (vhs)
Quantity: 650 Megabytes  1 CD-R
Location: Some materials are stored offsite, and advance notice is required for use. Please contact fales.library@nyu.edu at least two business days prior to your research visit to coordinate access.
Call Phrase: MSS.204

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Biographical Note

Poet Elaine Equi teaches at New York University and in the MFA Program at the New School. She has written more than ten books of poetry, including Sentences and Rain and  Click and Clone: Poems. Born in Oak Park, Illinois, she received a BA and an MA in English from Columbia College, where she taught a poetry workshop for several years after graduating. Along with her husband, Jerome Sala, she was active in Chicago's performance poetry scene.

Jerome Sala is the author of seven poetry collections, including recent publications Corporations Are People Too! and  The Cheapskates. A native of Chicago, he received his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. He and Equi later moved to New York where he received his doctorate in American Studies from New York University. He writes about cultural and media trends and criticism.

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Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, periodicals, poetry anthologies, self-published poems, exhibition guides, contracts, announcements, blog printouts, reviews, newsletters, interview transcripts, and oversize broadsides pertaining to Equi's and Sala's work from 1976 to 2012. It also contains their copies of their published works, CDs and a VHS tape recording of some of Equi's poems, and photographs from two later exhibits by Equi, "Votive Candy" and "A Guide to the Cinema Tarot".


This collection is arranged in three series: Series I: Correspondence and Personal Papers; Series II: Published Works and Publications; Series III: Exhibitions.

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Access Points

Subject Topics

  • Downtown Collection.
  • Poets, American -- 20th century.
  • Women poets, American.
  • Poets, American -- 20th century -- Correspondence.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections, fales.library@nyu.edu, 212-998-2596.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use materials in the collection in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form: Identification of item, date (if known); Elaine Equi and Jerome Sala Papers; MSS 204; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.

Audiovisual Access Policies and Procedures

Audiovisual materials have not been preserved and may not be available to researchers. Materials not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact Fales Library with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Elaine Equi in 2007.

Processing Information

Materials were rehoused in archival folders and boxes, maintaining original order and labels when possible. Audiovisual materials were rehoused in archival cases.

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Container List

Series I: Correspondence and Personal Papers

Scope and Contents

This series contains correspondence, manuscripts and drafts, clippings and event brochures, contracts and agreements, photographs of Equi and Sala, and a manuscript of Sala's doctoral dissertation for New York University. Among the correspondence are letters from poets John Ashbery and David Trinidad and from Alice Quinn, poetry editor at The New Yorker.

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 1 Correspondence, catalogs, early scrapbook, photos, newsletters, unpublished article
Box: 2 Manuscripts, new work, unpublished articles, clippings, photographs, press releases, Jerome Sala's "The Great Rematch"
Box: 3 Correspondence, email printouts, birthday cards; conference, poetry reading, and event brochures and materials; contracts and agreements.
1992-1997, 2002-2012
Box: 4 Draft of Jerome Sala's poetry dissertation for NYU American Studies Department

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Series II: Published Works and Publications

Scope and Contents

This series contains poetry anthologies and journals, exhibition catalogs, newsletters, magazines, and recordings of Equi's works. Included are copies of Equi's and Sala's published books, as well as publications edited by or containing works by Equi or Sala. This series also contains publications collected by Equi and Sala.

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 5 Includes Black & White, Greetings, Persephonic, Big Deal, Barney, Snap, Center, Stare, Temblor, Telephone
Box: 6 Includes cuz, Privates, Long News in the Short Century, Walk on the Wild Side
Box: 7 Includes Parnassus, Ploughshares, Whatever, Another Chicago Magazine, On the Bus
Box: 8 Includes Robert Zandvliet's the Varick Series, Praxis, Cover, Volt, Gas, Big Allis, Hair Trigger
Box: 9 Includes lacanian ink, Christy's Alpine Inn, OYEZ Revies, Juice, Brooklyn Review, Under 35, Paterns/Context/Time
Box: 10 Includes Skanky Possum, Virgin Mule, The World, b city, Diana's Fourth Almanac, Oink
Box: 11 Includes Central Park, Poetry International, banyan press ANTHOLOGY, Oulipo, Greetings, Mirage, Court Green, Bowery Women Poems
Box: 12 Includes Stare, Gnosis, Journal, Buhl Collection
Box: 13 Includes Poetry Project (edited by JS), Pome, Courier #1, Surface Tension, Paper Air
Box: 14 Includes Black Maria, b city, Helicopters over the Pyramids, Naming the Daytime Moon, Mississippi Review, Graffiti, the Tiny
Box: 15 Includes Gertrude Stein Awards, Coming Attractions, Saints of Hysteria, Conjunctions, Poet's Bookshelf
Box: 16 Includes Out of This World, Xcp, Chelsea, The American Voice
Box: 17 Includes Promethean, Sugar Mule, Forehead, Urbanus, Phoebe
Box: 18 Includes Little Caesar, Love Poems by Women, New American Writing, Will Work for Peace
Box: 19 Includes Aerial 9,Sulfur 27, Barrow Street; boundary 2, Caliban 14, Pressed Wafer
Box: 20 Includes Gargoyle, Insurance, Gulf Coast, Shiny, Blue Book Poetry, Diwan, Jack Spade
Box: 21 Includes This Full Green Hour, Why I Kick at Night, American Poets Against the War, Agriculture Reader, Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology
Box: 22 Includes Court Green, Visiting Wallace, Broome Street Review, Spectre, Blue Stranger with Mosaic Background
Box: 23 Includes Flagrant, Vanitas, Sometimes Things Seem Very Dark
Box: 24 Includes American Poetry Review, The Buhl Collection, Lit, In House, Ping Pong, Télérama
Box: 25 Printed works by Elaine Equi and Jerome Sala
Box: Shared Fales 015 Recorded works on CD
Box: Shared Fales 015 Video: Hanuman Presents!
Box: 26 Includes Praxis 5, Inside Chicago, Spin, Poetry Flash, Spin
Box: Shared Fales 018

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Series III: Exhibitions and Graphics

Scope and Contents

This series contains color photographs and other materials from two recent exhibitions of Equi's work, Votive Candy and Cinema Taro. It also contains broadsides for events related to their work.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 21-26 Exhibitions: Votive Candy and Cinema Tarot
Box: 27 Broadsides

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