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MS Am 2930

Phone-A-Poem. Phone-A-Poem collection, 1976-2011: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Am 2930
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Phone-A-Poem.
Title: Phone-A-Poem collection
Date(s): 1976-2011 and undated
Quantity: 4 linear feet (6 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Records, correspondence, printed materials and tapes of the Phone-A-Poem organization of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Also includes personal papers of Peter Payack, one of the company's founders.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2010M-46. Bulk of collection purchased with the Dr. Michael and Teresa Anagnostopoulos Fund from Roland Pease; received: 2010 July 1.

Custodial History:

Purchased with the Dr. Michael and Teresa Anagnostopoulos Fund, 2010.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to most of this material. Collection is open for research.
Partially restricted: Special equipment and surrogate required for audiocassettes; consult Houghton staff.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Phone-A-Poem Collection, 1976-2011 (MS Am 2930). Woodberry Poetry Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

An audio compact disc of some of the Phone-A-Poem readings was recorded by the Instructional Media Services of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University. This CD may be listened to in the Woodberry Poetry Room in Lamont Library, Harvard University (PS613.P46 2013 / Phone-A-Poem archive highlights : selected from the Phone-A-Poem exhibit, 2013; HOLLIS: 13758226).
Another audio compact disc available in the Woodberry Poetry Room in Lamont Library, Harvard University is: (PS 3513.174W465 2013 / Allen Ginsberg : poems from White shroud ; recorded for Boston Phone-A-Poem; HOLLIS: 13758910).

Biographical / Historical

Phone-A-Poem was a Cambridge, Massachusetts based poetry phone hotline (1976-2001). The organization was founded by Peter Payack, and later edited and overseen by Roland Pease, founder and editor of Zoland Books. During its 25-year existence, Phone-A-Poem invited hundreds of poets, including Allen Ginsberg, Jane Kenyon and James Tate, as well as students and members of the public to create answering-machine length tape recordings of individual poems which the public could access by dialing the hotline.


Organized into the following series:

Scope and Contents

The Phone-A-Poem collection includes records, correspondence, ephemera, audiocassette tapes, realia, clippings, and other material. Poets included Allen Ginsberg, Donald Hall, Denise Levertov, May Sarton, James Tate, August Wilson, and John Updike, among others. Also includes some personal papers and realia of Peter Payack.

Container List