Charles Olson and Frances Boldereff: A Modern Correspondence
The highly influential yet undisclosed relationship between modern American poet Charles Olson (1910-1970) and Frances Boldereff comes to light in this first collection of their extensive, often impassioned, correspondence. What starts with a fan letter from the idiosyncratic intellectual Boldereff soon surges to an exchange numbering hundreds of pages. In these letters, one views the early stages of the “Maximus” poems and the developing poetics embodied in Olson’s 1950 essay on “Projective Verse.” While this correspondence reveals much about the work and life of a man who became the dominant figure among the Black Mountain poets, Boldereff herself stands out as an extraordinary collaborator, occasional lover, and intellectual rival to Olson. Here are two great minds and creative spirits caught up in an exchange every bit as riveting as the letters of de Beauvoir and Sartre.
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