About This Collection
Poetry Center Digital Archive makes available significant portions of early audio recordings from the Poetry Center's American Poetry Archives collection, supplemented by select archival texts and images. New files will be added incrementally as recordings are prepared and as we proceed through the collection from the 1950s onward.The Poetry Center, founded at San Francisco State College (now SFSU) in 1954 by English professor Ruth Witt-Diamant, has been recording and archiving tapes of its public events for nearly six decades. We have compiled and maintained one of the most significant public collections in the USA of original recorded performances by poets and related writers reading their work. In 1974, poet Kathleen Fraser, serving as director, created within the Poetry Center, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Poetry Archives. This collection, together with the Poetry Center housed within the SFSU College of Humanities (Department of Creative Writing), today holds over 4,000 hours of unique original audio and video master-recordings, 1954–present – an inestimable cultural asset.