Helen Adam

Helen Adam (1909-1993)

Born December 2, 1909, in Glasgow, Scotland, we remember today poet-balladeer, playwright, necromancer (and photographer-collagist too), Helen Adam.

For earlier features on Helen Adam on The Allen Ginsberg Project – see here and here

Kristin Prevallet‘s 2007  A Helen Adam Reader is a wonderful and essential gathering of her work

Read an excerpt from the introduction to that book – here 
More writing by Prevallet on Helen Adam here and here
and, most recently (this past March), from Caesura (addressing Adam’s shameful neglect) – Helen Adam as a “Neglectorino”

Invaluable recordings of her speaking and reading (including a radio adapation of her legendary 1963 play, “San Francisco’s Burning“) are available on PennSound

oh – and how could we have forgotten these two vintage recordings – here and here 

Helen Adam

Alongside Prevallet, the other tireless and enthusiastic propagandist for Adam’s remarkable  work is University of Buffalo Special Collections Librarian, Alison Fraser  The University of Buffalo houses Adam’s library and much of her work, including the originals of her truly astonishing collages

2017 saw the publication of this extraordinary book (under Fraser’s editorship) –

Fraser writes at length here and presents a number of the collages in an extended piece for the Poetry Foundation in a must-read.

See also, a “slightly modified excerpt” from the book – ““The Weird One” – Helen Adam’s Visual Work”, a ‘tribute” written for the Poetry Society of America

Mary Ann Caws reviews the book for The Brooklyn Rail

Here’s  Fraser on Adam for the Chicago Review – “Helen Adam and Her Circle

Too many great ones (you’re just going to have to go out and buy the book!)
but we thought we’d conclude with a couple of (representative) Adam’s collages:

“Where heaven and hell go hand in hand”(from “In Harpy Land” (1976-77)  and  “Bonnie Charlie’s Gone Awa” – all images here (c) the Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

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