Charles Plymell Collection

Collection Summary

Title: Charles Plymell Collection
Call Number: MS 2000-05
Size: 5.0 linear feet
Acquisition: Purchased from Charles Plymell
Processed by: JLY, 5-16-2000, 12-2001
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

The Charles Plymell Collection includes corrected drafts and unpublished pieces of his writings, personal correspondence, artwork by Plymell and many important members of the counterculture movement, photographs, biographical information from Plymell’s early life, and ephemera relating to the writing career of Charles Plymell. The collection also includes a large selection of writings by other authors both published and unpublished.


Charles Plymell was born in Holcomb, Kansas, on April 26, 1935. His family later moved to Wichita and Plymell was sent to a military academy in San Antonio, Texas. In 1955 Plymell enrolled at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas, where he attended classes and worked as a printer until 1960, without ever obtaining a degree.

It was during this time that Plymell began to develop a name for himself in the literary world. While a student at Wichita State, Plymell edited and published Poets’ Corner and Mikrokosmos, two popular campus literary magazines. By 1963 he was living in San Francisco and had published at least five other literary journals, including the first issue of underground comic Zap Comix, with artwork by Robert Crumb. In 1967 Plymell published his first book Apocalypse Rose which was admired by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, allowing Plymell to be adopted by the Beat Generation.

Johns Hopkins University awarded Plymell a fellowship in 1970 and he and his wife Pamela moved to Maryland where soon after he began to work on The Last of the Moccasins. This novel tells the story of Plymell’s interaction with Beat icons Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady as well as describes the underbelly of the Wichita counterculture scene. Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Books published the novel in 1971. After receiving his MA from Johns Hopkins in 1970 Plymell and his wife moved to New York and started Cherry Valley Editions, publishing the likes of Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Janine Pommey Vega.

Charles Plymell has written over ten books and appeared in countless zines, journals and anthologies. He is still actively writing and his anthology Hand on the Doorknob: A Charles Plymell Reader was published in late May 2000.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1-Box 3 FF 8 Writings. This series contains writings by Charles Plymell and is divided into two categories. They are alphabetized by title.
Subseries 1.1 Box 1-Box 2 FF 12 Drafts, which includes drafts of works with manuscript corrections and fragments of poetry and prose.
Subseries 1.2 Box 2 FF 13-Box 3 FF 8 Published Pieces, which includes magazines and journals with Plymell poetry or prose.
Series 2 Box 3 FF 9-75 Correspondence. This series contains correspondence (1980s through 2001). The series is divided into two sections.
Subseries 2.1 Box 3 FF 9-24 From Charles Plymell, which is alphabetized by the last name of the receiver.
Subseries 2.2 Box 3 FF 25-75 To Charles Plymell, which is alphabetized by the last name of the sender.
Series 3 Box 4 FF 1-7 Artwork. The files in this series include original and photocopied artwork created by Plymell and his peers including Robert Branaman, Robert Crumb, Paul Grillo, S. Clay Wilson and others.
Series 4 Box 4 FF 8-9 Photographs. The files in this series include both original and photocopied photographs of Plymell and others.
Series 5 Box 4 FF 9A-12 Personal. The files in this series contain materials relating to Charles Plymell's early life. The files include biographical information, a Plymell scrapbook (1935-1990s), and materials documenting the life of his mother and grandmother.
Series 6 Box 4 FF 13-23 Publicity, Clippings and Ephemera. The files in this series include clippings and writings about Plymell, reviews of Plymell's writings, calls for entries and other publicity regarding Plymell, cassette tapes and compact discs, and materials relating to other authors.
Series 7 Box 4 FF 24-Box 6 FF 5 Writings by Others. The files in this series include writings by authors other than Plymell. They are alphabetized by either author's last name or name of journal (if more than 1 author).
Series 8 Box 6 FF 6-7 Cherry Valley Editions. The two files in this series include materials relating to Cherry Valley Editions, a publishing company ran by Plymell and his wife Pamela Beach Plymell.
Series 9 Box 7 Oversized. These files include oversized items that relate to other series in the collection.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Writings

Subseries 1.1 ‒ Drafts

Box 1 FF 1 “Curled In Character: A Poet’s Essay on Robert Crumb"- 2nd Draft 10-5-1996; has manuscript notes. Also includes photocopied letter from Plymell to Monte Beauchamp with manuscript notes by Beauchamp.
Box 1 FF 2 "Curled In Character: A Poet's Essay on Robert Crumb"- has manuscript corrections.
Box 1 FF 3 "Eating and Drinking With the Beats"- includes manuscript corrections.
Box 1 FF 4 “From The Land of the Wind People (Kansa)" [originally titled "Mini-Autobiography”]- 1st Draft; has manuscript corrections.
Box 1 FF 5 “From the Land of Kansa (The Wind People)" [originally titled "Mini-Autobiography”]- 2nd Draft; has manuscript corrections.
Box 1 FF 6 “From the Land of Kansa (The Wind People)”[originally titled "Mini-Autobiography”]- partial 3rd Draft; includes manuscript corrections.
Box 1 FF 7 “From the Land of Kansa (The Wind People)” [originally titled "Mini-Autobiography”]- edited by Gale Research, Inc. 1990 has manuscript corrections; also includes correspondence from Mark Zadrozny of Gale Research Inc.
Box 1 FF 8 “Hand on the Doorknob- A Charles Plymell Reader”- partial with manuscript corrections; 5-28-1998.
Box 1 FF 9 “Hand on the Doorknob- A Charles Plymell Reader”- edited by David Breithaupt 10-1-1998; has manuscript corrections.
Box 1 FF 10 “Hand on the Doorknob- A Charles Plymell Reader”-partial with manuscript corrections; 9-13-1999.
Box 1 FF 11 “Hand on the Doorknob- A Charles Plymell Reader”-partial with manuscript corrections; 9-15-1999.
Box 1 FF 12 “Hand on the Doorknob- A Charles Plymell Reader”-Final Draft with manuscript corrections; correspondence from Pam Plymell to Jeffrey Weinberg (Waterrow Press); 9-29-1998.
Box 1 FF 13 “Hand on the Doorknob- A Charles Plymell Reader”-partial; 1st drafts of prose selections includes:"The Blue Mustang," "Slippage at Cretin Holler," "Battered, Nova, Birch and Calico," "The Smell of Lightning," "Tornado Horseman".
Box 1 FF 14 “Journals from Lysidia”-photocopied collage for cover with manuscript notes; correspondence to Plymell from Glenn (Last name unknown), February 2, 1998; drafts of prose with manuscript corrections; "Journals of Lysidia" published chapbook.
Box 2 FF 1 "Mini-Autobiography" [Later titled "From the Land of Kansa (The Wind People)" see Box 1 FFs 4-7]- first draft; read and annotated with manuscript corrections by Roxie Powell.
Box 2 FF 2 "A Most Loquacious Hustler"- draft with manuscript corrections.
Box 2 FF 3 "Reflections of a Journal Reader"- (2) drafts with manuscript notations.
Box 2 FF 4 “Slippage at Clew Holler”-includes color cover design by S. Clay Wilson.
Box 2 FF 5 "Small Press: A Milked Tradition?"-signed by Plymell with manuscript note at top of first page.
Box 2 FF 6 “To Find Jake Durgen”-with manuscript corrections.
Box 2 FF 7 “To Find Jake Durgen”-has manuscript note from Plymell to Jeff [Weinberg]; also includes color cover design by S. Clay Wilson.
Box 2 FF 8 [Review of "Water From a Bucket, A Diary 1948-1957, Charles Henri Ford"](?)- 1st draft; manuscript corrections.
Box 2 FF 9 [Review of "Water From a Bucket, A Diary 1948-1957, Charles Henri Ford"](?)- 2nd draft; 7-30-01.
Box 2 FF 10 Fragments of text.
Box 2 FF 11 Miscellaneous poems.
Box 2 FF 12 Fragments of works in progress

Subseries 1.2 ‒ Published Pieces

Box 2 FF 13 "All The Planets In One Basket"- poem published in Art & Scope, Spring 1998.
Box 2 FF 14 "Back in Kansa in de Be Bop Day"- poem published in Heeltap, 1998.
Box 2 FF 15 "Get Lost"- poem published in Night, Number 47, 2001.
Box 2 FF 16 "Get Lost"- poem published in The Butcher's Block, Vol. III, Spring 2001.
Box 2 FF 17 "I Sing Praises"- poem published in The Temple, Fall 1998. Also includes the poem "In the Age of Apostasy".
Box 2 FF 18 "In San Francisco"- poem published in Evergreen Review, March 1969.
Box 2 FF 19 "Liebesgesänge"- chapbook published in German, (2) copies.
Box 2 FF 20 "November 3. 1998 Dark Afternoon"- poem published in Night, Number 43, 1999.
Box 3 FF 1 "The Park"- poem published in The Lost Continent, Spring 1997.
Box 3 FF 2 "Poems"- chapbook, may have been self published.
Box 3 FF 3 "Santa Cruz"- poem published in Now, 1967; has photocopied poem "Afterbirth of Dream Now" by William Burroughs inserted.
Box 3 FF 4 "Scènes de table avec les gens de la Beat Generation"- article translated into French published in Kerouac City Blues, 1999.
Box 3 FF 4A "Sunday Service and Poet Hearts"- poem published by OASIA Broadsides. (2) copies.
Box 3 FF 5 "Was Poe Afraid?"- chapbook published by Bogg Publications, 1989; includes correspondence to Plymell from Bogg Publications.
Box 3 FF 6 "A Wreck on The Prairie"- poetry review published in Nerve Bundle Review.
Box 3 FF 7 "5 April 1997"- poem translated into German published in Der Sanitäter, 1999.
Box 3 FF 8 Untitled pieces: published in Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal, Summer 2001; Storie, 2001; House Organ, 1998.

Series 2 ‒ Correspondence

Subseries 2.1 ‒ From Charles Plymell

Box 3 FF 9 Atherton, Wayne: Email, April-June 2001. (25)
Box 3 FF 10 Burroughs, William S.: 1987-8. (3)
Box 3 FF 11 Grauerholz, James: 1987. (2)
Box 3 FF 12 Hunke, Herbert: date unknown. (1)
Box 3 FF 13 Jellema, Rod: 1984. (3)
Box 3 FF 14 Kennedy, XJ: 1984-1985. (4)
Box 3 FF 15 Kennison, Don: dates unknown. (3)
Box 3 FF 16 McBride, Dick: 1984-5. (3)
Box 3 FF 17 McKuen, Rod: 1984, 1986. (2)
Box 3 FF 18 Moffeit, Tony: 1987, 1990. (3)
Box 3 FF 19 Peters, Robert: 1985-7, 1990. (30)
Box 3 FF 20 Seamans, Richard: 1987, 1990. (3)
Box 3 FF 21 Waldeman, Anne: 1986. (3)
Box 3 FF 22 Weinberg, Jeffrey: 1986-87, 1998-99, dates unknown. (14)
Box 3 FF 23 Miscellaneous correspondence A-L: 1984-88, 1999, 2001.
Box 3 FF 24 Miscellaneous correspondence M-Z: 1984-85, 1987, 1990, 2001.

Subseries 2.2 ‒ To Charles Plymell

Box 3 FF 25 Atherton, Wayne: 2001. (20) Also includes questions and responses for Charles Plymell interview and copies of collages by Atherton.
Box 3 FF 26 Beauchamp, Monte: 1996, 1998. (3)
Box 3 FF 27 Bearden, David: 1989. (2)
Box 3 FF 28 Bennett, John: 1996-98. (8)
Box 3 FF 29 Branaman, Robert: 1998. (2)
Box 3 FF 30 Breithaupt, Dave 1998, 2000-01. (10)
Box 3 FF 31 Buchenroth, Michael: 1997-2001. (13)
Box 3 FF 32 Camp, Jim: 1999-2001 (9)
Box 3 FF 33 Church, David: 1998-9. (9)
Box 3 FF 34 Engstler, Peter: 1990, 1997-2001. (5)
Box 3 FF 35 Ford, Charles Henri: 1990, 1995, 1997. (3)
Box 3 FF 36 Gage, Maura: 2000-01. (8)
Box 3 FF 37 Grauerholz, James: 1997, 2001. (3)
Box 3 FF 38 Haselman Jr., Ralph: dates unknown. (5)
Box 3 FF 39 Hathaway, Michael: 1998-9. (6)
Box 3 FF 40 Houff, Richard: 1998-9. (4) Also includes photographs and poems.
Box 3 FF 41 Jègou, Alain: 1999. (7) These are written in French.
Box 3 FF 42 Jones, Seaman: 1996-8. (4)
Box 3 FF 43 Kennison, Don: 1990, 1997. (4)
Box 3 FF 44 Lampack, Bill: 1986, 1992. (2)
Box 3 FF 45 Lerner, Linda: 1996, 1999-2001. (9)
Box 3 FF 46 Lyfshin, Lyn: dates unknown. (4)
Box 3 FF 47 McDaris, Catfish: 1996-9, 2001. (21) Includes poems by McDaris and photograph of McDaris.
Box 3 FF 48 McGrew, Fox: 1999. (1) Also includes obituary for Bruce McGrew.
Box 3 FF 49 Malanga, Gerard: 2001 (4).
Box 3 FF 50 Moffeit, Tony: 1998-2000. (13)
Box 3 FF 51 Morgan, Ted: 1998. (3)
Box 3 FF 52 Nicosia, Gerald: 1997-8. (10) Also includes photographs of family.
Box 3 FF 53 O’Brein, Desmond: 1997-8. (3) Includes poems by O'Brein.
Box 3 FF 54 Peters, Robert: 1990-3, 1997-8. (18)
Box 3 FF 55 Portolano, David: 1998. (3) Also includes cassette jacket designs.
Box 3 FF 56 Powell, Mike: 1998. (2)
Box 3 FF 57 Powell, Roxie: 1998. (2)
Box 3 FF 58 Reeve, Gypsy Dave: 1998. (2) Includes poem by Reeve.
Box 3 FF 59 Race, Wes: dates unknown. (3)
Box 3 FF 60 Rubin, Robert Henri: 1996, 1999-2001. (7) Includes Night magazine.
Box 3 FF 61 Scalia, Philip: dates unknown. (3) Includes photocopied photographs of Plymell.
Box 3 FF 62 Stauffer, James: 1997, 1999. (2)
Box 3 FF 63 Le Sueur, Meridel: dates unknown. (6) Also includes photocopied book jackets and color copy of Le Sueur photograph.
Box 3 FF 64 Unmuzzled Ox: 1989, 1998. (3)
Box 3 FF 65 Vazakas, Laki: 1998-9, 2001. (9)
Box 3 FF 66 Vega, Janine Pommey: 1998. (1) Includes poem.
Box 3 FF 67 Weinberg, Jeffrey: 1990, 1998. (5)
Box 3 FF 68 Wilson, S. Clay: 1997, 2000-01. (6) Includes photocopied drawings by Wilson and photocopied photograph of Wilson.
Box 3 FF 69 Miscellaneous correspondence: A-D.
Box 3 FF 70 Miscellaneous correspondence: E-I.
Box 3 FF 71 Miscellaneous correspondence: J-N.
Box 3 FF 72 Miscellaneous correspondence: O-S.
Box 3 FF 73 Miscellaneous correspondence: T-Z.
Box 3 FF 74 Miscellaneous correspondence: Illegible/unidentified.
Box 3 FF 75 Correspondence neither to/from Plymell.

Series 3 ‒ Artwork

Box 4 FF 1 Charles Plymell: includes collages (photocopied and original), envelopes, address label, book jacket designs, and a portfolio.[See also Box 7 FF 1]
Box 4 FF 2 Robert Branaman: includes collages (photocopied and original), sketches, and portfolio of trip to Wichita.[See also Box 7 FF 2]
Box 4 FF 3 Bruce Connor: includes an exhibit catalog, 1997.
Box 4 FF 4 Robert Crumb: includes photocopied drawings and eBay listing.
Box 4 FF 5 Paul Grillo: includes original collages.
Box 4 FF 6 S. Clay Wilson: includes photocopied drawings, original envelope with artwork, and photocopied photographs of Wilson.
Box 4 FF 7 Miscellaneous artists: includes original collages, exhibit program, photocopied photograph.

Series 4 ‒ Photographs

Box 4 FF 8 Charles Plymell: (3) original photographs, (4) prints, (1) postcard, (6) photocopied photographs.
Box 4 FF 9 Miscellaneous photographs: (25) includes Paul Bley, Bruce Connor, Lord Buckley, Linda Lerner, Kathy Acker, Bob Branaman, and others.

Series 5 ‒ Personal

Box 4 FF 9A Biographical Information: includes resume and entry from Who's Who in America.
Box 4 FF 10 Scrapbook,1935-90s: These items were originally included in a scrapbook, but were removed for preservation purposes. The folder includes photograph, artwork by Plymell (1940s), awards, items from military school, John Hopkins University graduation bulletin (1970), and other materials. [See also Box 7 FF 3]
Box 4 FF 11 Genoa A. Douglas Plymell (1866-1942). Materials about Charles Plymell's grandmother includes self published autobiography, personal letters, and journal excerpt printed in newspaper.
Box 4 FF 12 Audrey Laster Plymell. Materials about Charles Plymell's mother includes photographs, newspaper article, and poster for exhibition as a stunt car driver.

Series 6 ‒ Publicity, Clippings and Ephemera

Box 4 FF 13 Clippings about Charles Plymell 1950-90s.
Box 4 FF 14 Press Releases for Plymell writings.
Box 4 FF 15 Writings about Plymell. [See Box 7 FF 4]
Box 4 FF 16 Reviews of Plymell writings, foreign and domestic.
Box 4 FF 17 Contracts for Plymell as a professional writer.
Box 4 FF 17A Calls for entry and public appearance notices.
Box 4 FF 18 Address cards from Plymell’s directory (5).
Box 4 FF 19 Miscellaneous clippings.
Box 4 FF 20 Reviews about writers other than Plymell.
Box 4 FF 21 Notifications for book releases, exhibit openings, live performances and cultural events without direct involvement by Charles Plymell.
Box 4 FF 22 Cassette Tapes: (3) includes David Portolano, Grant Hart, and David Church’s spoken word compilation with Charles Plymell.
Box 4 FF 23 Compact Discs: (4) includes Operette D’Artistes, Vernon Frazer, Grant Hart, and the Lonesome Hobos.

Series 7 ‒ Writings by Others

Box 4 FF 24 "A": Includes David Alpaugh, R. D. Armstrong, Art and Scope, and Wayne Atherton.
Box 4 FF 25 "B": Includes John Balaban, Bard, John Bennett, Blab, Robert Bóve, John Brandi, Michael Buchenroth, and William Burroughs.
Box 4 FF 26 "C": Includes The Café Review, George Caincross, Caprice, Catskill Poetry Theatre, Dave Church, Marie Countryman, and Breath Cox.
Box 4 FF 27 "D": Includes Leo Daugherty, Philippe Denis, Der Sanitäter, Dockernet, and Mike D.[See Box 7 FF 5]
Box 4 FF 28 "E": Includes The Earthquake School, Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal, Peter Engstler, and Exit 13 Magazine.
Box 5 FF 1 "F": Includes Free Thought Publications, Darlene Fife, First Class, and Charles Henri Ford.
Box 5 FF 2 "G": Includes Andrew Gettler, Barry Gifford, and David Greenspan.
Box 5 FF 3 "H": Includes Ralph Haselmann Jr., Heel Tap, Mikhail Horowitz, Richard Houff, and Hunger.
Box 5 FF 4 "I": Includes Ignus Fatus Review.
Box 5 FF 5 "K": Includes Joanne Kyger.
Box 5 FF 6 "L": Includes Ralph LaCharity, La Grande Table, Linda Lerner, and Lummox Journal.
Box 5 FF 7 "M": Includes Jim McCrary, Catfish McDaris, Paul McDonald, and Susan Melchoir.
Box 5 FF 7A "M" (continued): Includes Chuck Miller.
Box 5 FF 8 "M" (continued): Includes H. D. Moe, and Tony Moffiett.
Box 5 FF 9 "N": Includes Opal Louis Nations, Gerald Nicosia, Night, Damon Norko, Northeast Rising Sun, and Jeff Nuttal.
Box 5 FF 10 "O": Includes Desmond O'Brien and Patrick Joseph O'Connor.
Box 5 FF 11 "P": Includes La Parole Vaine, Robert Peters, Poetry and Criticism, Charles Potts, Roxie Powell, and Purple.
Box 5 FF 12 "Q": Includes George Quasha.
Box 5 FF 13 "S": Includes Jack Saunders.
Box 5 FF 14 "S" (continued): Includes Lynne Savitt, Philip Scalia, Tim Schuller, A Secret Location on the Lower East Side, (Sic), Herschel Silverman, Holly Sklar, Smelt Money, Clifton Snider, and Stoned Like Stephen.
Box 6 FF 1 "T": Includes Philip Taaffee, Temple, and Glenn Todd.
Box 6 FF 2 "V": Includes Rick Veitch, Janine Pommey Vega, and Fred Voss.
Box 6 FF 3 "W": Includes Fullam Warner, Warten, Richard White, Harry R. Wilkens, Woodstock Poetry Festival, WORCs, and Writer's Digest.
Box 6 FF 4 "Y": Includes Che Young.
Box 6 FF 5 Miscellaneous Writings: Unidentified.

Series 8 ‒ Cherry Valley Editions

Box 6 FF 6 Book reviews: Reviews written about books published by Cherry Valley Editions, 1970s-80s.
Box 6 FF 7 Book covers. The file includes artwork and information used on covers for Cherry Valley Editions books.

Series 9 ‒ Oversized

Box 7 FF 1 Artwork: Includes (2) oversized collages by Charles Plymell.[See Box 4 FF 1]
Box 7 FF 2 Artwork: Includes (2) oversized pieces by Robert Branaman. [See Box 4 FF 2]
Box 7 FF 3 Scrapbook: Oversized items from Plymell's scrapbook including (4) paintings and (1) award. [See Box 4 FF 10]
Box 7 FF 4 Writings about Plymell: Oversized edition of Free Thought includes an interview with Charles Plymell. [See Box 4 FF 15]
Box 7 Contemporary Authors Volume 11 with Plymell biography.