We are expanding, digitizing, and cataloging SPT’s archives and collections in advance of our 50th anniversary next year. With the help of many, this behind-the-scenes work is taking up a good amount of time, focus, and excitement right now. We can't wait to share it with you in the coming months!
Meanwhile, here’s a peek:
Thanks to Owen Hill and Noah Ross for their tireless efforts in sorting through SPT’s entire collection of books, chapbooks, journals, and zines—forty bankers boxes! Now that they’ve assessed and categorized our holdings, we are cataloging these items with the help of Emrys Torn, Theadora Walsh, and others. We are very grateful to Et al. gallery & bookstore in the Mission for space to do this important work.
We have hundreds of audio recordings of poetry readings in the Bay Area from 1978 to the present, a dazzling range of local, national, and international voices donated by David Highsmith, Owen Hill, and Andrew Kenower. We’re hard at work digitizing cassette tapes, collecting data about each reading, cataloging the audio files, and preparing these materials to be available for streaming by the second half of this year. Thanks to Andrew Kenower for leading this project, Paul Ebenkamp for connecting us to the materials, and Claire Grossman and Lara Durback for data collection and cataloging.
We are conducting interviews with founders and past directors of the organization in advance of next year’s big anniversary. These videos offer crucial insights into the radical, interdisciplinary Bay Area histories SPT seeks to celebrate and steward. The full interviews will join our archive, accessible to researchers, and clips will be made available on our website for everyone. Thanks to Eric Sneathen for conducting the first four interviews and Andrew Kenower for videography and post production.
We are collecting past flyers, programs, photos, broadsides, Poets Theater scripts, and other ephemera that help tell the story of SPT and experimental poetics over the last half century. These will be digitized and made accessible by spring 2024 in a new archive section of our website, to be built by Companion-Platform. Thanks to Liam Curley for helping dig into the history and compile materials, Wayne Smith for donating back the flyers he produced for SPT, Lindsey Boldt for donation of Poets Theater scripts, and Joyce Jenkins for helping us access ads placed in Poetry Flash over the years.
If you are interested in volunteering your time, or have relevant materials to donate, please email us. Print ephemera and photos do not need to be physically donated to SPT; we can scan the hard copies and return them to you.
None of this work is possible without the tireless efforts of those listed above and many other generous community members, some of whom are volunteering their time and expertise. This work is not grant funded, as most archive grants are for institutions with big infrastructures, like libraries and universities. With SPT’s limited capacity, staff, and resources, we are making this work happen alongside our public programs and daily operations, offering stipends whenever we can to our community workers. Please support these efforts with a donation of any amount if you are able.