Jim Harrison letters Edit


MSS 167 oversize


  • 1956 – 1974 (Creation)


  • .1 Linear Feet (Whole)
    portfolia in archive box



  • Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright is retained by the author of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

  • Preferred Citation

    Item, Folder number and/or title, Box number, Jim Harrison letters, MSS 167, Special Collections, MSU Libraries, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The Jim Harrison manuscript collection was purchased from Raven Editions circa 1990.

  • Processing Information

    Conservation 1991 Bessenberg Bindery.

  • Biographical / Historical

    Jim Harrison (b. 1937) is a noted poet, screenwriter, and novelist. A 1960 Michigan State University alumni, Harrison received NEA grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship early in his career.

  • Scope and Contents

    The Jim Harrison letters to John Ciardi, Poetry Editor, are fiery letters from 18-year old Harrison expressing his views on poetry. 2 holographic letters and 1 typed letter reply by Ciardi. 6 typed letters signed "Jim Harrison," "Jimmy Harrison," and "Jim" to novelist Thomas Berger dating from December 1972 through July 1974. 7 pages on 6 leaves, 8vo, on Harrison's letterheadn with holograph notes by Harrison. Folded for mailing. Witty, sometimes vulgar, brutally honest correspondence to Berger centering around Harrison's work-in-progress, "A Good Day to Die," that "dark morsel of fibs, my tale of woe-wor, my bucket of fish heads..." Harrison requests "O Berger King" to write a "pre-galley statement for his "burnt out Huck Finn saboteur romance. Berger did in fact supply a blurb which reads as follows, "Jim Harrison is a fine poet who from time to time demonstrates for those of us condemned to prose how a novel should be written. A Good Day to Die is the product of a love of language and a passion for experience." A revealing group of letters written early in Harrison's fiction career. (Description by Raven Editions)