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Papers, Letters, and Associated Documents

Papers, letters, and other documents associated with Brautigan and his writings are collected and archived in several places.
The Angel Hair Archive, 1965-1973
The Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
New York University
70 Washington Square South
New York, New York

Angel Hair magazine and books were co-edited by poets Anne Waldman and Lewis Warsh in New York, New York and Bolinas, California from Spring 1966-1978. A total of six issues were published from Spring 1966-Spring 1969. This archive is a collection of correspondence submitted to them during 1965 to 1973, as well as production files, including catalogs, a galley proof, manuscripts, mockups and issues 1-6 of Angel Hair, and the original manuscripts of Bun. Some of the key correspondents include Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jasper Johns, Paul Blackburn, Robert Bly, Sam Shepard, Gerard Malanga, John Giorno, Allen Ginsberg, and Richard Brautigan. Purchased from Serendipity Books, in March 1972.

Online Resource
Finding aid for this collection at the Fales Library and Special Collections website

Brautigan's letters to Anne Waldman read:

San Francisco
June 30, 1970

Dear Anne,

Do you still want some of my poetry for your
anthology? I have a bunch of new stuff if you're
interested.

Best wishes,
Richard (signed)

San Francisco
July 18, 1970

Dear Anne,

Thank you for your nice letter. The poems
will be sent to you under separate cover by my
agent Helen Brann. Don't be alarmed! It will
all work out. Your summer sounds like fun.

Best wishes,
Richard (signed)
The Barry Miles Papers, 1958-1990
Butler Library
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Columbia University
New York, New York

Barry Miles (1943 - ), known as Miles, is a writer, editor, and publisher, basing his literary activities in London. In 1968, he was engaged by Paul McCartney and John Lennon of The Beatles as label manager for Zapple, the experimental spoken-word division of Apple Records. Brautigan was selected early on for inclusion in the planned series of record albums. These letters to and from Brautigan deal with arrangements to produce Brautigan's record album, "Listening to Richard Brautigan."

In his first letter to Brautigan (sent care of City Lights Books) on 3 October 1968, Miles introduced the Apple Records project saying, "We hope to bring out an album every month as a magazine in sound and possibly to include certain literature, artwork and illustrations as well." The cost of each album was to be kept as low as possible and all means of distribution (regular and underground) were to be utilized in order "to bring poetry and literature to as many people as possible."

According to Miles, other people contacted included Henry Miller, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Charles Olsen. He hoped also to include Anais Nin, Robert Creeley, Edward Dorn, Jean Genet, Samuel Beckett, Gary Snyder "and of course the younger British poets. We would also like to get Ezra Pound to read his Confucian Analicts." Miles asked Brautigan to send "five minutes of you on tape reading."

Brautigan's letter to Barry Miles reads:

San Francisco
October 14, 1968

Miles
15 Lord North Street
London, S.W.1.
England

Dear Miles,

Thank you for your letter of October 3, 1968. Yes,
I am very interested in your record project and air mailed
a tape of me reading from a book of my selected poems called
The Pill Versus [sic] the Springhill Mine Disaster.

You asked if I had any ideas for an album. I would
like to do an album that would be my vision of life in
America. It would be a kind of audio novel using words,
music and sounds.

Best wishes,
(signature)
Richard Brautigan

An assistant for Miles, Sarah Fenwick, wrote to Brautigan on 22 October 1968 acknowledging receipt of his letter and saying, "Miles is in Italy at the moment, but should be back shortly and will be writing to you then—I am sure he will like your idea of the record as that is exactly the type of thing he wants to do."

Miles did like the project and wrote to Brautigan on 13 December 1968 "to confirm that we very much want to make a record with you and particularly like the idea of your vision of America in words and music." Miles suggested a January (1969) meeting in California and asked Brautigan to "let me have some work" to go in his magazine Long Hair.

Miles wrote again, on 2 January 1969 saying "I shall be in California either the first or second week of February to attempt to record some of the spoken word albums for Apple." Miles asked Brautigan to "let me know if you will be there at that time and when it would be convenient for us to get together." He also asked for Brautigan's telephone number. He concluded his letter saying, "I hope to have all the [money] details very shortly."

Brautigan's letter to Barry Miles reads:

San Francisco
January 3, 1969

Miles
15 Lord North Street
London, S.W.1.
England

Dear Miles,

Thank you very much for your letter of December 13.
I'm very pleased that you want to do the record. Yes,
I will be in California this month and my telephone number
is 415-931-8536. It will take me a few months to prepare
the material for the record, and I want to work out the
financial and technical aspects of the project before I
start on it.

I have enclosed two poems for Long Hair from my new
book of poetry The Pill Versus [sic] the Springhill Mine Disaster
which was published a few months ago by the Four Seasons
Foundation. I hope that you like them.

Best wishes,
(signed "Richard")
Richard Brautigan

One of these poems was "Discovery." The other was ***?***. Miles wrote on 7 January 1969 saying "our letters crossed!" He said the record project was moving more slowly than he would like, but "I'm very excited still about the prospects of the whole thing." He also provided some details (projections really) regarding the Apple royalty arrangements. He concluded his letter, "I like the poems very much, on third reading they still make me smile."

Brautigan's letter to Barry Miles reads:

San Francisco
January 20, 1969

Miles
15 Lord North Street
London, S.W.1.
England

Dear Miles,

Thank you very much for your letter of January 7.
I will have something put together by the time you get
here in February.

Mr. Richard Hodge is going to handle the financial
and contractual aspects of this project for me, so in the
future please deal directly with him concerning all
business matters. His address is 228 McAllister Street
in San Francisco.

I look forward to seeing you and hope that you have
a good trip to America.

Best wishes,
(signed "Richard")
Richard Brautigan

In February 1969, Brautigan recorded six hours of reading and recitation at Golden State Recorders, a San Francisco recording studio. The tape was edited under close supervision by Brautigan and then sent to Miles in London. In early March, Brautigan wrote Miles.

Brautigan's letter to Barry Miles reads:

San Francisco
March 11, 1969

Miles
15 Lord North Street
London, S.W.1.
England

Dear Miles,

By now you have heard the tape and have some ideas
about it. In your last letter you mentioned mixing the
record in England. I have talked with the engineer Michael
about it and he told me that it is already mixed except those
tracks that were recorded in mono. I am very much interested
in maintaining a casual feeling to the record. I want the
record to be free of slick sound production values. This
of course does not mean that I want the record to sound
awkward, but I do think that a certain amount of sound
crudeness in the lifehome tracks is important to establish
reality. The silences between tracks on the record should
be checked to make sure they are all the same length.

The title of the record is going to be Listening to
Richard Brautigan
. It is direct and to the point.

I like the idea of black and white photographs. I
may use two or three photographs on the record, but I
am not going to send negatives. I am going to send prints
because the developing is very important and I always like
to have it done in a way that pleases me.

I think the title should be set in type. It should
be a very simple and clean type. The other printed matter
on the record should also be set in a type face with the
same design value.

I am leaving San Francisco on March 12 for New
Mexico and can be reached if anything important comes up
c/o Robert Creeley, Box 567, Placitas, New Mexico 87043.
The telephone number is 505-867-5254. I will be in
New York from March 21 until April 1. I can be reached
c/o Helen Brann at The Sterling Lord Agency, 660 Madison
Avenue, New York, New York 10021. The telephone number is
212-PL 1-2533.

Sincerely,
(signature)
Richard Brautigan

Apparently Miles found some problem with one track on the tape, "Sounds of My Life," and reedited the track. Although no record exists in this collection, he apparently wrote Brautigan about the situation.

Brautigan's letter to Barry Miles reads:

San Francisco
April 26, 1969

Miles
15 Lord North Street
London, S.W.1.
England

Dear Miles,

I called Golden State Recorders yesterday and talked
to them about the condition of the tape when it arrived
in London. They were surprised and said that they never
had anything like this happen before. I talked to them
specifically about the "Sounds of My Life" track and that
you had to edit out an inch of the tape because of the
condition that it was in when you got it, and they beautifully
volunteered to send a copy of that track to you gratis
and air mail which they have done, so please use the copy
they send to you for the master instead of the version that
you edited because I am very interested in the timing of
that track and want it just like the way we recorded it
in San Francisco.

Yours sincerely,
(signature)
Richard Brautigan

Copies of this letter were also sent to Jack Oliver and Pat Slattery. Other letters were obviously exchanged but are missing from this collection. In one, Miles apparently asked for copyright information regarding Brautigan's novel A Confederate General from Big Sur, for inclusion on the record cover.

Brautigan letter in response to Bary Miles reads:

San Francisco
May 5, 1969

Miles
15 Lord North Street
London, S.W.1.
England

Dear Miles,

The copyright notice in A Confederate General from Big
Sur
reads: Copyright © 1964 by Richard Brautigan.

Yours sincerely,
(signature)
Richard Brautigan
Blackstone Press: Papers and Ephemera, 1974-1998
Department of Special Collections
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, California

Contains papers and ephemera from authors associated with Peter Rutledge Koch's fine arts press (Black Stone Press, Missoula, Montana, 1974-1978 and Peter Koch, Printer, San Francisco area, 1978-1998).
City Lights Books Records 1947 -
The Bancroft Library
University of California-Berkeley
Berkeley, California

Correspondence, editorial files, publicity, clippings, of and pertaining to City Lights Books, and papers of owner-publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Includes some correspondence with Richard Brautigan.

Online Resource
This collection at the Bancroft Library website
David Bromige Correspondence 1966-1970
Mandeville Special Collections Library
Geisel Library
University of California-San Diego
San Diego, California

David Bromige, poet, playwright, and educator, is associated with the Black Mountain School of poetry, particularly with his two mentors, Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan. This collection includes materials from Ted Berrigan, Richard Brautigan, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Clayton Eshleman, Denise Levertov, George Oppen, and Gary Snyder.
The Donald Allen Collection 1935-1983
Geisel Library
University of California-San Diego
San Diego, California

In addition to editing Richard Brautigan's first four books, Donald Merriam Allen (1912-2004) worked with many of the important Beat and contemporary poets and writers. This collection includes manuscripts and correspondence with other editors and writers. Of note are the materials associated with Brautigan's Confederate General from Big Sur, as well as Allen's correspondence with Brautigan and other ephemera.

Online Resource
This collection at the Geisel Library website
Donald Merriam Allen Manuscript
Department of Special Collections
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, California

Unpublished Anthology of the San Francisco Renaissance, ca. 1965
As Donald Merriam Allen notes,
In the mid-1960s Robin Blaser and I worked to prepare a large anthology of the San Francisco Renaissance writers. . . . Most of our tentative selections were poems, of course, but we also planned to include prose work by Jim Herndon, Richard Brautigan and Jack Kerouac. Then events intervened; Jack Spicer died soon after the Berkeley Poetry Conference in 1965, Robin moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, for a post at Simon Fraser University, and I became more involved with work for Grove Press and in setting up my own small publishing company [Four Seasons Foundation]. Work on our anthology was suspended, as it turned out, for good.

Included in this collection are notes for the plans for the anthology and the poems collected from which a final choice would be made.
The Ghost Dance Archive
The Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
New York University
70 Washington Square South
New York, New York

Hugh Fox, poet, scholar, teacher, and archealogist, started Ghost Dance: The International Quarterly of Experimental Poetry in 1968 while teaching at Loyola in Los Angeles, California. The magazine attracted a number of noteable contemporary poets and incorporated Latino material, providing English and Spanish translations of most contributions. An anthology of Ghost Dance material was published in 1994 by Whitston Press. This collection includes a letter to Fox from Brautigan.

Online Resource
Finding aid for this collection at the Fales Library and Special Collections website

Brautigan's letter to Hugh Fox reads:

San Francisco
September 25, 1968

Hugh Fox
John Carter Brown Library
Brown University
Providence
Rhode Island

Dear Hugh Fox,

Thank you very much for your interest in my work.
You said that you have already read Trout Fishing in America
and A Confederate General from Big Sur, and that you have
ordered In Watermelon Sugar. There is probably another book
of mine that you should read. The book is called The Pill
Versus [sic] the Springhill Mine Disaster
, and it will be published
in October by Four Seasons Foundation. It is a book of
my selected poems and it includes poetry from three books
that are out of print: The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, Lay the Marble
Tea
, and The Octopus Frontier.

I hope that this has been of some help to you.

Yours sincerely,
(signature)
Richard Brautigan
James Koller Papers
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
Homer Babbidge Library
University of Connecticut
Storrs, Connecticut

Includes correspondence with over 70 individuals, carbons or drafts of Koller's letters, working manuscripts of five collections of poetry (one of which is unpublished), and two novels. Authors of correspondence include Paul Blackburn, Richard Brautigan, Robert Creeley, Edward Dorn, Larry Eigner, Theodore Enslin, Allen Ginsberg, Anselm Hollo, Robert Kelly, Joanne Kyger, Michael McClure, Jerome Rothenberg, Gary Snyder, Anne Waldman, and Philip Whalen.

Brautigan's correspondence consists of one postcard and two letters, all very short. All are addressed to James Koller. Brautigan's postcard to James Koller reads:

San Francisco
September 27, 1968

Dear James,

I want to talk to you. Please keep
telephoning until you get me.

Yours,
Richard (signed)

Brautigan's letters to James Koller read:

San Francisco
November 20, 1968

Dear Koller,

I hope this letter finds you with a new baby in the
house.

Yours,
Brautigan (signed)

San Francisco
December 10, 1970

Dear Jim,

It's good to hear from you. My agent's name is
Helen Brann, The Sterling Lord Agency, 660 Madison
Avenue, New York, New York 10021.

There is a possibility that Ianthe and I will
be coming to Santa Fe for a few days sometime this
winter. She wants to see some snow. So, maybe we'll
see you, then.

Best wishes,
Richard (signed)
The Lew Welch Papers 1943-1971
Mandeville Special Collections Library
Geisel Library
University of California-San Diego
San Diego, California

Lew Welch was a San Francisco Beat poet and friend of Brautigan. This collection contains extensive correspondence, as well as manuscripts of published and unpublished poetry, prose, plays, essays, songs, scrolls, and notebooks. Correspondents include Donald Merriam Allen, Richard Brautigan, Kirby Doyle, Marianne Moore, Gary Snyder, Charles Upton, and Philip Whalen. Considerable correspondence from Welch's mother, Dorothy Brownfield as well as the books from Welch's personal library.

Brautigan's letter to Lew Welch reads:

San Francisco
26 July 1965

Dear Lew,

I got a new ribbon today, so I thought that I would write you a letter about a certain poet named Lew Welch who is mentioned favorably on page 236 in The Literary Rebel written by Kingsley Widmer and published by the Southern Illinois University Press.

It is also rumored that the same poet can walk on water. I can't remember the distance. Life in the 20th Century is so hectic. Say hello to Philip [Whalen].

Yours,
Richard (signed)

Reprinted
Welch, Lew. I Remain: The Letters of Lew Welch & The Correspondence of His Friends. Volume Two: 1960-1971. Ed. Donald Merriam Allen. Bolinas, CA: Grey Fox Press, 1980: 133.

Welch wrote a "Happy Birthday Poem" for Brautigan and a series of seven postcards between 3 June and 7 August 1970 (Welch 173). The poem reads:

January 30, 1970

Dear Richard,
On this very day, in 1889, Franklin
Delano Roosevelt was born. Had he lived,
he would now be 81 years old.

Would he have liked your books?

What present would he give you on
this mutual birthday?

A chest of California grapes?

Lew
The Once: A One Shot Magazine Archive 1966-1967
The Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
New York University
70 Washington Square South
New York, New York

A collection of correspondence and manuscripts associated with Thomas Clark, English poetry editor of Paris Review (1953-1974; founded by novelist Peter Matthiessen and Harold Hume; one of the great literary magazines of the latter half of the twentieth century).

Includes one letter and six manuscripts from Brautigan. The manuscripts, each typed with a red-bordered sticker in the right top corner of the first page containing Brautigan's 2546 Geary Street address in San Francisco, are chapters from Trout Fishing in America. They are:
Online Resource
Finding aid for this collection at the Fales Library and Special Collections website

Brautigan's letter to Thomas Clark reads:

San Francisco
November 2, 1966

Thomas Clark
43 Lower Park Road
Brightlingsea
Essex
England

Dear Thomas Clark,

Thank you very much for giving the chapters
from Trout Fishing in America a go at the Paris
Review
, and I appreciate your wanting to print
them in your next magazine, but I think I'll
try to place them here in America, so please
return them to me. I'll send you something
in the future for one of your magazines.

Best wishes,
(signature)
Richard Brautigan
The Paris Review Archive
Department of Special Collections
Kenneth Spencer Research Library
University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas

A collection of correspondence and manuscripts associated with Thomas Clark, English poetry editor of Paris Review (1953-1974; founded by novelist Peter Matthiessen and Harold Hume; one of the great literary magazines of the latter half of the twentieth century), and editor of his own magazine, described as "a one shot magazine," published in Brightlingsea, Essex, England, 1966-1967. Each issue was published as "Vol. 1 No. 1" and had a different cover title: Once, Twice, Thrice,Thrice and 1/2?, Frice, Vice, Spice, Slice, Ice, and Nice. All were collected in The Once Series and reprinted by Krause Reprint Company (New York, 1970).

Brautigan's story, "The Armored Car" was first published in the tenth issue, Nice.

Brautigan's letter to Thomas Clark reads:

San Francisco
September 7, 1966

Dear Thomas Clark,

Thank you very much for your postcard. I have enclosed
a short story called "The Armored Car" that I hope will
interest you. If you decide you want to use the story, please
send me two copies of the issue that it is printed in and make
sure the copyright notice is printed with the story.

About Trout Fishing in America: a chapter from the novel
will be published next year in a Penguin anthology of American
writing, and Robin Blaser is going to print a large excerpt
from the novel in his magazine The Pacific Republic. At this
time the book does not have a publisher.

Anyway, your magazine sounds like fun.

Best wishes,
(signature)
Richard Brautigan

Brautigan's letter apparently responded to Clark's request for a submission of writing for his magazine(s). In another letter, dated November 2, 1966 (see below), Brautigan sent six chapters from Trout Fishing in America for possible publication in Paris Review. The Penguin anthology Brautigan refers to was published in 1967 as The New Writing in the USA and included the chapter titled "The Cleveland Wrecking Yard." The issue of The Pacific Nation (not The Pacific Republic) featuring the first five chapters of Trout Fishing in America was also published in 1967, following the publication of the novel by Four Seasons Foundation.
The Review of Contemporary Fiction/Dalkey Archive
Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, California

Correspondence, literary manuscripts, typescripts, proofs and final copies, as well as interviews with contemporary writers associated with the The Review of Contemporary Fiction journal (1981- ). Includes materials related to Richard Brautigan.
The Richard Brautigan Papers, 1958-1984
The Bancroft Library
University of California-Berkeley
Berkeley, California

Contains manuscripts of his writings, notebooks, financial records, correspondence, and other papers and memorabilia concerning Brautigan's life and career.

Online Resources
Collection guide at the Online Archive of California website

Gertz, Stephen J. "Novelist Richard Brautigan's Brains At Bancroft Library: A Grand Guignol Adventure!" Booktryst 20 June 2012.
Many of the papers collected from Brautigan's Bolinas, California, home following his death in 1984 were splattered with dried blood, body tissue, and fluids, a result of his suicide and body decomposition. This material remains on the original papers at The Bancroft Library and can been seen on the microfilms and photocopies, a point remarked upon by researchers. This blog article quotes extensively from poet J.J. Phillips, who rough-sorted Brautigan's papers after their acquisition by the library. She wrote Andrei Codrescu, editor of Exquisite Corpse, about running her hands over Brautigan's dessicated brain matter on several occasions while working with his papers. The experience inspired a poem, "Brautigan's Brains," which is reprinted in the blog post.

Gertz's article at the Booktryst website
The Robert Park Mills Papers, ca. 1961-1983
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas

Robert Park Mills (1920-1986), American literary agent and editor worked with a number of highly regarded mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and fiction writers including Isaac Asimov, Richard Brautigan, Edward Bryant, Alice Childress, prolific writer of pulp fiction Norman Daniels, Avram Davidson, John Deck, Gordon Dickson, Thomas Disch, dancer Katherine Dunham, Harlan Ellison, Ronald Fair, Leonard Feather, Nat Hentoff, Langston Hughes, film critic Pauline Kael, Daniel Keyes, South African novelist (who wrote the screenplay for The Wizard of Oz) Noel Langley, Fritz Leiber, Helen McCloy, Naomi Mitchison, M. D. Post, Clifford Simak, China expert Edgar Snow, Walter Tevis, and many others.

The majority of the correspondence between Mills and Brautigan deals with Mills' efforts to secure a New York publisher for Brautigan's novel The Abortion.

Online Resource
This collection at the Ransom Humanities Research Center website

Brautigan first contacted Mills in October 1966 asking him to act as his literary agent and to sell "three unpublished novels": Trout Fishing in America, In Watermelon Sugar, and The Abortion. All three novels were previously under contract with Grove Press but had been rejected for publication.

The contract was brokered by Donald Merriam Allen in 1963. Allen, poet, editor of The Evergreen Review, West Coast representative of Grove Press, and owner of the San Francisco nonprofit press Four Seasons Foundation convinced Barnet Lee "Barney" Rosset, Jr. (1922-2012) at Grove Press in New York to publish four novels by Brautigan.

Already written were Trout Fishing in America, written in 1961, and A Confederate General from Big Sur. Grove Press was most interested in the latter, thinking it the more "traditional" novel. Thus, although it was the second novel Brautigan wrote, A Confederate General from Big Sur became the first published.

Disappointing sales of A Confederate General from Big Sur prompted Grove Press to reject the next two Brautigan novels in turn: In Watermelon Sugar, written in 1964, and The Abortion, written during the first five months of 1966 and to allow their contract for Trout Fishing in America to expire in July 1966. LEARN more >>>

In his first letter to Mills, Brautigan described his novels and asked whether Mills would represent him in finding a New York publisher. Brautigan's letter to Mills reads:

San Francisco
October 5, 1966

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Robert P. Mills,

I am looking for an agent. Don Carpenter suggested that
I send my novels to you.

Grove Press publised a novel of mine in 1965 called
A Confederate General from Big Sur. The novel had mixed
reviews, but it was reviewed favorably by McCall's, Esquire,
Book Week, Kansas City Star, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston
Post
, Wilmington News, Charlotte Observer, Toledo Blade,
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, etc.

Grove attached a "Beat" label to the novel that didn't
help it out very well at the box office. The paperback rights
were never sold and the novel was not published in England.
Rizzoli bought the Italian translatation rights, though. I have
a Hollywood agent. Mr. H. N. Swanson is trying to sell the
movie rights to the book, but so far nothing has happened.

Grove Press is no longer my publisher and I am looking
for a new publisher. I have three unpublished novels: Trout
Fishing in America
, In Watermelon Sugar, and The Abortion.

I sold Trout Fishing in America to Grove Press three years
ago and nine chapters of the novel appeared in Evergreen Review.
Grove allowed their contract on the novel to expire last July.

In Watermelon Sugar was written in 1964. It is a story
of love and betrayal that takes place in an extraordinary
environment.

The Abortion was written during the first five months
of this year. It is a novel utilizing the contemporary
energies of California. Grove paid me 1500 dollars to write
the novel but we had contractual difficulties that led
to me seeking another publisher.

Scribners rejected the novels and they are now over
at Holt, Rinehart and Winston with Charlotte L. Mayerson.
She wrote to me last spring about some short stories I published
in a literary magazine, saying that she was very interested
in my work. I don't know how that's going to turn out. I
asked her to send the novels over to you if she rejected them,
so you may have them right now.

Anyway, I need an agent to sell the three novels and to
try and sell the Confederate General rights that I have lying
around over at Grove.

I think if all three of the novels were published together
as a single book it would give a better picture of what I'm
trying to do.

I know Susan Stanwood at The Saturday Evening Post, Bob
Sherrill at Esquire, James Laughlin at New Directions and
Malcolm Cowley at Viking.

If you are not interested in handling me, please do not
send the novels back to me because I will want to send them
to another publisher in New York.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,
(signature)
Richard Brautigan

Mills, in a letter dated 7 October 1966 replied that he had spoken with Susan Stanwood, "and she does indeed speak well of you." Mills said, "I like the sound of the reviews very much, and look forward to seeing your manuscripts. When I have read them, I will be in touch."

Brautigan wrote Mills again on 25 November 1966 with a change of plans.

Brautigan's letter to Mills reads:

San Francisco
November 25, 1966

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Robert P. Mills,

I have enclosed a copy of my novel The Abortion
and hope that you like it.

I have decided to allow two young West Coast
publishers Coyote Books and the Four Seasons Foundation
to bring out Trout Fishing in America and In Watermelon
Sugar
in pilot editions early next year. I think the
novels are unpublishable in New York at this time.

I am retaining all subsidiary, option and reprint
rights to the novels and will limit the size of the editions
to a few thousand copies and will be paid on a 10% royalty
basis.

I would like to find a New York publisher for my
novels, but I think The Abortion is the only novel of
mine that stands a chance right now in New York. I look
forward to hearing from you about it.

Yours sincerely,
(signature)
Richard Brautigan

Mills replied on 13 December 1966 saying he had read the manuscript for The Abortion, "and I like it very much." He said he would send the manuscript to Dan Wickenden, editor at Harcourt, Brace & World that same day, but in fact did not do so until the following day, 14 December 1966. "I am really very happy to have this book, and do hope to be able to do a good job for you," Mills concluded.

Brautigan replied the next day:

San Francisco
December 14, 1966

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Bob Mills,

I'm very pleased that you're going to handle
my novel.

Yours,
(signed "Richard")
Richard Brautigan

Harcourt, Brace & World rejected The Abortion. Mills offered the manuscript to Robert Gottlieb, editor at Simon & Schuster on 30 December 1966. In his letter to Gottlieb, Mills noted that "any Grove [Press]" option on A Confederate General from Big Sur had been eliminated.

Simon & Schuster rejected The Abortion. Mills wrote Brautigan on 19 January 1967 and forwarded extracts of the rejection letter from Harcourt, Brace & World. Mills said Gottlieb at Simon & Schuster had read the manuscript overnight "and reported that he was intrigued by it but didn't feel it was quite substantial enough to be a book. So I have now sent it off to Viking."

Viking rejected The Abortion. Mills wrote Brautigan on 10 February 1967 and forwarded the rejection letter from Viking. "The new editor in chief at Putnam's, Arthur Fields, knows of you, and has asked to see the manuscript. I am still convinced the book deserves to be published, and ought to be published, and I have got a lot of other places in mind to try if Arthur doesn't come through." Mills concludes his letter by asking, "What are you working on now?"

Brautigan's response to Mills reads:

San Francisco
February 15, 1967

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Bob,

Thank you very much for your letter of February 10,
and I appreciate the work you are putting in trying to
sell The Abortion.

I was in Los Angeles recently as poet-in-residence
at Caltech and I talked to H. N. Swanson. He is interested
in reading The Abortion to see if there is a movie in it.
I told him that I would refer his request to you.

The publication of Trout Fishing in America is preceeding
along and the book should be out before summer. I will send
you a copy when it's published.

As for my current work, I've been busy writing poetry
and I'm plotting a Western novel that I will write this
year. I've always wanted to write a Western and so that's
what I'm going to do. I think it will be an interesting
novel and I will be starting work on it soon.

Best wishes,
(signed "Richard")
Richard Brautigan

Brautigan wrote again on 17 May 1967, seeking help determining how the Italian translation of A Confederate General from Big Sur was being received. Brautigan's letter to Mills reads:

San Francisco
May 17, 1967

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Bob,

A Confederate General from Big Sur was published
in Italy last February by Rizzoli under the title Il
Generale Immmaginario
. Grove sent me a copy and it's
a very handsome book. I am curious as to how the novel
is being received in Italy. Could you find this out
for me?

Best wishes,
(signature)
Richard Brautigan

Mills responded on 23 May 1967 saying, "the best way to find out how it is doing is to go to the people who sold that to Rizzoli. Was that Grove? If so, they really ought to have that information, or be able to get it for you." Mills demured from calling the New York office of Rizzoli himself as "that would look a little funny since I was not involved in any way with the original deal."

Mills wrote Brautigan again on 31 May 1967 to say that Harper & Row had rejected The Abortion. "Apparently two readers read it before the editor, and one of them loved it, and one of them was confused by it—and the editor says he feels it's the kind of book one either loves or doesn't love, and that he didn't love it . . . though he like may things about it. On now to Random House. Sooner or later I'm going to sell this."

Random House rejected The Abortion. In his letter to Mills, editor Hal Scharlatt said, "I'm afraid that my initial reaction was only confirmed by a full reading: often charming and touching but so ephemeral that it is also forgettable."

Mills offered the The Abortion to William Morrow & Company on 27 June 1967. In his letter to editor Hillel Black, Mills said, "Brautigan lives in San Francisco, where he is, I gather, a sort of figure on the scene . . . . I like this—hope you will too."

William Morrow & Company rejected The Abortion. Mills offered the novel to to Donald Hunter at Dial Press on 13 July 1967. On the same day, Mills wrote to Brautigan, forwarding the rejection notice from William Morrow & Company. "As a rundown, it's now been to Harcourt, Brace, Simon and Schuster, Viking, Putnam's, Harper & Row, Random House and Morrow. It's been mostly liked in one way or another, but the consensus seems to be tht it's not quite a complete, unified book." Mills asked whether Brautigan would be interested in writing "an article or two for Horizon." His postscript asked, "Have you ever thought of doing a short story based on the library in THE ABORTION? That would not interfere with the sale of the book, after all."

Brautigan replied on 30 July 1967. Brautigan's letter to Robert Mills reads:

San Francisco
July 30, 1967

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Bob,

I appreciate very much the work you are putting
in trying to find a publisher for The Abortion. Yes,
I would be interested in writing an article for Horizon.
The article would be about the Diggers in San Francisco.

Best wishes,
(signed "Richard")
Richard Brautigan

Mills offered The Abortion to Walter Bradbury at Doubleday & Company of 11 August 1967, asking if it would "be a possiblity for the Paris Review Editions." The same day, Mills wrote to Brautigan telling him the manuscript had been sent to the Paris Review Editions. His postscript asked, "Are you working on anything new?"

Brautigan wrote Mills on 28 August, asking about the Horizon article. Brautigan's letter to Mills reads:

San Francisco
August 28, 1967

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Bob,

What's happening with the Horizon article? Do
we have anything definite going?

Yours,
(signed "Richard")
Richard Brautigan

Mills responded on 30 August, saying he had not heard from Brautigan regarding the initial query regarding writing an article for Horizon. "If you ever answered that letter, either I never got it or I misplaced it. I don't remember hearing from you, however." Mills said he didn't think Brautigan had answered his question of whether he "ever thought of doing a short story based on the library in THE ABORTION." Mills reported novel was still at Doubleday, "where I offered it for the Paris Review Editions."

Doubleday & Company rejected The Abortion. In a letter to Mills, dated 31 August 1967, editor Walter I. Bradbury wrote, "While Brautigan displays writing skill [in the manuscript] I don't think this is a novel for Doubleday. It's imaginative in scope but the manuscript becomes little more than a series of descriptions, much of it related in dead-pan detail which doesn't make a suitable novel. But there is still that spark of skill in the author."

Brautigan wrote to Mills on 2 September 1967. Brautigan's letter to Mills reads:

San Francisco
September 2, 1967

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Bob,

Gee, I guess you didn't get my letter of July 30.
Yes, I would like very much to write an article for
Horizon. The article would be about the Diggers in
San Francisco.

I can't see The Abortion as a short story, but
I have some short stories if you want to look at them.

Best wishes,
(signed "Richard")
Richard Brautigan

Handwritten notes on this letter (not in Brautigan's hand so presumably by Mills) and presumably resulting from a telephone conversation with Robert Cowley, editor of Horizon, read: "Got a story like it in works—which might have been yours if letter not lost." and "Have you ever done nonfiction Crowley cd [could] look at? Anything else non-hippy, you be interested."

Mills offered The Abortion to Timothy Seldes, Vice President at The Macmillan Company, on 6 September 1967, saying Brautigan "is something of a figure on the San Francisco literary scene." Mills concludes, "I am pleased with myself for always sending you nice, normal novels . . .?"

Doubleday & Company/Paris Review Editions rejected The Abortion. Mills wrote Brautigan with this news on 7 September 1967. Mills also said the failure of Brautigan's letter to arrive "had resulted in Horizon having somebody else look into that scene in San Francisco. That guy, as a matter of fact, tried to get in touch with you while he was there, but couldn't find you, they tell me." Horizon had a story "touching on the area of the hippies, and don't have room for another." But, said Mills, "Robert Cowley asks if you have ever done any non-fiction, and say that he would like very much to see some if you have." Mills said Cowley was still interested in Brautigan and would be happy to learn about any writing ideas Brautigan might have. Mills concluded saying The Abortion was with "an editor at Macmillam who I think will like it, and may he like it well enough to buy it . . ."

Macmillian rejected The Abortion. Seldes wrote to Mills on 28 September 1967 saying, "I am afraid it is not for us. Let's see some more 'nice, normal novels'." Mills sent The Abortion to Eugene Rachlis at Prentice-Hall on 5 October 1967 saying, "Brautigan is a figure of color on the San Francisco literary scene." It was now one year since Brautigan had first contacted Mills asking him to be his literary agent.

Brautigan wrote Mills on 7 October 1967 with news about Trout Fishing in America. Brautigan's letter to Mills reads:

San Francisco
October 7, 1967

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Bob,

My novel Trout Fishing in America has been published
by Four Seasons Foundation and it looks good. I have sent
you a copy. There will be some local reviews and I will
send them to you. Perhaps something might be done to
interest a New York publisher in the novel.

Best wishes,
(signed "Richard")
Richard Brautigan

Brautigan wrote Mills again on 17 October 1967 with two reviews of Trout Fishing in America. Brautigan's letter to Mills reads:

San Francisco
October 17, 1967

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Bob,

I have enclosed two reviews of Trout Fishing in
America
that appeared in the San Francisco Sunday Examiner
& Chronicle
on October 15.

Yours,
(signed "Richard")
Richard Brautigan

One of these reviews was written by Herbert Gold. The other was written by Don Carpenter.

Mills wrote Brautigan the same day, 17 October 1967, to say that Prentice-Hall had rejected The Abortion. "On now to McGraw-Hill, which has got a new approach, and claims that they are looking for interesting, offbeat new fiction." Mills concluded by saying, "I got TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA, and I am half way into it at the moment—I like it very much."

On 24 October 1967 Mills wrote to Brautigan thanking him for the reviews of Trout Fishing in America. "I am sending them on the editor [at McGraw-Hill] who now has THE ABORTION. . . ." That same day Mills sent the reviews to Rosemary Grgich at McGraw-Hill.

McGraw-Hill rejected The Abortion. On 2 November 1967, Mills wrote to Brautigan saying, "We have now been to Harcourt, Brace, Simon & Schuster, Viking, Putnam, Harper & Row, Random House, Morrow, Dial, Doubleday, Macmillian, Prentice-Hall and McGraw-Hill, and it occurs to me that I ought to ask your reaction to all of this up to now, and ask you if you have any ideas about what might be tried next."

Brautigan replied on 11 November 1967. Brautigan's letter to Mills reads:

San Francisco
November 11, 1967

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Bob,

I appreciate very much the zeal that you have shown
in moving The Abortion around New York. I want you to
hold it back and not submit it anywhere for at least a month.
There is a possibility of some interesting developments
toward my work n the next month that might make your job
a little easier, and I will let you know about them as soon
as they occur.

Yours,
(signed "Richard")
Richard Brautigan

Brautigan wrote Mills again on 24 November 1967 with, apparently, the details of the "interesting developments" he had hinted at earlier. Brautigan's letter to Mills reads:

San Francisco
November 24, 1967

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Bob,

The December issue of Ramparts has a short story of
mine called "1/3, 1/3, 1/3" in it and there is also an
extensive review by Stephen Schneck of Trout Fishing in
America
in this same issue.

Best wishes,
(signed "Richard")
Richard Brautigan

Brautigan wrote Mills on 19 December 1967 with more news about Trout Fishing in America. Brautigan's letter to Mills reads:

San Francisco
December 19, 1967

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Bob,

I have enclosed a review of Trout Fishing in America
that was published in the Los Angeles Free Press. We've
been having some good luck with the novel and are going
into a second printing. The first printing was 2,000 copies
and the second printing will be 3,000 copies.

Four Seasons Foundation is going to print my novel
In Watermelon Sugar and a book of my selected poetry in
the spring, so that's nice.

Best wishes,
(signed "Richard")
Richard Brautigan

Mills responded on 21 December 1967 saying the story in Ramparts and the reviews of Trout Fishing in America were "nice." He said he enjoyed reading Trout Fishing in America. "It seemed to be to be a modern version of things I read in some of the good little magazines in the thirties, things that influenced me greatly." Mills concluded saying he hoped to see a copy of In Watermelon Sugar when it was published—"nice that it's being done."

Brautigan wrote Mills on 23 January 1968 about nine stories he hoped to publish in Playboy magazine. Brautigan's letter to Mills reads:

San Francisco
January 23, 1968

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Bob,

I have enclosed nine short stories. I would like to
publish them together as a group if that is possible.
Don Carpenter has written a letter about the stories to
A. C. Spectorsky at Playboy. Don's letter has already
been mailed, so I think we should get the stories to
Spectorsky as soon as possible. Thank you.?

Four Seasons Foundation is going to print my novel
In Watermelon Sugar and a book of my selected poetry in
the spring, so that's nice.

Best wishes,
(signed "Richard")
Richard Brautigan

Mills replied on 30 January 1968, saying the stories had arrived, that he liked them, and had "sent them to [A. C.] Spectorsky today. I think it's a good idea trying him—it is almost impossible to tell what Playboy will or will not want, and they just might dig these the most." Mills' letter to Spectorsky, sent the same day, 30 January 1968, concluded "I do think Brautigan has a very nice offbeat talent—does it fit in at Playboy?"

Playboy rejected Brautigan's stories. In his 13 February 1968 letter to Brautigan, Mills enclosed "a melancholy note from Alan Ravage." Mills said he did not know Ravage and "I rather wish that Spectorsky had handed your manuscript to somebody else. However, this seems to be the fact." Mills concluded, "Would you think it a bad idea for me to show this group of stories to Esquire?"

Brautigan replied on 17 February. Brautigan's letter to Mills reads:

San Francisco
February 17, 1968

Robert P. Mills
20 East 53rd Street
New York 22
New York

Dear Bob,

Thank you so much for sending the stories to Playboy,
and I'm sorry that it didn't work out. I don't think
Esquire would do anything with the stories, so I'd like
them returned to me, and I'll see if I can get Ramparts
to run some of them.

Doubleday is interested in my novels right now.
There is a thing going on between their San Francisco
and New York offices. Their New York office now has
Trout Fishing in America, and In Watermelon Sugar has
been sent to them. Would you please send a copy of
The Abortion over to Lynn Deming at the New York Doubleday
office today?

I've told Doubleday that you're my agent. If Doubleday
should make us an offer, I don't want any kind of negotiation
started until you've talked to be because I have some
very important ideas I would want to talk to you about.
My telephone number is 931-8536, so please call me if
Doubleday makes us an offer.

Best wishes,
Richard (signed)

Mills replied on 21 February 21 1968, returning Brautigan's stories, wishing him luck with Ramparts and saying that he had sent the manuscript of The Abortion to Lynn Deming at Doubleday. "And I shall certainly call you if I hear from them." A letter to Deming the same day offers The Abortion to Doubleday.

Apparently, Doubleday rejected The Abortion but was interested enough in Trout Fishing in America to offer Brautigan a two-book contract. Brautigan, however, was not satisfied with the offer and sought to limit the option on the second book to stories and/or nonfiction and increase the advance to be paid for Trout Fishing in America to $5,000.00. Mills wrote to Brautigan on 11 April 1968 saying,
Doubleday says that $5,000.00 for TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA is not possible.

The reason for their offer of a two-book contract is that they have great faith in you as a writer, and want to continue with you. When, in addition to aksing for $5,000.00 for TROUT FISHING, you also limit the option to short stories and non-fiction, you are removing a big part of the reason for offering you a contract on TROUT FISHING in the first place.

You tell me that TROUT FISHING was turned down by a noticeable number of publishers in the past. It seems to me that unless you feel confident that you can get $5,000.00 from some other publisher now, it would be ill advised to turn down Doubleday's offer. True, it is possible that somebody would offer you $5,000.00 for TROUT FISHING a few years from now, depending upon what you do in the meantime, but if you publish it with a $2,000.00 advance now, within those few years, if the book is a success, it will have earned more than that $5,000.00. It will also be contributing to your reputation around the country, thus contributing a larger readership for your next book. . . .[A]fter the two books are published by Doubleday, you will be important enough that Doubleday will wish to reconsider their decision on THE ABORTION—as they have now reconsidered their decision on TROUT FISHING. I strongly urge you to accept.
Mills wrote Brautigan again, on 22 April 1968, saying that Lynnn Deming at Doubleday had heard Brautigan was concerned about Doubleday's intended publication date. Mills said Deming said Doubleday could publish in October, rather than December, if the book is forthcoming immediately. Deming also said Doubleday was willing "to pay the $2,000.00 advance on Trout Fishing in America on signing of contract, instead of half on signing, half on publication." Unless a decision is made "right now," said Mills, "it would seem likely that Doubleday's interest will be diminished, because failure to get out their edition in October would probably lead to the possibilityl of another printing out there, would it not? Will you let me know."
Ron Loewinsohn Papers 1953-1976
Department of Special Collections
Green Library
Stanford University
Stanford, California

Correspondence, published and unpublished manuscripts. Includes three letters from Brautigan.

Loewinsohn has been a major figure in the San Francisco poetry scene since his student days at San Francisco State College in the late 1950s. He edited, with Brautigan, the literary magazine Change in 1963. From 1968-1970, he was a teaching fellow in American Literature at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he earned a Ph. D. in 1971. Loewinsohn returned to California and has since been on the faculty at the University of California Berkeley, where he teaches American literature and creative writing.

These letters from Brautigan were sent to Loewinsohn during his time at Harvard. Loewinsohn arranged the first of Brautigan readings at Quincy House Dining Room, Harvard University, 25 March 1969.

Online Resource
This collection at the Stanford University library website

San Francisco
October 25, 1967

Dear Ron,

Thank you very much for your nice letter, honey, and I hope that things are going well with you at distant Harvard, and you family, God bless them, is covered with beautiful autumn grace. I'ze [sic] here in San Francisco doin ma thang (more or less) etc. Ramparts is going to print my short story "1/3, 1/3, 1/3" in their next issue, so that pleases me. I've been writing some poems

Oranges

Oh, how perfect death
computes an orange wind
that glows from your footsteps,

and you stop to die in
an orchard where the harvest
fills the stars.

Gee, I like to write poems, Ron. They really make me feel good. You know how I feel.

Your loving pal,
Richard (signed)
The poem, "Oranges" was first published in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster in 1968, so this sharing of the poem by Brautigan predates its publication.

San Francisco
February 6, 1968

Dear Ron,

Hi, honey! I hope that everything is going wonderfulwonderful with you. Things in San Francisco are going fine. I'm getting a lot of work and a lot of life done and think of you often.

Love,
Richard (signed)
With his letter, Brautigan included a copy of the poem "Gee, You're so Beautiful That It's Starting to Rain" which was first published as a broadside with the additional title "The San Francisco Weather Report." Printed on tan newsprint paper in 1968 by Graham Mackintosh for Unicorn Books, Goleta, California, the broadside was distributed freely. A second printing was offered in 1969.

San Francisco
September 17, 1968

Dear Ron,

Thank you for the beautiful book. You certainly are a God-damn good poet and I hope that life is doing you some nice things.

I'm just plodding away out here on the Coast like an old war-horse.

I've got a couple of books coming out real soon and will make sure that you get copies of them.

Your loving old-time pal,
Richard (signed)

The book by Loewinsohn Brautigan refers to may be The Step, published in 1968.

San Francisco
October 18, 1968

Dear Ron,

Most thank you for book. I like it and and hey [sic], you got pretty good smarts, kid, and poems is so nice. I send some. Get even.

Love,
Richard (signed)
Seymour Lawrence, Seymour Publishing Archive
Department of Special Collections
University of Mississippi's library

Contains correspondence to and from Lawrence's authors, including Brautigan. Lawrence published Brautigan's early novels.

Online Resource
This collection at the University of Mississippi library website
Targ Editions Archives 1953-1994
Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, New York

"Series V: Richard Brautigan, The Tokyo-Montana Express, Targ Editions No.6" includes correspondence and production materials related to the publication of the Targ Edition of Brautigan's novel, The Tokyo-Montana Express. Specific contents include production materials, financial records, correspondence, proofs (one corrected by Brautigan), unbound signatures and colophon, printing samples, and clippings.

Online Resources
Finding aid for this collection at the Fales Library and Special Collections website
William Novak Collection of Richard Brautigan 1957-1970
The Bancroft Library
University of California-Berkeley
Berkeley, California

Serial and ephemeral publications containing publications by Brautigan.

Artist and filmmaker Bruce Conner was a friend of Brautigan.

Brautigan's letters to Bruce Conner read:

Pine Creek, Montana
January 11, 1983

Dear Bruce,

I'll be in California next week. This means with any luck
at all we won't see each other, but I will try your fucking
"secret" telephone number.

I'm trying to figure out if you owe me lunch or I owe you
lunch . . . There's nothing to do up here in Montana, so I can
think about it all day.

Thinking about lunch,
Richard (signed)

Tokyo
June 7, 1983

Bruce,

Letter to follow.
Richard (signed)

Tokyo
February 14, 1984

Dear Bruce,

How could I not be thinking of you at at this time?

Richard (signed)

Bolinas
July 2, 1984

Dear Bruce,

It was good to hear from you. Your movie sounds very
interesting, but you already know how much I respect and like
your work.

I hope that your operation went OK.

I've haven't [sic] called because I'm just not using the telephone
very much these days. I don't even have one. I'm trying to get
a lot of work done and having a telephone can detract from that.
The God-damn thing rings and gets in the way of your life.

So: I'm coming to San Francisco, I think, on Friday.
I'll use the God-damn thing and give you a call, but I bet
that you won't even be home or your lines will be busy and I'll
call a couple of more times and then: fuck it.

Anyway, you know how to get in touch with me and it was swell
hearing from you.

Yours, until the cows come home,
Richard (signed)
Letter to Edith Mirante
A "thank you" letter by Brautigan to Mirante for her earlier fan letter.

Brautigan's letter to Edith Mirante reads:

San Francisco
October 15, 1970

Dear Edith,

Gee thank you for the letter and I hope that
you have a good autumn.

Best wishes,
Richard Brautigan (signed)
Feedback from Edith Mirante
Edith Mirante. Email to John F. Barber, 12 October 2010.
Letter to Jack Shoemaker
A "fan" letter seemingly written to Brautigan who forwarded it to Shoemaker at Serendipity Books, 1790 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, California. The letter bears no date, but the postmark on the envelope, which bears Brautigan's Geary Street return address, is 19 January 1973. The letter, handwritten on 7.25" x 10.25" stationery with the name "Thomas D. McBride" and the address "2476 Lark Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70501" printed at the top, was, judging by the handwriting, written by Brautigan himself, who marked out the printed address and wrote in "P. O. Box 1580 - USL Station - Lafayette, La. 70501" immediately above. The letter asks where one might find Brautigan's books.

Serendipity (handwritten by Brautigan)
Thomas D. McBride (printed)
P. O. Box 1580 - USL Station - Lafayette, La. 70501 [handwritten]
2476 Lark Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70501 [printed]


Dear Mr. Brautigan,
Hello,
If by some remote chance you received
this letter I would like to enlist your help.
I have Revenge of the Lawn, Trout Fishing in America,
and The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966. I enjoyed them all.
The Abortion . . . most of all. I am perplexed, however, to
I don't know how or where to go to by the buy the
others you have written. I want everything, especially the out
of print poetry, and have no idea how to buy it.
If you are not to busy could you please send
an address or company name I could write or go to to purchase
the rest of your works.
I like your writing. Please keep writing. Goodbye,
J. D. McBride
P. O. Box 1580
USL Station
Lafayette, La. 70501
Letter to Jonathan Carroll
Jonathan Carroll apparently wrote to Brautigan earlier requesting a submission for a small magazine or other publication.

Brautigan's letter to Jonathan Carroll reads:

San Francisco
February 12, 1970

Dear Jonathan Carroll:

Thank you very much for your letter but all my new
poetry is going to be published in a book coming
out this spring called ROMMEL DRIVES ON DEEP INTO
EGYPT.

Best wishes,
Richard Brautigan (signed)
Letter to Stephanie Mills
Stephanie Mills rose to national attention with her 1969 Mills College commencement address "The Future is a Cruel Hoax." Reportedly, she collaborated with environmental leaders including Stewart Brand and Brautigan to review the first draft of Gary Snyder's ecological manifesto Four Changes (Whole Earth Catalog Supplement September 1969). In 1970, she became editor in chief for Earth Times, a San Francisco, California, environmental magazine. Later she worked for Whole Earth, CoEvolution Quarterly, Not Man Apart. California Tomorrow, and Earth. She edited Turning Away from Technology: A New Vision for the Twenty-first Century (Sierra Club Books, 1997).

Brautigan's letter to Stephanie Mills reads:

San Francisco
October 4, 1971

Dear Stephanie,

Please telephone me sometime this week in regard to having dinner. That would be nice.

Yours,
Richard
Written from Tokyo, Amsterdam, and Bolinas, California, 23 April 1983-2 July 1984. Maintained in facsimile and transcription at Keeler's website, "Troutball," that features his "songs, poetry, stories, and cheap coyote tricks." Also features stories and poems by Greg Keeler about Brautigan, as well as quotes and letters by Brautigan.

Brautigan's letters to Greg Keeler read:

Tokyo,
April 23, 1983

Dear Greg,

Well, I'm here. It was a long trip and I'm still getting over the jet lag. In two days I flew
10,079 miles into the sun. After while I was no longer human. I was just meat flying 600 miles an hour.
My childhood vanished into hamburger and all the memories of my life were just chunks hanging
from a flying hook.

I think I want to stay on the ground for a while.

Love,
Richard (signed)

Online Resource
This letter at Keeler's Troutball website

Tokyo,
May 12, 1983

Dear Greggie,

Well, here we are: meeting on a piece of paper that has traveled across the Pacific Ocean
to reach the hands fish dread in Montana. It is a quiet morning here in Tokyo. I had some
ham and eggs for breakfast, coffee. This afternoon I'll go to a little cafe and do
some writing.

Maybe I'll watch some TV tonight.

. . . and then yawn and yawn and yawn again and then
Z Z Z

Love,
Richard (signed)

Online Resource
This letter at Keeler's Troutball website

Tokyo,
June 7, 1983

Dear [Greg],

I hope this letter reaches you before you reach England. Maybe I wrote to you . . . Maybe I didn't about giving my address to Scoop and Brad. Please do. And, also about that money that you owe me . . . just kidding.

There's nothing like a good hearty laugh
       HO!
         HO!
           HO!

Love,
Richard (signed)

Online Resource
This letter at Keeler's Troutball website

Amsterdam
January 19, 1984

Dear Greg,

I'm sorry I woke you up at the beginning
of this month, but what else could I do? It was impossible
to resist.

Love,
Richard (signed)

PS Send the bill to Joe, so he can put it on the stack.

Online Resource
This letter at Keeler's Troutball website

Tokyo,
February 14, 1984

Dear Greg,

You have probably looked at the photograph of me taken just before my
birthday. Yes, Europe was good to me.

Love,
Richard (signed)

PS Send T-Shirts Airmail.
    And tell Brad where I'm at
    and to send T Shirts

More information about this photograph

Online Resource
This letter at Keeler's Troutball website

Tokyo,
April 9, 1984

Dear Greg,

I hope your guts are OK, but I don't know why [you] got an operation. What's wrong
with standard Oklahoma treatment: an intertube [sic]? Can't see no trout out this window.
Always look on the bright side, if your gut operation backfires, which they often do,
you can use yourself as bait.

Thinkin' real hard about the big boy,
Richard (signed)

Online Resource
This letter at Keeler's Troutball website

Tokyo,
May 6, 1984

Dear Greg,

There is a possibility that I will be pulling up stakes and heading back to the
US soon. Alert the boys to wake up their livers.

Who knows?
Richard (signed)

PS I don't think I would have left Montana if they hadn't closed the Range Hotel.

Online Resource
This letter at Keeler's Troutball website

Brautigan did return to the United States, but went to his home in Bolinas, California, rather than Montana. He wrote Keeler from there, saying,

Bolinas
June 8, 1984

Dear Greg,

Fooled you! doubled back, returned to America, and I'm out here in my house at Bolinas where
I plan on spending the summer before returning to Montana in the fall. There's a lot of work I want
to do and I think this is a good place to do it.

It's interesting to be back in America, but you knew that all the time anyway.

So . . .
Like . . .
If . . .

Love,
Richard (signed)

Keeler included this letter in his "Fishing the Tenses With Captain Richard" published in Rolling Stock.

Online Resource
This letter at Keeler's Troutball website

Keeler replied to Brautigan, complaining about his summer teaching at Montana State University in Bozeman, and saying he was coming to Nevada City, California, later in June. Because of his schedule, there was, Keeler wrote, no possibilty to visit with Brautigan while in California. Brautigan replied,

Bolinas
June 15, 1984

Dear Greg,

I just got your letter. You poor sack of shit!

I don't have a telephone and may not get one, but my neighbor
does and he'll come over and get me if somebody calls. His number
is 415-868-1568. I use his telephone sparingly, so don't spread
it all over the landscape in Montana. That's an interesting vision:
Greggie wandering all over Montana spreading 415-868-1568 on
everything he comes across: dogs, trees, rocks, etc.

Anyway, O unhappy one, I sure would like to see you.
We'll get together for certain when you come down in July.
Any chance in June? It's only a few more fucking hours
down from Nevada City. I know somebody out here who's got a
salmon boat docked a few hundred yards away. It's something to think about.

Let me know.

Don't be afraid of the telephone number.

Love,
Richard

Keeler included this letter in his "Fishing the Tenses With Captain Richard" published in Rolling Stock.

Online Resource
This letter at Keeler's Troutball website

In his reply, Keeler said he would visit the San Francisco Bay area in late July and early August. He would see Brautigan then. Keeler said he had heard from friends that the salmon fishing in the Bay Area was ruined by the El Nino weather pattern; Brautigan could not fool him regarding the fishing there. Brautigan wrote back,

Bolinas
June 23, 1984

Dear Greg

The next time I pull a salmon out of the beautiful cold
waters of the Pacific Ocean, I'll say, "This one is for Greggie.
A loser in Montana."

Love from the deck,
Richard

Keeler included this letter in his "Fishing the Tenses With Captain Richard" published in Rolling Stock.

Online Resource
This letter at Keeler's Troutball website

Keeler admitted his defeat by Brautigan's ridicule and said they would solve the salmon question when he visited his brother. Brautigan continued his ridicule of Keeler in his next letter.

Bolinas
July 2, 1984

Dear Loser, (formerly known as Greggie)

Dream on . . .
Losers tend to have loser friends.
"She says . . . El Nino . . . changed . . . currents . . . salmon . . .
moved . . . out."
That was last year.
It's nice to have good friends, loser.
Excuse me while I have this delightful young girl place another bite of freshly-caught
salmon in my jaws.
Thank you, dear.
No, we'll do that later again. You can rest for a while, honey.
Now, where was I? Oh, yea, writing to a loser.
Excuse me again—
No, honey, I don't have loser friends. this one is a special case. Don't worry
your pretty little head about it.
"She says . . . El Nino . . . changed . . . currents . . . salmon . . .
moved ... out."
Yes, yes, yes.
"Meester Keeler. Why not do you geeb me a salmon?!!!"
(Caused by another salmon being put in my mouth.)

Love
Richard (signed)

PS. yes now we can go again my little pretty.

Keeler included this letter in his "Fishing the Tenses With Captain Richard" published in Rolling Stock.

Online Resources
This letter at Keeler's Troutball website
Althea Susan Morgan and Brautigan were friends from January-June 1967. They met in Isla Vista/Goleta, California, where Brautigan was participating in a poetry reading at the Unicorn Book Shop.

Feedback from Susan Morgan
Althea Susan Morgan. Email to John F. Barber, 3 December 2005.
During a visit to Isla Vista, Brautigan wrote "The Sitting Here, Standing Here Poem" for Morgan. The poem was never collected or published. Morgan copied the poem and described some of the circumstances around its creation.

Morgan wrote Brautigan asking for a signed copy of the poem. In his reply, Brautigan declined.

Brautigan's letter to Susan Morgan reads:

San Francisco
February 13, 1967

Dear Susan,

It was very good to hear from you, but, alas, no Susan!
I hope we can get together the next time you come to San
Francisco. I like you and want to see you again. I had
a beautiful time in Santa Barbara.

Lots of things are happening here in San Francisco,
and I am involved in a couple of them. They're fun. I've
also been writing some poetry.

Why don't you write me a letter this week and tell me
some evening when you will be home after 7, and I'll call
you on the telephone?

Your poet buddy,
Richard (signed)
Morgan wrote to Brautigan about the possibility of visiting him in San Francisco. Brautigan responded enthusiastically.

Brautigan's letter to Susan Morgan reads:

San Francisco
March 3, 1967


Dear Young Lady of the South Susan,

YES! Thank you for the beautiful card. I hope
that you will be able to come to San Francisco during
your vacation. There are so many fantastic things
happening here, and I want to see you again.

Yours,
Richard (signed)
Ten days later, Brautigan wrote again, still enthusiastic about the possibility of Morgan visiting him in San Francisco. He mentioned the publication of his poem "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace" as a broadside. The "volume of my collected early poems" could be a reference to All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace, published in 1967, or a reference to The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster published in 1968. The poem "Albion Breakfast" was included in both. Brautigan wrote and dedicated the poem "Albion Breakfast" for Morgan, who recounts the poem's genesis. As a whimsical gesture, perhaps in response to the flower Morgan apparently included in her last letter, Brautigan glued a small yellow rock to the top center of this letter.

Brautigan's letter to Susan Morgan reads:

San Francisco
March 13, 1967


Dear Susan,

Thank you for the little coast flower. I put it on
a piece of gold ore from the Sierras. It looks happy
there.

Activity in San Francisco continues to flash like a
comet, and I'm writing a new novel, some poetry and
putting together a volume of my collected early poems
that will be published later this year.

I've written a poem called "All Watched over by
Machines of Loving Grace" that's being made into a poster
so I'm excited about that.

It is very pleasing thing to have a poem written
to you. Andrew's [Hoyem] poem is a good one. That was such a
fantastic night when we were at the hot springs. We were
beautiful wet moon children acting out our banners.

I hope that everything goes perfectly so that you can
get up here to the city during your vacation. I want to see you!

Yours,
Richard (signed)
The visit confirmed, Brautigan responded:

San Francisco
March 20, 1967


Dear Susan,

Great! I look forward very much to seeing you
this week. You'll have a good time here in the city.
A tattoo sounds like a fine idea.

Yours,
Richard (signed)
Feedback from Susan Morgan
Althea Susan Morgan. Email to John F. Barber, 4 December 2005.
The visit over, Brautigan responded to a "thank you" letter from Morgan.

Brautigan's letter to Susan Morgan reads:

San Francisco
April 4, 1967


Dear Susan,

Thank you for the nice letter. I'm very glad that you
had a good time in San Francisco. Things up here continue
to move at a fantastic speed. I'd like very much to come
down and visit you for a few days soon. I'll work on it.
And if you feel like dashing up here for a few days (in between
your studies, on a weekend or something) please do! I look
forward to seeing you again.

Love,
Richard (signed)

According to Morgan, her visits with Brautigan ended in June 1967 (see below), although their exchange of letters continued. Brautigan wrote Morgan in February 1968.

Brautigan's letter to Susan Morgan reads:

San Francisco
February 7, 1968

Dear Susan,

Gee, thank you for the beautiful letter. I'm glad
things are going well with you. Your life sounds happy
and that's good. I'm getting a lot of work done here in
San Francisco, writing, life, etc.

"Albion Breakfast" will be published this spring in
a book of my poetry called The Pill Versus the Springhill
Mine Disaster
. I'll send you a copy of the book, and I'll
also look around and see if I can find that poem I wrote
on a beautiful rainy afternoon in the Santa Barbara mountains.

Yours,
Richard (signed)
Brautigan included a lock (approximately 3" in length) of his blond hair with this letter.

A photograph of Brautigan's letter, provided by Susan Morgan.

Feedback from Susan Morgan
Althea Susan Morgan. Email to John F. Barber, 4 December 2005.

Letter to Merritt Borden
From the collection of Gregory Miller. Used by permission.

This was Brautigan's last letter to Takako Shiina.

Brautigan's letter to Takako Shiina reads:

Bolinas
August 11, 1984

Dear Takako,

Hi!

I met Tom Rady on the street in San Francisco a few days ago, and he told me a long and fun greetings from "The Cradle."

I continue what I do. Work.

This morning, I saw two seals in the sea about 50 meters above the beach.
If E.T. [Shiina's daughter] saw them, she would be pleased. The two seals came together, and talked much in the seals’ manner. Then they swam away in different directions. They were jumping in the water and stayed in the area for a long time, so I guess they were hunting for breakfast. They passed the morning with fun.

They looked beautiful to my eyes. The Pacific Ocean bore a comfortable mist, and the air carried a fresh nice fragrance. I was thinking about E.T.
How much I love her, how much I love you.

Richard

P.S: This letter, I will post today, Monday [13 August 1984]. Last weekend I finished the draft of the script of my first movie. It’s a Western Movie! I want you to tell your gentleman in Tokyo who loves B Class Western Movies that I was thinking about the content for him to watch and to enjoy when I was writing this script.

P.S: 2 I got the telephone . . . 451-868-24xx