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Michael Perkins Papers

Identifier: MSN/MN 10023

Scope and Contents

The Michael Perkins Papers consist of the professional and personal papers of Michael Perkins (1942-), a poet, critic, editor, and erotic fiction author. His professional materials represent his writing process for his fiction and poetry, from proposals sent to publishing houses, to multiple rough drafts of his works, to final proofs, as well as publicity for published materials. Also included is a large collection of editorial correspondence with literary agents and publishing houses. Along with his literary pursuits, Perkins’ career as a critic and editor is also represented, including drafts from other authors, reviews of various works, and three decades’ worth of reviews for Screw Magazine. His personal materials include correspondence with friends and colleagues, including poet William Bronk; his personal diaries and journals, spanning fifty years; and personal photographs and miscellaneous items. Significant topics and titles represented in the collection include pornography; erotic fiction; poetry; Woodstock, New York; publishing; Screw Magazine; Masquerade Magazine; Evil Companions; Dark Matter; Life Sentences: Aphorisms and Reflections; Praise in the Ears of Clouds; Carpe Diem; and Walking Woodstock. Materials include letters, postcards, ephemera, diaries, journals, drafts, photographs, and electronic records.


  • Creation: 1942 - 2016


Conditions Governing Access

Boxes 8, 10, 11, 19, 20, and 21 contain sexually explicit material. Departmental and curatorial approval must be obtained prior to accessing these materials. Advanced notice is required to view this collection.

Folders 36 (Box 1), 175-178 (Box 5), 191 (Box 6), 197 (Box 6), 628 (Box 24), 683 (Box 25), and 702-703 (Box 25) are restricted indefinitaly.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Michael Perkins (1942-) is a poet, novelist, critic, and editor, originally from Ohio. After graduating from Ohio University Athens, he moved to the East Village in New York in 1963. There, Perkins became the editor of Tompkins Square Press, wrote for The Village Voice, and published poetry in local magazines and newspapers. After the death of his wife in 1968, Perkins began writing erotic fiction for Essex House in California, and later became the editor of Croton Press, Ltd. Some of Perkins’ most notable titles include the novels Evil Companions, Dark Matter; the literary criticism The Secret Record; the poetry collections Praise in the Ears of Clouds, Persistence of Desire, and Carpe Diem; Life Sentences: Aphorisms and Reflections; and his nonfiction work with Will Nixon, Walking Woodstock. Perkins also had an extensive career as a critic of erotic fiction, reviewing works by contemporaries such as Tom Disch, Charles Bukowski, and Samuel R. Delaney. Perkins wrote reviews for a long-running column in Al Goldstein’s Screw Magazine. His reviews and poetry have been published in The Nation, The Notre Dame Review, and Exquisite Corpse, among others. In 1973, Perkins moved to Woodstock, New York, where he became active in local arts and community organizations, an avid hiker, and a close friend of the poet William Bronk.


27 Cubic Feet (25 records cartons, 1 document box, 1 F1 oversize box, 1 F2 oversize box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into seven series: I. Correspondence; II. Editorial Correspondence; III. Diaries and Journals; IV. Perkins’ Writings; V. Other Authors’ Writings and Publications; VI. Publicity and Promotional Materials; and VII. Personal Papers.

Michael Perkins Papers
In Progress
Hannah E. Sabal
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556