Special Collections Department
The Ishmael Reed Papers
VII. Professional Activities, 1956-1994
Extent: 3 linear ft.
Contents: Correspondence, programs, notes, minutes, schedules, printed material, flyers, posters, plaques, clippings, financial reports, photographs, certificates, brochures, and grant applications.
Arrangement: Series VII. Professional Activities is divided into two subseries: VII.1. Resumes, arranged in chronological order, and VII.2 Organizations, arranged in alphabetical order by name of the organization.
Reed participated in a number of professional activities, which are documented in Series VII. Professional Activities. These files reflect his different levels of involvement in different activities. Notable among these files, for instance, are records of the Before Columbus Foundation (1977-1992), which Reed founded to promote publication of minority writers. Reed's involvement took many forms, and the files reflect his participation on the Board of Directors from the initial incorporation through 1992 with minutes, correspondence and business records. Additional files document the creation of two Before Columbus anthologies and the annual American Book Awards sponsored by the group. Reed also founded There City Cinema to promote multi-cultural film, video, and artists of Northern California, and files for this organization are present for 1986-1989. Reed's efforts to promote new and lesser-known talent is also documented in the files of the Pushcart Prizes, which give awards to outstanding work from small presses. Reed was a long time member of P.E.N., the national association of published authors, and the collection contains correspondence related to P.E.N. activities spanning the years 1969-1988. Dissatisfied with P.E.N.'s lack of support for Reed's proposed boycott of television news, Reed started a new P.E.N. chapter in Oakland. Reed served as a member of the Usage Panel for several editions of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, from 1976-1987. Files on other organizations in which Reed participated are less extensive, reflecting shorter periods of involvement or a more peripheral role. He served as a judge in a number of literary prize and grant competitions, including the National Endowment for the Humanities and the MacArthur Fellowship. On the local level, he headed California Poetry in the schools for a short time. Reed's awards and resumés, included in this series, also provide evidence of Reed's varied professional activities.
45 Series VII. Professional activities, 1956-1994 Series VII.1. Resumes, [1964-1986] F1 Resumes, [1964-1986] Series VII.2. Organizations, 1956-1994 F2 Academy of American Poets, 1966-1975 Reed read poetry at New York City high schools in 1966 and 1967 through a program sponsored by the Academy. F3 Actors Studio, 1979-1981 Reed is a member of the Actors Studio Playwrights and Directors Program. Actors Studio produced Reed's Hell Hath No Fury. F4 African American Publishers', Booksellers', and Writers' Association, 1991 F5 American Book Review, 1977-1988 Reed was an associate editor. Copy removed to oversize (L). F6 American Civil Liberties Union, 1978 Reed received an ACLU Award on June 12, 1978. F7 American Council for the Arts, 1986-1987 Reed was a member of the Council's National Planning Committee on the Originating Artist in 1986-1987. F8 American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1976-1987 Reed served as a member of the Usage Panel for several editions. F9 The Authors Guild, Inc., 1969-1975 Reed is a member. F10 Bay Area Black Journalists Association, 1986 Before Columbus Foundation, 1977-1994 Ishmael Reed founded the Before Columbus Foundation to distribute the work of writers from diverse ethnic backgrounds. F11 American Book Awards, 1980-1994 46 Series VII. Professional activities (cont'd) Series VII.2. Organizations (cont'd) Before Columbus Foundation (cont'd) F12 Anthologies, 1991-1992 Announcements and public relations material. F13 Before Columbus Foundation Review, 1989-1992 Issues and a list of material to be included in the first issue. F14 Board, 1977-1990 Includes minutes of meetings, financial reports, annual reports, photographs, flyers, and promotional material. F15 Bylaws and articles of incorporation,  F16 Clippings, 1984-1992 F17 Conferences, 1977-1991 Identification badges and programs related to ABA, MLA, and library conferences, which Reed attended to promote BCF. F18 Contemporary American Literature, 1981 Anthology/Catalog paste-ups. Removed to oversize (L). F19 Correspondence, 1977-1992 F20 Events, 1978-1989 Programs, flyers, clippings, notes, and other material related to readings, institutes, celebrations for new publications, and other events sponsored by the BCF. F21a Price lists, 1980-1981 F21b [Untitled remarks regarding Before Columbus Foundation], n.d. Typescripts with autograph revisions. Berkeley Civil Arts Commission, 1979-1982 Reed was appointed to the Commission. F22 1979 F23 1980 F24 1981 Jan-Mar F25 1981 Apr-Dec F26 1982 F27 [n.d.] F28 Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, 1984 Certificate. F29 Black Poets Reading, Inc., 1971 46 Series VII. Professional activities (cont'd) Series VII.2. Organizations (cont'd) F30 California Arts Council, 1973-1990 F31 California Council for Humanities and Public Policy, 1981 F32 California State University, Distinguished Artists Forum, 1987-1988 Reed was invited to become a member in 1987. F33 Center for the Study of Southern Culture, 1979 Reed was a national consultant for the center. F34 Chattanooga Museum of Afro-American Culture and History, [n.d.] Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines (CCLM), 1972-1989 Reed became a member of the board in 1974. F35 1972-1973 F36 1974 Mar-May F37 1974 Jun-Sep F38 1974 Oct-Dec F39 1975 Jan-Jun F40 1975 Jul-Dec F41 1975 (notebook) F42 1976 Jan-Jul 47 F43 1976 Aug-Dec F44 1976 (notebook) F45 1977 Jan-Jul F46 1977 Aug-Dec F47 1977 (notebook) F48 1978 Jan-Jul F49 1978 Aug-Nov F50 1978 Dec and [n.d.] F51 1978 (notebook) F52 1979 F53 1979 (notebook) F54 1980 F55 1981 F56 1983 47 Series VII. Professional activities (cont'd) Series VII.2. Organizations (cont'd) Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines (cont'd) F57 1984-1985 F58 1986-1987 F59 1989 and [n.d.] F60 The Dana Reed Prize, 1988 Reed served as a judge for the prize in 1988. F61 Ford Foundation, 1975-1981 Reed applied for grant. Freedom Forum, 1991-1993 Publications. F62 1991-1992 Jun F63 1992 Sep-1993 F64 Gannett Center for Media Studies, 1987-1992 Publications (continued by Freedom Forum). F65 The George Kent Award, 1994 Plaque presented by the Gwendolyn Brooks Center, Chicago State University. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 1956-1986 Reed was awarded at Guggenheim Fellowship for 1975-1976. F66 Correspondence, 1956-1985 F67 Brochures, 1969-1986 F68 KPFA Staff, 1977-1989 Reed was a member of the staff for drama and literature. F69 Loft-McKnight Awards, 1987-1988 Reed was a judge for these awards for Minnesota prose writers. F70 MacArthur Foundation, 1982 Reed was a nominator for the Prize Fellows Program in 1982. 48 Series VII. Professional activities (cont'd) Series VII.2. Organizations (cont'd) F71 Morgan State University Alumni, 1994 The Northern California Chapter of the Morgan State University Alumni awarded Reed a plaque in 1994 "in honor of your outstanding leadership and contributions to the Arts. National Endowment for the Arts, 1965-1990 Reed received an NEA grant for 1974-1975. F72 1965-1974 F73 1975-1977 F74 1978-1990 F75 National Foundation for the Arts and Humanities, 1965-1968 F76 National Geographic Society, 1992 F77 National Institute of Arts and Letters, 1975-1976 Reed won The Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award in 1975 for The Last Days of Louisiana Red. F78 National Poetry Award, 1985 Member of the awarding board for the National Poetry Award in 1985 (to Robert Duncan). F79 New York State Council on the Arts, 1971 P.E.N., 1969-1993 Reed founded the P.E.N. Oakland branch. F80 Correspondence, 1969-1988 Poster removed to oversize (L). F81 Grants and awards [lists], 1969-1974 F82 P.E.N. Newsletter, 1972-1985 F83 P.E.N. Oakland, 1990-1993 F84 Poetry in the Schools, 1976 Reed was appointed the State Coordinator of the California Poetry in the Schools Program in May 1976 and resigned in August 1976. 48 Series VII. Professional activities (cont'd) Series VII.2. Organizations (cont'd) F85 Poets and Writers, 1973-1981 Reed is a member. Poets and Writers sponsored Reed's poetry readings in 1980 at Attica Prison and in New York City. F86 The Pushcart Press, 1975-1981 Reed received a Pushcart Prize for his essay, "American Poetry: Is There a Center?" and was a contributing editor. F87 San Francisco (City and County of), 1990 Mar 17 Certificate of Appreciation to Reed "in recognition of his outstanding literary accomplishments, 1st Annual Tribute to Bay Area Journalists and Writers." Removed to oversize. F88 San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society, [n.d.] Reed was a guest speaker for a Black History Month Forum. F89 San Francisco Aids Activism - Literary Committee, [n.d.] Literary Committee member. F90 San Francisco Art Commission, 1976 F91 San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival, 1990 Advisory Board member for the festival. F92 San Francisco Bay Guardian, 1986 Reed judged the "Fiction '86" contest. F93 Seattle Arts Commission, 1985 Reed was a 1985 juror for the prose/fiction category of the Seattle Art Commission Individual Artists' Program. F94 Signet Society, 1988-1989 Reed is an Associate Fellow of the Harvard Signet Society. F95 South Carolina Arts Commission, 1985 Reed was a 1985 panelist for the commission's Literary Arts Selection Panel. 48 Series VII. Professional activities (cont'd) Series VII.2. Organizations (cont'd) F96 There City Cinema, 1986-1989 Founded by Reed to promote multi cultural film, video, and artists of Northern California. F97 United States Information Agency, 1986 Reed did presentations for the agency. F98 University of Michigan - Hopwood Award, 1981 Reed was a judge for the novel division of the 1981 Hopwood Awards. F99 Whiting Foundation Writers' Program/Awards, 1985 Reed participated in the initial meeting to form the Whiting Writers' Awards in 1985. F100 Who's Who in America, 1968-1974 F101 Wisconsin Arts Board, 1982 Reed was a juror for the Wisconsin Arts Board 1983 Fellowship Program. F102 YM-YWCA (New York) - Poetry Center, 1969-1970 F103 Miscellaneous, 1968-1988 Includes brochures, applications, and information regarding grants, fellowships, arts organizations, and other professional opportunities.
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citation and reference information
The Ishmael Reed Papers
Manuscript Collection Number: 398
Accessioned: Purchases, 1980-1995.
Extent: 65 linear ft.
Content: Correspondence, novels, plays, poems, essays, reviews, speeches, magazines, posters, clippings, brochures, flyers, broadsides, photographs, artwork, books, galley and page proofs, financial documents, catalogs, programs, photocopies, sound recordings, schedules, comic books, notes, transcripts, awards, certificates, minutes, audiovisual recordings, and miscellaneous ephemera.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: 1998-1999 by Shiela Pardee, completed by Anita Wellner.
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
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