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Kulchur Foundation records, 1936-1994 [Bulk Dates: 1969-1989].

Summary Information

At a Glance

Title:Kulchur Foundation records, 1936-1994 [Bulk Dates: 1969-1989].
Physical description:29.74 linear ft. (50 document boxes, 1 half-size document box, 2 record storage cartons, 6 oversized flat boxes).
Language(s): Material is in English.


This collection is arranged in 6 series


Scope and Content

Kulchur-- a little magazine focused on cultural criticism and later a small press, was an important publisher of avant-garde poets, particularly poets associated with what became known as the New York School. The Kulchur Foundation Records include administrative, financial and editorial records related to Kulchur Magazine, Kulchur Press, and the Kulchur Foundation. Additionally, it includes photographs, correspondence, artwork and manuscripts related to the Foundation or to its president-- writer, publisher, and art collector, Lita Hornick.

1991 Addition: Correspondence, manuscripts, publicity files, art work, and printed ephemera received by Lita Hornick and the Kulchur Foundation between 1979 and 1989. Also included are files related to poetry readings sponsored by the Kulchur Foundation during this period as well as correspondence relating to Lita Hornick's graduate work on Dorothy Richardson and Dylan Thomas in the 1940s and 1950s.

2000 Addition: Correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, printed materials, and a video cassette.

Series I: Correspondence, 1961-1993

The correspondence series includes letters to and from Lita Hornick and Kulchur Press. Most of the correspondence in editorial or administrative in nature, though as Hornick's lists of friends and business associates overlap considerably, the letters are often social in tone.

Series II: Kulchur Magazine and Kulchur Press, 1953-1989

This series comprises the bulk of the collection and includes the editorial, administrative, and financial records of Kulchur.

Subseries II.1: Kulchur Magazine, 1961-1966

This subseries contains files for each issue of the magazine that Lita Hornick had a hand in editing-- from Kulchur 3 through magazine's final issue, Kulchur 20 (though the file for Kulchur 4, which was guest-edited by Gilbert Sorrentino, is mostly photostats). These files generally contain the manuscripts for articles and reviews for each issue (often heavily marked up by Ms. Hornick) and hand-written notes about layout and the order in which the pieces should appear.

Subseries II.2: Editorial Files, 1967-1989

This subseries is comprised of files for each of the books published by Kulchur Press and Kulchur Foundation, arranged alphabetically by author. Most files will contain an original manuscript, and corrected and uncorrected proofs, cover art or illustrations, as well as any additional material related to the book's production or promotion such as promotional material and invitations to release parties. This series also includes the manuscripts, proofs, and other editorial files for books written by Lita Hornick and published by Kulchur. For files on books authored by Hornick, but not published by Kulchur, see Series III: Lita Hornick Files.

Additionally, original artwork for Kulchur Press publications (such as Joe Brainard's artwork for Album and Bean Spasms) will be found with the editorial files for those books, rather than in the artwork Series.

Subseries II.3: Unpublished Manuscripts, 1953-1992

This series includes manuscripts that were submitted to Kulchur, but never published, as well as a small body of work that was submitted to Cover, a little magazine edited and published by Lita Hornick's friend Jeffrey Cyphers Wright.

Subseries II.4: Administrative and Financial Records, 1961-1994

Administrative and Financial Records, 1961-1994: This series includes Kulchur's Business and Administrative Files, including files for events sponsored or produced by the Kulchur Foundation as well as financial records, subscription records, and copyright agreements.

Series III: Lita Hornick Files, 1948-1994

This series includes Lita Hornick's writings that were unpublished or published by an entity other than Kulchur Press. It includes a number of poems and short essays, many written in collaboration with friends (often written as an exquisite corpse exercise), as well as manuscripts for her full length books, Kulchur Queen and the The Green Fuse. The series also includes manuscripts and research notes related to her Master's Essay and her PhD Dissertation, both from degrees she received at Columbia. The research files for her dissertation include correspondence with friends and associates of Dylan Thomas's with whom she corresponded while researching her dissertation on Thomas.

Series IV: Photographs, 1950s-1990s

The photographs series is a relatively small series that includes professionally taken portraits of Lita and her family as well as a number of snapshots and candid photos of Ms. Hornick with her family and friends. Of interest, as well, are snapshots taken at some of the parties thrown by Lita and Morton Hornick. There are also photographs of artworks sent to Ms. Hornick by art galleries so that she, an enthusiastic art collector, could preview new works.

Series V: Artwork, 1965-1980

This small series includes artwork from the collection of Lita and Morton Hornick, including several pieces by Joe Brainard. Artwork that was acquired as cover art or illustrations for a book published by Kulchur will be found in the editorial files for that publication, rather than as part of this Artwork Series.

Series VI: Publications, 1961-1993

This series is comprised of periodicals, printed books, and broadsides and includes material published by Kulchur Press, material written by Lita Hornick, and books and periodicals in Lita Hornick's Collection.

Using the Collection


Access Restrictions

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Kulchur Foundation Records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Material-- at Columbia

Dorothy M. Richardson: the quest for selfhood. Lita Rothbard's Masters Essay

The intricate image; a study of Dylan Thomas. Lita Hornick's Dissertation

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers Processed 06/20/1988

Addition Processed 08/26/1992

Addition Processed 05/15/2000 HR

Papers Re-processed 10/- -/2010 Carrie Hintz

Finding Aid Written 10/--/2010 Carrie Hintz

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion October 12, 2010

Finding aid written in English.

    2010-10-12 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Financial records.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Manuscripts (literary).PortalCLIOArchiveGRID


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Baraka, Imamu Amiri, 1934-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Beat generation.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Berrigan, Ted.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Brainard, Joe, 1942-1994.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Ford, Charles Henri.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hornick, Lita R., 1927-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Kulchur Foundation.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Little magazines.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Malanga, Gerard.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Padgett, Ron.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Publishers and publishing.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Women publishers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

Publishing critical essays, commentary, reviews and original artwork by writers and artists such as Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, and LeRoi Jones, Kulchur was an important vehicle for promoting American poets and cultural critics associated with the New American Poetry of the mid to late twentieth century, particularly the New York School of poets and artists.

The Kulchur Foundation, a non-profit publishing and arts organization, began as a small, literary journal in 1961. The magazine was founded by Marc Schleifer who also edited Kulchur 1 and Kulchur 2 before handing over administrative and editorial control of the magazine to Lita Hornick.

Lita Hornick, who was to become the driving force behind the magazine and Kulchr's subsequent publishing and arts patronage activities, was born Lita Rothbard in 1927 in Newark, New Jersey. She graduated from Barnard College in 1948, where she developed her taste for modern literature and avant-garde poetry. She went on to do graduate work in English at Columbia University, writing her masters thesis on feminist novelist Dorothy Richardson, and, later, her doctoral dissertation on the work of Dylan Thomas. She was married to Morton Hornick and had two sons.

When Hornick took the reigns of the magazine's third issue in 1961 she made significant changes to the publication. The first two issues of the magazine had been managed by Marc Schleifer and published annually--under Hornick's direction the magazine focused more on arts criticism and commentary rather than literary publication and increased its publication schedule to quarterly. Hornick also established Kulchur Press, Inc. as an incorporated business in 1961 (albeit one that never turned a profit and was almost entirely privately funded by her and her husband).

Though Ms. Hornick took over the administrative reigns of the magazine in 1961 with Kulchur 3, she assigned guest editors for the first few issues of the magazine that she published (Gilbert Sorrentino edited Kulchur 5, and Joel Oppenheimer guest-edited Kulchur 6). Starting with Kulchur 7, the magazine was run by Ms. Hornick as managing editor, but supported by an editorial board of LeRoi Jones, Gilbert Sorrentino, Frank O'Hara, Joseph LeSeur, and Bill Berskon. This general arrangement lasted for five issues before Hornick took over the sole editorship of the magazine starting with Kulchur 7 and lasting through the magazine's final issue, Kulchur 20.

The stress and hectic schedule of editing and publishing a quarterly wore on Hornick, so in 1966 she decided to alter the focus of Kulchur, Inc. away from periodicals and cultural commentary and towards publishing books, primarily of poetry. The first book published by Kulchur Press was the contemporary poetry anthology Poems Now, edited by Hettie Jones, though most subsequent books would veer away from the anthology format. Over the course of the Press's run, it published books by notable New York School poets such as Ted Berrigan, John Giorno, and Rochelle Owens, among a host of others. By far the venture's most successful book was Screen Tests, a book of poetry by Gerard Malanga accompanied by photographs of individuals taken by Andy Warhol. Hornick, an avid art collector, was very interested in these collaborations between visual artists and poets, and published a number of such volumes.

In 1970 the name of the organization officially changes from Kulchur Press to Kulchur Foundation to reflect its work as an arts funder and grant-giving agency as well as a publishing venture. This move also allowed the organization to obtain the tax exempt status available to it as a cultural foundation rather than a business. Though Kulchur's publishing efforts remained unchanged with this shift to foundation status, the foundation started to take on more cultural programming than it had previously, such as producing a series of poetry readings at the Museum of Modern Art starting in 1973 and co-producing theatrical productions. In 1981 Kulchur stopped publishing, though Hornick maintained foundation work in the name of Kulchur until her death in 2000.