Fonds MsA 33 - Philip Whalen fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Philip Whalen fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

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Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

MsA 33

Edition area

Edition statement

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1968 (Creation)
    Creator
    Whalen, Philip

Physical description area

Physical description

1 cm of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1935-)

Biographical history

Philip Whalen (20 October 1923 26 June 2002) was an American poet, Zen Buddhist, and a key figure in the San Francisco Renaissance and the Beat Generation. Born in Portland, Oregon, Whalen served in the US Army Air Forces during World War II, after which he attended Reed College on the GI Bill. There, he met Gary Snyder and Lew Welch, and graduated with a BA in 1951. He read at the famous Six Gallery reading in 1955 that marked the launch of the West Coast Beats into the public eye. Whalen's first interest in Eastern religions centered on Vedanta. Tibetan Buddhism also attracted him but, ultimately, Zen became his chosen path. Whalen spent 1966 and 1967 in Kyoto, Japan where he practiced zazen daily, and wrote some forty poems and a second novel. He moved into the San Francisco Zen Center and became a student of Zentatsu Richard Baker in 1972. The following year, he became a monk. He became head monk of Dharma Sangha, in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1984. In 1987, he received transmission from Baker, and in 1991, he returned to San Francisco to lead the Hartford Street Zen Center until forced by ill health to retire.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of one letter from Whalen to Leo Eutsler; monograph by Whalen, Like I Say (1960).

Notes area

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Printed inventory available

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Status

Published

Level of detail

Full

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created May 16, 2014, LZ

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

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