The Library of Congress >  Researchers >  Search Finding Aids  >  Ai Ogawa papers, 1820-2010
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BOX 1-6 Correspondence, 1969-2010
The Correspondence series chronicles Ai’s activities and interests chiefly between 1989 and 2009 and consists mainly of incoming letters and printed emails from editors, publishers, academics, poets, authors, friends, acquaintances, and the public. The majority of the letters are from editors and publishers requesting poems for journals or anthologies and invitations asking Ai to give poetry readings or to lead workshops. The correspondence reflects Ai's many relocations to find employment and provides a glimpse of the financial struggles she experienced throughout much of her life. Also present are letters from friends and colleagues conveying news about family, mutual friends, and their professional activities. Some letters from poets and authors include attachments of their writings or clippings about their work. Correspondents include Charles Apfelbaum, Galway Kinnell, Chip Livingston, and Edward Putzar.

Material types include letters, memoranda, cards, printed email, and digital files.
Arranged alphabetically by name of person or type of material. The file structure of the digital content maintained as received.
BOX 1 Apfelbaum, Charles, and Lois Apfelbaum, 1992-2009
(3 folders)
BOX 1 Chronological file
BOX 1 1976-1992
(8 folders)
BOX 1 1993, Jan.-July
(3 folders)
BOX 1 1993, Aug.-Dec.
(3 folders)
BOX 2 1994-1997
(12 folders)
BOX 3 1998-2001 See also Container OV 2, Posters, National Poetry Month
(16 folders)
BOX 4 2002-2003
(9 folders)
DF 2001, "The Trip," video created by Russ Barnes and Dean Schaller, featuring Schaller and filmed in California; media with video attached to a 2002 letter from Barnes
Digital ID: mss86481_276_001
BOX 4 2004, Jan.
BOX 5 2004, Feb.-Nov.
(3 folders)
BOX 5 2005-2009
(8 folders)
BOX 6 2010
BOX 6 Undated
(7 folders)
BOX 6 Kinnell, Galway, 1969-1970, 1981, 1994, undated
BOX 6 Livingston, Chip, 1998-2007, undated
(4 folders)
BOX 6-13 Subject File, 1947-2010
The Subject File series documents Ai’s varied interests and activities. The biographical file, financial and legal files, and job search files chronicle Ai’s monetary problems and reveal that, although an award-winning poet, she had to work persistently to market herself for academic teaching positions. The biographical file contains curricula vitae as well as vignettes (located in the undated chronological file and Contemporary Authors file) by Ai that provide information about her early life, insight about how she began writing poetry, and her discovery in 1973 that her biological father was Michael Ogawa, a Japanese man with whom her mother had an affair. As a way to claim Ogawa as her father, Ai legally changed her name in 1973 to Pelorhankhe Ai L'Heah Ogawa, which is documented in the financial and legal file.

The Subject File also documents Ai’s penchant for saving clippings and articles about individuals and topics that interested her or inspired her writing, including Willem Dafoe, John F. Kennedy Jr., Elvis Presley, and the September 11 Terrorist Attacks in 2001. Dafoe was the inspiration for Ai’s book Fate: New Poems. The Willem Dafoe folder contains a few letters between them discussing her book dedication to him, as well as a note from Annie Leibovitz mentioning Dafoe with an attached postcard of Leibovitz’s photograph of him. Clippings and articles in the printed matter files also reflect Ai’s interest in movies, mystery novels, fashion, and current events.

The Subject File series also includes a few files relating to Ai’s teaching career at colleges and universities. From 1996 to 1997, Ai served as visiting associate professor of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado. The University of Colorado files include an age discrimination complaint filed by Ai. She, however, did not reply to subsequent letters from investigating officials requesting additional information, and the complaint was dismissed. Material relating to her tenured professorship at the University of Oklahoma at Stillwater, Oklahoma (1999-2010), is located in the Oklahoma State University File series.

The visual materials feature photographs of Ai (including her wedding to Lawrence M. Kearney in 1979), her family, her friends, her cats, and an assortment of snapshots. Some home photographs include Ai’s desk and provide a glimpse of the surrounding items from which she drew inspiration.

Material types include correspondence, memoranda, notebooks, notes, financial and legal papers, address books, business cards, college transcripts, postcards, photographs, slides, negatives, contact sheets, student papers, evaluations, newspaper clippings, printed matter, and other material.
Arranged alphabetically by name of person or organization, topic, or type of material.
BOX 6 Address books, undated
BOX 7 Address books, undated
BOX 7 Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz., student papers, circa 1989
BOX 7 Awards and honors, 1978, 1998-2003, 2010
BOX 7 Biographical file
BOX 7 Chronological file, 1979, 1987-2009, undated
(3 folders)
BOX 7 Contemporary Authors, 1997-2001, undated
BOX 7 Breast cancer, undated
BOX 7 Business cards and contact information, undated
(2 folders)
BOX 8 Calendars, 1993-2006 See also Container OV 1, same heading
BOX 8 Cats, 1997-1999, undated
BOX 8 Cisneros, Sandra, 2003-2008
BOX 8 College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass., evaluations, 1987
BOX 8 College transcripts as Florence Leah Anthony, 1969-1971
BOX 8 Dafoe, Willem, 1987-1992, undated See also Container OV 1, Interview (magazine)
BOX 8 Davis, James G., 1979-1988, 1994, undated
BOX 8 Family papers, 1947, 1992-1997, 2003, undated
(3 folders)
BOX 8 Financial and legal papers, 1974-1998
(2 folders)
BOX 9 Financial and legal papers, 2000-2009, undated
BOX 9 FX Networks, 1995
BOX 9 Job searches, 1976-2008, undated
(2 folders)
BOX 9 Kennedy, John F., Jr., 1995-1999
BOX 9 Miscellany, 1989-2007, undated
(4 folders)
BOX 9 Notebooks, undated
BOX 10 Notes, 1998-2003, undated
(2 folders)
BOX 10 Poetry, 1986-2009, undated
(3 folders)
BOX 10 Postcards, undated
BOX 10 Presley, Elvis, 1992-1993, 2000-2001
BOX 10 Press about Ai, 1986-1987, 1994-2003, undated See also Container OV 1, Writer's Chronicle
(6 folders)
BOX 10 Printed matter
BOX 10 Clippings and articles
BOX 10 1980, 1988-1999
(3 folders)
BOX 11 2000-2010, undated
(8 folders)
BOX 11 General, 1991-2002, 2008, undated
(2 folders)
BOX 11 Recipes and nutrition information, 1988-2003, undated
(2 folders)
BOX 11 September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001, 2001-2002
BOX 11 University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.
BOX 11 Employment discrimination charge, 1996-1998
BOX 12 Employment discrimination charge, 1996-1998
BOX 12 General, 1996-1997
BOX 12 Visual materials
BOX 12 Album, Japanese prints, undated
BOX 12 Contact sheets and negatives, 1972-1976, 1989, undated
BOX 12 Drawings and artwork, 1993, 2011, undated
(2 folders)
BOX 12 Photographs
BOX 12 Cats, undated
BOX 12 Family, undated
BOX 13 Home, undated
BOX 13 Miscellaneous, 1972, 1979-1983, 1990-1996, 2008, undated
(2 folders)
BOX 13 Ogawa, Ai
BOX 13 Portraits, 1976, undated See also Container OV 1, Portrait of Ai
(2 folders)
BOX 13 Snapshots, undated
BOX 13 Wedding, 1976
BOX 13 With others, 1975, 1983, undated
BOX 13 Slides, 1991
BOX 13-22 Oklahoma State University File, 1973-2010
The Oklahoma State University File series focuses on Ai’s tenure as a professor of creative writing from 1999 to 2010 and her roles as vice president and president of the Native American Faculty and Staff Association (NAFSA) while at Oklahoma State University at Stillwater. The bulk of the files comprises student papers, including one digital file, written for Ai’s creative writing classes. Many of the student papers include Ai’s handwritten comments. Class assignments, course readings, and syllabi files provide insight on Ai’s approach to teaching. Also present is material pertaining to her participation as a NAFSA officer. The association was established to assist Native American students, faculty, and staff in discussing issues of concern and serve as a liaison between them and the university administration. This series includes documentation about NAFSA's scholarship program, which awarded scholarships to Native American students based on their academic performance.

Material types include correspondence, memoranda, printed email, photocopies of course readings, class assignments, syllabi, evaluations, student papers, exams, posters, newspaper clippings, printed matter, digital files, and other material.
Arranged alphabetically by name of organization, topic, or type of material. The file structure of the digital content maintained as received.
BOX 13 Class assignments, 1999, undated
BOX 13 Course readings, 1973, 2001-2002, 2008
BOX 13 Course readings, undated
(2 folders)
BOX 14 Course readings, undated
(3 folders)
BOX 14 Department of English, 1999-2010, undated See also Container OV 2, same heading
(4 folders)
BOX 14 Evaluations by students, 2003-2008, undated
(3 folders)
BOX 15 Faculty Appraisal and Development Program, 1999-2008
BOX 15 General, 1999-2010, undated See also Container OV 2, Oklahoma Women's Summit
(3 folders)
BOX 15 Graduate student exams and committees, 2000-2010, undated
(2 folders)
BOX 15 Letters of recommendation, 2000-2009, undated
BOX 15 Native American Faculty and Staff Association
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