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Works by Charles Olson

This lists the more current publications of Olson’s works, including the collected editions. For a sense of the original order of publication, refer to the chronology. More detailed information on Olson’s original publications can be found in Butterick’s notes to the Maximus, collected and supplementary poems, in Allen’s and Friedlander’s notes to the Collected Prose; and see Mauds bibliography in the Selected Letters.


Selected Writings. Edited by Robert Creeley. New York: W W Norton & Co., 2nd edition, 1997.

Originally published in 1966; includes Mayan Letters — the only source now in print — and the “dance drama” Apollonius of Tyana.

A Charles Olson Reader. Edited by Ralph Maud. Manchester, UK: Carcanet Press, 2005.

With an introduction and extensive annotations; illustrated.


The Maximus Poems. Edited by George F. Butterick. Berkeley / Los Angeles / London: University of California Press, 1983.

The Collected Poems of Charles Olson, excluding the Maximus Poems. Edited by George F. Butterick. Berkeley / Los Angeles / London: University of California Press, 1987.

A Nation of Nothing But Poetry: Supplementary Poems. Edited by George F. Butterick. Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1989.

Material that Butterick considered publishable but did not include in Collected Poems.

Selected Poems. Edited by Robert Creeley. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.


The Special View of History. Edited by Ann Charters. Berkeley: Oyez Press, 1970.

Collected Prose. Edited by Donald Allen and Benjamin Friedlander. Berkeley / Los Angeles / London: University of California Press, 1997.

Includes Call Me Ishmael.


Pleistocene Man: Letters from Charles Olson to John Clarke during October 1965. Buffalo: The Institute for Further Studies, 1968.

“Volume 0” of A Curriculum for the Study of the Soul.

Charles Olson & Ezra Pound: An Encounter at St Elizabeths. Edited by Catherine Seelye. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1975.

Charles Olson and Robert Creeley The Complete Correspondence. 10 volumes. Edited by George F. Butterick (1-8), Richard Blevins (9 & 10). Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press, 1980-1996.

Charles Olson & Cid Corman: Complete Correspondence 1950-1964. In two volumes, edited by George Evans. Orono, Maine: National Poetry Foundations, 1987, 1991.

Includes Olson’s letters published in Letters for Origin 1950-1956(1970)

In Love, In Sorrow: The Complete Correspondence of Charles Olson and Edward Dahlberg. Edited by Paul Christensen. New York: Paragon House, 1990.

Maximus to Gloucester The Letters & Poems of Charles Olson to the Editor of the Gloucester Daily Times, 1962-1969. Edited and with an introduction by Peter Anastas; foreword by Gerrit Lansing. Gloucester, Mass: Ten Pound Island Book Company, 1992.

Charles Olson & Francis Boldereff: A Modern Correspondence. Edited by Ralph Maud and Sharon Thesen. Middletown, Conn: Wesleyan University Press, 1999.

Selected Letters. Edited by Ralph Maud. Berkeley/Los Angeles/London: University of California Press, 2000.

Poet to PublisherCharles Olson’s Correspondence with Donald Allen. Edited by Ralph Maud. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2003.


The Fiery Hunt and Other Plays. Bolinas: Four Seasons Foundation, 1977.

Lectures and Interviews

Muthologos: The Collected Lectures & Interviews. Volumes I and II. Edited by George F. Butterick. San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1977, 1978.


OLSON: The Journal of the Charles Olson Archives. Edited by George F. Butterick. Storrs: University of Connecticut Library. 10 issues 1974-1978. Copies available from the library.

About Charles Olson

Olson/Melville: A Study in Affinity by Ann Charters. Berkeley: Oyez Press, 1968.

Charles Olson in Connecticut by Charles Boer. Chicago: The Swallow Press, 1975.

A Guide to the Maximus Poems of Charles Olson by George F. Butterick. Berkeley / Los Angeles / London: University of California Press, 1978.

Editing The Maximus Poems: Supplementary Notes by George F. Butterick. Storrs: University of Connecticut Library, 1983.

Charles Olson: The Critical Reception, 1941-1983, A Bibliographic Guide by William McPheron. New York / London: Garland Publishing, 1986.

Charles Olson: The Allegory of a Poet’s Life by Tom Clark. 2nd ed., paperback. Berkeley, Ca.: North Atlantic Books, 2000.

Originally published in 1991, Clark’s work has been criticised by Olson associates and scholars for its heavy-handed psychological interpretation. See, for example, detailed responses in Minutes of the Charles Olson Society # 1, 12, 26, 29, 38 and 43.

Minutes of the Charles Olson Society edited by Ralph Maud. Vancouver, B.C.: Charles Olson Literary Society, 61 issues 1993-.

Charles Olson’s Reading: A Biography by Ralph Maud. Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1996.

What Does Not Change: The Significance of Charles Olson’s “The Kingfishers” by Ralph Maud. Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1998.