University of Texas at Austin

Paul Foreman and Thorp Springs Press:

An Inventory of Materials at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator Foreman, Paul
Title Paul Foreman Papers, 1919-1979, and the Records of Thorp Springs Press, 1967-1982
Dates: 1919-1982
Extent: 14 boxes (5.88 linear feet), 1 oversize folder (osf)
Abstract: The papers relate primarily to the publications of Thorp Springs Press, although some personal and family papers of its creator, Paul Foreman, are also present.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-4225
Language: English.
Access Open for research. Part or all of this collection is housed off-site and may require up to three business days notice for access in the Ransom Center’s Reading and Viewing Room. Please contact the Center before requesting this material:

Administrative Information

Acquisition Purchase, 1982 (R9811)
Processed by Michele Aristegui, Helen Baer, and Matthew Darby, 1998, updated by Betsy Nitsch, 2012

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Paul Foreman, a native of Granbury, Texas, and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, began his literary career in the winter of 1970 with the publication of Hyperion, a poetry journal co-edited with his wife, poet Foster Robertson, and friend Judy Hogan. In 1971, Foreman, a writer himself, founded Thorp Springs Press (TSP) in Berkeley to provide an outlet for unpublished writers. While Foreman welcomed unsolicited submissions, he sought contributions from writers he admired and respected that might otherwise never make it into print. Foreman initially focused on publishing poetry, fiction, and drama, but over time branched out to publish essays, historical correspondence, and translations. As a Texan, Foreman championed the work of Texas writers and their unique literary sensibilities.
During TSP's two decades of operation, Foreman relied upon a community of friends and acquaintances from California, Texas, and across the country. This network of authors, small press publishers, and magazine editors helped him sell TSP books to independent bookstores, advertise TSP publications, and discover new writers outside the San Francisco Bay area. Foreman's dedication to this community lead to his involvement with COSMEP, the Committee of Small Magazine Editors and Publishers, a formal organization of small presses. Foreman presided as Chair of the Committee from September 1978 to late 1979.
Foreman's biggest success as a publisher came in 1974 with the publication of The Grassman: a Novel by California writer Len Fulton. (Fulton continues to operate his own press, Dustbooks, which publishes The International Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses as well as other small press publications.) Other notable TSP titles include The New Populism by 1976 Presidential candidate Fred R. Harris, Goliah: a Utopian Essay by Jack London, Letters from the Hill Country: the Correspondence between Rebekah and Lyndon Baines Johnson, and Foreman's own Sugarland.
In 1976, Foreman made several attempts to get funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and applied to the federal government to declare TSP a non-profit organization. While the press eventually received several thousand dollars from both state and federal agencies, non-profit status was never granted.
TSP remained in Berkeley until the spring of 1978 when Foreman and family moved to Austin, Texas. In 1979, Foreman opened the Brazos Book Shop which carried mostly small press publications. In Austin, Foreman continued his involvement in the small press community, staging poetry readings, organizing workshops, and speaking about his work as a writer and small press publisher.
After publishing nearly 100 books and journals, Foreman closed the Brazos Book Shop, and TSP ceased operations during the early 1990s. Forman died on December 21, 2012.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, creative works, printed material, photographs, and legal and legal-style documentation, created and maintained by Paul Foreman in his capacity as the editor and publisher of Thorp Springs Press, document Foreman's literary publishing activities and, to a lesser extent, his personal interests and the lives of members of his family. The papers are organized in two series: Series I. Thorp Springs Press, 1967-1982 (13.5 boxes), and Series II. Foreman Family, 1919-1979 (.5 box).
The bulk of the papers consists of the operating records of Thorp Springs Press, which published novels, poetry, and two literary journals, Hyperion and Tawté. The series is organized into three subseries: A. Author Files (5 boxes), B. Creative Works (8 boxes), and C. Subject Files (.5 boxes). The creative works dominate the series and include book-length drafts in various stages of revision, typescripts, and page proofs. Manuscripts represent the work of Jon Bracker, Mark Chain, Morton Grinker, Judy Hogan, James Hoggard, Worden McDonald, Sheila Nickerson, Thomas Parkinson, Thomas Zigal, and others. Although these materials were submitted for possible publication, roughly half of the manuscripts were never published. Letters accompanying and commenting upon many of the manuscripts can be found in the author files, which consist mostly of letters but include revisions and works-in-progress. Also included in the author files are clippings, broadsides, a few contracts and photographs, and a number of letters from other persons with whom the press conducted business, such as printers, editors, and publishers. Frequent correspondents were Joseph Bruchac, Gene Fowler, Len Fulton, Judy Hogan, Gene Nelson, and Sheila Nickerson. The subject files consist of materials gathered by Foreman on topics generally ofa business, not artistic, nature.
The Foreman Family Series (1919-1979, .5 box) is organized in two subseries. Subseries A., Paul Foreman (2 folders), includes a file of clippings, creative works, and magazines reflecting Paul Foreman's personal interests. Subseries B., Other Foremans (4 folders), includes a 1919 letter from Paul Foreman's great-great aunt that traces family lineage. Other letters from Foreman's parents and siblings are routine with the exception of a file of correspondence and court records relating to the arrest of Foreman's brother Don in 1976.

Index Terms


Adams, Michael, 1945-
Almon, Bert, 1943-
Bergé, Carol, 1928-
Bracker, Jon, 1936-
Bruchac, Joseph, 1942-
Burleson, Bob, 1928-
Caen, Herb, 1916-
Carlisle, Charles R.
Chain, Mark
Christensen, Paul, 1943-
Cody, James
Cook, Geoffrey
Cord, William O.
Crews, Judson
Dauenhauer, Richard
Drake, Albert
Elder, Gary
Fericano, Paul F.
Fowler, Gene, 1931-
Fox, Hugh, 1932-
Fulton, Len
Gale, Vi
Garrett, Alexandra
Grinker, Morton
Harris, Fred R., 1930-
Harrow, Keith
Haslam, Gerald W.
Hawkins, Bobbie Louise, 1930-
Head, Thomas
Henderson, Bill, 1941-
Hirschman, Jack, 1933-
Hogan, Judy, 1937-
Hoggard, James
Hooker, John, publisher
Kopp, Karl, 1934-
Kostelanetz, Richard
LeMieux, Dotty
Luschei, Glenna
Manfred, Frederick Feikema, 1912-
Manfred, Freye
McCrorie, Edward
McDonald, Worden
Miles, Josephine, 1911-
Milosz, Czeslaw
Moser, Norman
Muro, Amado
Nathan, Leonard, 1924-
Nelson, Eugene, 1929-
Nickerson, Sheila B.
Norse, Harold
Oliphant, Dave
Parkinson, Thomas Francis, 1920-
Petty, Ryan
Ranieri, Nick
Rexroth, Kenneth, 1905-
Robertson, Foster
Rudder, Virginia L., 1941-
Rulon, Philip Reed
Savitt, Lynne
Sisson, James
Smith, Jared
Strand, Thomas, 1944-
Strongin, Lynn
Taylor, Charles B.
Tedlock, E.W. (Ernest Warnock), 1910-
Walker, Jack, 1915-
Weaver, Roger
Whitebird, J.
Winans, A.D.
Witt, Harold
Zigal, Thomas


New Directions Publishing Corp.
Thorp Springs Press


Authors, American--20th century
Foreman family
Poetry, American--20th century
Publishers--United States--20th century
Foreman family

Document Types

Criminal court records
Grant proposals
Legal documents
Publishers' catalogs

Paul Foreman and Thorp Springs Press--Folder List