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Archive of Felix Dennis

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These papers comprise the literary archive of Felix Dennis, and contain drafts (including the draft of the unpublished Better than Sex), proofs, correspondence, and newspaper clippings relating to Felix Dennis's poetry books. The papers also include correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and merchandise relating to the poetry reading tours that Felix Dennis embarked upon to promote the publication of A Glass Half Full, Lone Wolf, Tales from the Woods, Homeless In My Heart, and Love, of a Kind.

Dates

  • 1996-2014

Extent

16.5 linear metres (137 physical shelfmarks; 36 digital shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Conditions Governing Access

Some material is closed.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Felix Dennis 1 or MS. Felix Dennis digital 1].
Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MS. Felix Dennis 1-137; MS. Felix Dennis digital 1-36

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15181

Abstract

Literary archive of Felix Dennis (1947-2014), magazine publisher and poet.

Biographical / Historical

Felix Dennis (1947-2014), magazine publisher and poet, was born in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. Dennis began his career as a publisher in 1974, when he published the niche magazine Kung-Fu Monthly. Four years later, however, he shifted his attention to computer magazines by purchasing Personal Computer World: a change that would make his fortune.

Dennis fell critically ill in September 1999, and was hospitalized. It was at this time that he was inspired to write his first poem. Two years later his first publication, entitled A Glass Half Full, hit the shelves. Nine more poetry publications would follow, including Do What the F**k I Say, which was published under the pseudonym Sebastian Melmoth II.

Dennis promoted his poetry with tours around the UK and the US. In order to lure the audience to his readings Dennis gave these tours the apt title "Did I mention the Free Wine?". The poetry readings were popular, with people frequently unable to obtain tickets or enter the overcrowded venues.

Dennis kept writing poetry until shortly before his death from throat cancer in 2014.

For full biographical details, see entry for Dennis, Felix (1947–2014), magazine publisher and poet, in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Arrangement

As far as possible, the archive has been arranged by publication in chronologial order.

The archive has been arranged in the following series: the unpublished Better Than Sex, 2000; A Glass Half Full, 2001-2005; How to Get Rich, n.d. [Feb 2003?]; Lone Wolf, 2003-2005; When Jack Sued Jill: Nursery Rhymes for Modern Times, 2003-2010; Island of Dreams, 2005-2009; Homeless In My Heart, 2000-2009; Tales from the Woods, 2001-2013; New Words in Classic Guise, 2011-2012; Love, of a Kind, 2012-2014; This Is The Way Of The World, 2013-2014; Do What The F**k I Say, 2012-2014; I Just Stepped Out, 2013-2014. Lastly, Miscellaneous, 1996-2014, comprises material that is not related to one particular publication.

In most cases the publication based series are subdivided as follows: drafts and proofs, correspondence, publicity and poetry tour.

Custodial History

The archive was previously held by the estate of Felix Dennis.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Archive of Felix Dennis was bequeathed to the Bodleian Libraries by Felix Dennis, 2018.

Related Materials

V&A Theatre and Performance Collections
  1. THM/497 - Felix Dennis OZ Magazine Archive, 1960-2014.

Bibliography

  • Jason Kersten, Did I mention the free wine?: madness, mayhem & the muse: on tour with Felix Dennis (London, 2013).
Title
Catalogue of the Archive of Felix Dennis
Status
Published
Author
Finding aid prepared by Marjolein Platjee
Date
2020
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Edition statement
This is the first edition of the catalogue. Further materials will be added at a later date.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Contact:
Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom