Power Couples in the Archives, Pt. 1: Etel Adnan and Simone Fattal

Lebanese-American philosopher, poet, essayist, and visual artist Etel Adnan met her partner, Syrian painter, sculptor, and translator, Simone Fattal in Beirut in the 1970s. The couple moved to Sausalito, California in 1977, and in 1982, Fattal founded the Post-Apollo Press to publish Adnan’s poem, “From A to Z,” and an English translation of Adnan’s award-winning novel about the Lebanese civil war, “Sitte Marie Rose.” The Bancroft Library holds Adnan’s papers and the Press’ records. There is overlap between the two collections, and it made sense to process them at the same time.

The Post-Apollo Press specializes in works of experimental poetry, prose, and translation and is an influential part of the Bay Area literary scene. A few of the many renowned poets published by the press include Anne-Marie Albiach, Barbara Guest, Lyn Hejinian, and Leslie Scalapino. The Post-Apollo Press records are one of many feminist press collections held by The Bancroft Library.

Adnan and Fattal currently reside in Paris. You can see an exhibit of 15 new paintings from the 93-year-old Adnan at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art until January 6, 2019:

The Etel Adnan papers (BANC MSS 2018/206) and the Post-Apollo Press records (BANC MSS 2001/101 c) are both open for research at The Bancroft Library. Both collections contain correspondence with prominent 20th and 21st Century artists and writers, as well as manuscript materials, and ephemera from art and literary events throughout the world.

Etel Adnan papers: http://oskicat.berkeley.edu/record=b24620423~S1

Post-Apollo Press records: http://oskicat.berkeley.edu/record=b16207195~S6

— Marjorie Bryer