William L. Fox Papers

Identifier: 2006-15

Scope and Contents

The William L. Fox Papers consists of correspondence and research files pertaining to his many activities including writing, consulting, and interacting with writers and artists. For the most part, the collection maintains Fox’s original order. Series 1 and Series 2 include letters, both personal and business, from Fox’s circle of artist and writer friends, acquaintances, and various presses with whom he worked, and examples of their writings and/or art in the form of slides, photographs, printed materials, or manuscripts. Some correspondence files are larger with more depth and are found in Series 2.

Series 3 consists of Fox’s files concerning his consulting and arts policy work, which include correspondence, reports, planning documents, and notes. Mr. Fox’s creative endeavors are reflected in Series 4, which contains his research materials for various writing projects and books including Driving by Memory, In the Desert of Desire, The Void, The Grid & The Sign, and Driving to Mars. Series 5 contains an assortment of items from other writers and artists with varied samples of their small books, pamphlets, art exhibition catalogs, and videos. Notable among this series is a complete collection of Bill Barker’s Schwa publications. Finally, Series 6 contains research and publication information on Fox’s book Aereality.


  • 1968-2010



Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

All literary and copyrights have been retained by the donor.

Biographical Note

William L. Fox was born in 1949 in San Diego, California and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Claremont College in 1971. He is a poet, writer and artist. In addition to being an author, he has worked with arts and literary organizations as a consultant and coordinator of projects, including the Western States Arts Foundation and the Western States Book Awards. He co-founded the small press, West Coast Poetry Review, with Bruce McAllister, which specialized in publishing poetry chapbooks and experimental literature (1972-1988). Fox has been an artist-in-residence in the states of Nevada and Washington; and deputy and executive director of the Nevada Arts Council (1979-1993). He served as poetry program director for the Squaw Valley Community of Writers (1976-1984). His interest in environment and landscape has been reflected in his travels across the western United States, Antarctica, Australia, and Nepal. Mr. Fox began his writing career as a poet, but he has developed into a renowned writer of non-fiction with the publication of numerous books, essays, and articles focusing on the relationships among art, cognition, and landscape. Fox has written extensively about art and the landscape of Nevada and the Great Basin in such books as Mapping the Big Empty, In the Desert of Desire, and Playa Works: Myth of the Big Empty. In 2004, Fox was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame and has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Fox is currently Director of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada.


16.25 Linear Feet (18 boxes)

Language of Materials



William L. Fox, poet, writer and artist, has worked with arts and literary organizations, including the Western States Arts Foundation and the Western States Book Awards, co-founded the West Coast Poetry Review (a small press) with Bruce McAllister, has been an artist-in-residence in Nevada and Washington, deputy and executive director of the Nevada Arts Council (1979-1993), and served as poetry program director for the Squaw Valley Community of Writers (1976-1984). Fox was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 2004. Included are correspondence, subject files, and materials on various projects. Material between 1968-2010.


Arranged into the following series:

Series 1: General Correspondence

Series 2: Longer Correspondence and Subject Files

Series 3: Arts Policy and Consulting Files

Series 4: Working Files, Notes, and Other Creative Output

Series 5: Miscellaneous

Series 6: Book Research for Aereality

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The William L. Fox Papers were donated to the Special Collections Department by Fox in 2000, 2006, and 2014.

Related Archival Material

Related archival materials held by the UNR Special Collections Department:



Guide to the Papers of William L. Fox
Jacquelyn Sundstrand
March 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)