River Styx: Liberating the Spoken Word




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  • In the late 1960s a new and active literary scene began in St. Louis, with young poets and musicians getting together informally to perform their own works and works by others. Michael Castro, Jan Garden Castro and others began the River Styx Poets radio show on listener‐supported KDNA‐FM, which ran from 1969‐72. Then in 1975, the Castros co-founded River Styx magazine and started to produce regular public poetry readings at a local restaurant, Duff’s, in the Central West End, which hosted these events until it closed in 2014. Washington University Libraries’ holds three important archives that directly document these activities: the River Styx Archive, the Jan Garden Castro Papers and the Michael Castro Papers. Together these collections contain 947 audio recordings of literary readings, musical performances and artist interviews. Also available are over 3,000 digital images of brochures, announcements, correspondence, schedules, flyers, press releases, clippings, and other supporting documentation, from the aforementioned collections and the Duff’s Restaurant Literary Events Collection.
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