The papers document Dave Oliphant's career. The papers consist of extensive correspondence between Oliphant and other poets as well his writings and copies of the publications produced by Prickly Pear Press. The papers also include some biographical information as well as photographs and other personal material.
Correspondence in the Oliphant Papers includes letters and e-mails from many Texas poets, among them Betty Adcock, William Barney, Charles Behlen, Jon Bracker, William Burford, Robert Burlingame, Rosemary Catacalos, Paul Foreman, Ray González, James Hoggard, Walt McDonald, Harryette Mullen, Joseph Colin Murphey, Stan Rice, Tomás Rivera, Del Marie Rogers, Richard Sale, Naomi Shihab Nye, Leon Stokesbury, Carmen Tafolla, Tino Villanueva, Seth Wade, Thomas Whitbread, Susan Wood, and David Yates. Correspondence with Chilean poets includes handwritten letters from Enrique Lihn and numerous e-mails from later generations of poets, such as Alejandro Cerda, Carlos Cortínez, Alicia Galaz, Erick Pohlhammer, Sergio Rodríguez, Francisco Véjar, and Oliver Welden. Letters and cards from Louis Zukofsky are particularly noteworthy, along with correspondence from such poets as Robert Bly, John Bricuth (pen name of John T. Irwin), Frederick Eckman, Karl Elder, Douglas Flaherty, Karl Kopp, David Ray, and Lucien Stryk.
Typescripts and manuscripts of Oliphant's own published writings form an extensive record of his career, along with works by other writers edited by him for various publications. His collaborations with composer Andrew Rudin are also represented in the archive, as are his book reviews, essays, and articles written over several decades for such magazines as The Texas Quarterly, The Texas Observer, The Texas Humanist, Texas Books in Review, Texas Highways, and The Journal of Texas Music History. The archive holds copies of all twenty-five of Oliphant's original, translated, or edited books, with some of these among the eighteen books and two tape recordings issued through his Prickly Pear Press, copies of all of which are also included in the papers.