T-Bone Slim Corpus

This project has emerged through the collaboration of a network of researchers working on the texts, images, narratives, and material objects created in the process of migration. As we have developed networks of cooperation with researchers, artists, and community activists in Finland, the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia, our research path has continually led us to the life and work of T-Bone Slim. One of the goals of this project was to create a T-Bone Slim corpus. The creation of the corpus supports the comparative research of this project and contributes to new research.

Resurrection: T-Bone Slim Corpus Is Now Open!

T-Bone Slim’s works have been located by the project’s researchers from various archives prior to and during this project, and these documents have been compiled into one corpus. The T-Bone Slim corpus is now published at the Language Bank of Finland. The corpus consists of three elements:

  1. Original scans of T-Bone Slim’s texts in PDF format
  2. Transcripts of T-Bone Slim’s texts
  3. A listing of T-Bone Slim’s texts in Excel

Together, these form a downloadable “T-Bone Slim Corpus and Database.”


In addition to the downloadable package, the corpus will be digitally available in the Language Bank of Finland’s tools, such as KORP.

Access the resource on META-SHARE: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi:lb-2022111621.

Compilation of T-Bone Slim's published and unpublished texts. Newspaper clippings and manuscripts.
A compilation of T-Bone Slim’s published and unpublished texts.

In total, the corpus consists of 1,103 published texts, 191 manuscripts and letters, and six photos that we were able to fully locate by November 2023. Together, these include approximately 810,000 words, most of which were published in 18 different publications and located from 14 different archives. One of the major shortcomings is the pamphlet “Starving Amidst Too Much,” which we have not succeeded in locating in its entirety.[i]

Additionally, 146 related documents, which we have located prior to or during the project, are listed in the database to aid researchers in locating materials related to T-Bone Slim’s life and works. These materials include, for example, documents related to his life history, such as census data and legal documents, and texts that comment on him or his works or are in some other way contextual to him. Full documentation is provided with the download.

What Is the Relevance of the T-Bone Slim Corpus?

T-Bone Slim was an exceptional person in many ways, and the surrealist wordplay and disillusioned black humor of his poems and prose reflect this uniqueness. In this project, we have explored T-Bone Slim as a key figure in the transnational poetics of the migrant left in North America, with a special focus on his multiple connections with the IWW movement, the art and literature of the migrant left, and the family and community networks related to Finnish migration to North America.

The transnational perspective challenges traditional nationalistic ways of studying immigrant culture in relation to their country of origin or their adaptation to mainstream culture in the place of settlement. T-Bone Slim’s literary profile and agency challenge the nationalistic paradigm, which has been re-evaluated by literary scholars and others. We hope that the material will be used in academic research and beyond. The T-Bone Slim Corpus provides opportunities for the development of T-Bone Slim Studies and further research projects, dissertations, and more.

[i] Excerpts of the pamphlet are available, for example, on Libcom: https://libcom.org/article/starving-amidst-too-much-t-bone-slim.