The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
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Collecting area: Poetry

Francis, Robert, 1901-1987

Robert Francis Papers

1891-1988
17 boxes 8.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 403
Depiction of Robert Francis, by Frank A. Waugh,<br />Nov. 1939
Robert Francis, by Frank A. Waugh,
Nov. 1939

The poet and essayist Robert Francis settled in Amherst, Mass., in 1926, three years after his graduation from Harvard, and created a literary life that stretched for the better part of half a century. An associate of Robert Frost and friend of many other writers, Francis occasionally worked as a teacher or lecturer, including a brief stint on the faculty at Mount Holyoke College, but he sustained himself largely through his writing, living simply in “Fort Juniper,” a cottage he built on Market Hill Road in North Amherst. A recipient of the Shelley Award (1939) and the Academy of American Poets award for distinguished poetic achievement (1984), Francis was a poet in residence at both Tufts (1955) and Harvard (1960) Universities. He died in Amherst in July 1987.
The Francis Papers contains both manuscript and printed materials, drafts and finished words, documenting the illustrious career of the poet. Of particular note is Francis’s correspondence with other writers, publishing houses, and readers, notably Paul Theroux. Also contains personal photographs and Francis family records and a small number of audio recordings of Francis reading his poetry. Letters from Francis to Regina Codey, 1936-1978, can be found in MS 314 along with two typescript poems by Francis.

Connect to another siteListen to interviews with Francis on Poems to a Listener", 1977-1978

Subjects

Amherst (Mass.)--HistoryPoetry--PublishingPoets--MassachusettsUniversity of Massachusetts Press

Contributors

Brown, RosellenCiardi, John, 1916-De Vries, PeterFitts, Dudley, 1903-Francis, Robert, 1901-1987Hall, Donald, 1928-Humphries, RolfeMoore, Marianne, 1887-1972Moss, Howard, 1922-Shawn, Ted, 1891-1972Theroux, PaulWilbur, Richard, 1921-

Types of material

AudiotapesPhonograph recordsPhotographs
Frederic Allen Whiting Jr. Papers

Frederic Allen Whiting Jr. Papers

1923-1978 Bulk: 1945-1977
2 2.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1230
Allen Whiting at his typewriter.
Frederic Allen Whiting at his typewriter

Frederic Allen Whiting Jr., the “Poet Laureate of Perkins Cove”, was born on January 10, 1906 in Boston Massachusetts to Olive Elizabeth Cook, a singer, and Frederic Allen Whiting Sr., a philanthropist and museum director and president of the American Federation of Arts. They moved to Cleveland in 1912 where Frederic Sr. became the director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Having a father as the director of a cultural heritage institution, exposed young Frederic to the intellectual class. He met poets, scholars, and others from the world of arts and letters including Sir Lawrence Binyon, Langdon Warner, Carl Purington Rollins, and Thomas Whitney Surette. He attended the private Hawken School in Cleveland and Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, which he referred to later as “redolent of witchcraft and Indian massacres, and compliance with chamber of commerce goals and attitudes”. He went to Harvard for two years before becoming a freelance writer.

Adopting the pen name Allen Whiting, his first foray into writing began when he wrote commentary and criticism for the Magazine of Art, the organ of the American Federation of the Arts, where he was also editor from 1931-1942. Some of his pieces for the magazine were republished in the New York Herald Tribune and The Washington Post. Under his tenure, the circulation rose and he became familiar with all aspects of magazine production and made contacts with members and chapters of the American Federation of Arts, which consisted of artists, writers, teachers, museum officials, art dealers, and officials working with U.S. government cultural projects. On one occasion in 1940, Whiting took charge of the Federation’s annual convention, which met in San Francisco. He left the magazine in May 1942 to participate in the war effort.

Whiting was appointed Chief of the Office of War Information’s Overseas Exhibit Section. Charged with developing programming and staff, Whiting aimed to project positive visual images of the United States to Europeans. He was responsible for planning and carrying through creative programming, administrative duties, and liaison work with other civilian agencies, Army & Navy administrators, business leaders, and the press. Following the end of the war, he was brought to Washington by Elmer Davis to develop an exhibit aimed at explaining to liberated Europe the demand on resources of the continuing war in the Pacific. The project was abandoned following the surrender of Japan in August of 1945.

Following the war, Whiting became a freelance writer and photo editor, wrote two novels, short stories, and non-fiction pieces on a variety of subjects, including politics, the arts, and food. He designed and produced a brochure for a New England children’s camp and was a contracted photo research and editor for the State Department.

In 1951 he was recruited to work as a civilian information specialist with the Department of the Army’s Reorientation Division for occupied areas, which was responsible for supplying materials used to re-educate the people of Japan and the Ryukyu Islands. Out of an office in New York, he supplied the U.S. Information Centers in Japan with musical recordings and other media. The job ended following the end of the U.S. occupation in December, when he resumed freelance writing and editing. He moved his parents from Florida to Ogunquit, Maine in 1952, where he became the Associate Director of the Museum of Art of Ogunquit where he assembled a Winslow Homer exhibit but was later “politely fired” by Henry Strater.

Throughout the 1950s Whiting’s wife Rose suffered from several strokes and eventually died in 1960. Whiting was also caring for his aging parents, which caused much stress and led to excessive drinking where his “control over beverage alcohol had left me behind”. His mother died in 1955. During this time he found solace in the Roman Catholic Church and was committed to the Augusta State Hospital in 1957. Whiting’s battles with alcoholism and simultaneous search for God was explored in his unpublished 1965 autobiographical novel, Minutes of the Days.

The collection contains evidence of an attempt to start an organization called The Society of Servants of Rose Hill, whose aim was to “bring to bear in a practical manner the venerable and curative offices of prayer and work upon those in particular need of them”. The goal was to create cooperatively governed outpatient retreat centers in bucolic settings for people recently released from psychiatric institutions. The mission statement stated that no one would be turned away for financial or religious reasons. There is no evidence that the organization ever came to fruition.

Whiting’s career as a published poet began in the 4th grade. He was eventually published in several magazines including Spirit: A Magazine of Poetry, The American Poetry Magazine, The Harvard Advocate, Voices, and The Cecelian. He spent much of his creative life in Ogunquit, Maine reading his work at informal gatherings of “mostly young people of creative bent, gathered in the vicinity of Perkins Cove”. In 1952 he completed his first novel, The Gift of Merlon Crag.

The collection consists of copies, drafts, published and unpublished copies of Whiting’s poetry written throughout his lifetime. The manuscript of his unpublished autobiographical novel, Minutes of the Days is also contained herein. Some biographical information, written by Whiting while planning to release Minutes of the Days, is in the collection as well.

Gift of Frederic Whiting, 2024

Subjects

Poetry

Types of material

CorrespondenceManuscripts (documents)Notes (documentsPoemsTypescripts
Restrictions: Commercial reuse is governed by Whiting's heirs. No restrictions on access
Greenbie, Barrie B.

Barrie B. Greenbie Papers

1934-1997
17 boxes 19.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 142
Depiction of Barrie Greenbie with g-frame model
Barrie Greenbie with g-frame model

Barrie Barstow Greenbie was a key member of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at UMass Amherst from 1970-1989. In a long and remarkably diverse career, Greenbie worked as an artist with the Works Progress Administration, as a soldier and journalist, as a professor of theater, an architect, inventor, author, and landscape planner. After earning a BA in drama from the University of Miami (1953), he worked for several years in the theatre program at Skidmore College. While there, he added architecture to his array of talents, designing the East 74th Street Theater in New York in 1959, and founded a company to produce a “self-erecting” building designed to substitute for summer tent theaters. Two years after joining the faculty at UMass in 1970, he completed a doctorate in urban affairs and regional planning at the University of Wisconsin and continued with a characteristically broad array of creative pursuits, designing the William Smith Clark Memorial, among other things, and conducting an extensive aerial survey of the landscapes of the Connecticut River Valley. In monographs such as Design for Diversity and Spaces: Dimensions of the Human Landscape, Greenbie examined the interactions between humans and nature. He died at his home on South Amherst in 1998.

The Greenbie Papers document a long career as academic, writer, artist, architect, and theatrical designer. Of particular note is the extensive and engrossing correspondence, which extends from Greenbie’s years as a student at the Taft School in the late 1930s through his World War II service with the Sixth Army in the South Pacific and Japan, to his tenure at UMass Amherst (1970-1989). The collection also includes a small but interesting batch of correspondence between Greenbie’s parents (1918-1919).

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional PlanningWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Greenbie, Barrie B
Halley, Anne

Anne Halley Papers

1886-2004
12 boxes 8.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 628

Writer, editor, and educator, Anne Halley was born in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1928. A child during the Holocaust, she relocated with her family to Olean, New York during the late 1930s so that her father, who was Jewish, could resume his practice of medicine. Graduating from Wellesley and the University of Minnesota, Halley married a fellow writer and educator, Jules Chametzky, in 1958. Together they raised three sons in Amherst, Massachusetts where Chametzky was a professor of English at UMass and Halley taught and wrote. It was during the late 1960s through the 1970s that she produced the first two of her three published collections of poetry. The last was published in 2003 the year before she died from complications of multiple myeloma at the age of 75.

Drafts of published and unpublished short stories and poems comprise the bulk of this collection. Letters to and from Halley, in particular those that depict her education at Wellesley and her professional life during the 1960s-1980s, make up another significant portion of her papers. Publisher’s correspondence and a draft of Halley’s afterward document the Chametzkys effort to release a new edition of Mary Doyle Curran’s book, The Parish and the Hill, for which Halley and Chametzky oversaw the literary rights. Photographs of Halley’s childhood in Germany and New York as well as later photographs that illustrate the growth of her own family in Minnesota and Massachusetts offer a visual representation of her remarkable professional and pesonal life.

Subjects

Curran, Mary Doyle, 1917-1981Jews--Germany--History--1933-1945Poets, American--20th centuryWomen authors, AmericanWomen poets, AmericanWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Chametzky, JulesHalley, Anne
Hoagland, Everett

Everett Hoagland Papers

1966-2022
4 boxes, 37 books 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 910
Everett Hoagland
Everett Hoagland at the PAWA World Poetry Conference in Accra, Ghana, 1999.

Poet Everett Hoagland was born and raised in Philadelphia and attended and graduated from Lincoln University, and later Brown University on a full fellowship for pursuing his Masters of Arts. Hoagland’s poetry came of age during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s and the Black Arts Movement, and is often powerfully political. Driven by the history, music, rhythms, and both collective and individual stories from African and African American culture and experiences, Hoagland is one of the most significant African American poets of the late twentieth century. His second chapbook, Black Velvet, was published by the pioneering Broadside Press in 1970, and he has remained widely published and anthologized through to the present day, including his most recent anthology addition, a poem about the Black Lives Matter movement. In addition to his writing, Hoagland has given readings across the nation and globe, and also served as a teacher and mentor to many, primarily in his position as a Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for over thirty years. He has won numerous awards and honors, including a 2023 American Book Award, the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry from the American Literature Association’s Society for African American Literature and Culture, the Gwendolyn Brooks Award for Fiction, two state-wide poetry competitions for Massachusetts Artists Foundation fellowships, the Distinguished Service to University award from UMass Dartmouth, two MA Local Cultural Council grants for book publications, ForeWord Magazine’s Best Poetry Book award, and the 2015 Langston Hughes Society Award. Hoagland also served, from 1994 to 1998, as the inaugural poet laureate of his adopted hometown of New Bedford, MA.

The Everett Hoagland Papers include manuscript materials and over twenty books documenting Hoagland’s decades-long career as a poet and writer on racial politics and African American experiences. They consist of photographs; performance and presentation programs, reviews, and recordings; interviews and articles; and unpublished and published writings including copies of Hoagland’s column in the New Bedford The Standard Times, a draft of his Master’s thesis, short fiction stories, a scrapbook of unpublished poetry, and poetry in magazines, periodicals, Hoagland’s authored poetry books, and numerous anthologies.

Gift of Everett Hoagland, 2016

Subjects

African American poetsAfrican American writersAfrican Americans--PoetryAmerican poetry--African American authorsBlack Arts MovementPoetry--New England--Massachusetts

Types of material

AnthologiesBooksPoems
Howes, Jeanne C., 1916-

Jeanne Howes Papers

1967-2006
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 471

Independent Melville scholar, Jeanne Howes proved that Herman Melville’s first book, Redburn, or, The Schoolmaster of Morning, was published anonymously in 1844. This collection contains her published articles and book about Melville, as well as a self-published work about Nathan and Seth Howes who were credited with creating the first American tented circus.

Also a poet, her papers include letters from Robert Francis, with whom she carried on a regular correspondence for nearly a decade, as well as unpublished typescripts of her own poems.

Subjects

Poetry

Contributors

Francis, Robert, 1901-1987Howes, Jeanne C., 1916-
Hyde, Dan

Dan Hyde Journal

1837
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 035

Little is known about Dan Hyde other than he appears to have been a resident of Ontario County, New York, during the period of the Second Great Awakening, probably in either the town of Farmington or Manchester.

This small paper-bound booklet includes some miscellaneous accounts along with three poems, “The Genesee song,” “Remember Lot’s wife,” and “Encouragement to pray.”

Subjects

Ontario County (N.Y.)--HistoryReligious poetry

Contributors

Hyde, Dan

Types of material

Poetry
Johnson, Allan G.

Allan G. Johnson Papers

ca.1964-2017
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1096

The sociologist and writer Allan Johnson dedicated his career to exploring the impact of power and privilege in the U.S. and the overarching system of patriarchy. A serious poet and writer by the time he entered Dartmouth College, Johnson pursued studies in sociology, completing his dissertation on women’s roles in Mexico City at the University of Michigan in 1972. He joined the sociology faculty at Wesleyan University, but left academia to write. He later taught at Hartford College for Women, where he wrote a series of important works, including Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy (2005), The Forest and the Trees: Sociology as Life, Practice, and Promise (1997), and Human arrangements (1986), all of which earned several new editions. His first novel, The First Thing and the Last appeared in 2010, followed by Nothing Left to Lose (2011), and a memoir, Not From Here (2011). Johnson also developed a practice as a corporate trainer and public speaker around issues of race, diversity, and women’s studies. He died at home in Canton, Conn., on December 24, 2017, of metastatic lymphoma. He was 71.

A writer from an early age, Allan Johnson left a collection reflecting his notable range and depth. The collection includes significant contributions to sociology and the study of race, class, and gender, as well published and unpublished creative work, ranging from poetry from his college years to his memoirs and novels.

Gift of Nora Jamieson, Sept.-Dec. 2019

Subjects

PoetrySociologists--Connecticut
Junkins, Donald

Donald Junkins Papers

ca. 1920-2015
13 boxes ca. 16.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 074

A poet, expert on the works of Ernest Hemingway, Robert Francis, and D.H. Lawrence, and a 1953 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Donald Junkins directed the Master of Fine Arts in English program from 1966. Junkins juggled his career as a poet with his work at the University, focusing his teaching energy on literature, not creative writing, to save his creative resources. Before turning to poetry, Junkins studied theology at Boston University School of Theology. Through meeting poet Robert Francis and taking courses with Robert Lowell, Junkins discovered his love of poetry, and his life path was forever changed. After leaving Boston University, Junkins taught creative writing at Chico State University before returning to UMass to teach.

The Donald Junkins Papers document his youth in Saugus, Mass., his experiences as a student at UMass, and his professional and creative life. The collection includes correspondence with his family throughout his life, photographs documenting his family in Eastern Mass., his records as head of the MFA in English program, and his personal and professional correspondence.

Subjects

Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961Poets--MassachusettsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--StudentsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English

Contributors

Junkins, Donald, 1931-
Kahn, Paul S.

Paul S. Kahn Papers

1964-2009
10 boxes 17 linear feet
Call no.: MS 786
Depiction of Paul Kahn
Paul Kahn

An artist, writer, and activist for the disabled, Paul S. Kahn was born on Nov. 6, 1945, into a second-generation family of Jewish immigrants in Auburndale, Mass. Early in life, Kahn rebelled against the perceived “powerlessness” of the neuromuscular disorder with which he was born, pursuing an artistic, academic, and activist life. While studying drawing, painting, and sculpture at Boston University and earning a MA in counseling at Northeastern (1982), Kahn became an activist in the independent living movement and a pioneer in advocating for personal care assistance. Living independently from 1979, he worked as staff therapist at the Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, as leader of a support group for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and as a member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Advisory Commission on Disability Policy. In 1980, Kahn met Ruth Stern, who would become his frequent collaborator and wife of 21 years. As Kahn’s physical condition weakened after 1987 and he became dependent upon a ventilator, his creative focus shifted increasingly from art to writing and editing. The last two decades of his life were remarkably productive, resulting in over twenty plays and dozens of published essays and poems, and he was the long-time editor of the newsletter Disability Issues. Kahn died on Jan. 1, 2010.

Paul Kahn’s papers are a reflection of the intensely creative life of a committed activist. The collection centers on Kahn’s literary work, including manuscripts of his plays, essays, and poetry, but it includes numerous examples of his artwork and a number of home movies and tape recordings from his childhood.

Gift of Ruth Kahn, July 2013

Subjects

People with disabilities and the artsPeople with disabilities--Civil rights

Types of material

Paintings (Visual works)