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Drafts of published and unpublished short stories and poems comprise the bulk of this collection.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 thatillustrate the growth of her own family in Minnesota and Massachusetts offer a visual representation of her remarkable professional and pesonal life.
The collection is open for research.
Background on Anne Halley
Anne Halley was born Ute Marianne Elisabeth Halle in Bremerhaven, Germany on November 9, 1928 to Dr. Maxwell Halle and Dr. Margarethe Kohlhepp Halle. Growing up during the Holocaust, Anne's family was briefly divided after her father, who was Jewish and forbidden to practice medicine, relocated to the U.S. with her older brother in 1936. Her mother followed a year later leaving Anne and her twin sister, Renate, under the protection of a Lutheran aunt who enrolled them in the school where she taught. In 1938, after her parents achieved certification to practice medicine in America, Anne and Renate joined the family and together they settled in Orlean, New York.
Halley graduated from Wellesley in 1949 and went on to attend the University of Minnesota Minneapolis where she earned her Masters in English in 1951 and where she also met her future husband, Jules Chametzky. The two married in 1953 and moved to Amherst, Massachusetts in 1958 after Chametzky was offered a position at the University of Massachusetts. Over the next five decades the couple traveled extensivley and returned to Germany on teaching stints, but their permanent residence remained in Amherst and it is there they raised their three sons: Matthew, Robert, and Peter.
Halley's career as a teacher and writer began at the University of Minnesota where she worked as a teaching assistant. In Massachusetts, she taught at both UMass and Smith College as a part-time instructor and visiting lecturer, as well as at Holyoke Community College as an Assistant Professor. She was first formally recognized for her writing when she received the Wing Poetry Prize at Wellesley College in 1948. Halley went on to receive various awards for both poetry and short stories, garnering the Longview Foundation Award for Distinguished Writing in 1961, the O. Henry Prize in 1976, the Massachusetts Artist Foundation Fellowship for poetry in 1980, and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship for her Story "Kaiser's Horses" in 1982.
Anne Halley published three collections of poetry: Between Wars & Other Poems (1965), The Bearded Mother (1979) and Rumors of the Turning Wheel (2003). Her first work, Between Wars, was originally published by the Gehenna Press of Northampton and went through three editions. Halley also translated Deutschland üeber Alles by German satirist Kurt Tucholsky. From 1977 to 2002, she served as the poetry editor of The Massachusetts Review. Anne Halley died from complications of multiple myeloma in 2004 at the age of 75.
Anne Halley was widely recognized as an accomplished poet and author of short stories, and the heart of her collection centers around the numerous drafts and other materials related to her published and unpublished works. From reviews of her three collections of poems to typescript drafts of her short stories, poems, and book reviews, Halley's papers provide a complete picture of how she composed her works as well as how they were critically received.
Even though Halley was actively engaged in writing and teaching throughout her entire life, the collection also reflects the value she placed on family. Indeed, it is clear from the many letters and photographs included that Halley's life was divided between work and family, and that she placed as much emphasis on the one as the other. Family photographs extend as far back as a photograph album belonging to her mother (1917), with the bulk of the photos featuring the development of her own family from the birth of her three sons through their graduation from college.
As a noted feminist poet it is no surprise that Halley was involved with women's issues in her own community. Her work at a women's shelter in Northampton demonstrates her commitment to equality and social justice while also providing an insider's view into the functioning of a local organization.
Acquired from Jules Chametzky, 2005.
Processed by Mary Fahey, August 2009.
For materials related to the Anne Halley Papers, see:
Cite as: Anne Halley Papers (MS 628). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.