SCUA

Collection area: Poetry (page 1 of 4)

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Abramson, Doris E.

Doris E. Abramson Papers
ca.1930-2007
(25 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 127
Image of Doris Abramson
Doris Abramson

After earning her masters degree from Smith College in 1951, Doris Abramson (class of 1949) returned to UMass in 1953 to become instructor in the English Department, remaining at her alma mater through a long and productive career. An historian of theatre and poet, she was a founding member of the Speech Department, Theatre Department, and the Massachusetts Review. In 1959, a Danforth grant helped Abramson pursue doctoral work at Columbia. Published in 1969, her dissertation, Negro Playwrights in the American Theatre, 1925-1969, was a pioneering work in the field. After her retirement, she and her partner of more than 40 years, Dorothy Johnson, ran the Common Reader Bookshop in New Salem.

An extensive collection covering her entire career, Abramson’s papers are a valuable record of the performing arts at UMass, her research on African American playwrights, her teaching and directing, and many other topics relating to her diverse interests in literature and the arts.

Gift of Dorothy Johnson, Apr. 2008
Subjects
  • African-American theater
  • Poets--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Theater
Contributors
  • Abramson, Doris E.

Aczel, Tamas

Tamas Aczel Papers
ca.1950-1994
18 boxes (26 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 031

Born on Dec. 1, 1921, to a middle class family, Tamas Aczel became affiliated with leftist politics in Hungary prior to the Second World War, joining the Party after. With degrees in literature from Peter Pazmany University (BA 1948) and Eotvos Lorent University (MA 1950), Aczel quickly established a reputation as a literary talent, publishing seven novels and winning the Kossuth Prize (1949) and Stalin Prize for Literature (1952). During this period, he became disenchanted with the Communist government and during the short-lived rebellion in 1956, he served as press secretary for Prime Minister Imre Nagy. When Nagy was deposed, Aczel escaped through Yugoslavia to Austria and then England. In 1966, he was invited to teach modern European literature at UMass, where he became Director of the MFA program (1978-1982). Aczel died in 1994, leaving his wife Olga A. Gyarmati (an Olympic gold medalist in the long jump, 1948) and son Thomas.

The Aczel collection consists primarily of numerous drafts of several novels, including The Hunt (1990), Illuminations (1981), and Ice Age (1965), along with other writing, translations, some student essays, and autobiographical material. Some material is in Hungarian.

Subjects
  • Authors--Massachusetts
  • Poets--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
Contributors
  • Aczel, Tamas

Agha, Shahid Ali, 1949-

Shahid Ali Agha Collection
1972-1979
2 vols. (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 636

A poet and translator of Kashmiri descent, Agha Shahid was raised in a household where poetry was recited in Persian, Urdu, Hindi, and English. Born in New Delhi on February 4, 1949, he was educated at the University of Kashmir, Srinagar, and University of Delhi, earning earned a doctorate in English from Pennsylvania State University in 1984 and an MFA from the University of Arizona in 1985. The author of nine volumes of poetry, and widely anthologized, Ali was on faculty in the MFA Program at University of Massachusetts Amherst, when he died of brain cancer in December, 2001.

This small collection contains copies of Ali’s first two books, Bone-Sculpture (1972) and In Memory of Begum Akhtar (1979), a self-produced chapbook, and a rough manuscript of poems. All are inscribed to his colleague and friend Zabelle Stodola.

Subjects
  • Poets--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
Contributors
  • Agha, Shahid Ali, 1949-

Alspach, Russell K. (Russell King), 1901-

Russell K. Alspach Papers
1950-1978
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 025

Russel K. Alspach earned his PhD in 1932 from the University of Pennsylvania where he taught English from 1924-1942. After four years of service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he spent eighteen years as head of the Department of English at West Point Military Academy before retiring in 1965 with the rank of Brigadier General. A specialist in Irish literature with wide ranging interests running from William Butler Yeats to Percy Blythe Shelley and William Faulkner, Alspach published prolifically throughout his career. He took a post-retirement appointment at UMass in 1966, but hardly retired, eventually becoming Head of the Department of English, and teaching until his final retirement and death in 1980.

The Alspach Papers consist of professional correspondence, drafts of writing, and reviews written by Russell K. Alspach. The small collection includes grant applications and notes for Alspach’s Yeats Study Series, as well as a 3.75 inch monographic recording of readings and music by unidentified artists. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives is also home to the Alspach Yeats Collection of rare books.

Gift of Russell K. Alspach, 1999
Subjects
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
  • Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939
Contributors
  • Alspach, Russell K. (Russell King), 1901-

Broadside Press

Broadside Press Collection
1965-1984
1 box, 110 vols. (3.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 571
Image of Broadside 6
Broadside 6

A significant African American poet of the generation of the 1960s, Dudley Randall was an even more significant publisher of emerging African American poets and writers. Publishing works by important writers from Gwendolyn Brooks to Haki Madhubuti, Alice Walker, Etheridge Knight, Audre Lorde, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, and Sonia Sanchez, his Broadside Press in Detroit became an important contributor to the Black Arts Movement.

The Broadside Press Collection includes approximately 200 titles published by Randall’s press during its first decade of operation, the period of its most profound cultural influence. The printed works are divided into five series, Broadside poets (including chapbooks, books of poetry, and posters), anthologies, children’s books, the Broadside Critics Series (works of literary criticism by African American authors), and the Broadsides Series. . The collection also includes a selection of items used in promoting Broadside Press publications, including a broken run of the irregularly published Broadside News, press releases, catalogs, and fliers and advertising cards.

Gift of the Friends of the W.E.B. Du Bois Libraries, Aug. 2008
Subjects
  • African American poets
  • African American writers
  • Black Arts Movement
  • Poetry
Contributors
  • Broadside Press
  • Brooks, Gwendolyn, 1917-2000
  • Emanuel, James A
  • Giovanni, Nikki
  • Knight, Etheridge
  • Madhubuti, Haki R., 1942-
  • Randall, Dudley, 1914-
  • Sanchez, Sonia, 1934-
Types of material
  • Broadsides
  • Ephemera
  • Posters

Clark, David R.

David R. Clark Papers
1950-1990
19 boxes (28.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 183

A scholar of Yeats and long-time professor of English at UMass Amherst, David Ridgley Clark was born in Seymour, Conn., in Sept. 1920, the son of a school superintendent. A convinced Quaker, Clark was part of a pacifist Ashram in Harlem in 1941 and became a conscientious objector during the Second World War, working as an orderly at a mental hospital in Concord, N.H., and as a forest fire fighter in Oregon as part of his alternative service. When he returned to civilian life, he worked his way through Wesleyan University, receiving his BA in 1947, before earning a MA at Yale in 1950 and doctorate in 1955 for a study of William Butler Yeats and the Theatre of desolate reality. Beginning at UMass while still in graduate school, Clark quickly became a key member of a rising contingent in the humanities. Along with Sidney Kaplan, Jules Chametzky, and Leon Stein, he was instrumental in founding the University of Massachusetts Press, as well as the Massachusetts Review, and he was credited with starting a program with the National Association of Educational Broadcasting that brought major poets to read their work on the radio. In the late 1970s, he served as chair of the English Department and helped to organize the Five College Irish Studies Program. After his retirement from UMass in 1985, Clark taught briefly at Williams College and served as chair of English at St. Mary’s College from 1985-87. He settled in Sequim, Wash., after his full retirement, where he died on Jan. 11, 2010.

The Clark Papers document the research and professional life of an influential member of the English faculty at UMass Amherst. The collection contains a particularly rich assemblage of Clark’s notes and writings on W.B. Yeats, but includes materials relating to his efforts in building the English program and, to a lesser degree, the UMass Press and Massachusetts Review.

Subjects
  • Massachusetts Review
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
  • Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939

Codey, Regina

Regina Codey Papers
1936-1978
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 314

Letters to Regina Codey, writer and chair of English department at Bennett Junior College. Two typescript poems by Robert Francis (“White Sunday Morning” and “Tit for Tat”). Biographical materials about Regina Codey and news clippings about Robert Francis.

Subjects
  • Poetry--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Codey, Regina
  • Francis, Robert, 1901-1987

Cummington School of the Arts

Cummington School of the Arts Records
1908-1993
30 boxes (45 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 891
Image of Poster, ca.1925
Poster, ca.1925

In 1923, Katherine Frazier established the Playhouse-in-the-Hills as a venue for theatrical performances in the small Berkshire County town of Cummington, Mass. Frazier’s vision, however, soon led her to expand the project into the Cummington School of the Arts (later the Cummington Community of the Arts), which she envisioned as “an environment congenial to creative activity.” Over its seventy years of operation, the School emphasized creative collaboration across the fine arts, offering not only performances, but summer residencies and six-week courses where writers, artists, performers, and musicians could study and practice under the guidance of visiting artists. Among its noted alumni were luminaries such as Helen Frankenthaler, Willem de Kooning, Diane Arbus, Marianne Moore, and Archibald Macleish, and the school was a starting point for Harry Duncan’s renowned Cummington Press. The increasing financial challenges facing not-for-profit organizations led a cessation of operations in about 1993.

The records of the Cummington School of the Arts offer a cross-sectional view of the School across its years of operation. In addition to a very small selection of personal material from Katherine Frazier, the collection includes valuable correspondence and ephemera relating to the school’s philosophy and founding, and nearly a third of the collection consists of records of students, often including their applications, comments on the work accomplished in Cummington, and occasionally, copies of work produced. The balance of the collection consists of many of the school’s publications, administrative materials (including curricula and planning documents), and financial and fundraising materials.

Transferred from Springfield Museums through Margaret Humberston, Dec. 2015

DeFrees, Madeline

Madeline De Frees Papers
1951-1988
13 boxes (6 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 051

After receiving her MA from the University of Oregon in 1951, Madeline De Frees embarked on a career teaching English and writing to students ranging in age from elementary school to college (University of Montana, Seattle University). Joining the faculty at UMass Amherst in 1979, she served as Director of the MFA program in Creative Writing from 1980 to 1983, retiring in 1985.

The DeFrees Papers are a collection of personal and professional correspondence, poems and other writings, interviews and photographs. Biographical materials, financial records, and interviews comprise the remainder of the collection.

Subjects
  • Poets--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • De Frees, Madeline
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English

Francis, Robert, 1901-1987

Robert Francis Papers
1891-1988
17 boxes (8.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 403
Image 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.)--History
  • Poetry--Publishing
  • Poets--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Press
Contributors
  • Brown, Rosellen
  • Ciardi, John, 1916-
  • De Vries, Peter
  • Fitts, Dudley, 1903-
  • Francis, Robert, 1901-1987
  • Hall, Donald, 1928-
  • Humphries, Rolfe
  • Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972
  • Moss, Howard, 1922-
  • Shawn, Ted, 1891-1972
  • Theroux, Paul
  • Wilbur, Richard, 1921-
Types of material
  • Audiotapes
  • Phonograph records
  • Photographs
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