Collecting area: Poetry

Patterson, Charles H.

Charles H. Patterson Papers

1930-1958
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: FS 089
Depiction of Charles H. Patterson.<br />Photo by Frank A. Waugh, 1926
Charles H. Patterson.
Photo by Frank A. Waugh, 1926

For many years, Charles H. Patterson served as head of the Department of Language and Literature at Massachusetts Agricultural College. Born in Smithsonville, Ont., in 1863, Patterson received both a BA (1887) and MA (1893) from Tufts University before launching his teaching career. He joined the faculty at MAC as an assistant professor of English, in 1916, after 13 years at West Virginia University. A former professional actor, he taught courses in modern literature, with a particular interest in drama, and served as department chair for nearly a decade before his sudden death in 1933.

The Patterson Papers contain a small selection of correspondence and notes on English composition and literature as taught at Massachusetts Agricultural College. Most noteworthy, perhaps, is a draft of Patterson’s unpublished book, The Amazing Boucicault.

Subjects

Boucicault, Dion, 1820-1890Drama--Study and teachingMassachusetts Agricultural College--FacultyMassachusetts Agricultural College. Department of English

Contributors

Patterson, Charles H
Peck Family

Peck-Sisson-White Family Papers

1772-1975 Bulk: 1830-1875
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 933

Perez Peck (1786-1876) and Asa Sisson (1815-1893) of the village of Anthony (Coventry), R.I., were innovative machinists and manufacturers of cotton looms. Active members of the Society of Friends, they were supporters of the antislavery struggle and sent their children to the Friends Boarding School in Providence, R.I.

Although the Peck-Sisson-White family collection spans three families and three generations, the bulk of material is concentrated on the lives of Asa Sisson and his wife Mary Ann (Peck) and their daughter Emily, who married Willis H. White, with an emphasis on their poetry and their time at the Friends Boarding School in Providence, R.I. The family also copied verse from other writers, including works from George Miller (not otherwise identified) extracting Anthony Benezet and “Remarks on encouraging slavery” and a “lamentation over New England” which touches on the execution of early Quakers in Massachusetts Bay.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

Antislavery movements--Rhode IslandDeath--PoetryFriends Boarding School (Providence, R.I.)Quakers--Rhode Island

Contributors

Peck, Perez, 1786-1876Sisson, Asa, 1815-1893Sisson, Mary Ann, 1816-1882White, Emily Sisson, 1856-1945

Types of material

DiariesPoetry
Ramsey, Martha, 1954-

Martha Ramsey Papers

ca. 1930-2018
17 boxes 24.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1054

Martha Ramsey is the author of Where I Stopped, a memoir of rape in adolescence, and Blood Stories, a book of poems. Ramsey grew up in Flemington, New Jersey, a farming community 65 miles southwest of New York City. She had unusually creative, bohemian-minded, arts-oriented parents; her father was a pioneering jazz historian; both became alcoholics. She was a precociously intelligent child and was skipped two grades at her local elementary school; she escaped from the resulting loneliness and social insecurity into books and nature. She was happier as a day student at Solebury School, a progressive high school nearby in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. On a summer day in 1968, at age 13, while she was walking her bike up a back road near her home, she was attacked and raped by a 28-year-old man, a stranger. She insisted that her parents call the police immediately, “so it won’t happen to anyone else.” Her parents soon heard from neighbors that before Martha, the rapist had “molested other girls.” She endured a confrontation with him at the police barracks and giving testimony at the trial that resulted in his conviction and sentence of 15 years. Five years later she also endured the shock of learning on a visit home from college that he had, while released on parole, sexually assaulted and murdered a 16-year-old girl near the girl’s family’s farm, on the anniversary of the rape. This time he was sentenced to life. Where I Stopped, written when Ramsey was in her thirties, tells this story in detail and follows her attempts to understand what had happened to her and how it was affecting her over the years as she grew into adulthood, pursued her calling as a poet, and married. The memoir also chronicles her decision to return to the place where she grew up to speak with people who remembered the crime and who had participated in the trial and to unearth the police and trial records—all part of her effort to come to terms with what she remembered.

A powerful collection documenting the writing of her memoir, Where I Stopped, Ramsey’s papers include audio recordings of statements she and others made to the police shortly after her rape; a transcript of the trial; Ramsey’s notes from interviews she conducted with individuals who remembered the crime; and drafts of her memoir, containing comments from early readers and material cut from the final version. Ramsey’s unpublished writings, journals, and correspondence document her intellectual and emotional life from her teenage years forward, including the drafts of all her published and unpublished poems. Family papers focus on the author’s father, Frederic Ramsey, a noted jazz historian; they include correspondence, photographs, and the unpublished autobiography of Ethel Ramsey (1884–1965)—textile designer, painter, and participant in the artists’ colony in New Hope, Pennsylvania—that contains acerbic discussion of the struggles of women artists in the late nineteenth century and later.

Subjects

AuthorsNew Hope (Pa.)Rape victims--United States--BiographyRape--United States--Case StudiesWomen artistsWomen authors
Rand, Frank Prentice, 1889-

Frank Prentice Rand Papers

1905-1976
5 boxes 2.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 083
Depiction of Frank Prentice Rand
Frank Prentice Rand

Playwright, poet, historian, student theater director and professor of English, University of Massachusetts.

Correspondence, speeches, lectures, drafts of writings, reviews, publicity material, programs and playbills, scrapbooks, grade books (1917-1959), newsclippings, memorabilia, and other papers, relating to Rand’s teaching career, his writing of poetry, plays, and history, and his activities, as a dramatic coach and director. Includes material relating to the dedication of Rand Theater.

Connect to another siteListen to oral history with Rand's wife:
Oral history, part 1
Oral history, part 2

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of History

Contributors

Rand, Frank Prentice, 1889-

Types of material

Oral historiesScrapbooks
Russo, Carl

Carl Russo Collection

2005-2011
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 970

An attorney from Northampton, Mass., Carl Russo was a co-founder of the Florence Poets Society in 2004 with his friend Tom “Twilite” Clark. Born in Watervliet, NY, Russo worked as a social worker for several years after graduating from the University of Buffalo in 1967. Moving to Massachusetts to take a position with the Veterans Administration, he left social work for the law, earning his degree at Western New England College and setting up practice in Northampton. Creative and community-minded, he was a member of the city’s Arts Council and produced shows for Northampton Community Television and co-hosted a radio show on Valley Free Radio, in addition to writing poetry and supporting other local writers. Russo passed away in October 2012 at the age of 63.

The Russo Collection consists of drafts of Russo’s poetry, his poetry notebooks, and scattered ephemera from the Florence Poets Society.

Gift of Rich Puchalsky, 2017

Subjects

Florence Poets SocietyPoets--Massachusetts
Stevens, Wallace, 1879-1955

Wallace Stevens Collection

1804-1973 Bulk: 1930-1954
1 box, 35 vols. 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 365

The modernist poet Wallace Stevens produced some of the century’s most challenging works while employed as an attorney in Hartford, Connecticut. A native of Reading, Pa., Stevens attended Harvard as an undergraduate but left in 1900 before completing his degree. He later earned a law degree at New York School of Law. Working in insurance law but still intent on becoming a writer, he did not publish his first book of poetry until he was 44 years old. Over the last thirty years of his life, he became one of the most revered contemporary poets in the country. Stevens died of cancer in 1955.

Touching on poetry, criticism, and books, the collection consists primarily of letters received by the poet Wallace Stevens along with 35 annotated volumes from his personal library. Among the correspondents represented are Charles Tomlinson, Jean Wahl, Conrad Aiken, and the art collector and Stevens’ close friend Henry Church; there are also retained copies of three letters from Stevens: two regarding an honorary degree at Harvard, and one to Tomlinson declining to respond to Tomlinson’s analysis of “The comedian as the letter C.” The books included in the collection have annotations or inscriptions to or by Stevens.

Subjects

Poets--Connecticut

Contributors

Stevens, Wallace, 1879-1955
Taylor, Katya Sabaroff

Katya Sabaroff Taylor Papers

1959-2015
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 871
Depiction of Katya Sabaroff Taylor, 2015
Katya Sabaroff Taylor, 2015

Earning a B.A. in Literature from Antioch College and an M.A. in Education from Columbia University, Katya Sabaroff Taylor has worked as a journalist and editor, health educator, women’s studies instructor, massage therapist, yoga teacher and workshop facilitator. In 1980 she founded Creative Arts and Healing workshops, classes, and retreats to nurture the link between creativity and the healing process.

The collection features a wide range of Taylor’s work, reflecting her life-long love of writing and teaching. Her poetry, essays, and fiction are included along with her memoirs and personal accounts, the collected writings of several classes of prison inmates enrolled in Taylor’s creative writing workshops, and the recollections of former members of the Liberation News Service.

Subjects

DiaristsLiberation News Service (New York, N.Y.)Prison educatorsWomen authors

Types of material

EssaysMemoirsPoemsShort stories
University of Massachusetts Literary Society

University of Massachusetts Literary Society Collection

1953-1959
6 boxes 2.75 linear feet
Call no.: RG 40/3 L4

In 1955, the Literary Society of the University of Massachusetts and Professor H. Leland Varley received a grant of $5,800 from the Educational Television and Radio Center to produce a series of one-hour radio programs centered on a discussion of the impact of eight major American novelists from a European perspective. The subjects included Henry James, Sinclair Lewis, Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, and John Steinbeck (who replaced the original choice, John Marquand).

The collection is comprised of administrative documents, transcripts, and sound recordings relating to the Literary Society radio program, ‘As others see us.’ Moderated by a member of the UMass Department of English, each broadcast featured discussions by distinguished literary critics such as W.H. Auden, R.P. Blackmur, Perry Miller, Maxwell Geismar, and Renato Poggioli. Dos Passos, Faulkner, and Steinbeck participated in person. Also included is a related item from an earlier program sponsored by the Literary Society: E.E. Cummings reading Twelve Poems.

Subjects

Authors, AmericanNovelists, AmericanPoets--United States

Contributors

Auden, W. H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973Bailey, Robeson, 1906-Barron, LeoneBlackmur, R. P. (Richard P.), 1904-1965Coindreau, Maurice EdgarCollins, Carvel Emerson, 1912-Cowie, Alexander, 1896-1978Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970Faulkner, William, 1897-1962Fenton, CharlesGeismar, Maxwell David, 1909-Girard, Rene, 1923-Goldberg, Maxwell Henry, 1907-Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961James, Henry, 1843-1916Klarmann, Adolf D. (Adolf Donald), 1904-1975Koehler, StanleyLevin, Harry, 1912-1994Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951Lohner, EdgarMagny, Claude-Edmonde, 1913-1966Miller, Perry, 1905-1963Niedeck, Arthur E.Peyre, Henri, 1901-Poggioli, Renato, 1907-1963Rudin, Seymour, 1922-Savage, Richard C.Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968Varley, H. LelandWolfe, Thomas, 1900-1938

Types of material

Sound recordings
Western New England Poetry Collection

Western New England Poetry Collection

1977-2008
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 561
Depiction of Silkworm, 2007
Silkworm, 2007

Since 2004, the Florence Poets Society has been a hub of the poetry communities in Western Massachusetts, promoting the sharing, reading, and publication of works by its members. The group has sponsored outdoor poetry festivals, poetry slams, and readings and it has encouraged publication of poetry through its annual review, The Silkworm, and through chapbooks of its members

Established in partnership with Rich Puchalsky and the Florence Poets Society, the Western New England Poetry Collection constitutes an effort to document the vibrant poetry communities in Western New England. The collection includes all forms of poetry, from the written to the spoken word, in all formats, but with a particular emphasis upon locally produced and often difficult to find chapbooks, small press books, unpublished works, and limited run periodicals. The collection is not limited to members of the Florence Poets Society, and additions from poets in Western New England are eagerly welcomed.

Subjects

Poetry--New England

Contributors

Florence Poets SocietyPuchalsky, Rich
WFCR (Radio station : Amherst, Mass.)

WFCR Radio Broadcast Collection

1954-1987 Bulk: 1964-1987
308 boxes 462 linear feet
Call no.: MS 741
Depiction of WFCR studio
WFCR studio

The first public radio station in western New England, WFCR Five College Radio has provided a mix of high quality, locally-produced and nationally syndicated programming since May 1961. In 2012, the station reached over 175,000 listeners per week, with a mix of classical and jazz music, news, and entertainment.

The WFCR Collection contains nearly 4,500 reel to reel recordings of locally-produced radio programs, reflecting over fifty years of the cultural and intellectual life of western Massachusetts. Drawing upon the talents of the faculty and students of the Five Colleges (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and UMass Amherst), the collection offers a remarkable breadth of content, ranging from public affairs to community and national news, cultural programming, children’s programming, news and current events, scholarly lectures, classical music, and jazz.

Subjects

Amherst (Mass.)Pioneer Valley (Mass.)Radio stations--Massachusetts

Contributors

WFCR (Radio station : Amherst, Mass.)

Types of material

Sound recordings