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Collection area: Prose writing (page 1 of 3)

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Broadside Press

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

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

Coburn, Andrew

Andrew Coburn Papers, ca.1950-2015
16 boxes (24 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 936

In taut and haunting prose, Andrew Coburn left a memorable impression as both novelist and journalist. Born in Exeter, N.H., on May 1, 1932, Coburn became serious about writing while fulfilling his military duty in Germany and earning a degree at Suffolk University. After landing a position with the local newspaper, the Lawrence Eagle, he put his talents to good use. Building his career as a journalist covering organized crime during the day, he managed to spend nearly every night writing fiction until dawn. His successes on the beat earned him steady promotions all the way to editor, and he eventually founded two newspapers of his own, though fiction would be his future. Winning a Eugene Saxton Fellowship in 1965, Coburn drew upon his experiences on the streets of Lawrence to publish his first novel, The Trespassers in 1974, followed by The Babysitter in 1979, and eventually eleven other novels, a novella, and a host of short stories and essays. A master at language and dialog grounded in a strong sense of place, Coburn won both a wide readership and praise from other writers. His work has garnered nominations for the Edgar Allan Poe Award and Pushcart Prize, has been translated into 14 languages, and three of his novels have been made into films. He is married to Bernadine Casey Coburn, a former journalist and public relations expert, with whom he has one son and four daughters.

The Coburn Papers contain working drafts of Andrew Coburn’s novels and short stories, along with selected correspondence, and dozens of journals, scrapbooks, and notebooks used in his fiction. In many cases, the completeness of the collection makes it possible to follow a work from its earliest inception, often recorded as a sketch (literal or in prose), through its final iteration.

Subjects
  • Journalists--Massachusetts
  • Novelists--Massachusetts
Types of material
  • Journals
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks

Cummington School of the Arts

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

Curran, Mary Doyle, 1917-1981

Mary Doyle Curran Papers, 1917-1980
7 boxes (3.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 435
Mary Curran Doyle and dog
Mary Curran Doyle and dog

Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1917 and a graduate of Massachusetts State College, Mary Doyle Curran was an author, editor, and professor, who published her only novel, The Parish and the Hill, in 1948. Curran taught English and Irish Literature at Wellesley College, Queens College, and UMass Boston before retiring; she died in 1981.

The collection includes unpublished drafts of novels and short stories; photographs; correspondence from family and friends; publishers and literary associates such as Saul Bellow and Josephine Herbst. The Parish and the Hill, Curran’s only published novel, is today considered a classic among Irish American literature.

Subjects
  • Holyoke (Mass.)--History
  • Irish American literature
  • Irish American women--History
  • Women authors--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Bellow, Saul
  • Curran, Mary Doyle, 1917-1981
  • Halley, Anne
  • Herbst, Josephine, 1892-1969
Types of material
  • Photographs

Dalsimer, Susan

Susan Dalsimer Papers, 1969-1970
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 578
Susan Dalsimer Papers image
Steve Diamond, Ray Mungo, and Susan Dalsimer, ca.1969

Famous Long Ago launched the literary career of Raymond Mungo with a splash, but even before the book had reached the shelves, he turned to his next project. In October 1969, Mungo began planning for a memoir of his life at the Packer Corners commune. Soon entitled Total Loss Farm, the book would become a classic in the literature of the 1960s counterculture. Signing a contract in November with E.P. Dutton, he worked with a young and sympathetic editor, Susan Stern (later Susan Dalsimer).

This small, but rich collection consists of a series of letters between Raymond Mungo and his editor at E.P. Dutton, Susan Stern, regarding his ideas on writing and life. Beginning in October 1969 with editorial commentary on Famous Long Ago and Mungo’s additions, the Dalsimer Papers offer insight into the development of Total Loss Farm from concept to printed page.

Subjects
  • Bloom, Marshall, 1944-1969
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Communal living--Vermont
  • Diamond, Stephen
  • McLardy, Peter
  • Montague Farm Community (Mass.)
  • Mungo, Raymond, 1946- . Famous Long Ago
  • Mungo, Raymond, 1946- . Total Loss Farm
  • Nineteen Sixties
  • Packer Corners Community (Vt.)
  • Simon, Peter, 1947-
Contributors
  • Dalsimer, Susan
  • Mungo, Raymond, 1946-
Types of material
  • Photographs

Fried, Lewis

Lewis Fried Collection of Jack Conroy, 1969-1995
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 414

A voice of the radical working class during the Great Depression, Jack Conroy was the son of a union organizer, born and raised in the mining camps near Moberly, Mo. His novels The Disinherited (1933) and A World to Win (1935) were among the best known works of “proletarian” American fiction to appear in the 1930s.

The Conroy Collection includes a series of 24 letters from Jack Conroy to Lewis Fried, a professor of English at Kent State University and UMass PhD, along with a small number of letters by associates of Conroy, and a selection of publications associated with or including work by him. Of particular interest are Fried’s oral history interviews with Conroy (1971) and Sally Goodman (1978).

Subjects
  • Anvil
  • Bontemps, Arna Wendell, 1902-1973
  • Communists--United States
  • Depressions--1929
  • New Anvil
  • Working class authors
Contributors
  • Conroy, Jack, 1899-1990
  • Farrell, James T. (James Thomas), 1904-1979
  • Fried, Lewis Frederick, 1943-
  • Gold, Michael, 1894-1967
  • Goodman, Percival
  • Goodman, Sally
  • Snow, Walter
Types of material
  • Oral histories

Kahn, Paul S.

Paul S. Kahn Papers, 1964-2009
10 boxes (17 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 786
Paul S. Kahn Papers image
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.

Subjects
  • People with disabilities and the arts
  • People with disabilities--Civil rights
Types of material
  • Paintings (Visual works)

Kotker, Zane

Zane and Norman Kotker Papers, 1961-2014
29 boxes (32 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 948
Zane and Norman Kotker Papers image
Zane Kotker, photo taken by her husband Norman, ca. 1972

The writer Zane Kotker was born Mary Zane Hickcox in Southbury, Connecticut, in 1934. After graduating from Middlebury College (1956), Kotker led a busy life working short stints in and out of Manhattan as a secretary, researcher, writer, teacher, and editor, collaborating on the side with a friend to publish a little magazine while earning a master’s degree in history from Columbia University. In 1965, she married a fellow writer, Norman Kotker, and while raising their two children, David (born 1967) and Ariel (1969), the couple began writing in earnest. An editor at Horizon Books, Norman used his weekends to write his first book, The Holy Land in the Time of Jesus (1967), following up with two novels, Miss Rhode Island (1978) and Learning About God (1988). A stay-at-home, free-lancing mother, Zane used her “free” time for writing as well, completing her first novel by taking advantage of a babysitter on Tuesday and Friday mornings, and going on to publish five other novels, numerous short stories, and a volume of poetry. Norman Kotker died in 1999 years after first being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Zane Kotker continues to write and publish; her novella Goodnight Ladies was released in 2016.

The records of a highly productive literary couple, the Zane and Norman Kotker Papers contain manuscript drafts, notes, research materials, correspondence, and reviews. Reflecting both the co-operation and the competition connecting married writers, the collection offers insight issues ranging from the financial challenges of supporting the writing careers of two novelists to the challenges of a woman attempting to define herself professionally during the early 1970s and the publishing scene in New York City in the 1970s through 1990s. The collection also include materials related to the founding of the Well Spouse Association–Zane was a founding member of the organization created to provide a support system for individuals caring for chronically ill and/or disabled spouses–including her nonfiction writing published under the name Maggie Strong.

Subjects
  • Well Spouse Association
  • Women writers
Contributors
  • Kotker, Norman
  • Kotker, Zane

Kraus, Karl

Karl Kraus Papers, 1880-1962 (Bulk: 1930-1962)
2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 470
Karl Kraus Papers image
Karl Krauss

Known for his bitingly satirical poetry, plays, and essays, the Austrian writer Karl Kraus was born in what is today Jicin, Czech Republic. At the age of three, Kraus and his family moved to Vienna, where he remained for the rest of his life. He is best known as editor of the literary journal Die Fackel (The Torch), which he founded in 1899 and to which he was the sole contributor from 1911 until his death in 1936.

Gabriel Rosenrauch, a lawyer from Chernivtsi, Ukraine, collected materials about Kraus and his career, including newspaper articles and essays in German, Yiddish, Hebrew, English, and French written between 1914 and 1962. A few of these were written by well-known authors such as Hermann Hesse and Werner Kraft. The collection features personal photographs of Kraus from throughout his life, as well as photographs of his apartment in Vienna. Also of note are the indexes to Kraus’ journal Die Fackel that were composed by Rosenrauch, whose personal correspondence with Kraus archivist Helene Kann is part of the collection.

Subjects
  • Kokoschka, Oskar, 1886-1980
  • Kraft, Werner, 1896-1991
  • Vienna (Austria)--History--20th century
  • World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
  • Kraus, Karl, 1874-1936
  • Rosenrauch, Gabriel
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)

Lamb, Charles, 1775-1834

Rocco and Barbara Verrilli Collection of Charles Lamb, 1741-1932 (Bulk: 1798-1834)
1 box, 79 volumes (13 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 939
Rocco and Barbara Verrilli Collection of Charles Lamb image
Charles Lamb

A poet, critic, and essayist, and close friend of Coleridge and Wordsworth, Charles Lamb was a popular figure in literary circles in late Georgian Britain. Born in London in 1775, Lamb began working in the accounting office of the British East India Company at the age of seventeen. Despite struggling with mental illness in his family, he built a reputation as a writer. With an elegant, eccentric, and somewhat antiquated style, he became known first for his poetry, but soon gained notice for prose and criticism. Written with his sister Mary, Tales from Shakespeare (1808) achieved notable success, however Lamb’s fame rests primarily on the essays he wrote during the 1820s under the pseudonym Elia. Lamb died from erysipelas on Dec. 29, 1833.

From the 1960s through 2010s, Rocco and Barbara Verrilli built this extensive collection of first and early editions of Charles Lamb’s writing. Among the volumes they acquired are Lamb’s personal copy of his first publication, Poems on Various Subjects; a rare copy of his first book for children King and Queen of Hearts (1806); and a presentation copy of his best known work, Elia (1823). The twenty-five manuscript items in the collection are particularly noteworthy. Displaying a characteristic combination of charm, wit, and insight, these include a long letter to Robert Southey discussing poetry; humorous letters to his admirer John B. Dibdin; an acrostic by Lamb on the name of Sarah Thomas; and two particularly fine letters to the poet Edward Dyer, including an eye-witness account of the agricultural rebellion known as the Swing Riots.

Subjects
  • Authors, English--19th century
  • Poets--Great Britain
Contributors
  • Verrilli, Barbara
  • Verrilli, Rocco
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