Poetry at Beinecke Library

David Gascoyne Collection

Posted in Beinecke Collections by beineckepoetry on August 31, 2007


Several new accessions to the David Gascoyne Collection (GEN MSS 529) are now processed and available for use. The new accessions, acquired by gift and purchase from various sources, comprise a substantial literary archive documenting Gascoyne’s writings and longstanding relationship with Enitharmon Press.

The poet and translator David Emery Gascoyne was born October 10, 1916 in Harrow, England and died November 25, 2001. His early career was characterized by a precocious energy that produced two volumes of poetry (Roman Balcony and Other Poems, 1932 and Man’s Life is This Meat, 1936), a novel (Opening Day, 1933) and a critical survey (A Short Survey of Surrealism, 1935) by the time he was twenty. He became one of the leading representatives of British Surrealism and was an important liaison between French and British circles. His diaries from the late 1930s are particularly well known and provide an excellent picture of the Parisian avant-garde on the brink of the Second World War.

Gascoyne published several volumes of poetry in his early productive stage, but after 1956 he published little new poetry. His later work focused on lectures and appearances, essays, reviews, translations and the publication of his journals. His most critically acclaimed later works include Night Thoughts and The Sun at Midnight. He also had a long-standing relationship with Enitharmon Press, founded in 1967 by Alan Clodd, which resulted in numerous publications.

Gascoyne’s intense poetic sensitivity (often characterized as visionary or mystical) was tempered by severe depression and he devoted many years to recovery. It was during a stay at a hospital on the Isle of Wight that he met Judy Tyler Lewis, whom he married in 1975. He had four stepchildren.


The The David Gascoyne Collection spans most of the writer’s career, from 1945 onward. Materials in the collection include correspondence, notebooks and journals, sound recordings, original artwork, and typescripts. Gascoyne’s notebooks contain diverse writings including notes and drafts for correspondence, prose, poetic writing, and lists (which are often bibliographic). In addition to traditional literary genres, Gascoyne’s works include collections of found images and writings. (LC)

A description of the collection can be found on line: David Gascoyne Collection. Related materials in the Beinecke Collections can be found by searching the Finding Aid Database; recently acquired materials may be found in the Uncataloged Acquisitions Database. David Gascoyne’s published work can be located by searching Orbis, the library catalog.

Image: From the David Gascoyne Collection (GEN MSS 529)

Montgomery Hare Papers

Posted in Beinecke Collections by beineckepoetry on August 17, 2007

Montgomery Hare, 1911-1998, was a playwright, theater producer, and poet. Born in New York City, Hare graduated from Groton School in 1929 and from Yale University in 1933 with honors in literature.

Hare wrote and directed plays for the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia in the late 1940s, and was also active with the Parsons Theatre and the Penobscot Charitable Trust. His published books of poetry include Three Eagles (1954), To Beat the Air: Poems and Drawings (1964), and Say This of Me (1981). He also wrote novels and his memoirs.

From 1940 on, Hare lived in Cornwall, Connecticut. He was a founder and president of the Housatonic Valley Association, which worked to protect the lands and waters of the Housatonic Watershed.

The Montgomery Hare Papers consist of writings, notebooks and sketchbooks, correspondence, personal files, theater files, and audio material. The collection documents Hare’s work as a playwright, producer, and director, and his work in other literary genres. Writings include typescripts and manuscripts of Hare’s plays, poems, novels, memoirs, and other writings. Notebooks also contain manuscripts of poems, along with notes, sketches, and drawings. General correspondence includes letters to Hare from writers, friends, and acquaintances, among others, as well as some outgoing correspondence. (JM)

Books by Montgomery Hare in the Yale Libraries can be located by searching Orbis, the library catalog.

What is Close Reading?

Posted in Beinecke Collections, Poetry at Yale by beineckepoetry on August 7, 2007

The Yale English Department and the Whitney Humanities Center invite scholars and students to attend “What is Close Reading? A Symposium on Cleanth Brooks and the New Criticism” on September 29, 2007, at the Whitney Humanities Center Lecture Hall, 53 Wall Street, New Haven.

“What is Close Reading?” celebrates scholar, educator, and lecturer Cleanth Brooks. Among the most influential literary critics of the twentieth century, Brooks is credited with revolutionizing the study of poetry. Brooks was appointed professor of English at Yale University in 1947, where his courses on Faulkner became legendary. His major works include American Literature: The Makers and the Making (with Robert Penn Warren and R. W. B. Lewis) (1973), The Hidden God (1963), Literary Criticism (with William K. Wimsatt) (1957), Modern Poetry and the Tradition (1939), Understanding Fiction (with Warren) (1943), Understanding Poetry (with Warren) (1938), The Well Wrought Urn (1947), and four books on Faulkner.

The Cleanth Brooks Papers at the Beinecke Library contain correspondence, manuscripts of books, textbooks, essays, lectures, and various other shorter works, classroom material, professional papers, writings of others, and personal papers which document aspects Brooks’ life and career. The material spans the years 1927 to 1986, with the bulk falling between 1960 and 1986. Related collections at the Beinecke Library include: the Robert Penn Warren Papers and the Robert Fitzgerald Papers. Additional related materials may be located by searching the Finding Aid Database and the Uncataloged Acquisitions Database; copies of Brooks’ books in the Yale Libraries can be located by searching Orbis, the library catalog.

What is Close Reading? Symposium Schedule
September 29, 2007

Introduction: Langdon Hammer
Papers by Paul Fry, Helen Vendler, and J. Hillis Miller

Roundtable discussion with Paul Fry, Helen Vendler, J. Hillis Miller, Haun Saussy, and David Bromwich

Reception to follow

For more information contact Susan Shand and Manana Sikic.

Image: Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren about 1980