Poetry at Beinecke Library

Delmore Schwartz Papers

Posted in Announcements, Beinecke Collections, Poetry at Yale by beineckepoetry on November 19, 2009

The Yale Collection of American Literature is pleased to welcome scholars and students to consult the Delmore Schwartz Papers (YCAL MSS 334), which have recently been fully organized and described.

Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966) was a writer, editor, and teacher. In addition to his writing, he served as poetry editor of the Partisan Review and later the New Republic. He taught at Harvard University, Bennington College, Kenyon College, Princeton University, and Syracuse University. Among his published works are In Dreams Begin Responsibilities, Shenandoah, Genesis: Book I, Vaudeville for a Princess and Other Poems, Summer Knowledge: Selected Poems (1938-1958), and Successful Love and Other Stories.

In 1937, shortly after graduating from New York University, Schwartz published an acclaimed short story, “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities” in the first issue of Partisan Review. Schwartz wrote poetry, short stories and essays, criticism, and plays throughout his life but he never established himself as the writer that early praise seemed to promise. Schwartz married and divorced Gertrude Buckman and Elizabeth Pollett. Throughout his life Schwartz suffered from acute depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse. He was born and died in New York City.

The Delmore Schwartz Papers span the years 1906-1975 and include writings, notebooks, correspondence, photographs, personal papers and effects, drawings, clippings, and printed material. Writings and notebooks comprise the bulk of the papers. Writings include drafts of poems, stories, essays, reviews, criticism, lectures, and other writings. Notebooks span two decades and document Schwartz’s increasingly troubled mind and frantic writings, containing a hybrid of writing drafts and personal diary entries.

The papers also include correspondence with friends and colleagues, revealing his intimate but often troubled friendships, professional relationships, and two marriages. Personal and professional papers of Schwartz contain records of his divorce from Elizabeth Pollet, teaching files and financial materials, drawings, collected clippings, and other papers. The papers also contain photographs of Schwartz, his family and friends, and literary events. (MW)

A complete description of the collection is available online: Guide to the Delmore Schwartz Papers YCAL MSS 334 (http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.schwartz)

Image: Photograph of Delmore Schwartz

Poetry Reading: Natasha Trethewey

Posted in Uncategorized by beineckepoetry on November 8, 2009

Natasha Trethewey, Poetry Reading
Wednesday, November 18, 4:00 p.m.
Beinecke Library, 121 Wall Street
Yale Collection of American Literature Reading Series

Please join us for a reading by poet Natasha Trethewey on Wednesday, November 18, 4:00 p.m., at the Beinecke Library, 121 Wall Street.

Natasha Trethewey is the 2009 James Weldon Johnson Fellow in African American Studies at the Beinecke Library; she is the author of Domestic Work (selected by Rita Dove as the winner of the inaugural Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African American poet), Bellocq’s Ophelia, and Native Guard, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She has received awards and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. She is Professor of English at Emory University where she holds the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry.

The James Weldon Johnson Fellowship in African American Studies was established at the Beinecke Library in 2008. This fellowship is designed to permit outstanding scholars to devote a full academic term in residence at Yale University to conduct research and writing in connection with the James Weldon Johnson Collection in the Beinecke Library.

Founded in 1941 by Carl Van Vechten, the James Weldon Johnson Memorial collection stands as a memorial to Dr. James Weldon Johnson and celebrates the accomplishments of African American writers and artists, beginning with those of the Harlem Renaissance. Grace Nail Johnson contributed her husband’s papers, leading the way for gifts of papers from Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, Walter White and Poppy Cannon White, Dorothy Peterson, Chester Himes, and Langston Hughes. The collection also contains the papers of Richard Wright and Jean Toomer, as well as smaller groups of manuscripts and correspondence of such writers as Arna Bontemps, Countee Cullen, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, and Wallace Thurman.