Poetry at Beinecke Library

New Exhibition: By Hand

Posted in Uncategorized by beineckepoetry on January 22, 2013


By Hand: A Celebration of the Manuscript Collections of Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

January 18 – April 29, 2013

By Hand celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript with an exploration of its manuscript collections.  The exhibition begins where the Yale College Library collection of early manuscripts began, with a mirror of humanity, a copy of the Speculum humanae salvationis given by Elihu Yale.  It ends with the manuscripts and drafts of “Miracle of the Black Leg,” a poem written by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey while she was a research fellow at the Beinecke Library in 2009.

Manuscript, from the Latin term “by hand,” derives from the ablative case:  locational, instrumental, situated always in relation to something or someone else.  Like the term, this exhibition explores the reflections of humanity in the Beinecke’s manuscript collections, presenting them as markers of the social contracts of love, creativity, need, power, that bind us into historical record even as they bind us to one another.

The exhibition ranges across the Beinecke Library manuscript collections, in an extraordinary display of the Library’s manuscript holdings, from papyri of the 2nd century A.D. through working drafts by contemporary poets, from manuscripts in the original Yale Library to recent additions to the collections. On view are manuscripts, notes, and proof copies of works by Langston Hughes, Rachel Carson, Edith Wharton, Zora Neale Hurston, Terry Tempest Williams, James Joyce, F. T. Marinetti, Goethe, and others; the Voynich Manuscript, the Vinland Map, the Lewis and Clark expedition map and journals, the Martellus map; the last paragraphs of Thoreau’s manuscript of Walden; letters, postcards, poetry, and notes by Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Georgia O’Keeffe, Franz Kafka, Mark Twain, Erica Jong, and others;  early manuscripts from a tenth-century Byzantine prayer roll, a fragment of lyric verse on papyri, the Rothschild Canticles, a fourteenth-century ivory writing tablet, and the first illuminated medieval manuscript known in a North American collection.

Celebrating 2012

Posted in Uncategorized by beineckepoetry on December 24, 2012

Congratulations to the many scholars conducting new research in the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters and the Yale Collection of American Literature in 2012. Information about some of this year’s most exciting projects can be found at the following links.

Carl Van Vechten and the Harlem Renaissance: A Portrait in Black and White by Emily Bernard

“Gertrude Gertrude Stein Stein: What are the Questions?” by Joan Retallack

All We Know: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen

“The ‘Librarian’s Dream-Prince’: Carl Van Vechten and America’s Modernist Cultural Archives Industry,” by Kirsten MacLeod

1917, Impossible Year by Wendy Moffat

On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson By William Souder

Saul Steinberg: A Biography By Deirdre Bair

The Suppressed Memoirs of Mabel Dodge Luhan: Sex, Syphilis, and Psychoanalysis in the Making of Modern American Culture, Edited by Lois Palken Rudnick

Documenting Abyssinia: Imperial Ethiopia and African-American Literature byNadia Nurhussein

“History and Ordinary Womanhood” by Teresa Barnes

Delmore Schwartz’s ‘International Consciousness’ by Alexander Runchman

“Radical Reading Practices in the Archives of H.D. and Gertrude Stein: A New Approach to Autobiography” by Zoe Mercer-Golden, Yale Class of 2013

My Dear Governess: The Letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann Edited by Irene Goldman-Price

The American H. D., by Annette Debo

“Making a Cosmiconcept: The Negotiation of Authority in Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Visual Art and Writing” by Zoe Mercer-Golden, Yale Class of 2013

A Curious Peril: H.D. and Late Modernism, by Lara Vetter

“(Re)Storing Happiness: Toward an Ecopoetic Reading of H.D.’s The Sword Went Out to Sea (Synthesis of a Dream), by Delia Alton,”  by Cynthia Hogue

Thornton Wilder: A Life By Penelope Niven

“Lost in the Zoo: The Art of Charles Sebree” by Rachel Kempf, Yale College Class of 2013

“Providing Context: Schervee & Bushong Group Portrait Photograph of Sigmund Freud and Participants in the Psychology, Pedagogy and School Hygiene Conference at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, September 1909” by Matthew Mason

“John Hersey’s Yale Education” by Zara Kessler, Yale College Class of 2012

“Quite a Story to Tell: The Laughs and Loves of Mary Welsh,” Katherine Fein, Yale College Class of 2014

“Placing Joseph Bruchac: Native Literary Networks and Cultural Transmission in the Contemporary Northeast” by Christine M. Delucia

Welcome Giamatti Fellow Nadia Nurhussein

Posted in Uncategorized by beineckepoetry on October 1, 2012

Welcome A. Bartlett Giamatti Fellow Nadia Nurhussein, University of Massachusetts, Boston. Fellowship project: Documenting Abyssinia: Imperial Ethiopia and African-American Literature.

Nadia Nurhussein is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she has taught since 2005. She received her PhD in English in 2004 from UC Berkeley and, from 2004 to 2005, was a Visiting Assistant Professor and Postdoctoral Fellow in the English department at Mount Holyoke College. Her research focuses on African-American literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially poetry. Her first book, Rhetorics of Literacy: The Cultivation of American Dialect Poetry, is forthcoming from The Ohio State University Press in 2013. As a Beinecke Fellow, she will pursue research on a second book project about the idea of Ethiopia in African-American literature.

Rudyard Kipling: 3 Days Only

Posted in Uncategorized by beineckepoetry on June 1, 2012
Rudyard Kipling: 3 Days Only

Friday, June 1 – Monday, June 4, 2012
Unique opportunity to view treasures from the Beinecke collection. Yale’s Kipling holdings are the most complete in the world and include a number of rare items. The Richards Collection of Rudyard Kipling at the Beinecke Library was assembled and donated by David Alan Richards ’67, Law ’72. On view:

  • “Kim” – original edition with very rare dust jacket
  • “The Second Jungle Book” – original edition with very rare dust jacket
  • “If” – one of two known copies of first separate edition, perhaps most widely memorized poem in the English language
  • Objects crafted with images of “The Absent-Minded Beggar,” the poem Kipling wrote in 1899 to raise funds for families of soldiers fighting in the Boer WarKipling Collection at the Beinecke Library

Weclome H. D. Fellow Lara Vetter

Posted in Uncategorized by beineckepoetry on April 18, 2012

Welcome 2012 recipient of the H.D. Fellowship in  American literature,  Lara Vetter, University of North Carolina. Fellowship project: A Curious Peril: H.D. and Late Modernism

Lara Vetter is Associate Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she teaches modernism, poetry, American literature, and literary theory.  She is author of Modernist Writings and Religio-scientific Discourse: H.D., Loy, and Toomer, a monograph in Rachel Blau DuPlessis’s “Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics” series at Palgrave (2010).  She has co-edited both a collection of essays—Approaches to Teaching H.D.’s Poetry and Prose (MLA Press, 2011)—and a scholarly edition—Emily Dickinson’s Correspondences: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry (University of Virginia Rotunda Press, 2008).  She serves as co-chair of the H.D. International Society, and her articles have appeared in the Journal of Modern Literature, Genre, and Literary and Linguistic Computing.  She is currently at work on a book about H.D. and late modernism.

Remembering Shakespeare: What Was His True Identity?

Posted in Uncategorized by beineckepoetry on February 26, 2012

By Kathryn James and David Kastan; from T he Huffington Post

Shakespeare has always seemed too good to be true–or, for some, too good to be Shakespeare. The known biographical facts about the glover’s son from the small midland English market town of Stratford-upon-Avon frustrate our desire for a robust biography of the author of the works that have become, as Arthur Murphy wrote in 1753, “a lay bible.”

In 1794, a cache of documents came to light which offered to solve many of the mysteries that surrounded the life of England’s “demi-god,” including his own handwritten “Profession of Faith,” a letter to his wife-to-be Anne Hathaway (“Anna Hatherrewaye”), a catalogue of Shakespeare’s library, a deed appointing his actor friend John Heminges executor of his estate, specifying that should his plays be again republished, they be so from his “true writtenn Playes” rather than published “from those now printed,” and even a letter from Queen Elizabeth expressing her thanks for the “prettye Verses” he had sent her. The following year, continued searching turned up a manuscript of King Lear and a “small fragment” of Hamlet (Hamblette). The papers were publicly displayed and then published later in 1795 (dated 1796) in a large volume entitled Miscellaneous Papers and Legal Instruments under the Hand and Seal of William Shakespeare, and soon news circulated that even more papers existed, including manuscripts of Julius Caesar, Richard II, and two hither-to unknown plays: Henry II and Vortigern.

Understandably, the new discoveries created a furor of excitement. “How happy am I to have lived to the present day of discovery of this glorious treasure,” wrote James Boswell, the friend and biographer of Samuel Johnson. “I shall now go to my grave in peace.” And though sadly soon he would indeed go to his grave, quickly he must have been turning over in it. Everything was a forgery.

William Henry Ireland, the 19-year-old son of an engraver and art and antique dealer, had faked it all, beginning with a forged mortgage agreement between Shakespeare and Heminges, which he had written on a piece of old parchment he had taken from the records of the law office in which he worked.

In a sense it is amazing the young Ireland knew to forge so much and convince so many. But all-too-quickly the fraud was revealed. On 31 March 1796, Shakespearean scholar Edmond Malone published an exhaustive study of the documents, An Inquiry into the Authenticity of Certain Miscellaneous Papers and Legal Instruments, declaring them fakes, and though Ireland mounted an impassioned defense, Malone’s evidence was irrefutable, and Ireland eventually confessed the forgery.

What is perhaps most significant about this odd episode is not that it was attempted but that so many educated people were taken in by it. Once exposed, it seemed an obvious enough fake: the use of words not yet in use, reference to the Globe Theatre before it was built, and signatures that didn’t correspond at all to known examples (leading Ireland to claim, for example, that there were two actors named John Heminges).

But the desire for information about Shakespeare made people eager to believe, especially information that showed him intimate with aristocrats, even royalty. The known biography of the middle class man from the English midlands, who had come to London as an actor, seemed for many inadequate to explain the genius of England’s “demi-god.” Ireland sought to fill these gaps with his own inventions (nor would he be the last to do so); others would take another tack: suggesting that someone other than Shakespeare wrote the plays. Since the early nineteenth century, thousands of articles and books have been written arguing against Shakespeare’s authorship of the poems and plays, many by respected writers and thinkers convinced that “the man from Stratford” was incapable of it. It is an interesting list of doubters: “I can think of little else,” writes James Shapiro, “that unites Henry James and Malcolm X, Sigmund Freud and Charlie Chaplin, Helen Keller and Orson Welles, or Mark Twain and Sir Derek Jacobi.”

But what this all proves–the work of the forgers, the passion of the doubters, and the efforts of scholars for the last three hundred years–is that Shakespeare matters to us. We want to solve the mystery of his genius. In an exhibition, Remembering Shakespeare, on view at Yale’s Beinecke Library until June 4, the story of that desire is memorably told in books, objects, and pictures, from the earliest editions of Shakespeare and the handwritten evidence of his first readers, to the later Shakespeare editions that have spread the plays across the entire world and the non-literary evidence of their extraordinary impact. And all of it is real.

David Scott Kastan and Kathryn James are the authors of Remembering Shakespeare [Yale University Press, $25.00], and the curators of the accompanying exhibit.

Publication Studio New Haven

Posted in Uncategorized by beineckepoetry on November 10, 2011

Publication Studio comes to the Elm City to redefine the social life of the book.

A One-week Residency in the Coop Center for Creativity
November 14 – 19, 2011

Publication Studio, founded in Portland, Oregon in 2009, is an experiment in sustainable publication that has branched into six independent sibling studios around North America. They print and bind on demand, creating original books quickly with writers and artists they admire. They attend to the social life of the book, cultivating a public that cares and
is engaged.


196 College Street, New Haven, CT
Hours: 11:00 – 6:00 MTWTF (NOV 14-18); 12-5 SAT (NOV 19)

Demonstrations (open to the public)(refreshments served)
MONDAY, NOV 14 5:00 – 6:00
TUESDAY, NOV 15 5:00 – 6:00
WEDNESDAY, NOV 16 5:00 – 6:00
THURSDAY, NOV 17 1:00 – 2:00
FRIDAY, NOV 18 12:00 – 1:00

Rebinding Party
SATURDAY, NOV 19 12:00 – 5:00
“Five Buck Book Binding Blow-Out”!
Bring in your old, falling-apart paperbacks
or a book whose cover doesn’t suit you,
and get it rebound into a sturdy manila
bound edition. $5/rebind.

Matthew Stadler, founder of Publication Studio
“The Ends of the Book: Authors, Readers, Public Spaces”
Thursday, November 17, 4:00 – 5:30.
Location: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
121 Wall Street, New Haven, CT
Free and open to the public

Diana Balmori, internationally renowned landscape and
urban designer, speaking at the launch of Publication
Studio’s facsimile edition of her Moleskin Diaries.
Friday, November 18: 6:00 – 7:30
Location: 196 College Street, New Haven, CT
Free and open to the public.
Seating is limited, so please arrive early.

Co-sponsored by ArtSpace New Haven and
the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
in conjunction with the ArtSpace exhibition
“Library Science”.

Poetry Reading: Pulitzer Prize Winner Rae Armantrout

Posted in Uncategorized by beineckepoetry on August 23, 2011

Rae Armantrout, Poetry Reading
Wednesday, September 14th, 4:00 pm
Beinecke Library, 121 Wall Street
Yale Collection of American Literature Reading Series
Contact: nancy.kuhl@yale.edu

Rae Armantrout in the author of numerous books of poetry, including: Versed (Wesleyan University Press, 2009), winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize  for poetry; Next Life, (2007), a New York Times notable book of 2007; Up to Speed (2004); Veil: New and Selected Poems (2001); Made To Seem (1995); and The Invention of Hunger (1979). Armantrout is also the author of a memoir, True (1998). She has taught writing for nearly twenty years at the University of California, San Diego.

Muriel Rukeyser Recordings Now Available

Posted in Uncategorized by beineckepoetry on May 31, 2011

Recordings of readings by the poet Muriel Rukeyser from the Lee Anderson Papers (YCAL MSS 402) are now available on the digital audio archive PennSound: Muriel Rukeyser at PennSound. These newly-restored and digitized recordings are made available as part of the Yale Collection of American Literature’s ongoing collaboration with PennSound to make sound recordings in the Lee Anderson Papers (YCAL MSS 402) available online.

Other recordings from the Anderson Papers are also available at the following links: Robert Duncan: http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Duncan.php#Lee-Anderson; Stanley Burnshaw: http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Burnshaw.php. Additional recordings will be made available in the future. For more information visit the following sites: the Lee Anderson Papers (YCAL MSS 402): http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.andersonl; about PennSound: http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/about.php.

Image: Rukeyser’s signature on a letter to Ezra Pound, from the Ezra Pound Papers.

Discovering E. M. Forster’s Secret Lives

Posted in Uncategorized by beineckepoetry on March 24, 2011

Wendy Moffat discusses her new biography of E. M. Forster

Using photographs, images of holograph letters, and other evidence, Wendy Moffat will explore a few puzzles she had to solve in writing her biography of the British novelist E. M. Forster. A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster won the Biographers’ Club Prize, was selected as an ALA Stonewall Honor Book and a New York Times’ Top 10 for 2010. If you’re interested in biography, history of sexuality, archives, social history, or literature, this talk is for you.

Wendy Moffat is a Professor of English at Dickinson College, and she earned her Ph.D. in English literature from Yale University. She was a visiting fellow at Beinecke in 2007.

Friday, March 25, 2011 4:00 PM
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (BRBL)
121 Wall St., New Haven, CT 06511
(Location is wheelchair accessible)

Open To General Public
Free Admission

Contact Information:
Beinecke Library