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Stuart Wright Collection: George Garrett Papers, 1957-1989, undated

(Manuscript Collection #1169-021)

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Stuart Wright Collection: George Garrett Papers
Creators: Garrett, George Palmer, 1929-2008
Wright, Stuart T., 1948-
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English; French
Abstract: Papers (1957-1989, undated) documenting the life and literary career of George Garrett, the noted American poet and novelist, consisting of loose manuscript materials transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, including correspondence and notes, photographic prints, printed forms; also manuscripts of poems by, about, or relating to George Garrett, Madison Smartt Bell, Carolyn Chute, Larry McMurtry, Ned O’Gorman, and Henry S. Taylor, in English and French language.
Extent: 0.25 Cubic feet, 1 archival box; 18 items.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

21 June 2010, 0.545 cubic feet; 1 archival box & 3 oversized folders; 49 items; 831 p. Papers (1957-1989, undated) documenting the life and literary career of George Garrett, the noted American poet and novelist, including correspondence and loose manuscripts from the Stuart Wright Book Collection by or about George Garrett. Vendor: Stuart Wright.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Stuart Wright Collection - George Garrett Papers (#1169-021) East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

Acquisition Information

  • Purchased from Stuart Wright, 6/21/2010

Processing Information

  • Preliminary inventory & Container list by Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Saundra Pinkham, & Shelby Sapp, 11/19/2010; revised 10/27/2011, 6/18/2013; Finding aid by Jonathan Dembo, 11/8/2011, revised 12/10/2012; Encoded by Jonathan Dembo, 7/6/2012; inventory revised by Jonathan Dembo, 10/9/2013.


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

George Garrett

George Palmer Garrett was born on 11 June 1929 in Orlando, Florida. He earned a B.A., M.A., and PhD from Princeton University. He taught at a number of universities, and when he retired in 1999 he was the Henry Hoyns Professor of creative writing at the University of Virginia and had held that position since 1984. Garrett was a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and served a term as chancellor of the organization from 1993-1997.

As a writer Garrett was proficient in a number of genres, including poetry, fiction, and plays. His novel Death of the Fox was part of a trilogy and his only “best seller.” He was Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2002-2004. Garrett died on 25 May 2008 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Stuart Wright

The George Garrett Papers were collected and compiled by Stuart T. Wright. Wright was born on 30 March 1948 in Roxboro, North Carolina. He was the son of Frances Critcher Wright (1919-2010) and Wallace Lyndon Wright (1921-1965). An avid reader as a boy, Wright developed a strong interest in the American Civil War and with his father toured many of the war’s battlefields searching for artifacts and studying the history of the era. At the age of 12, he won a statewide “Johnny Reb” essay contest and by the age of 15 had visited every major battlefield of the Civil War. Wright attended Roxboro High School, from which he graduated in 1966. It was during these years that he developed an interest in collecting historical books and manuscripts and began relationships with a number of local collectors and dealers.

In the fall of 1966, Wright enrolled at Wake Forest University as a pre-med, history, German and music student. Wright earned a B.A. in German and music in 1970. As a graduate student at Wake Forest University, Wright focused his studies on Southern history and literature, his ambition being to build an authoritative Southern Studies collection for the university. He received a master's degree in Southern Studies in 1973 and a second master's degree in U.S. History in 1980. Additionally Wright holds a professional degree from England in a medically related field. It was while studying there that he became interested in Thomas Wolfe, the noted North Carolina native and novelist.

Following his graduation from Wake Forest, Wright began to develop his collections more systematically, acquiring many first editions of Southern writers. In 1976 he began teaching at Reynolda House, a Wake Forest University affiliate dedicated to the arts and arts education. Wright taught classes in American music as well as human anatomy for art students. In 1978 Wright became Lecturer in Education at Wake Forest University. During his 10 years teaching at Wake Forest University, Wright authored numerous works of Civil War and North Carolina history, and dozens of articles, bibliographies, essays and reviews on Southern literature and the writers whose papers he collected. In addition, he developed a strong interest in the writings of the English poet Donald Davie and the Minnesota-born poet Richard Eberhart, whose works he also collected.

At the same time, Wright also began a career as a publisher by starting Palaemon Press in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. By 1984, Palaemon Press had produced 316 titles, consisting mainly of broadsides and limited editions, of the poetry and essays of such Southern writers as A. R. Ammons, Fred Chappell, James Dickey, William Goyen, George Garrett, and Eudora Welty. He also built comprehensive collections and compiled book-length descriptive bibliographies of A.R. Ammons, Andrew Lytle, Reynolds Price, James Dickey, William Goyen, Walker Percy, Randall Jarrell, Peter Taylor, George Garrett, Richard Eberhart, and Donald Davie. As well as serving as editor of the contemporary literature section of the Bulletin of Bibliography throughout the 1980s, Wright also contributed pioneering checklists of the writings of Southern poets Henry Taylor, Charles Wright, and Robert Morgan. For Meckler Publishing he served as series editor for a number of book-length bibliographies and checklists. In recognition of these accomplishments, when he was just 32, Wright was elected to membership in New York's prestigious Grolier Club.

All of these works are represented in the Stuart Wright Collection. In his dealings with these various authors Wright made consistent efforts to acquire personal papers, letters and documents, photographs, manuscripts, drafts, proofs, and published materials to supplement his continuing activities as a purchaser of their works. In this way, Wright acquired perhaps a majority of his overall collection. Over the years a number of biographers used Wright’s collection to aid their research. For example, James A. Grimshaw, Jr. used the collection extensively for his Robert Penn Warren: A Descriptive Bibliography, 1922-1979 published by the University Press of Virginia, in 1981 and Craig S. Abbott did so as well for John Crowe Ransom: A Descriptive Bibliography, published by Whitston Publishing Company, Inc. in 1999. Joseph Blotner also used the Wright collection in researching Robert Penn Warren: A Biography, published by Random House in 1997.

Nevertheless, from the mid- to late 1980s, Wright began to look for a permanent home for his collection, which he felt had grown too large and yet had been too little used. Unable to find a repository willing to accept the entire collection under suitable conditions, he sold a number of individual author collections to Vanderbilt University, Duke University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Emory University. It was not until 2010 that he reached agreement to house the remaining, and largest part of his collection at East Carolina University. The Stuart Wright Collection in the East Carolina Manuscript Collection of J.Y. Joyner Library includes 22 sub-collections of the papers of Southern American writers. The related Stuart Wright Book Collection holds several thousand volumes by or about many of the same writers. Many of these volumes contain annotations, inscriptions, and insertions that reveal much about the authors in the collection and their relationships with one another. In 1998 Wright moved to England, and since 2001 he has resided in the medieval market town of Ludlow, in Shropshire.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The George Garrett Papers are arranged in original order in one series. The series consists of loose manuscript materials transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection.

Series 1: Loose Manuscripts Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection consists of loose manuscripts including correspondence, photographic prints, manuscripts of poems, pamphlets and ephemera found laid in works in the Stuart Wright Book Collection by, about, or relating to George Garrett. From Garrett’s copy of Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry, was transferred a letter from McMurtry to Stuart Wright discussing his sale of Allen Tate’s book Mr. Pope and a receipt from Robert Penn Warren’s John Brown. From the manuscript of An Afternoon of Pocket Billiards (1975) by Henry S. Taylor, were transferred a number of typescript poems by Mr. Taylor with holograph annotations by Mr. Taylor. The loose manuscripts are linked to the book of origin by their Stuart Wright Book Collection Number (e.g. Stuart Wright Book Collection #38.04). Series one is held in Box 1.a – 1.g

Note to Researchers: Series 1: Loose Manuscripts Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection consists of items found laid in works in the Stuart Wright Book Collection by, about, associated with, or owned by George Garrett. They include notes and bookmarks inserted by Garrett, Stuart Wright, and others; also notes, cards, correspondence, clippings, advertising, reviews, ephemera, etc. relating to his published works. The loose manuscripts are linked to the books from which they came by their Stuart Wright Book Collection Number (e.g. Stuart Wright Book Collection #40.15).

Related Collections Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

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Series 1:
Typescripts, 1977-1984
  • Box 1#1169-021.1
    • Folder a#1169-021.1.a
      Radical Conservatism: The Southern Review (1935-1942), by Albert J. Montesi [Books] (Unknown: Unknown, © 1984) Photocopied typescript and note. Soft Cover spiral bound. 2 items. 131 p. Note: Condition: Good-foxing; signed by author on cover; note to RPW from author laid in; RPW's negative marginal notes throughout; photocopied typescripts; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #15-25 (9/24/2009)
    • Folder b#1169-021.1.b
      Holy the Firm, by Annie Dillard [Books] (May 1977) Photocopy Typescripts. 1 item. 49 p. Note: Autographed on cover: "For George [Garrett] Love from Annie. Lummi Island, May 1977."
Series 2:
Loose Manuscripts Transferred From Stuart Wright Book Collection, 1957-1989
  • Box 1#1169-021.1
    • Folder c#1169-021.1.c
      Beans of Egypt, Maine, The, by Carolyn Chute [Books] (1985) Printed. 1 item. 1 p. Note: Publicity photograph of Carolyn Chute by Joannah Hawkes Bowie (ca. 1985) Black & white; Cataloged: #P-1169-021.001.c.1; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #20.1e, by Carolyn Chute [Books] (1985) Printed. 1 item. 1 p. Note: Publicity photograph of Carolyn Chute by Joannah Hawkes Bowie (ca. 1985) Black & white; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #20.1
    • Folder d#1169-021.1.d
      Poets of Today IV, by George Garrett, Thomas Holmes, and Robert Wallace [Books] (1957) 1 item. 1 p. Note: Stuart Wright note: “Author’s personal copy” (undated) Holograph; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #20.5
    • Folder e#1169-021.1.e
      Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry [Books] (1985) 2 items. 2 p. Note: Larry McMurtry, Washington, DC, Postcard to Stuart Wright, re: has sold Allen Tate's Mr. Pope (9 November 1977) Holograph; Stuart Wright’s bill from Booked Up [Bookstore], Washington, DC, for Warren’s John Brown and Tate’s Mr. Pope (12 September 1977) Printed form; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #20.10
    • Folder f#1169-021.1.f
      Horse Show at Midnight, The, by Henry S. Taylor [Books] (1966) Printed. 3 items. 3 p. Note: Poems by Henry S. Taylor, Charlottesville, VA including: A Nothing Poem to End All Nothing Poems, Query, The End of the World, & Toad (ca. 1966) Typescript; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #20.13
    • Folder g#1169-021.1.g
      Afternoon of Pocket Billiards, An, by Henry Taylor [Books] (1975) Printed. 5 items. 6 p. Note: Henry S. Taylor, Charlottesville, VA, poems, including Recueillement (after Baudelaire), Goodbye to the Goya Girl, Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer, Chapel in the Air, annotated by Taylor, and December Love Song (undated) Typescript & Mimeographed typescript; English & French language; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #20.30
    • Folder h#1169-021.1.h
      Reading of New Poems, A, by George Garrett, Ned O'Gorman, Sean O'Criadain, Robert Bagg, Patrick Creagh, Desmond O'Grady Presented in a public reading at the American Academy in Rome on May 16, 1959 [Pamphlets] (1959) Printed. 2 items. 2 p. Note: Invitation to “A Reading by American and Irish Poets” from the American Academy in Rome” (16 May [1959]) Printed, 2 copies; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #20.31
    • Folder i#1169-021.1.i
      Soldier's Joy, by Madison Smartt Bell [Books] (1989) Printed. 1 item. 1 p. Note: Caroline Sutton, Ticknor & Fields, New York, NY, Letter to George Garrett, Charlottesville, Virginia, enclosing bound galleys of Soldiers Joy for possible review (17 February 1989) TLS; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #20.41
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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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