Stuart Wright Collection: Henry S. Taylor Papers

1968-1990
Manuscript Collection #1169-026
Creator(s)
Taylor, Henry S. (Henry Splawn)
Physical description
0.35 Cubic Feet, 1 archival box & 1 oversized folder, 35 items, 335 p. , Stuart Wright Collection: Henry S. Taylor Papers (#1169-026) consist of edited manuscripts, loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, printed materials, proofs of published works & oversized materials.
Preferred Citation
Stuart Wright Collection: Henry S. Taylor Papers (#1169-026), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Repository
ECU Manuscript Collection
Access
No restrictions

Papers of Henry S. Taylor (1968-1990) documenting the life and literary career of the noted Lincoln, Virginia-born American poet, translator, and educator who taught literature and co-directed the creative writing at American University in Washington, DC, 1973-2003; including edited manuscripts, loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, printed materials, proofs of published works & oversized materials.


Biographical/historical information

Henry S. Taylor was born in Loudoun County, Lincoln, Virginia on June 21, 1942 to Thomas and Mary Taylor. He has three sisters - Julia, Mary, and Carolyn, sand several neices. Taylor attended the University of Virginia as a Classics major and earned a BA there (1964). He later received a MFA in Creative Writing from Hollins University (1966). He later taught literature to college students at the University of Utah (1968-1970) and was co-director and literature teacher at American University (1971-2003). He retired in 2003.

Among his more notable writings are: The Flying Change: New Poems (1985), Desperado (1979), An Afternoon of Pocket Billiards (1975), Breaking (1969), The Gardner (1961), Dear Men and Women (1966), Understanding Fiction: Poems (1996), The Bright Room (1927), and The Black Panther (1922).

His honors include two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (19786) and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1981). He also earned the Witter Bynner Foundation Poetry Prize from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1984), Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1986), and the Golden Crane Award of the Washington Chapter of the American Literary Translators Association (1989).

The collection includes references to his publications in The Hollins Critic, The Roanoke Review, Snapshots: The Literary Anecdote as Interview, Contemporary, and Poetry Pilot. There are also letters to Stuart Wright, Ann Darr, Larry Johnson, Anne Warner, and Irv Broughton. There are biographies of James Tate and John Updike, as well as poetry by John Wheelock and Thomas Milligan.

Sources: "Henry S. Taylor." Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_S._Taylor

"Henry S. Taylor." Poets.org. https://www.poets.org/print/46213

"Henry S. Taylor." Poetry Out Loud. http://www.poetryoutloud.org/poet/henry-taylor

"Henry S. Taylor." Obituary. Washington Post. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?pid=172882250\

Author: Jonathan Dembo with the assistance of Alyssa Coleman, 8/3/2016

Stuart Wright The Henry S. Taylor 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.

Author: Jonathan Dembo, 11/2/2016


Scope and arrangement

Stuart Wright Collection: Henry S. Taylor Papers, 1968-1990 (#1169-026) document the life and literary career of Henry S. [Splawn] Taylor (1942- ). The Taylor Papers are arranged in original order in 2 series consisting of Cary Addition #1 & Ludlow Addition #2. Included in the collection are edited manuscripts, loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, printed materials & proofs of published materials. The collection focuses on Crews' literary career.

Series 1: Cary Addition #1 to the Stuart Wright Collection is arranged in four sub-series: manuscript typescripts, loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, printed periodicals, and oversized proofs of published materials, 1970-1990. Most notably it includes drafts and manuscripts materials Henry S. Taylor edited for Hollins Critic (1970), it includes correspondence requesting permission to reprint Henry S. Taylor's works, and oversized proof of Letting the Darkness In: The Poetic Achievement of John Hall Wheelock (1970).

Series 2: Ludlow Addition #2 to the Stuart Wright Collection is consists of a single sub-series: loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, 1968-1989. Most notably it includes an autographed copy of a biographical sketch of Henry S. Taylor by George Garrett and correspondence between Taylor and Stuart Wright on submitting poetry for publication.

Note to Researchers: Series 1, 2: Loose Manuscript Items 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 Henry S. Taylor. They include notes and bookmarks inserted by Taylor, 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 #123B.026).


Administrative information
Custodial History

27 October 2011, (Cary Addition #1), 0.175 cubic feet; 0.5 archival box & 1 oversized folder; 17 items; 163 p. Papers (1981-1982) documenting the life and literary career of Henry S. [Splawn] Taylor (1942- ), the noted American poet, translator, and educator, including edited manuscripts, loose manuscripts transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, printed materials & proofs of published materials. Vendor: Stuart Wright

20 July 2012, (Ludlow Addition #2), 0.175 cubic feet; 0.5 archival box; 18 items; 172 p. Papers (1971-1989) documenting the life and literary career of Henry S. [Splawn] Taylor (1942-), the noted American poet and educator, including manuscripts, loose manuscripts transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection. Vendor: Stuart Wright

Source of acquisition

Purchased from Stuart Wright, 10/27/2011, 7/20/2012

Processing information

Processing, Preliminary inventory & Container list by Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Nathaniel King & Ryan Schmidtke, 3/4/2014, 11/25/2015, 3/17/2016, 8/3/2016, 11/1/2016; Finding aid by Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Nathaniel King, 11/25/2015, 3/17/2016, 9/8/2016; Inventory revised by Jonathan Dembo, 11/24/2015, 3/17/2016, 10/6/2016; Biographical sketch by Alyssa Coleman, 8/3/2016; Encoded by Jonathan Dembo, 01/10/2017.

Copyright notice

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


Language of material

English

Related material

Henry Taylor Papers, 1960-2000. Special Collections, Wyndham Robertson Library, Hollins University, Roanoke, VA USA


Container list
Box 1 Folder a Hollins Critic, Hollins College, VA, Henry Taylor, Editor. Drafts & Manuscripts (Oct. 1970) Edited typescripts. 10 items. 40 p. ; Note : See also proof of "Letting the Darkness In" by Henry Taylor [FILED OVERSIZED #1169-026.os1] ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #156A.000
Box 1 Folder b Poetry Points of Departure, by Henry Taylor (c. 1974) Note : 1) Oxford University Press, Inc. receipt #26333 to Henry Taylor for permission to reprint "The Fury of Aerial Bombardment" from Collected Poems by Richard Eberhart in a paperbound textbook entitled Points of Departure, by Henry Taylor (17 October 1972 ; Paid 2 July 1974) Printed form ; Winthrop Publishers, Inc. Permissions Department, New York, NY with compliments slip requesting opinion on Poetry : Points of Departure (26 April 1974) Printed form. 2 items. 2 p. ; Source : Cary Addition Box #123B.026
Box 1 Folder c Contemporara, Vol. 1, no. 6 (May / Aug. 1971) Periodical. 2 items. 100 p. ; Note : 2 copies ; Includes poem "De Gustibus Ain't What It Used to Be", by Henry Taylor (p. 45) ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #157.000
Box 1 Folder d Poetry Pilot, Published by the Academy of American Poets (Jan. 1991) Periodical & AN. 2 items. 17 p. ; Note : Attached AN : "Lookit Ole Henry on page 8" ; reference to a photograph of Henry Taylor with William Jay Smith dated 1 Nov. 1990 ; Source : Cary Addition Box #157.000
Folder os1 Letting the Darkness In : The Poetic Achievement of John Hall Wheelock, Hollins Critic (Oct. 1970) Corrected Galley Proof. 1 item. 4 p. ; Note : See also file #1169.26.1.a ; Source : Cary Addition Box #156A.000
Box 1 Folder e Flying Change, The : New Poems, by Henry Taylor ; Henry Taylor, Lincoln, VA, Letter to Robert Penn Warren conveying typescript of poems (5 Nov. 1984) Typescript & TLS, Postcard, Envelope. Loose-leaf bound. 2 items. 67 p. ; Note : Source : Ludlow Addition Box #164.007
Box 1 Folder f Gift of the Prodigal, The : Poems, by Henry Taylor [worksheets in notebook] (ca. 1985) Typescript. 1 item. 59 p. ; Note : Source : Ludlow Addition Box #164.007
Box 1 Folder g Snapshots : The Literary Anecdote as Interview, by Henry Taylor [worksheets in notebook] (ca. 1985) Typescript. 1 item. 19 p. ; Note : Source : Ludlow Addition Box #164.007
Box 1 Folder h Afternoon of Pocket Billiards, An, by Henry Taylor (© 1975) Note : 1 copy autographed "George Garrett" on p. 201 Henry Taylor Biographical Sketch, by George Garrett ; Autographed "George Garrett" on p. 327 [1979] pp. 322-328. 1 item. 4 p. ; 2) University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT Review copy slip for An Afternoon of Pocket Billiards (ca. Oct. 1975) Printed form. 1 item. 1 p. ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #164.023
Box 1 Folder i Afternoon of Pocket Billiards, An, by Henry Taylor (© 1975) Note : 1) Desperado, by Henry Taylor, Unicorn Folded Broadside Series, Series 1, No. 8 ; Greensboro, NC ; Unicorn Press (© 1979) 1 item. 6 p. ; 2) Inscribed by Henry Taylor to Stuart Wright on title page ; #31 of 200 copies printed ; hand-made by Alan Brilliant ; Henry Taylor, Lincoln, VA. Letter to Stuart Wright enclosing check for Poison Pen (3 March 1986) TLS. 1 item. 1 p. ; 3) Henry Taylor, Lincoln, VA. Letter to Stuart Wright agreeing to write a piece on George Garrett's poetry for Texas Review ; expressing gratitude for Wright's contribution to the Bulletin of Bibliography ; "troubled by the diminishing market for 'appreciative essays' ; lack of women on your "TR" list (15 Sept. 1988) TLS. 1 item. 1 p. ; 4) Henry Taylor, Lincoln, VA. Letter to Stuart Wright enclosing copy of published poem (2 Feb. 1989) TLS. 1 item. 1 p. ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #164.026
Box 1 Folder j Breakings, by Henry Taylor (© 1971) Note : 1) Henry Taylor, McLean, VA. Notes on upcoming readings at Chapel Hill and Carolina Wesleyan (16, 17 Oct. [1971]) ALS. 1 item. 1 p. ; 2) Solo Press, San Luis Obispo, CA. Advertisement for Breakings, with comment by Brewster Ghiselin (ca. 1971) Broadside. 1 item. 1 p. ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #164.041
Box 1 Folder k Flying Change, The, by Henry Taylor (© 1985) Note : 1) "Henry Taylor Biographical Sketch, by George Garrett ; autographed "George Garrett" on p. 327 (© 1980) , pp. 321-328. Clipping. 1 item. 4 p. ; 2-3) Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, LA. Review Copy Order Invoice 2240069 for Flying Changes [sic] (16 Jan. 1986) Printed form & 2 Carbon copies. 2 items. 3 p. ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #164.027
Box 1 Folder l Hollins Critic, The. Vol. 7, no. 5 (Dec. 1970) Note : 1) The Hollins Critic Subscription Order Form (ca. 1971) Business Reply Envelope. 1 item. 2 p. ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #164.031
Box 1 Folder m Roanoke Review, Vol. 1, no. 2 (Spring 1968) Note : 1) "For permission to produce The Three Graces, write Thomas R. Atkins . . . or Henry Taylor . . . Hollins College, VA" [1968] Printed slip. 1 item. 1 p. ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #164.044
Box 1 Folder n Water of Light, The, edited by Henry Taylor (© 1976) Note : 1) Stuart Wright Post-it note : "Also signed by Dickey, Eberhart, Lytle, Nemerov, Squires, Stafford, P. Taylor" (ca. 1976) AN. 1 item. 1 p. ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #164.040