Records Palaemon Press, Limited (1943-1992, [Bulk: 1977-1987], undated) documenting the history and publications of the small, Winston-Salem, North Carolina literary press, that produced small, beautiful, numbered editions of brochures, broadsides, chapbooks, & pamphlets, mainly by southern authors, owned and operated by Stuart T. Wright; consisting of correspondence with authors, printers, reviewers, and publishers; manuscript materials, loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, printed materials, proofs, and oversized materials.
Palaemon Press Limited was a small, literary publishing house, established in 1977, by Stuart T. Wright, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Its name derives from Greek mythology. Palaemon was the name of several characters from ancient Greek mythology and history, including a son of Hercules and one of the Argonauts who sought the mythic golden fleece. The word Palaemon has multiple scientific meanings: signifying both a family of insects and a genus of shrimp. Palaemon Press specialized in small, high quality, works by Southern poets and writers. By 1984, Palaemon Press had produced 316 titles, mainly poetry, but also several letters, brochures, broadsides, chapbooks, pamphlets, checks, newsletters, photography, and sheet music.
After Palaemon Press ceased operation in 1985, Stuart Wright gave many of his records to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library's Southern literary collections at Duke Library, including stories written by Fred Chappell, George Garrett, Reynolds Price, and William Styron.
Numerous poets contributed their works to Palaemon Press, including Jesse Stuart, Vassar Miller, Robert Watson, Erskine Caldwell, James Applewhite, Miller Williams, Eugene J. McCarthy, Marion Montgomery, Dave Smith, Dabney Stuart, Robert Morgan, Gibbons Ruark, Donald Davidson, Dara Wier, and Wendell Berry. Secondly, other authors were Reginald Gibbons, Kelly Cherry, Gerald Bullis, Fred Chappell, O. J. Hardison, Jr., A. R. [Archive Randolph] Ammons, Henry Taylor, James Dickey, George Garrett, and Reynolds Price.
Poets and writers Donald Davie, William Goyen, Sean Siobhan, Richard Eberhart, Robert Pen Warren, Philip Booth, Robert Pen Warren, Louis Simpson, William J. Smith, and Anthony Hecht also contributed to Palaemon. Other authors included Walker Percy (bibliographies), Heros von Borcke (books), Justin Scheibert (books), Peter Bonnette (books), Samuel Hozo (essays), Brendan Galvin (broadsides), Robert Dillard (book review), and Mary Lee Settle (speech).
Also included were materials relating to Heather Ross Miller, Richard Wilbur, Jay Meek, Mark Strand, Howard Nemerov, John Ciardi, Alfred Jarry, Barry Spacks, Anthony Hecht, Brewster Ghiselin, Robert Strand, Maxine Kumin, Robert Fitzgerald, William Alexander Percy, John Stone, William Stafford, Heather Ross Taylor, Shirley Anders, Emily Herring Wilson, and William Witherup. Stanley Kunitz, Dino Campagna, James Schuyler, Ridley Willis, John Hollander, David R. Slavitt, Howard Nemerov, Richard Wilbur, Allen Tate, Brendan Galvin, Mona Van Duyn, William Meredith, James Still, John Hollander, Louis Coxe, Joseph A. Dermont, Rosanna Warren, John Logan, and Daniel Hoffman, Barry Spacks, Karl Shapiro, John Updike, John Frederick Nims, Howard Moss, Dara Wier, D. R. Fosso, William Stafford, Wendell Barry, William Heyen, David Madden, Radcliffe Squiers, Kelly Cherry, William Meredith, James Still, John Hollander, Dana Roeser, William Arrowsmith, Howard Moss, and Karl Shapiro, Eugene J. McCarthy, Emily Herring Wilson, Patrick Creagh, Martin Fosso, Marie Bullock, Marcia Falk, and Seamus Heaney, Philip Larkin, and Adrienne Rich.
"Palaemon Press Limited/ Checklist of Works Published by Stuart Wright and Palaemon Press Limited", Rubenstein Library, Duke University, Durham, NC USA https://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/collections/palaemon
"Stuart Wright Collection, 1896-1988 (Collection Number: MSS 533) 0.63 lin. ft. ", Special Collections and University Archives, Jean and Alexander Heard Library Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN USA http://hdl.handle.net/1803/4409
"Palaemon Press (Winston-Salem, N.C.) Editorial Archive, 1974-1983 (#MS 94.16) 0.5 lin. ft.", Hay Manuscripts. Brown University, Providence, RI USA https://search.library.brown.edu/catalog/b2499606
Author: Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Alyssa Coleman, 11/2/2016
Stuart Wright collected and compiled the Palaemon Press Records. 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
Stuart Wright Collection: Palaemon Press Limited Records (#1169-031) document the history and publications of Palaemon Press, 1943-1992, undated. Palaemon Press was a small, Winston-Salem, NC press owned by Stuart Wright, 1977-1986; it includes correspondence with authors, printers, publishers, and others, manuscript materials, loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, printed materials, and oversized materials. Materials in the collection date from 1943-1991, undated. The materials are arranged in original order, in 2 series.
Series 1: Cary Addition #1 to the Stuart Wright Collection consists of records (1943-1991, undated [Bulk: 1977-1987]) documenting the history and publications of Palaemon Press small, Winston-Salem, NC press owned by Stuart Wright, including correspondence, manuscript materials, loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, printed materials, proofs, and oversized materials. 7.20 cubic feet; 10 archival boxes & 22 oversized folders; 1183 items; 3155 p. Series 1 is held in 1.a - 10.g os22
Series 2: Ludlow Addition #2 to the Stuart Wright Collection: Records (1971-1992, undated [Bulk: 1977-1987]) documenting the history and publications of Palaemon Press (1977-1986), a small, Winston-Salem, NC press owned by Stuart Wright, including correspondence, manuscript materials, loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, printed materials, and oversized materials. 1.20 cubic feet; 2 archival boxes & 2 oversized folders; 346 items; 813 p. Series 2 is held in 11.a - 12.q os24
Purchased from Stuart Wright, 10/27/2011, 7/20/2012
Processing, Preliminary inventory & Container List, by Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Nathaniel King, 12/7/2015; Final inventory by Jonathan Dembo, 4/17/2016; Finding aid by Jonathan Dembo, 3/17/2016, rev. 11/8/2016; Biographical Sketch, by Alyssa Coleman, 10/7/2016; Encoded by Jonathan Dembo, 01/11/2017.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Palaemon Press Limited/ Checklist of Works Published by Stuart Wright and Palaemon Press Limited, Rubenstein Library, Duke University, Durham, NC USA
Stuart Wright Collection, 1896 – 1988 (Collection Number: MSS 533) 0.63 lin. ft., Special Collections and University Archives, Jean and Alexander Heard Library Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN USA
Palaemon Press (Winston-Salem, N.C.) Editorial Archive, 1974-1983 (#MS 94.16) 0.5 lin. ft., Hay Manuscripts. Brown University, Providence, RI USA