Papers (1943-1990 [Bulk: 1969-1984]. undated) documenting the life and literary career of W. D. [William De Witt] Snodgrass (1926-2009), a Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania-born American poet, literary critic, translator and educator at various universities, including the University of Delaware (1979-1994); consisting of typescripts of two works: Autobiographical Essays (1979) and From the "Death of Cock Robin" (1979); also a proof of his pamphlet Magda Goebbels (1983); loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, including from his works entitled D. D. Byrde Callyng, Jennie Wrenn (1984), Heart's Needle (1959), In Radical Pursuit (1976), Six Minnesinger Songs (1983), and Spaulding Distinguished Lectures (1969); and a printed brochure entitled A Note from the Poet (undated) by Snodgrass.
Soon after earning his M.F.A., Snodgrass began what eventually became a long and distinguished academic career. He taught at Cornell University (1955-1957), University of Rochester (1957-1958), Wayne State University (1959-1968), Syracuse University (1968-1977), Old Dominion University (1978-1979), and the University of Delaware (1979-1994). He retired from teaching in 1994 in order to write full time.
In the early 1950's, Snodgrass had his poetry published in many well know literary magazines such as The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The Hudson Review. His first public recognition came from his sequence of poems titled Heart's Needle (1959). This sequence earned him a citation from the Poetry Society of America, a grant from the National Institute of Arts, and a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry (1960). Because his writing contained many personal and raw details and emotions from his life, including his divorce from his first wife and his separation from his daughter, critics have sometimes characterized it as the first volume of poem in the confessional style. Snodgrass disliked this label and sought to distance himself from it. As a result, his literary reputation suffered. He also began to publish translations and literary criticism.
Eventually, he developed two new themes that resurrected his career. The first of these themes was The Führer Bunker cycle of poems that he created from 1977 to 1995. The other one was a series he wrote as responses to DeLoss McGraw's surrealistic paintings. In his writings he sometimes went by the pseudonym S. S. Gardons.
Snodgrass was married to Lila Jean Hank, in 1946. They divorced in 1953. Snodgrass married again the following year to Janice Marie Ferguson Wilson with whom he had a son and stepdaughter. Snodgrass divorced again in 1966 and, in 1967, married a third time to Camille Rykowski. They divorced in 1978. In 1985, he married again to Kathleen Ann Brown, who survived him. Snodgrass died on 13 January 2009 in his home in Madison County, New York at the age of 83 from lung cancer.
"W. D. Snodgrass". [Biographical Sketch] Wikipedia. Accessed 28 November 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._D._Snodgrass.
"W. D. Snodgrass". [Biographical Sketch] Poets.org. Accessed 28 November 2016. https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/w-d-snodgrass.
"W. D. Snodgrass Papers, 1940s-present (Mss 282-Mss 294)". 100 lin. ft. Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, Newark, DE. http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/findaids/snodgras.htm
Author: Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of John Leche, 11/28/2016, 3/17/2017.
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 106 sub-collections of the papers of Southern American writers, illustrators, composers, and publishers. 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: W. D. Snodgrass Papers (#1169-080) are arranged in original order in 2 series.
Series 1: Cary Addition #1 to the Stuart Wright Collection consists of papers (1979) documenting the life and literary career of W. D. [William De Witt] Snodgrass (1926-2009), an American poet and educator at various universities, including the University of Delaware; consisting of typescripts including his Autobiographical Essays and From the "Death of Cock Robin"; also a proof of his pamphlet Magda Goebbels. Source: Cary Addition Boxes #113.000. Series 1 is held in Box 1.a-1.c.
Series 2: Ludlow Addition #2 to the Stuart Wright Collection consists of papers (1943-1990, undated) documenting the life and literary career of W. D. [William De Witt] Snodgrass (1926-2009), an American poet and educator at various universities, including the University of Delaware; consisting of loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, including his works entitled D. D. Byrde Callyng, Jennie Wrenn,Heart's Needle,In Radical Pursuit, D. D. Byrde Callyng, Jennie Wrenn, Six Minnesinger Songs, and Spaulding Distinguished Lectures,; also a brochure by Snodgrass entitled A Note from the Poet. Source: Cary Addition Boxes #113.000, 176.059, 172.004, 176.057, 176.052, 176.055, 176.056, 176.053. Series 2 is held in Box 1.d-1.k.
Purchased from Stuart Wright, 10/27/2011, 7/20/2012
Processing, Preliminary inventory & Container List, by Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Nathaniel King, 2/18/2016, 5/13/2016, 8/30/2016; Final inventory by Jonathan Dembo, 8/30/2016; Finding aid by Jonathan Dembo, 9/27/2016, 11/28/2016; Biographical Sketch, by Jonathan Dembo with the assistance of John Leche, 11/28/2016, rev. 2/20/2017; Encoding revised by Jonathan Dembo, 2/20/2017, 3/17/2017.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.