The Life and Mystery of Poet Elizabeth Jennings

Poet Elizabeth Jennings (1926 – 2001) led an extraordinary life: the only woman to join the Movement (an English group of poets dedicated to an anti-romantic aesthetic); publisher of twenty-six books of poetry in her lifetime; colloquially known in her later life as the bag-lady of poetry due to her immense poverty; and a dedicated Roman […]

Remembering the Deep Impact of W.S. Merwin

By Analeah Rosen on March 26, 2019 in Manuscripts, Special Collections

On March 15, 2019, we lost a giant of the poetry world. W.S. Merwin’s work spanned the later half of the 20th century up until today – his first collection, A Mask for Janus, was published in 1952, with his last collection, Garden Time, published in 2016. In each collection he sought to remake his […]

The Raymond Federman Papers

Raymond Federman – novelist, poet, critic, translator – was nothing if not prolific. And now, his literary papers are fully processed and available to researchers, students, and members of the general public. To celebrate this major addition to the Modern Literature Collection, we present a very brief overview of his life and work, while showcasing […]

Readers on The William H. Gass Reader

By Analeah Rosen on February 1, 2019 in English & American Literature, Manuscripts, Uncategorized, What's New

On the occasion of the publication of The William H. Gass Reader, we asked two writers and Gass aficionados about how his archive here at Special Collections helped shape their research into his celebrated essays and stories. Gass’ literary output was impressive– he published seventeen books in his lifetime and hundreds of articles. While The William […]

Self-Portrait with Others – A Celebration of Mary Jo Bang

Poet and Washington University Professor Mary Jo Bang has spent over thirty years writing, publishing, and teaching poetry. On November 30th, Special Collections will celebrate the inclusion of Bang’s papers in the Modern Literature Collection with “Mary Jo Bang: Self-Portrait with Others.” The celebration will feature selections of her archival material and artwork, and talks […]

Joy Williams’ Second Novel, Forty Years Later

By Analeah Rosen on October 10, 2018 in English & American Literature, Manuscripts, Special Collections

Joy Williams’ second novel, The Changeling, has been reissued to much acclaim by Tin House Books with a new introduction by Karen Russell. Upon its initial publication forty years ago, however, few but her devoted fans would have foreseen this 180-degree turn in critical reception. That’s because when Doubleday originally published The Changeling in 1978, it quickly […]