Born in Swansea, Wales, Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) was one of the most influential poets of the twentieth century and also the author of numerous short stories, radio scripts, and plays. His publications include The Map of Love (1939), Portrait of the Artist As a Young Dog (1940), Deaths and Entrances (1946), Collected Poems, 1934-1952 (1952), The Doctor and the Devils (1953) and Under Milk Wood (1954).
The Dylan Thomas Collection contains five holograph poetry notebooks (1930-1951); a prose notebook of ten short stories (1933-1934); holograph and typed manuscripts, many with corrections, for such works as The Doctor and the Devils (1953); a film script of Life in a Girl’s Reform School; corrected or fragmentary versions of over a dozen individual poems including “Do not go gentle into that good night,” “Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait” and “Fern Hill”; approximately 81 items of correspondence including Thomas’ letters to Henry Treece, Trevor Hughes, Donald Taylor and Pamela Hansford Johnson (Lady Snow); three diaries of Pamela Hansford Johnson (Lady Snow) 1933-1935; and two 1953 portraits of Thomas painted by Gordon Stuart.
The ten photographs featured here are from Thomas’s trip to New York shortly before his death on November 9, 1953. These images are also available for sale on the UB Libraries store.
The Poetry Collection is happy to announce the opening for research of a new Harry Jacobus Collection, selections of which are also available as a digital collection.
Harry Jacobus was deeply involved in the San Francisco Abstract Expressionism movement of the early 1950s. After serving in World War II, he moved to California, enrolling first at the Oakland School of Arts and Crafts and later The California School of Fine Arts, where he studied with Clyfford Still and David Park. He also met fellow student Jess, and in turn Robert Duncan. Together, they opened the King Ubu Gallery in December 1952, which quickly—though briefly—became the center of the avant garde art, music, and poetry scene in San Francisco. The King Ubu Gallery hosted exhibitions by artists such as Elmer Bischoff, David Park, Hassel Smith, Jess, Lyn Brockway, Roy De Forest, and Deborah Remington, as well as poetry readings and performances.
During the 50s and 60s, Jacobus traveled through Europe, particularly Hydra, Greece, as well as Mexico. Back in California, he lived at the “Ghost House” on Franklin Street and later in Stinson Beach, always remaining close to Duncan and Jess, physically as well as artistically. Jacobus was profoundly influenced by Duncan and Jess’s ideas about imagination, as well as by French Modern painters, particularly les Fauves. Artists and critics often focus on the romanticism, color, and light of Jacobus’s paintings. Duncan called him “a painter in a mixed light,” noting that his work “is an intimation of the beauty around us as it is within us.”
A full finding aid is forthcoming. In the meanwhile, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or research queries.
Dylan Thomas in New York, 1953. Photographer unknown.
As part of a yearlong centennial celebration of Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), the Poetry Collection will be loaning materials from its Dylan Thomas Collection to exhibitions at the National Library of Wales (28 June-20 December 2014) and the Dylan Thomas Centre (31 May-20 December 2014).
A story about the Poetry Collection’s Thomas Collection and its upcoming travels appeared in the February 8 Life & Arts section of the Buffalo News.
The Poetry Collection is happy to announce that Marie Elia has joined our staff as new Processing Archivist. Marie received her MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh, an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Columbia University, and a BA from Allegheny College.
From 2009 to 2013 she worked at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh as the senior cataloger on a project to arrange, describe, and preserve Warhol’s Time Capsules. She also has prior experience cataloging rare books, monographs, serials, and other materials, and has had poems and translations published in Love Among the Ruins and Alba Londres.
Thanks to the generous support of friends, alumni, faculty, students and staff, the Poetry Collection has successfully raised more than $15,000 as part of the Reichert Challenge Fund initiated this spring by Dr. Jonathan Reichert. With the original challenge goal now exceeded, Dr. Reichert has matched these funds with a $50,000 gift of his own to form a new endowment in support of the Poetry Collection’s Victor E. Reichert Robert Frost Collection. The annual proceeds from this endowment will fund future acquisitions of books, literary magazines and papers as well as a yearly Frost event. And we will continue to seek additional donations both now and in the future. Anyone interested in contributing should please contact:
Donald Elick, Director of Development
The achievement of the Reichert Frost endowment is great news for the Poetry Collection, the UB Libraries, the Buffalo poetry community, and the future of Frost scholarship.