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Guide to the John Hall Wheelock Collection, 1935-1979

Abstract

Poet and editor.

The John Hall Wheelock collection forms the only substantial group of American literary authors' letters included in the Jay B. Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography at Duke. Hubbell was a longtime friend and admirer of Wheelock; the two corresponded for many years. When Hubbell donated his Wheelock materials to the Center, he suggested that associated collections be acquired, which initiated a decade-long effort to collect and preserve Wheelock's correspondence. Collectively the collections document, chiefly through correspondence, the developments in Wheelock's life and career. Belknap's papers reflect Wheelock's view of one of his cousins. Clemente's papers include a videotape of Wheelock reading his poetry. The Diana Chang, Michel Farano, Elwood Holstein, Leighton Rollins, and Carolyn Tyson materials suggest Wheelock's gratitude towards his admirers and support of younger poets; those of Elwood Holstein include Holstein's autobiographical sketch and account of his correspondence with Wheelock. Kenworthy's papers reflect not only her admiration of the poet and his response, they document Wheelock's increasing concern about his health. Stoddard's papers reflect her close friendship with Wheelock during his final years and their mutual encouragement. Most of the collections include Wheelock's handwritten copies and draft versions of his poems. Hubbell's admiration for Wheelock is suggested in letters from Hubbell to Vince Clemente and Elwood Holstein.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Wheelock, John Hall, 1886-1978
Title
John Hall Wheelock collection 1935-1979
Language of Material
English
Extent
1.5 Linear Feet, 640 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The John Hall Wheelock Collections are the only substantial group of American literary authors' letters included in Duke University's Jay B. Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography. Duke Professor of American Literature Jay B. Hubbell was a longtime friend and admirer of John Hall Wheelock; the two corresponded for many years. When Hubbell donated his Wheelock materials to the Center, he suggested that the Center collect other Wheelock materials, a suggestion that initiated a decade-long effort to collect and preserve Wheelock's correspondence. The Duke University John Hall Wheelock Collection (1935-1979) consist of the following nine sub-collections: the Helen S. Belknap Papers, the Diana Chang Papers, the Vince Clemente Papers, the Michel Farano Papers, the Elwood Holstein Papers, the Marion E. Kenworthy Papers, the Leighton Rollins Papers, the Hope Stoddard Papers, and the Carolyn Tyson Papers.

Collectively the John Hall Wheelock Collection documents, chiefly through correspondence, the developments in the life and career of John Hall Wheelock (1886-1978) during the last twenty-five years of his life. The Helen S. Belknap Papers reflect Wheelock's view of one of his cousins. The Vince Clemente Papers include a videotape of Wheelock reading his poetry. The Diana Chang Papers, the Michel Farano Papers, the Elwood Holstein Papers, the Leighton Rollins Papers, and the Carolyn Tyson Papers suggest Wheelock's gratitude towards his admirers and his support of younger poets; the Elwood Holstein Papers also include Holstein's autobiographical sketch and his account of his correspondence with Wheelock. The Marion E. Kenworthy Papers reflect not only Kenworthy's admiration of Wheelock and Wheelock's response to her but also Wheelock's increasing concerns over his health. The Hope Stoddard Papers reflect the close friendship and mutual encouragement of Stoddard and Wheelock in his final years. Most of the John Hall Wheelock Collections include copies and versions of Wheelock's poems handwritten by Wheelock himself.

Jay B. Hubbell's admiration for John Hall Wheelock is suggested in letters from Hubbell about Wheelock which are included in the Vince Clemente Papers and the Elwood Holstein Papers. Collections in the Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library related to the John Hall Wheelock Collections include the Jay Broadus Hubbell Papers; additional information may be found in the correspondence files of the Jay B. Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence to Belknap from Wheelock, reflecting his view of her.
Box 1 Folder 1

Two letters (1976 Jan. 17, May 12) from Wheelock to Chang, which suggest his gratitude toward his admirers and his support of younger poets. One letter (1979 Apr. 28) from Chang to Erma Whittington, Perkins Library (Duke University) staff member.

Letters, 1976 and 1979
Box 1 Folder 2

Chiefly correspondence to Clemente from Wheelock and Hubbell; also one videotape of Wheelock reading his poetry.

Correspondence, 1966-1979
Box 1 Folder 3
Videotape, 1973
Box 1 Folder 4

Letters, cards, and postcards, chiefly to Farano from Wheelock, suggesting Wheelock's gratitude to his admirers and support of younger poets.

Correspondence, 1935-1976?
Box 1 Folder 5

Chiefly correspondence among Holstein, Wheelock, and Hubbell. Hubbell's admiration for Wheelock is suggested in letters from Hubbell about Wheelock. Includes a collection guide and essay by Holdstein.

Correspondence, 1972-1978
Box 1 Folder 6

Marion E. Kenworthy Papers, 1954-1976?

(4 folders, includes 1 oversize folder)

Correspondence between Kenworthy and Wheelock, as well as invitation and journals containing Wheelock's poetry which he sent to Kenworthy. The correspondence reflects not only Kenworthy's admiration of Wheelock and Wheelock's response to her but also his increasing concerns about his health. Included in the printed material are the following Wheelock poems: "A Certain Hidden Place," "The Concert," "Monday," "Silence," Bonac," "The Compass," and "Meditation." There are also two articles: "The Poems of Wheelock: A Double Celebration," and "John Hall Wheelock: The Art of Poetry XXI" (an interview with Wheelock).

Correspondence, 1954-1976
Box 1 Folder 7
Printed Materials, 1962-1976?
Box 1 Folder 8-9
Newspaper clippings on Wheelock (10 items), 1966-1976
Oversize Folder 1

Chiefly letters and postcards to Rollins from Wheelock, suggesting his gratitude to admirers and support of younger poets. Also includes a poem, "The Two Societies," by Wheelock and a photograph of Wheelock (1956).

Correspondence and poem, 1955-1975
Box 1 Folder 10

Hope Stoddard Papers, 1972-1978?

(6 folders, including 1 oversize folder)

Chiefly correspondence between Stoddard and Wheelock discussing poetry and its criticism and interpretation and including poems by both writers. Includes a note written by Stoddard explaining the collected correspondence. Printed materials are by Stoddard and about Wheelock. Includes a photographs of Wheelock and May Swenson, as well as a photograph of Stoddard.

Correspondence, 1972-1978
Box 1 Folder 11-14
Printed Materials and Photographs, 1975-1978?
Box 1 Folder 15
Annotated verses (1 item) that accompanied letter dated 30 April 1977
Oversize Folder 1

Photocopies of correspondence to Tyson from Wheelock, and a booklet of Tyson's poetry. Letters suggest Wheelock's gratitude to his admirers and support of younger poets.

Photocopies of correspondence
Box 1 Folder 16

Historical Note

The John Hall Wheelock Collections consists of several sub-collections, each contributed by a different creator. Biographies, when available, are included below:

John Hall Wheelock was the author of several books, including Verses by Two Undergraduates (with Van Wyck Brooks; 1905), The Human Fantasy (1911), The Beloved Adventure (1912), Love and Liberation: The Songs of Adsched to Meru, and Other Poems (1913), Dust and Light (1919), A Bibliography of Theodore Roosevelt (1920), The Black Panther: A Book of Poems (1922), The Bright Doom: A Book of Poems (1927), Poems, 1911-1936 (1936), Poems Old and New (1956), The Gardener, and Other Poems (1961), What Is Poetry? (1963), Dear Men and Women (1966), By Daylight and in Dream: New and Collected Poems, 1904-1970 (1970), In Love and Song: Poems (1971), This Blessed Earth: New and Selected Poems, 1927-1977 (1978), and Afternoon: Amagansett Beach (1978). He was also the editor of The Face of a Nation: Poetical Passages from the Writings of Thomas Wolfe (1939), Editor to Author: The Letters of Maxwell Perkins (1950), and Poets of Today (8 vols., 1954-1961).

Chronology of John Hall Wheelock

DateEvent(s)
1886, Sept. 9Born, Far Rockaway, N.Y.
1904-1908Student, Harvard University; Official Poet of the Class of 1908
1909-1910Student, University of Gottingen and University of Berlin.
1911-1957Employed by the publishing firm of Charles Scribner's Sons, where he assisted and then succeeded Maxwell Perkins as senior editor, and where he advanced the careers of writers James Dickey, Louis Simpson, and Thomas Wolfe
1937New England Poetry Society's Golden Rose Award for Poems, 1911-1936
1940, Aug. 25Married Phyllis de Kay
1944-1946President, Poetry Society of America
1956-1965Won a number of prizes for his poetry, including the 1956 Torrence Memorial Award, the 1957 Borestone Mountain Award, the 1962 Bollingen Prize, and the 1965 Harvard University Signet Society Medal
1967-1973Honorary Consultant in American Letters, Library of Congress
1972Gold Medal of the Poetry Society of America
1978, Mar. 22Died

Vince Clemente is an American poet, biographer, critic, editor, and professor of English born on April 28, 1932. He has contributed to numerous periodicals and has published several books, including Songs From Puccini (1978), From This Book of Praise (1978), and Broadbill Off Conscience Bay (1982); he is an editor of Paumanok Rising: An Anthology of Eastern Long Island Aesthetics (1981) and John Ciardi: Measure of the Man (1987). He is also the founding editor of Long Pond Review, West Hills Review: A Walt Whitman Journal, and John Hall Wheelock Review.

Chronology of Vincent Clemente

DateEvent(s)
1932, Apr. 28Born, New York, N.Y.
1953B.A., St. Francis College, Brooklyn, N.Y.
1953-1955Military Service, U. S. Army
1956M.A., Columbia University
1960, Jan. 30Married to Ann J. Bearzatti
1966-Adjunct Instructor (1966-75)/Assistant Professor (1975-78)/Associate Professor (1978-81)/Professor (1981-) of English, Suffolk County Community College, Selden, N.Y.

Marion E. Kenworthy was a professor of psychiatry and psychiatrist from New York, N.Y. She was one of the first female psychiatrists in America, and focused strongly on children's mental health. Further chronology details below.

Chronology of Marion E. Kenworthy

DateEvent(s)
1891, Aug. 17Born, Hampden, Mass.
1913-1916Assistant Physician, Gardner State Colony, Gardner, Mass.
1916-1919Senior Psychiatrist, Foxborough State Hospital
1919-1921Director, Mental Hygiene Clinic, Central Branch YWCA; Assistant in Neurology and Psychiatry, Vanderbilt Clinic
1921-1927Associate Director (1921-1924)/Medical Director (1924-1927) Bureau of Children's Guidance, N.Y.
1924-1980Professor of Mental Hygiene (1924-1940)/Professor of Psychiatry (1940-1956)/Emeritus Professor (1956-1980), N.Y. School of Social Work
1929Co-authored Mental Hygiene and Social Work with Porter R. Lee
1980Died

Hope Stoddard was an author and poet from New York, N.Y. Further chronology details below.

Chronology of Hope Stoddard

DateEvent(s)
1900, Mar. 31Born
1923B.A., University of Michigan
1924-1932Editorial staff, Etude (Philadelphia, Pa.)
1940-1965Editor, International Musician (Newark, N.J.)
1952From These Comes Music: Instruments of the Band and Orchestra (young adult book)
1957Symphony Conductors of the U.S.A. (young adult book)
1960Subsidy Makes Sense
1965The Noon Answer (poems)
1970Famous American Women (young adult book)
1975The Curve of Time (poems)

Leighton Rollins was a writer, lecturer, and producer from Santa Barbara, Calif.

Carolyn Tyson was a poet and painter from New York, N.Y.

Helen S. Belknap was a cousin of John Hall Wheelock.

Diana Chang is possibly the Chinese American novelist and poet Diana (Diana C.) Chang, born 1934.

Michel Farano was an American poet, book reviewer, and editor.

Elwood Holstein was a public administrator from Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J.

Subject Headings

Related Material

Related Material

Besides Duke University's holdings, other manuscript collections of John Hall Wheelock materials may be found at the Library of Congress, the Academy of American Poets, and the Princeton University Library.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John Hall Wheelock Collections, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The John Hall Wheelock Collections were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as both gifts and purchases between 1978 and 1986.

Processing Information

Processed by Stanley Blair, July 1992, and Jane Metters, May 2011

Encoded by Jane Metters and Meghan Lyon, May 2011

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.