Larry Eigner letters published in Poetry Magazine

Eigner_12-46-55Six letters by poet Larry Eigner from 1954 to 1964 are published for the first time in the December 2014 issue of Poetry Magazine, including a letter from Larry Eigner to Charles Olson dated October 20, 1956.  The letter, from the Charles Olson Research Collection housed here in Archives and Special Collections, was selected for Poetry Magazine by co-editors Jennifer Bartlett and George Hart.

Jennifer Bartlett, a poet who is currently writing a biography of Larry Eigner, was awarded a travel fellowship by the Archives to use the Larry Eigner Papers.   Her work reflects a fresh and growing attention on the life and poetry of Larry Eigner that has emerged in recent years.

Larry Eigner (1927–1996) wrote over three thousand poems on a manual Royal typewriter and was an energetic letter-writer.  He published more than 40 collections of poetry, among them From the Sustaining Air (1953), Another Time in Fragments (1967), Things Stirring / Together / or Far Away (1974), now there’s-a-morning-hulk of the sky (1981), and Waters / Places / A Time (1983).

George Hart writes in the Introduction to the letters:

Throughout the fifties, Eigner absorbed Olson’s theory of Projective Verse, and he was grouped with the Black Mountain poets in Donald Allen’s groundbreaking The New American Poetry anthology in 1960. Of the poets in this group — Olson, Creeley,Robert Duncan, and Denise Levertov (Corman chose not to be included in the anthology) — Eigner might be the one who put Olson’s theories to work most productively. Projective Verse, with its emphasis on the exchange of energy between poet and reader, and the typewriter as a means of graphing or scoring words on the space of the page, seems particularly well-suited to Eigner’s embodiment and temperament. The fact that Olson put so much stress on the stance of the poet and the poet’s breath as a form of measure, which might seem to discourage someone like Eigner who had difficulty walking and speaking, makes Eigner’s achievement even more impressive. In excerpting Eigner’s correspondence for this special feature,Jennifer Bartlett and I have chosen to focus on passages in which he writes about, or directly to, Olson regarding his poetry, poetics, and other Black Mountain poets.



Considering a degree in archival science?

mosaic-fellows-08-15-2014-craig-huey-photographyStudents and emerging professionals from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups interested in pursuing a masters degree in archival science are eligible for the Society of American Archivists/Association of Research Libraries Mosaic Program.  The Program provides tuition stipends, practical work experience, career placement assistance and leadership development.  The Call for Applications was announced this week.  Applications are due by February 28, 2015.

Read about the current group of Mosaic Fellows – and details about the program at ARL/SAA Mosaic Program.

Acknowledgment from a Strochlitz awardee

Dr. Craig J. Peariso, a Strochlitz awardee from a few years ago, has had his book Radical theatrics: Put-ons, politics and the Sixties published by the University of Washington Press.  Focusing on left-wing political activism of the 1960s, Dr. Peariso argues that “these over-the-top antics were far more than just the spontaneous actions of a self-indulgent radical impulse” (jacket flap).  Having done exhaustive research in the Archives’ Hoffman Family Papers, Dr. Peariso writes in his acknowledgement: “Archivists at numerous libraries have also played a key role in the completion of this work.  Specifically, I would like to thank Terri Goldich and the staff at the University of Connecticut’s Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.  Their award of a [Rose and] Sigmund Strochlitz Travel Grant and their assistance in navigating the Hoffman Family Papers were vital at the earliest stages of my research.”  Thank you, Dr. Peariso, for confirming for us how valuable the Strochlitz grants are in support of academic research and scholarship.

Reading Room Closed December 22, 2014 to January 4, 2015

The Archives and Special Collections Reading Room in the Dodd Research Center will be closed December 22, 2014 through January 4, 2015.  The Reading Room will re-open on January 5, 2015 with regularly scheduled hours Monday through Friday, 9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m.

For more information about Reading Room hours and policies, contact the Reference Desk in Archives & Special Collections at 860.486.2524 or email us at


Farewell to Norman Bridwell, creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog | NE Children’s Lit Collection

Norman Ray Bridwell of Edgartown, who brought delight to millions of readers young and old as the author of Clifford the Big Red Dog series of books, died on Friday, December 12, at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. He was 86. Norman Bridwell was born in Kokomo, Indiana, in 1928, according to a biography by Scholastic Books. He studied at the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis and Cooper Union Art School in New York before working as a commercial artist for 12 years.  Read More >

Activist, author, secretary — she’s done it all


Irena Urdang deTour, 2013

Irena Urdang deTour, 2013

Ninety years ago today, Irena Ehrlich vel Sluszny Urdang deTour was born in Warsaw, Poland, the eldest daughter of Seweryn and Felicia (Lubelczyk) Ehrlich vel Sluszny.  Experiencing the tragedies of war first hand, Irena emigrated to the United States in 1947 and has been active involved in many activities ever since.  To honor Ms. deTour’s extraordinary ninety years of experiences, Archives & Special Collections has installed a small exhibit illustrating her family heritage, World War II era experiences and interest in documenting and supporting research related to the Holocaust and its survivors.  Items on display are from her personal collection as well as materials that have been donated to the University of Connecticut.

Portion of deTour exhibit

Portion of deTour exhibit

Ms. deTour is the widow of Laurence Urdang and the proud mother of two UConn graduates, Alexandra and Nicole, and three grandchildren.

The exhibit is open and available for viewing during posted A&SC Reading Room hours through January 23, 2015.




Passing of Emeritus Professor of English, and Friend, Charles Boer

Charles-BoerCharles Boer was a respected and wildly popular professor at UConn arriving in 1966 and retiring in 1992 as a full professor from the English Department, where he specialized in teaching mythology, poetry, and individual 20th-century writers from Charles Olson to Frank O’Hara, Gertrude Stein to Ernest Hemingway. He also helped establish the Charles Olson Archives, now the Charles Olson Research Collection, along with George Butterick, which are part of the University’s Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.  Boer was also a gifted translator of ancient Greek and Latin. He was nominated for the National Book Award for his translation from ancient Greek of The Homeric Hymns in 1971, and is known for his translation from Latin of Ovid’s Metamorphoses (1989) and Marsilio Ficino’s Book of Life (1980).  His personal papers and manuscripts will be preserved in Archives and Special Collections…   Read More >