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Thom Gunn papers

Abstract

Title:
Thom Gunn papers
Author/Creator:
Gunn, Thom
Collection number:
83-30
Size:
2.75 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1951-1965
Inclusive dates:
1951-1983
Collection Area:
Literature and Rare Books
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

Thom Gunn (1929-2004) was a British poet, whose residence was primarily the United States beginning in the 1950s. He published over thirty books of poetry, a collection of essays, and four edited collections. His work is widely represented in literary anthologies. Gunn combined an interest in traditional poetics with less traditional subjects, such as Hell's Angels, LSD, and homosexuality. The collection includes drafts, notebooks, publications, correspondence, and photographs. The bulk of the collection includes materials from his books Positives (1966) and Touch (1967).

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

Thom Gunn papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1499
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Thomson (Thom) William Gunn, the Anglo-American poet and critic, was born on August 29, 1929, in Gravesend, Kent. His father, Herbert Smith Gunn, was an accomplished journalist with the Beaverbrook press. As a young journalist, Gunn's father reported for local papers like the Kent Messenger. In 1944, he became editor of the (London) Evening Standard and, in the 1950s, editor of the (London) Daily Sketch. Gunn's mother, (Annie) Charlotte Thomson Gunn, was an independent woman with socialist and feminist sympathies. She, too, worked as a journalist until the births of Gunn and his younger brother Alexander (Ander). When he turned eight, the Gunn family moved to Hampstead, a middle class neighborhood of London. Shortly after the move to Hampstead, his parents divorced, and, in 1944, Gunn's mother committed suicide.

As a child, Gunn inherited a love of reading from his mother. His father once said, "Thom was better read at eleven than most people are at thirty-five." Gunn also began writing at an early age. His early work included character sketches and a short novel he characterized as "curiously sophisticated," completed when he was twelve years old. By sixteen, Gunn was writing continuously and seriously.

After completing secondary school, Gunn fulfilled his compulsory National Service by spending two years in the British Army (1948-1950). He then spent six months working in the offices of the Paris Metro system, while he attempted to write a Proustian novel he never completed. In 1949, Gunn legally changed his name from William Guinneach Gunn to Thomson William Gunn, and, although he had always been known as Tom, he began to use the spelling Thom.

He returned to England and attended Trinity College, Cambridge University. Gunn flourished at Cambridge and connected with a group of students (including Karl Miller, Nicholas Tomalin, Mark Boxer, and Tony White) who wrote and edited the university magazine, Granta . At Cambridge, Gunn met American Michael (Mike) Kitay, who became his lifelong partner. Gunn received his B. A. in 1953. His work at Cambridge culminated in his first book of poetry, Fighting Terms (1954). Though later considered an apprentice work by most critics, including Gunn himself, the book created a stir. In Robert Conquest's New Lines (1956), Gunn was anthologized with other young British poets such as Philip Larkin, Kingsley Amis, Donald Davie, and John Wain. This group became known as "The Movement," poets loosely connected by poetic style and age.

Gunn's departure for the United States in 1954 was ostensibly occasioned by his winning a graduate fellowship at Stanford University, but his relationship with Mike Kitay had led him to apply for the award. He spent a productive year in Palo Alto, California, writing most of the poetry for his second book, The Sense of Movement (1957). At Stanford, he met Yvor Winters, who became a major influence in the young poet's life and work.

In the late 1950s, Gunn began to move away from the traditional, structured metric poetry which initially brought him success. He began to experiment with syllabics and free verse. However, these years were not productive for Gunn. His busy lifestyle left little time for writing. He taught in San Antonio, Texas, and continued his graduate work at Stanford University, completing an M. A. in 1958. From 1958 to 1960, Gunn lived in Oakland and served as an instructor at the University of California at Berkeley, where he taught off and on until 1999. Physically and emotionally depleted by his teaching and studies, he recharged his energies in Italy, where he spent 1959 supported by a Somerset Maugham Award. In 1960, he spent several months in Germany.

Returning to the United States in 1960, Gunn settled in San Francisco. During this period, many critics began to link Gunn with Ted Hughes, who had attended Cambridge just after Gunn. The two were considered the founders of a new school of violence in poetry, containing aggressive images and amoral subjects. Gunn's next book, My Sad Captains (1961) is divided in half. The first half further developed the "heroic manner" of The Sense of Movement, and the second experimented with freer syllabic verse.

With the publication of his third poetry collection and several years of steady teaching at Berkeley, Gunn became an established member of the American poetry scene. He no longer considered himself an Englishman abroad. Ironically, when Gunn returned to London from mid-1964 until mid-1965, he experienced a period of considerable productivity. He collaborated with his brother Ander, an accomplished photographer, on Positives (1966), a book of photographs and verse captions. The year in England also allowed him to complete his long poetic sequence, "Misanthropos," which later appeared in his next collection of poems, Touch (1967). This volume revealed Gunn's mastery of open form and his developing humanistic outlook.

In 1966, with the support of a Rockefeller Grant, Gunn gave up a tenured position at Berkeley. He believed that full-time teaching was not conducive to writing poetry. His experimentation with the drug LSD led to Moly (1971), the work of which Gunn "was most proud." Its themes include "metamorphosis, evolving identity, and the physical world as paradise" (Clive Wilmer, "Gunn, Thomson William (Thom) [1929-2004]," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edn, [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/93565, accessed 29 July 2009]). Also in 1971, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

In 1972, Gunn purchased a house in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, and, with Kitay and other men, lived in what Clive Wilmer has characterized as a "gay commune." 1976 marked the release of his sixth collection, Jack Straw's Castle, in which he openly revealed his sexual orientation and explored the darker side of the life he had explored in Moly. Gunn received the prestigious W. H. Smith Award in 1979 for his Selected Poems 1950-1975 (1979). In 1982, he released The Passages of Joy, a seventh collection of original poetry, which included historical figures and gay characters and celebrated friendship. The essay collection, The Occasions of Poetry: Essays in Criticism and Autobiography also appeared in 1982. The Man with Night Sweats, for which he received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, appeared in 1992. This work consists of a sequence of elegies for friends lost in the AIDS epidemic of the late 1980s. In 1994, he published the widely celebrated Collected Poems and received a MacArthur Fellowship.

His last book, Boss Cupid appeared in 2000, about the time he retired from part-time teaching at the University of California at Berkeley. Thom Gunn died of heart failure on April 25, 2004, in his home in San Francisco, CA.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers of Thom Gunn span the period from 1951 to 1983. The bulk of the collection includes materials from 1951 to 1965. The majority consists of drafts and notes for poems published and unpublished, including loose papers and dated notebooks. The collection also contains copies of Gunn's publications and some correspondence, most notably two letters to Donald Davie. The bulk of the material relates to Positives (1966) and Touch (1967), including many drafts and notes from Gunn's most ambitious poem, "Misanthropos."

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University of Maryland Libraries purchased the papers of Thom Gunn in 1971, 1974, and 1983. A few items were acquired some time between 1967 and 1972.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Steve Hausfeld, August 1998 Revised, July 2006, September 2007, September 2009, April 2010, February 2011

Processing note:

The loose drafts, notes, and proofs in Series I were arranged according to two categories: "Poems Published in Books" and "Poems Not Published in Books." All materials related to poems published in or intended for Gunn's published book-length works were arranged together under the title of the appropriate work. The original locations of these materials were recorded on the folders into which they were placed. These materials were arranged chronologically by publication and, within each publication, in publication order. The poems not published in books were arranged according to two lists made by Gunn. The first, dated 1974 lists the individual poems chronologically. The second undated list includes two groups of poems, those produced between 1960 and 1965 and between 1960 and 1961. Drafts and notes for individual poems in these two groups were arranged alphabetically.

Because the notebooks were dated by Gunn, they are arranged chronologically. The loose materials inside the notebooks were removed, their original location was noted, and they were placed in folders corresponding to the notebooks from which they were removed. The publications were arranged alphabetically by title, and the correspondence alphabetically by author. The photographs were separated from the manuscripts into a separate series. All staples were removed and replaced with plastic clips; highly acidic papers were interleaved with acid-free paper; and photographs and fragile materials were placed in Mylar sleeves. The entire collection was placed in acid-free folders and in acid-free boxes.

Three additional photographs of Gunn, acquired separately circa 1967-1972 were incorporated into the collection in April 2010.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Lara D'Agaro, August 2007.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Manuscripts, notes, drafts, and proofs, 1951-1971 (1 linear foot)

Series I is arranged into three sections: "Poems Published in Books,""Poems Not Published in Books," and proof copies. The first section includes manuscript and typescript drafts, notes, and proofs, related to the poems published in A Sense of Movement (1957), My Sad Captains and Other Poems (1961), Positives (1966), and Touch (1967). Drafts, notes, and proofs of poems that appeared in these works have been arranged together and placed in the order in which they appear in those works. Three folders of notes and drafts, identified by Gunn as "Work from Touch and Positives," appear as a separate grouping within "Poems Published in Books." The second section includes manuscript and typescript drafts and notes concerning poems not included in Gunn's book-length works that were written between 1951 and 1965. The category includes a chronological list made by Gunn (1974) for individual poems produced from 1951 thru 1960. Drafts of these poems have been arranged chronologically according to Gunn's list. Also included is Gunn's brief undated collection description that identifies poems grouped by years. Notes and drafts for poems that Gunn labelled "folder B 1960-1965" and "folder D 1960-1961" have been arranged alphabetically within each of these groupings. There are five proof copies, four of which are uncorrected. The uncorrected proof copies are of Moly, My Sad Captains, Poems 1950-1966 and Touch. The fifth proof copy with pen corrections is Anthology of Modern Poetry. The pen corrections are possibly by Thom Gunn.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Poems Published in Books -- The Sense of Movement -- "Canzone: The Flagellants" ("The Beaters"), 1954-1957? series 1box 1folder 1
Poems Published in Books -- The Sense of Movement -- "In Praise of Cities", 1954-1957? series 1box 1folder 2
Poems Published in Books -- My Sad Captains and Other Poems -- "In Santa Maria Del Popolo", 1957?-1960 series 1box 1folder 3
Poems Published in Books -- My Sad Captains and Other Poems -- "The Rival" ("The Monster"), 1954-1957? series 1box 1folder 4
Poems Published in Books -- My Sad Captains and Other Poems -- "A Map of the City", 1954-1957? series 1box 1folder 5
Poems Published in Books -- My Sad Captains and Other Poems -- "Trucker" ("A Trucker"), 1954-1957? series 1box 1folder 6
Poems Published in Books -- My Sad Captains and Other Poems -- "Consider the Snail", 1954-1957? series 1box 1folder 7
Poems Published in Books -- My Sad Captains and Other Poems -- "Loot", 1960-1961 series 1box 1folder 8
Poems Published in Books -- My Sad Captains and Other Poems -- "My Sad Captains", 1954-1957? series 1box 1folder 9
Poems Published in Books -- Positives -- List of publication order, undated series 1box 1folder 10
Poems Published in Books -- Positives -- Autograph drafts, undated series 1box 1folder 11
Poems Published in Books -- Positives -- Typed Mss. with corrections , undated series 1box 1folder 12
Poems Published in Books -- Positives -- Typed drafts with corrections, undated series 1box 1folder 13
Poems Published in Books -- Positives -- Drafts with comments by Josephine Miles and Louis Simpson, 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 14
Poems Published in Books -- Positives -- Poems not published in Positives, undated series 1box 1folder 15
Poems Published in Books -- Positives and Touch -- Notes regarding poems and publication, 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 16
Poems Published in Books -- Positives and Touch -- Poems not published in Positives and Touch, 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 17
Poems Published in Books -- Positives and Touch -- List of poems , undated series 1box 1folder 18
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Goddess", 1960-1961 and 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 19
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Goddess", 1960-1961 and 1960-1966 series 1box 1folder 20
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Goddess", 1960-1961 and 1960-1966 series 1box 1folder 21
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Goddess", 1960-1961 and 1960-1966 series 1box 1folder 22
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Kiss at Beyreuth", 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 23
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Kiss at Beyreuth", 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 24
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Kiss at Beyreuth", 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 25
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Berlin In Ruins", 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 26
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Berlin In Ruins", 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 27
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Berlin In Ruins", 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 28
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "A Picture" ("Bravery"), 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 29
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "A Picture" ("Bravery"), 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 30
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Confessions of the Life Artist" draft with comments by Louis Simpson, 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 31
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Confessions of a Life Artist," drafts, 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 32
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Confessions of a Life Artist," drafts, 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 33
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- New Statesman galley proofs (oversize), Undated series 1box 1folder 34
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "No Speech From the Scaffold", 1957?-1960 and 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 35
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "No Speech From the Scaffold", 1957?-1960 and 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 36
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Breakfast", 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 37
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Breakfast", 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 38
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Breakfast", 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 39
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Taylor Street", 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 40
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Taylor Street", 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 41
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Touch", 1960-1965 series 1box 1folder 42
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Vigil of Corpus Christi", 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 43
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Vigil of Corpus Christi", 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 44
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Vigil of Corpus Christi", 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 45
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Misanthropos" ("For The Survivor"), 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 46
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Misanthropos" ("For The Survivor"), 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 47
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Misanthropos" ("For The Survivor"), 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 48
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Misanthropos" ("For The Survivor"), 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 49
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Misanthropos" ("For The Survivor"), 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 50
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Misanthropos" ("For The Survivor"), 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 51
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Misanthropos" ("For The Survivor"), 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 52
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Misanthropos" ("For The Survivor"), 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 53
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Misanthropos" ("For The Survivor"), 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 1folder 54
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "People in the Snow" ("Snowfall"), 1964 and 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 1
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "People in the Snow" ("Snowfall"), 1964 and 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 2
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Girl of Live Marble", 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 2folder 3
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Girl of Live Marble", 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 2folder 4
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Girl of Live Marble", 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 2folder 5
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Girl of Live Marble", 1960-1965 and undated series 1box 2folder 6
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "In the Tank", 1960-1961 and 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 7
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "In the Tank", 1960-1961 and 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 8
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "In the Tank", 1960-1961 and 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 9
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "In the Tank", 1960-1961 and 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 10
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "In the Tank", 1960-1961 and 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 11
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Pierce Street", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 12
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Produce District", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 13
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "The Produce District", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 14
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- "Back to Life," "order of poems in Touch ", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 15
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- Notes, undated series 1box 2folder 16
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- Poems not published in Touch, 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 17
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- Poems not published in Touch, 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 18
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- Poems not published in Touch, 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 19
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- Poems not published in Touch, 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 20
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- Poems not published in Touch, 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 21
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- Poems not published in Touch, 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 22
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- Poems not published in Touch, 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 23
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- Poems not published in Touch, 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 24
Poems Published in Books -- Touch -- Poems not published in Touch, 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 25
Poems Not Published in Books -- Chronological list of individual poems (1951-1960), 1974 series 1box 2folder 26
Poems Not Published in Books -- Poems--chronological list, 1951-1960 series 1box 2folder 27
Poems Not Published in Books -- Poems--chronological list, 1951-1960 series 1box 2folder 28
Poems Not Published in Books -- Poems--chronological list, 1951-1960 series 1box 2folder 29
Poems Not Published in Books -- Collection description (1960-1965), undated series 1box 2folder 30
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "A Crab", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 31
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "A Crab", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 32
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "The Doctor's Own Body", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 33
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "Driving To Florida", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 34
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "Driving To Florida", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 35
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "Driving To Florida", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 36
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "The Dying Lady", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 37
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "From an Asian Tent", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 38
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "From an Asian Tent", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 39
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "For a Gift of a Record of Mariachis", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 40
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "The Inhabitants", 1960-1961 series 1box 2folder 41
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "Knowledge", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 42
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "The Wart,", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 43
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "The Wart,", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 44
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "The Wart,", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 45
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "Yellow", 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 46
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "All-Night Burlesque", 1960-1961 series 1box 2folder 47
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "Dreamlike, Undreamed", 1960-1961 series 1box 2folder 48
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "Early on Sunday in NY", 1960-1961 series 1box 2folder 49
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "Entrance of the Gods", 1960-1961 series 1box 2folder 50
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "Kurfurstendamm", 1960-1961 and 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 51
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "Kurfurstendamm", 1960-1961 and 1960-1965 series 1box 2folder 52
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "The Loves of Tiger Darcy", 1960-1961 series 1box 2folder 53
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "Megalopolis", 1960-1961 series 1box 2folder 54
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "The Part", 1960-1961 series 1box 2folder 55
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- "The Spy", 1960-1961 series 1box 2folder 56
Poems Not Published in Books -- "Folder B 1960-1965" -- Untitled drafts, 1960-1961 series 1box 2folder 57
Wain, John (ed.) -- Anthology of Modern Poetry -- London: Hutchinson Educational -- Page proof with pen corrections on pages 62, 160, 167, 183, 195, 201., 1962 series 1box 3folder 1
Gunn, Thom -- Moly -- London: Faber and Faber -- uncorrected proof copy, 1971(?) series 1box 3folder 2
Gunn, Thom -- My Sad Captains -- London: Faber and Faber -- uncorrected proof copy, 1961 series 1box 3folder 3
Gunn, Thom -- Poems 1950-1966: A Selection -- London: Faber and Faber -- uncorrected proof copy, 1969 series 1box 3folder 4
Gunn, Thom -- Touch -- London: Faber and Faber -- uncorrected proof copy, 1967 series 1box 3folder 5

Series 2: Notebooks, 1957-1967 and undated (1.5 linear feet)

Series II, Notebooks, is arranged chronologically. The notebooks, dated by Gunn, span from April 1956 to Summer 1967. They include manuscript and typescript drafts of poems, notes regarding poems and publications, and journal entries. Prior to processing, most of the notebooks contained loose materials. To prevent further damage, those materials were separated, their original location was recorded on them, and they were placed in folders corresponding to the notebooks from which they were removed.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Notebooks, April 1957-January 1958 series 2box 1folder 1
Notebooks, April 1957-January 1959 series 2box 1folder 2
Notebooks, February 1958 series 2box 1folder 3
Notebooks, February 1958 series 2box 1folder 4
Notebooks, October 1960 series 2box 1folder 5
Notebooks, October 1960 series 2box 1folder 6
Notebooks, November 1960 series 2box 1folder 7
Notebooks, November 1960 series 2box 1folder 8
Notebooks, December 1960 series 2box 1folder 9
Notebooks, December 1960 series 2box 1folder 10
Notebooks, circa 1958-1961 series 2box 1folder 11
Notebooks, circa 1958-1961 series 2box 1folder 12
Notebooks, 5 May 1961 series 2box 1folder 13
Notebooks, 5 May 1961 series 2box 1folder 14
Notebooks, 8 January 1963 series 2box 1folder 15
Notebooks, 8 January 1963 series 2box 1folder 16
Notebooks, 23 February 1963 series 2box 1folder 17
Notebooks, 23 February 1963 series 2box 1folder 18
Notebooks, 8 March 1963 series 2box 1folder 19
Notebooks, 8 March 1963 series 2box 2folder 1
Notebooks, 2 May 1963 series 2box 2folder 2
Notebooks, 17 September 1963 series 2box 2folder 3
Notebooks, 17 September 1963 series 2box 2folder 4
Notebooks, September 1963-January 1964 series 2box 2folder 5
Notebooks, September 1963-January 1964 series 2box 2folder 6
Notebooks, October 1964 series 2box 2folder 7
Notebooks, 1964-mid 1965 series 2box 2folder 8
Notebooks, 1964-mid 1965 series 2box 2folder 9
Notebooks, 1964-1965 series 2box 2folder 10
Notebooks, 11 January 1965 series 2box 2folder 11
Notebooks, 11 January 1965 series 2box 2folder 12
Notebooks, January 1965 series 2box 2folder 13
Notebooks, January 1965 series 2box 2folder 14
Notebooks, September 1965 series 2box 2folder 15
Notebooks, September 1965 series 2box 3folder 1
Notebooks, January-August 1966 series 2box 3folder 2
Notebooks, January-August 1966 series 2box 3folder 3
Notebooks, Summer 1966-February 1967 series 2box 3folder 4
Notebooks, Summer 1966-February 1967 series 2box 3folder 5
Notebooks, March-April 1967 series 2box 3folder 6
Notebooks, March-April 1967 series 2box 3folder 7
Notebooks, Summer 1967 series 2box 3folder 8
Notebooks, Summer 1967 series 2box 3folder 9
Notebooks -- "Glock", undated series 2box 3folder 10
Notebooks -- "Glock", undated series 2box 3folder 11

Series 3: Publications, 1957-1971 (6 folders)

Series III, Publications, includes three autographed copies of The Explorers (dated 1968 thru 1969), a copy of "A Fair in the Woods" (1971), two holiday greeting cards containing "Poem After Chaucer" (1971), and three issues of the Poetry Book Society Bulletin, containing articles written by Gunn (1957, 1967, 1971) and one issue of Yale Review containing the article "Voices of Their Own."

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Publications -- The Explorers, 1968-1969 series 3box 3folder 12
Publications -- The Explorers, 1968-1969 series 3box 3folder 13
Publications -- The Explorers, 1968-1969 series 3box 3folder 14
Publications -- "The Fair in the Woods", Winter 1969 series 3box 3folder 15
Publications -- "Poem After Chaucer" (holiday greeting card), December 1971 series 3box 3folder 16
Publications -- "Thom Gunn Writes . . .," Poetry Book Society Bulletin, May 1957, September 1967, Spring 1971 series 3box 3folder 17
Gunn, Thom -- "Voices of Their Own" -- Yale Review XLIX: 589-598 -- book reviews, Summer, 1960 series 3box 3folder 18

Series 4: Correspondence, 1956-1972 and undated (1 linear inch)

This series contains signed typescript and manuscript letters. There are two Gunn letters to Donald Davie. The Davie file also includes an unsigned and undated typed copy of Gunn's "An Amorous Debate," on which Gunn recorded his comments on that work and on his long poem "Misanthropos." There are also two letters from Donald Hall to Gunn and a letter from Norman Scwires that Gunn inscribed "My first fan letter from a stranger." Finally there is an undated letter from Tony Tanner that is a critique of a draft of "Misanthropos." This series is arranged alphabetically.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Donald Davie, 1970, 1972 and undated series 4box 3folder 19
Donald Hall, 1966 and undated series 4box 3folder 20
Norman Scwires, 14 May 1956 series 4box 3folder 21
Tony Tanner, circa late 1965-early 1965 series 4box 3folder 22

Series 5: Photographs, 1955-1970 (5 items)

This series consists of five photographs. Two photographs by Ander Gunn were published in Positives. They were separated from the Positives materials in Series II. The photographs were identified by Gunn as "Man On a Motorbike" and "Negro Children Coming Out of a Front Door" and appear on pages 33 and 41 of Positives. The specific details of the acquisition of the three other photographs of Gunn are unknown; however, it is likely that they were purchased circa 1967-1972. One is dated circa 1955, and the other two document Gunn's participation in the London Poetry Festival in 1970. The photographs are arranged chronologically.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Thom Gunn -- "Thom Gunn ca. 1955/Photograph supplied/By THE TIMES/This photograph must/not be reproduced/without permission." (oversize), 1955 series 5box 3folder 1
"Man on a Motorbike," -- "Positives 12" on verso (oversize), circa 1960-1965 series 5box 3folder 2
"Negro Children Coming Out from a Front Door," -- "Positives 16" on verso (oversize), circa 1960-1965 series 5box 3folder 3
Cecil Day-Lewis, Thom Gunn, unidentified individual, and Ted Hughes, London Poetry Festival -- "1970 London Poetry Festival/ l to r. C. Day-Lewis, Thom Gunn, _____, Ted Hughes." on verso (oversize), 1970 series 5box 3folder 4
Thom Gunn, London Poetry Festival -- "Thom/Gunn, London Poetry Festival, Summer 1970" (oversize), 1970 series 5box 3folder 5

Related Material

The Thom Gunn Papers, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, comprise the most extensive collection of Gunn primary materials, purchased in December 2006 from Gunn's estate. Correspondence between Thom Gunn and Elizabeth Bishop may be found in the Elizabeth Bishop Papers, at the Vassar College Libraries, Special Collections. Correspondence between Thom Gunn and others may be found in the Papers of Jerome Rothenburg at the University of California at Berkeley's Bancroft Library; the David Ignatov Papers at the University of California at San Diego's Mandeville Department of Special Collections; and the William Van O'Connor Papers at the George Arents Research Library for Special Collections at Syracuse University.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

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