Voices from the Beinecke Library

Literary Intellectuals at Yale

Among the Collection’s holdings of literary archives are the papers of numerous twentieth-century literary critics, great intellectuals of their time. Chief among these holdings is the Robert Penn Warren Papers, consisting of 145 linear feet of manuscript drafts, correspondence, and personal papers, all from the desk of poet, novelist, and critic Robert Penn Warren. Warren, known to most as “Red,” began his career as an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, where he became closely involved with the Fugitives, a group of Southern poets and literary critics. He joined the English faculty at Yale in 1950 and was instrumental in the development of the American Studies program. His third novel, the political thriller All the King’s Men (1946), won him his first Pulitzer Prize. He received subsequent Pulitzer Prizes for two volumes of poetry, Promises (1958) and Now and Then (1979), and in 1986 became Poet Laureate of the United States. His papers contain rich correspondence with literary heavyweights such as William Faulkner, Harold Bloom, John Cheever, Lillian Hellman, John Hollander, Katherine Anne Porter, John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, and Eudora Welty. Yale literary traditions remain central to the Yale Collection of American Literature; in recent years, the Library has added the archives of Yale poets Louise Glück, John Hollander, and J. D. McClatchy.

Image: Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men, New York: Time, ca. 1963.

Collection Highlights Exhibited in Multitudes: A Celebration of the Yale Collection of American Literature: Materials from the Robert Penn Warren Papers, including correspondence from Cleanth Brooks and Katherine Ann Porter. Robert Penn Warren first editions from the Yale Collection of American Literature. Literary Intellectuals at Yale--Checklist & Object Descriptions


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