Cornelius Eady Papers

September 9, 2014

By Nancy Kuhl

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library is excited to announce that it has acquired the literary archive of award-winning poet, dramatist, and literary activist Cornelius Eady (See the Orbis record of this collection online here: Cornelius Eady Papers).
Eady is the author of collections of poetry including Hardheaded Weather; Brutal Imagination, a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award in Poetry; The Autobiography of a Jukebox; The Gathering of My Name, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; and Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, which was chosen by Louise Glück, Charles Simic, and Philip Booth for the 1985 Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets. His works for the stage include collaborations with jazz composer Diedre Murray: Running Man, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1999; and Brutal Imagination, which received Newsday’s 2002 Oppenheimer Award. He has been awarded an NEA Fellowship in Literature; a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry; a Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Traveling Scholarship; a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to Bellagio, Italy.
In 1996, with fellow poet Toi Derricote, Eady founded Cave Canem, a nonprofit organization supporting African American poets and acting as a safe space for creative enterprise, intellectual engagement, and critical debate.
Born in 1954, Cornelius Eady was raised in Rochester, New York. He currently lives in Columbia, MO, where he holds the Miller Chair in Poetry at University of Missouri.
The Cornelius Eady Papers at the Beinecke Library document the poet’s literary life and activities, his creative practice, and his social engagement with arts communities. The collection includes: drafts of poetry and prose, working manuscripts, and notes associated with all major published work; early manuscript note books, manuscripts and typescripts, including unpublished work; correspondence with editors, collaborators, fellow poets, and poetry advocates including Alice Quinn, June Jordan, Heather McHugh, Michael Collier, Stan Plumly, Hettie Jones, Toi Derricotte, Jonathan Galassi, Ethelbert Miller, and many others; materials related to the founding of the Cave Canem Foundation; archival and ephemeral materials documenting classes and special projects; reviews and clippings; photographs and drawings.
The Library has also recently acquired the Cave Canem Foundation Records (see an announcement about this related collection here: New Collections: Cave Canem Records).
For more information about Cornelius Eady and examples of his work, visit:
For more information about the Cave Canem Foundation visit:
For information about the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters at Beinecke Library, visit African American Studies at Beinecke