March 12, 2019

By Nancy Kuhl

The Tom Carey Papers (YCAL MSS 1210) document the poet, writer and vicar, Tom Carey, and his relationships with prominent figures of the New York School, as well as life in New York City from the late 1970s – early 1980s. The papers include writings, photographs, correspondence, journals and other material created by Carey, in addition to correspondence and journals with content related to writers, poets and artists such as Joe Brainard, Ted Berrigan, Alfred Corn, Tim Dlugos, Ed Dorn, Richard Howard, Duncan Hannah, James McCourt, Eileen Myles, Alice Notley, Darragh Park and David Trinidad.

Tom Carey (b. Santa Monica, California, 1951) came from a Hollywood family. His father, Harry Carry Jr., and grandfathers, Harry Carey and Paul Fix, were western movie actors, and Carey himself studied acting with Jack Garfein and Stella Adler. In the 1970s and 80s Carey fronted for the punk rock band, The Beeks, and was a literary assistant to James Schuyler and John Ashbery. Carey became a Franciscan brother in 1988, ran The Bushwick Play Project and taught poetry in New York City public schools for ten years. Carey’s poetry has been published in various anthologies, magazines and journals. His book of poems, titled Desire, (Painted Leaf Press, 1997) was a Lambda Literary Award finalist.

Of particular note in the papers is material documenting Carey’s relationship with Pulitzer prize winning poet James Schuyler, including correspondence, photographs, poems, audio recordings of Schuyler’s poetry readings, and material related to Schuyler’s memorial service.   

–Jessica Tai

Related Collections at Beinecke Library

Alfred Corn Papers (YCAL MSS 605)

James McCourt and Vincent Virge Papers (GEN MSS 845)

Darragh Park Sketchbooks, Paintings, and Drawings (YCAL MSS 804)

Other relevant materials may be found by searching Orbis, Yale Library’s Catalog for Books, and Archives at Yale

Images: photobooth image strip and journal excerpt from the Tom Carey Papers.