Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Martha Millet was a poet, Marxist literary critic, and radical political activist. Born in the Bronx in 1918 to Russian immigrants, Millet was raised by her father, a founding member of the Communist Party USA, and became a member of the Young Communist League as a teenager. She married at nineteen, divorced, and in 1944 married her second husband, Sender Garlin, a well-known Marxist journalist and pamphleteer with whom she had two children. During the 1930s and 40s, Millet was a regular contributor to prominent Marxist periodicals, but after World War II the McCarthyite blacklists – as well as Millet's own opposition to the poetic and literary trends of the day - made it difficult for her to find an audience. Most of her manuscripts, including a revisionist history of Ezra Pound's sociopolitical perspective and Fascist radio broadcasts, were never published. She did succeed in publishing several books of poems: Thine Alabaster Cities (1952) and Dangerous Jack : a Fantasy in Verse (1953) – as well as a poetic anthology, The Rosenbergs: Poems of the United States (1957). Millet also found some success in China and the Soviet Bloc; while her Collected Poems never appeared in America, a Chinese translation appeared in 1957, and she was featured among other radical poets in a Czech anthology in 1959. She also carried on an active life as a teacher, especially at the Jefferson School for Social Science, an adult education institution in New York City supported by the Communist Party USA. During her later life, Millet and Garlin moved to Colorado, where they were active in political circles, and where Millet contributed columns and editorials to local newspapers.
This collection includes material related to Martha Millet's poetic, critical, and political work. It contains most of her poetic and critical work in manuscript form; copies of journals and anthologies to which she contributed; scrapbooks assembled by Millet to commemorate her publications; documents from the Helsinki Peace Conference of 1955, which Millet attended; work by her husband, political journalist Sender Garlin, as well as a transcript of his FBI file; and works by others, including the transcripts of Ezra Pound's WWII era radio broadcasts, which Millet used to write a book attacking Pound's political thought. It also includes a small but significant amount of correspondence between Millet and editors of prominent Marxist journals, as well as with the translator of the Chinese edition of her Collected Poems. The collection will be of particular interest to researchers looking for insight into the intersection between Marxist thought and poetic experimentation among Communist and left-leaning American writers during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, and how these intersections played out within the thriving community of Marxist and Marxist-affiliated journals and magazines.
Sold by Bolerium Books, 2015.
Box 12 of this collection held microfilms of Ezra Pound transcripts of short wave broadcasts from Rome, 1941 Dec. 7-1943 July 25. The originals are held at the Library of Congress. They were published in 1977 in this collection: http://franklin.library.upenn.edu/record.html?id=FRANKLIN_455022. The microfilms in this collection were deaccession and box 12 no longer exists.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Sam Allingham
- Finding Aid Date
- 2016 July 29
- Access Restrictions
The bulk of this collection is open for research use. However, access to original audio/visual materials and computer files is restricted. The Kislak Center will provide access to the information on these materials from duplicate master files. If the original does not already have a copy, it will be sent to an outside vendor for copying. Patrons are financially responsible for the cost. The turnaround time from request to delivery of digital items is about two weeks for up to five items and three to seven weeks for more than five items. Please contact Reprographic Services (email@example.com) for cost estimates and ordering. Once digital items are received, researchers will have access to the files on a dedicated computer in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.