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William Kimball Flaccus galley proofs


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

William Kimball Flaccus was born August 8, 1911, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Louis William and Laura Flaccus. He was educated at Dartmouth College, earning his A.B. in 1933; Columbia University, earning his M.A. in 1934; and New York University, earning his Ph.D. in 1952. While still in high school, Flaccus began his career as a poet, and he won first prize in Scholastic Magazine's national interscholastic poetry competition in 1929 and first prize in the Glascock Memorial Poetry Contest at Mt. Holyoke College in 1931. He published his first book of poems, Avalanche of April, in 1934, the same year he earned his M.A. from Columbia.

In addition to writing poetry, Kimball Flaccus taught English and creative writing at several institutions, including the City College of New York from 1936 to 1942 (where he established the Phonographic Library of Contemporary Poets, recording the voices of such famous poets as Edgar Lee Masters, Genevieve Taggard, Arthur Davison Ficke, and John Hall Wheelock reading their own poems), Drexel Institute of Technology in 1946, New York University and Hunter College from 1953 to 1954, Pratt Institute in 1954, and Greensboro College in Greensboro, North Carolina from 1956 to 1957. In 1957, he became a free-lance writer.

During World War II, Flaccus served in the United States Navy, entering service in 1942 and remaining in the Navy as a reservist following the War until 1950. From 1946 to 1949, Flaccus worked as an assistant professor at the United States Naval Intelligence School. While serving in the Navy, in 1944, Flaccus won first prize in a contest for best play written by a serviceman overseas, for his play, Knock on Wood.

Published works by Flaccus include Avalanche of April (1934), The White Stranger (1940), Fulton Fish Market, a verse play performed on CBS radio (1940), The Music of Mountains, a verse play performed on CBS radio (1942), Knock on Wood (1944), Edgar Lee Masters: A Biographical and Critical Study (1954), and Seventy New Poems (1968).

Flaccus married Josephine Thurston in 1952 and Alice Pennock in 1968. He died on June 16, 1972, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This collection includes the galley proofs for William Kimball Flaccus's Avalanche of April dating from 1934 and The White Stranger dating from 1940. The galley proof for Avalanche of April is neither annotated nor corrected.

There are three copies of The White Stranger that are seemingly identical in content but formatted slightly differently from one another. Additionally, all three copies include a long preface about the significance of the story of Quetzalcoatl, an Aztec deity who is the subject of the first of the poems, in Mexico and the United States. Like the galley proof for Avalanche of April, none of the galleys for The White Stranger are annotated or corrected.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Kelin Baldridge
Finding Aid Date
2017 May 18
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This collection is open for research use.

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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.

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Avalanche of April, 1934.
Box 1 Folder 1
The White Stranger (3 copies), 1940.
Box 1 Folder 2

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