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Raymond Ellsworth Larsson letter to William Carlos Williams


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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

Raymond Ellsworth Larsson (1901-1991) was an American Catholic poet whose work was best known in the 1920s and 1930s.

His poetry appeared in a 1927 issue of

Transition magazine, along with the work of James Joyce, Kay Boyle, Gertrude Stein, Hart Crane, André Gide, and Archibald MacLeish. Wisconsin; a guide to the Badger state, compiled by workers of the Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Wisconsin, New York, Duell, Sloan and Pearce [c1941].Information derived from the collection.

American poet and pediatrician William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) is most widely known for his five-volume impressionistic poem,

Paterson, published between 1946 and 1958.

In addition to poetry, Williams, who was interested in post-impressionism and cubism, also wrote essays on art, many of which are collected in

A Recognizable Image (1978); as well as novels, such as his White Mule, which was serialized in the literary magazine, Pagany (1930-1933).

In 1963, Williams was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize in poetry.

Garraty, John A. (ed.)Dictionary of American Biography. Supplement Seven 1961-1965. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1981. pp. 788-791.Information derived from the collection.

American Catholic poet Raymond Larsson (1901-1991) wrote to his friend, American poet and physician William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), seeking assistance in gaining release from Rockland State Hospital.

In the fall of 1969, Larsson was committed to the Rockland State Hospital for psychiatric treatment, which, according to his letter, included "treatments by electricity." Larsson complained of ill treatment, outlined some of his behaviors which were viewed as offensive, and lamented the uncertainty of the length of his "imprisonment." Larsson sought Williams's aid in contacting those who might facilitate his release and requested copies of Williams's poems to read.

Accompanying Larsson's letter is a brief handwritten note from Williams to his secretary. Williams requested a letter be typed in triplicate, and one of the copies be sent to Larsson. There is no mention of the content of the letter.

  1. Box 66, F0961: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes

Purchase, January 2014.

Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, March 2014. Further encoded by George Apodaca, October 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2014 March 6
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Raymond Ellsworth Larsson typed letter to William Carlos Williams, 1969 December 5.
Box 66 Folder F0961
William Carlos Williams autograph note to unidentified secretary, 1969 December 19.
Box 66 Folder F0961

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