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Anne Woodworth correspondence with W.D. Snodgrass


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

Poet W. D. Snodgrass was born William De Witt Snodgrass on January 5, 1926, in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. He attended Geneva College (1943–1944 and 1946-1947) prior to graduating from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in 1949, M.A. in 1951, and M.F.A. in 1953. He also held an honorary Doctor of Letters from Allegheny College.

W. D. Snodgrass's first book, a collection of poetry titled

Heart's Needle (New York: Knopf, 1959) was awarded the 1960 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Following that publication Snodgrass produced over thirty books of poetry, translations, and criticism. In addition to Heart's Needle, the poet's other published collections of poetry include After Experience (1968), The Führer Bunker: A Cycle of Poems in Progress (1977), Remains (1970), and The Death of Cock Robin (1989). Among his other publications are the translations Gallows Songs by Christian Morgenstern (1967), Six Troubadour Songs (1977), and Traditional Hungarian Songs (1978); as well as the volume of criticism, In Radical Pursuit: Critical Essays and Lectures (1975). A major retrospective collection of Snodgrass's poetry, Selected Poems, 1957–1987, was published by Soho Press in 1987.

Snodgrass also contributed poetry, essays, reviews, and translations to many major journals, newspapers, and anthologies. His work appeared in such anthologies as

Reading Modern Poetry (1955), New Poets of England and America (1957), New World Writing (1957), and Theodore Roethke: Essays on the Poetry (1965). His cycle of poems, The Führer Bunker, was adapted as a play and performed off–Broadway at American Place Theatre on May 26, 1981.

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Snodgrass was honored with such awards as the Hudson Review Fellowship (1958), the Longview Award (1959), the Poetry Society of America Special Citation (1960), the Guinness Award (1961), the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award (1968), and the Centennial Medal of Romania (1977). Snodgrass was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1972, and was made a Fellow of the Academy of American Poets in 1973.

Following faculty assignments at Cornell University (1955-1957), University of Rochester (1957-1958), Wayne State University (1959-1967), Syracuse University (1968-1977), and Old Dominion University (1978-1979); W. D. Snodgrass was professor of Writing and Contemporary Poetry at the University of Delaware from 1979 to 1994. Snodgrass died in Erieville, New York, on January 13, 2009.

Murray, Timothy. "W. D. Snodgrass: An Exhibition." 1990. Snodgrass, W. D. 1999. After-images: autobiographical sketches. Rochester, NY: BOA Editions."W(illiam) D(eWitt) Snodgrass." Contemporary Authors Online. Biography in Context (GALE|H1000092973) Information derived from the collection.

Anne Harding Woodworth is the author of several books of poetry and chapbooks, including

Artemis Sonnets (2011), Unattached Male (2014), and The Last Gun (2016). Woodworth's poetry, essays, and reviews have been published in literary journals, in the United States and abroad, including TriQuarterly, Poet Lore, Crannog, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Antigonish Review, and Poetry Salzburg Review. Woodworth is a member of the Poetry Board at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. She is the winner of the 2015-2016 COG Poetry Award. Woodworth published an article on Snodgrass in the April 2008 issue of Triquarterly entitled "Crafting Evil in W.D. Snodgrass's The Fuehrer Bunker."

Woodworth, Anne Harding. "Crafting Evil in W.D. Snodgrass's The Fuehrer Bunker." Triquarterly 130 (April 2008): 233-248. Anne Harding Woodworth website, "The Poetry of Anne Harding Woodworth" (accessed November 6, 2017) COG, "2015-2016 Winner, COG Poetry Awards" (accessed November 6, 2017) Information derived from the collection.

This collection consists of correspondence between American poets Anne Harding Woodworth and W.D. Snodgrass dating from July 1999 to January 2009. Woodworth and Snodgrass discussed the writing, revision, and publication of their poetry as well as Woodworth's analytical essay on Snodgrass's

The Fuehrer Bunker.

Woodworth and Snodgrass often discussed poetry readings and workshops, as well their travels, attendance at theatrical performances, and family news. The correspondence centers on Woodworth's MFA coursework and her progress on poems, novellas, and literary analyses. Woodworth and Snodgrass worked on "de/compositions" or "De/Comps," rewriting classic poems to illustrate their craft and artistry. In 2003, Woodworth wrote a paper on Snodgrass's cycle of poems

The Fuehrer Bunker which she published in the April 2008 issue of Triquarterly as "Crafting Evil in W.D. Snodgrass's The Fuehrer Bunker." Woodworth also noted that her novella Spare Parts (2008) was influenced by Snodgrass's work.

Snodgrass sent several manuscript poems to Woodworth, including revisions of published work and new material. Toward the end of their correspondence, Snodgrass sent Woodworth revisions of the Albert Speer cycle of

The Fuehrer Bunker, noting that material had emerged after Speer's death that changed his interpretation.

Most of the items in this collection are typewritten letters with autograph signatures and annotations, although there are several handwritten letters and cards. A few letters were written by W.D. Snodgrass's wife, Kathy Snodgrass. Most of the letters from the Snodgrasses are accompanied by their original envelopes. A copy of Woodworth's April 2008

Triquarterly article and Snodgrass's January 2009 obituary from The Washington Post are included.

Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)

Gift of Anne Harding Woodworth, October 2017

Processed and encoded by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, November 2017.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2017 November 7
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 isrequired from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Correspondence, 1999 July 25-2001 July 21.
Box 1 Folder F1
Correspondence, 2002 January 12-2003 December 1.
Box 1 Folder F2
Correspondence, 2004 July 28-2006 December 7.
Box 1 Folder F3
Correspondence, 2007 January 10-2009 January 17.
Box 1 Folder F4
Anne Harding Woodworth, "Crafting Evil in W.D. Snodgrass's The Fuehrer Bunker", 2008 April.
Box 1 Folder F5

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