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Derek Parker:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Parker, Derek, 1932-
Title: Derek Parker Collection
Dates: 1955-1970
Extent: 5.5 boxes (2.29 linear feet), 1 galley folder
Abstract: This collection consists primarily of materials relating to Parker's editorship of the Poetry Review as well as correspondence, production files, and printed materials relating to Parker's literary career.
RLIN Record ID: TXRC96-A45
Language English.

Open for research


Purchases, 1969-1974 (R4966, R5857, R6110)

Processed by

Katie Salzmann, 1995; Sarah Demb, 1996

Repository: :

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin

Derek Parker, critic, interviewer, author, and editor, was born in Looe, Cornwall, England, in 1932. He attended schools in England until the age of seventeen. Parker describes himself as "primarily a journalistic hack with perhaps a flair for interpreting the poetry of others; an occasional poet, an editor with widely catholic tastes."

Parker is a prolific writer and has been published in many forms, including verse, essays, and monographs, but he is perhaps best known for his work with the British Broadcasting Corporation and for his career as an editor. He has edited anthologies of poetry, letters, and journals, including Poetry Review (1966-1970) and The Author (1986-).

The Poetry Review is the official journal of the Poetry Society which was founded in 1909 to promote poetry, and publishes poetry, critical essays on poetry and poetics, and reviews. Derek Parker assumed editorship in 1966, and under his guidance, the journal published work by poets such as W. H. Auden, Robert Graves, John Heath-Stubbs, and Hugh MacDiarmid. Members of the Poetry Society who were active during Parker's editorship include: Presidents Neville Coghill and William Plomer; Vice Presidents Robert Armstrong, Sir John Betjeman, Sir Francis Meynell, and Margaret Rawlings; and Chairmen Geoffrey Handly-Taylor and Norman Hidden.

During his tenure as editor of the Poetry Review, Parker was involved in several other literary activities, including his editorship with John Lehmann of Selected Letters of Edith Sitwell (1970), his contributions to Contemporary Poets of the English Language and Liberté, and his British Broadcasting Corporation interview programs.

Since leaving the Poetry Review, Parker has been active in other literary ventures, often collaborating with his wife, Julia Louise Parker.

Throughout his career, Parker has been involved in many literary and artistic societies. He has been a member of the Radiowriter's Association, has served on the council of the Society of Authors, on the grand council of the Royal Academy of Dancing, and as registrar of the Royal Literary Fund.

The Derek Parker Collection, 1955-1970, consists of correspondence, production files, and printed materials relating to Parker's literary career. The bulk of the collection documents Parker's editorship of the Poetry Review from 1966-1970. Two series form the collection: Parker's editorial files for the Poetry Review, 1965-1970 (4.5 boxes), and documents relating to Parker's other literary activities, 1955-1970 (1 box).

Of the two series, Parker's editorial files for the Poetry Review is the largest and potentially most important. It is subdivided into three subseries: Correspondence, 1966-1970; Production Materials, 1966-1970; and the Poetry Society, 1965-1968. These three subseries document the contributions to and editorship and production of the Poetry Review as well as other activities of its sponsoring organization, the Poetry Society. The Correspondence subseries includes both outgoing and incoming mail and highlights Parker's role as editor. The material primarily regards contributions to the Poetry Review. The Production Material subseries comprises the bulk of the collection. A combination of copy, paste-up, and galley proof files of each issue published during Parker's editorship document the editing and publishing process of the Poetry Review.

The second series, Literary Activities, represents Parker's wide range of literary interests. The series is arranged in two subseries, General Correspondence, 1955-1970, and Projects, 1960-1970. The Projects subseries is arranged alphabetically by project, including BBC Interviews, 1963-1969, Civil List Pension for Jack Clemo, 1960-1961, Contemporary Poets of the English Language, 1969, Edith Sitwell: Selected Letters, 1965-1970, and Liberté, 1967. This subseries consists almost solely of correspondence relating to these various projects, documenting Parker's role in them. Significant correspondents in this series include W. H. Auden, Gavin Bantock, Ronald Bottrall, Richard Church, Noel Coward, Bonamy Dobree, Valerie Eliot, Richard Garnett, Robert Graves, Sir Alec Guinness, Christopher Isherwood, George Wilson Knight, John Lehmann, Laurence Olivier, Osbert Sitwell, Stevie Smith, Stephen Spender, and A. J. P. Taylor.


Abbott, Eric S.

Aberconway, Christabel Mary Macnaghten McLaren, Baroness, 1890-

Auden, W.H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973

Bantock, Gavin, 1939-

Barker, George, 1913-

Betjman, John, Sir, 1906-

Blunden, Edmund, 1896-1974

Bottrall, Ronald, 1906-

Bryher, Winifred, 1894-

Carman, Philip, 1911-

Causley, Charles, 1917-

Church, Richard

Clark, Leonard

Clemo, Jack R., 1916-

Coward, Noel, 1899-1973

Day, Lewis, C. (Cecil), 1904-1972

Dobree, Bonamy, 1891-

Eberhart, Richard, 1904-

Eliot, Valerie

Enright, D.J. (Dennis Joseph), 1920-

Finlay, Ian Hamilton

Garnett, Richard

Graves, Robert, 1895-

Greene, Graham, 1904-

Guinness, Alec, 1914-

Gunn, Thom

Heath-Stubbs, John Francis Alexander, 1918-

Hepworth, Barbara, Dame, 1903-1975

Hollo, Anselm, 1934-

Hughes, Ted, 1930-

Isherwood, Christopher, 1926-

Jennings, Elizabeth, 1926-

Kirkup, James, 1918-

Knight, George Wilson, 1897-

Larkin, Philip, 1924-

Lehmann, John, 1907-

Lindsay, Jack, 1900-

Lucie-Smith, Edward, 1933-

Macbeth, George

MacDiarmid, Hugh, 1892-1978

MacInnes, Colin

Middleton, Christopher, 1926-

Moore, Gerald, 1923-

Nance, R. Morton (Robert Morton)

Nijinsky, Romola de Pulszky

Olivier, Laurence, 1907-

Pilon, Jean-Guy

Pinter, Harold, 1930-

Plomer, William, 1903-1973

Powell, Anthony, 1905-

Pudney, John, 1909-1977

Purdy, James

Quennell, Peter, 1905-

Raine, Kathleen, 1908-

Rawlings, Margaret

Roche, Paul, 1927

Rowse, A.L. (Alfred Leslie)

Sassoon, Siegfried, 1886-1967

Singleton, Geoffrey

Sitwell, Francis

Sitwell, Georgia

Sitwell, Osbert, 1892-1969rell

Sitwell, Sacheve

Smith, Stevie, 1902-1971

Spender, Stephen

Stanford, Derek

Taylor, A.J.P. (Alan John Percival), 1906-

Thomas, D.M.

Tippett, Michael, 1905-

Waley, Alison

Watkins, Vernon Phillips, 1906-1967

Wellington, Gerald Wellesley, 7th Duke of, 1885-1972

Whicker, Lawrence R.

Whyte, Lancelot Law, 1896-

Wilson, Colin, 1931-


Sitwell, Edith, Dame, 1887-1964

Poetry Society

Poetry Review (London, England: 1912)

Poetry--History and criticism

Poetry, Modern--20th century


Poetry, English

Document Types

Christmas cards

Galley proofs