Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Reginald Gibbons:

A Preliminary Inventory of his Collection of William Goyen (1915-1983) and Thomas McGrath (1916-1990) in the Manuscript Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Gibbons, Reginald, 1947-
Title: Reginald Gibbons Collection of William Goyen and Thomas McGrath
Dates: 1945-2004
Extent: 12 boxes (5.04 linear feet)
Abstract: This collection reflects Gibbons' advocacy for the publication of the works of William Goyen and Thomas McGrath, especially during his years as editor of Northwestern University's TriQuarterly literary magazine and TriQuarterly Books. The collection primarily consists of typescripts of works, interviews, reviews, and correspondence.
Language: English
Access:

Open for research, except for restricted correspondence and versions of "Leander"




Acquisition:

Gift, 2005 (G12425)

Processed by:

Liz Murray, 2006

Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center


Poet, writer, literary critic, and academic, Reginald Gibbons enjoyed a long-standing personal and professional relationship with William Goyen and Thomas McGrath. This collection reflects Gibbons' advocacy for the publication of both writers' works, especially during his years as editor of Northwestern University's TriQuarterly literary magazine and TriQuarterly Books. The material, primarily typescripts of works, interviews, reviews, and correspondence, is organized in three Series: I. William Goyen; II. Gibbons Correspondence re Goyen, 1981-2004; and III. Thomas McGrath.

The William Goyen Series is subdivided into three Subseries: A. Works; B. Goyen Correspondence, 1945-1983; and C. About Goyen.

The Works in Subseries A. contain short stories and novels already present in the Ransom Center's Goyen Papers. Titles include Arcadio (1983), Had I a Hundred Mouths: New and Selected Stories, 1947-1983 (1985), Half a Look of Cain: A Fantastical Narrative (1994), House of Breath (1999), New Work and Work in Progress (1983) preface by Joyce Carol Oates, Precious Door (1982), and Wonderful Plant (1980). Also present are individual short stories and Study Master notes by Goyen for works by Willa Cather and Ralph Ellison.

Subseries B. Goyen Correspondence, 1945-1983, includes original and photocopied letters to and from writers Eve Caram and Katherine Anne Porter, theater director-producer Margo Jones, editor and publisher Carol Southern, and Reginald Gibbons.

Material about Goyen in Subseries C. includes articles, obits, reviews, biographical entries, a 1982 interview for Masques, inventories of Goyen's literary papers, and a 1992 issue of Mid-American Review on Goyen.

The Gibbons correspondence regarding Goyen in Series II. has much to do with his active role as Goyen's literary executor and the publication of Goyen's works. Correspondents include Eve Caram; Clark Davis; Gary Haber; Robert Phillips; Patrice Repusseau, Goyen's wife, actress Doris Roberts; Stephen Spender; Eudora Welty; and others.

The Thomas McGrath papers in Series III. are arranged in two Subseries: A. "Thomas McGrath: Life and the Poem," in TriQuarterly 70, 1987, and B. Correspondence re TriQuarterly issue and McGrath-Related Material.

Subseries A. contains drafts, corrections, and proofs of an interview conducted between January 30 and February 1, 1987 by Gibbons and Terrence Des Pres. The interview titled "Thomas McGrath: Life and the Poem" was subsequently published as a special issue of TriQuarterly and in an expanded version by the University of Illinois Press in 1992.

Much of Subseries B. regarding the TriQuarterly interview includes Gibbons' correspondence with Philip Levine, Frederick Stern, British historian E. P. Thompson, and Josh Weiner. Of special interest are numerous letters from McGrath to Gibbons from 1987-1988. Also present is a typescript of an oral interview of Alice McGrath conducted by Michael Balter in 1987.


An audio cassette commemorating a celebration of Tom McGrath on March 15, 1991, in Chicago was transferred to the Ransom Center's Sound Recordings Collection.