Manuscripts
Department of Special Collections
Washington University Libraries
Washington University in St. Louis

Finding-Aid for the James Tate Papers (WTU00112)

Finding aid prepared by:
Special Collections Staff

Summary Information
Title: James Tate Papers
Creator: Tate, Jame,1943- , American author
Call number: WTU00112
Language: English

Access and Use:
Source:

Unknown.

Access Restrictions:

Collection is open to research.

Processing Information:

Processed by Washington University Department Special Collections Staff.


Biography

James Tate, born in Kansas City, Missouri, received his BA from Kansas State College and his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. He has taught at the University of Iowa, University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, Emerson College, and the University of Massachusetts. He has also been poetry editor for the Dickinson Review, and associate editor for two small presses, the Pym-Randall Press and the Barn Dream Press. Tate has written more than 30 books, chapbooks, and broadsides since his first published work in 1966, and is probably best known for The Lost Pilot (1967) and The Oblivion Ha-Ha (1970). His poetry is set in surreal, bizarre landscapes, and his themes deal with boredom, confusion, terror, or emptiness.

Charles Simic was born in Yugoslavia and emigrated to the United States at 16. He received his B. A. from New York University, and has taught at California State College and the University of New Hampshire. Simic has produced 13 volumes of poetry and has done a great deal as a translator of contemporary Slavic poetry; his own work reflects this Eastern European influence, and has been described as strange, dark, even macabre.


Collection Scope and Content Note

Scope and Contents Note

The Tate collection consists almost entirely of Tate’s correspondence with Charles Simic. These letters provide an interesting insight into Tate’s writing and his ideas on contemporary poetry, and many include Tate’s opinions on and suggestion for Sumic’s poetry. Some letters also contain discussions on other contemporary poets. All letters are from Tate. Other items in the collection include manuscripts by Tate: “Cruisin’ Even.” Ts, 1 p. on verso of letter to Simic, 1972: October 8. “Return to a Place Lit by a Hamburger.” TSS, 1 p., on postcard to Simic, 1975: November 12. “A Guide to the Stone Age.” TS, 1 p. n.d. “Urgent Letter to Charles Simic Concerning the State of Poetry and the Angel of Death.” TSS, 1 p. 1970: February 27.

Contents List
      Title
box-folder   -/-  
Papers 1970-1980 (33 items)   
Scope: The Tate collection consists almost entirely of Tate’s correspondence with Charles Simic. These letters provide an interesting insight into Tate’s writing and his ideas on contemporary poetry, and many include Tate’s opinions on and suggestion for Sumic’s poetry. Some letters also contain discussions on other contemporary poets. All letters are from Tate. Other items in the collection include manuscripts by Tate: “Cruisin’ Even.” Ts, 1 p. on verso of letter to Simic, 1972: October 8. “Return to a Place Lit by a Hamburger.” TSS, 1 p., on postcard to Simic, 1975: November 12. “A Guide to the Stone Age.” TS, 1 p. n.d. “Urgent Letter to Charles Simic Concerning the State of Poetry and the Angel of Death.” TSS, 1 p. 1970: February 27.