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Howard Moss Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Moss, Howard, 1922-1987
Title: Howard Moss Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1941-1966
Quantity: 1.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American poet, critic, dramatist, and editor. A single item of correspondence, and writings.
Language: Majority in English, some in French
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

Howard Moss (1922-1987) was an American poet, dramatist, children's author, editor, and critic. Born in New York City, he attended the University of Michigan 1939-1940 where he won a Hopwood Award; Harvard University during the summer of 1942; and received his BA from the University of Wisconsin in 1943. He later did graduate work at Columbia University.

Moss was an instructor at Vassar College in 1945-1946, and in 1948 became the Poetry Editor of The New Yorker magazine, a post he held for more than thirty-five years until his death in 1987.

Some of Moss' works include the following:

  • The Wound and the Weather, Reynal, 1943.
  • The Toy Fair, Scribner, 1954.
  • A Swimmer in the Air, Scribner, 1957.
  • A Winter Come, A Summer Gone, Poems 1946-1960, Scribner, 1960.
  • Finding Them Lost, Scribner, 1965.
  • Second Nature, 1968.
  • The Magic Lantern of Marcel Proust, Macmillan, 1962.

Moss was awarded the 1972 National Book Award for his Selected Poems.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Howard Moss Collection consists of correspondence, criticism, drama, and poetry.

Correspondence contains one letter, written by Sinclair Lewis.

Criticism contains three book reviews and the manuscript for The Magic Lantern of Marcel Proust.

Drama contains successive drafts of two plays, The Folding Green and the Oedipus-Mah-Jongg Scandal.

Poetry includes material from three books of poetry (Finding Them Lost and Other Poems, Second Nature, and a children's collection, Tigers and Other Lilies) as well as individual poems. Types of material include holograph, typescripts, galley proofs, and a few printed copies of poems.

Note: During processing, drafts were labelled e.g. A, B, C, etc. This was done with careful attention to paper characteristics, completeness of the manuscript, revisions and their subsequent incorporations, but these labels were designated solely at the processor's discretion, and should not be taken as either author's notation or as scholarly direction. In the seven versions of "The Folding Green", Moss does inscribe one as "Second version" and one as "Fourth version"; the researcher must choose his own path.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged alphabetically by type and, within each series, alphabetically by title.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings

Persons

Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951.
Moss, Howard, 1922-1987.

Subjects

American literature -- 20th century.
American poetry -- 20th century.
Dramatists, American.
Poets, American.

Genres and Forms

Correspondence.
Drafts (documents)
Galley proofs.
Manuscripts for publication.
Poems.

Occupations

Dramatists.
Poets.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Howard Moss Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: JA
Date: Jan 1975
Revision history: 15 Apr 2008 - converted to EAD (AMCon); 23 Oct 2018 - rehoused, inventory updated (MS)

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Inventory

Correspondence
Box 1 Lewis, Sinclair. undated - holograph letter, signed (1 p.)
Criticism
Box 1 Folksongs of the World, book review. undated - holograph manuscript, holograph notes, successive revisions, signed (10 pp.)
The Magic Lantern of Marcel Proust
Box 1 Galley proof with holograph notes and revisions 1962 (43 pp.)
Box 1 Typescript manuscript, holograph notes, signed (in notebook) undated (88 pp.)
Box 1 The Pilgrim Hawk, book review undated - typescript, holograph notes, successive revisions, signed (39 pp.)
Box 1 Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, book review undated - typescript, holograph notes, signed (7 pp.)
Drama
The Folding Green circa 1958
Box 1 Draft A undated - typescript, holograph notes, revisions and ideas (58 pp.)
Box 1 Draft B undated - mimeo and holograph succ. rev (125 pp.)
Box 1 Draft C undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, succ. rev (109 pp.)
Box 1 Draft D June 1958 - typescript (carbon copy)., bound, holograph note, "Second Version" (91 pp.)
Box 1 Draft E undated - mimeo copy of play, holograph note, "Fourth Version" (102 pp.)
Box 1 Draft F undated - typescript copy of play, bound, signed ( 85 pp.)
Box 2 Draft G 1965 - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), mimeo, holograph notes, bound (103 pp.)
Box 2 The Oedipus-Mah-Jongg Scandal undated - typescript, holograph notes, successive revisions, signed (74 pp.)
Poetry
During processing, drafts were labelled e.g. A, B, C, etc. This was done with careful attention to paper characteristics, completeness of the manuscript, revisions and their subsequent incorporations, but these labels were designated solely at the processor's discretion, and should not be taken as either author's notation or as scholarly direction. In the seven versions of "The Folding Green", Moss does inscribe one as "Second version" and one as "Fourth version"; the researcher must choose his own path.
Books of poetry
Finding Them Lost and Other Poems
Box 2 Galley proof, signed 1965 (26 pp.)
Box 2 Typescript and typescript carbon undated - holograph notes (55 pp.)
Box 2 Second Nature 1965-1966, undated (2 folders)
Contains the following:
"Another Life" undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, successive revisions, signed (6 pp.)
"Arsenic" - galley proof for The New Yorker 10/5/66 (2pp.); typescript, holograph notes, successive revisions, signed undated (10 pp.)
"The Bay Stone" undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, successive revisions, signed (10 pp.)
"Beach Glass" (also titled "Sea Glass") - galley proof for The New Yorker 11/ 2/66 (1 p.); See also "The Dune Wig"; typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, successive revisions, signed undated (18pp.)
"Drinks with X, or The Woman in Black" undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, successive revisions, signed (23 pp.)
"The Dune Wig" undated undated - typescript, holograph notes, signed (1 p.); See also "Beach Glass"
"Front Street" - galley proof for The New Yorker 3/14/66 (2pp.); typescript, holograph notes, successive revisions, signed undated (13 pp.)
"Going Dutch" undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, successive revisions, signed (3 pp.)
"Great Spaces" undated - typescript, holograph notes, signed (1 p.)
"The Maid's Story" undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, signed (4 pp.)
"The Meeting" - galley proof for The New Yorker 9/20/65 (1 p.); typescript, holograph notes, successive revisions, signed undated (2 pp.)
"Particular Beauties" - galley proof for The New Yorker 10/25/66 (1 p.) ; typescript, holograph notes, successive revisions, signed undated (4 pp.)
"Piano Practice" undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, signed (13 pp.)
"Still Pond, No More Moving", galley proofs for The New Yorker - galley A 6/24/66 (3 pp.); galley B 9/21/65 - typescript notes (3 pp.); galley C 9/21/65 - holograph notes (3 pp.); typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, successive revisions, signed undated (35 pp.)
"The Vase" - galley proof for The New Yorker 11/17/66 (1 p.); typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, signed undated (12 pp.)
Tigers and Other Lilies, a book of poems for children
Box 2 Draft A undated - typescript, holograph notes, signed (23 pp.)
Box 2 Draft B undated - revisions of poems which appear in final manuscript, Draft A; typescript, successive revisions, holograph notes (54 pp.)
Box 2 Draft C undated - sources, and successive revisions of poems not included in final manuscript; typescript, holograph notes (62 pp.)
Individual Poems (by title)
Box 2 "After the Flood" undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, succ. rev (4 pp.)
Box 2 "The Breakwater" undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy),holograph notes, succ. rev (4 pp.)
"Buddy"
See "Lifelines".
"Carlton"
See "Lifelines".
Box 2 "The Cemetery by the Sea" undated
Contains the following:
Valery's "Le Cimitiere Marin", in French, and a translation of same by Barbara Gibbs (printed), 5 pp.
holograph manuscript, typescript, holograph notes, successive revisions, 19 pp.
"Chester"
See "Lifelines".
Box 2 "Colorado" undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, successive revisions (12 pp.)
Box 2 "Crossing the Park" undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, successive revisions, signed (15 pp.)
"Edith"
See "Lifelines".
"Eva"
See "Lifelines".
Box 2 "The Fall" undated - typescript manuscript (1 p.)
Box 2 "The Fire Fountain (Christmas, Radio City)" 1961
Contains the following:
typescript, holograph notes, successive revisions, some with alternate title "At the Fire Fountain," undated, 10 pp.
Printed copy of poem from The New Yorker containing this poem, Dec. 16, 1961
"Fred"
See "Lifelines".
Box 2 "History" undated - typescript, holograph notes, successive revisions (8 pp.)
"Jake", "Jane", "Jay", "Joan", "Lee"
See "Lifelines".
Box 3 "Lifelines" 1964
The persons in the poem "Lifelines" underwent a metamorphosis of names while the poem was evolving. Thus, fifteen names are titling five basic poems. No attempt was made to arrange these beyond the five divisions. All of the revisions and poems were kept together and not sorted individually into the larger alphabetic list.
Contains the following:
"Eva," galley proof for The New Yorker, 10/8/64, 1 p.
"Miriam," galley proof forThe New Yorker, 10/8/64, 1 p.
Miscellaneous typescript, typescript (carbon copy), xerox, holograph, holograph notes, successive revisions, 58 pp.
"Lu", "Marilyn", "Miriam", "Phil"
See "Lifelines".
Box 3 "Robinson" 9/11/64, undated - galley proof for The New Yorker, 1 p.; typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, successive revisions, signed, 16 pp.
Box 3 "The Sea to Hart Crane" undated - typescript, holograph notes, successive revisions (9 pp.)
Box 3 "Semblances" undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, successive revisions (4 pp.)
Box 3 "September Elegy" 1964, undated - galley proof for The New Yorker, 9/11/64, 1 p.; typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes, successive revisions, 29 pp.
Box 3 "A Ship Going Down" undated - typescript, holograph notes, signed, successive revisions (9 pp.)
Box 3 "The Sun Porch" undated - typescript, holograph notes, successive revisions (11 pp.)
Box 3 "A Tree Surgeon in New York" undated - typescript, xerox, holograph notes, successive revisions (5 pp.)
Box 3 "Wild Original Spring" undated - typescript, holograph notes (1 p.)
Box 3 Miscellaneous poems 1965-1966, undated
Contains the following:
"After the Party" undated - typescript, holograph notes, signed (1 p.)
"Bores" undated - typescript (1 p.)
"By the Stream" undated - typescript, holograph notes, signed (1 p.)
"Cows" undated - typescript (2 p.)
"Elizabethan Tragedy: A Footnote" undated - typescript, holograph notes, signed (1 p.)
"Girls" undated - typescript, revisions (2 pp.)
"Herons; for the 77th Birthday of Marianne Moore" undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes (5 pp.)
"Monsoon" undated - typescript, holograph notes (1 p.)
"Notes for a Psychological Novel Laid in the Far East" undated - typescript, signed (1 p.)
"NYC" undated - typescript, holograph notes (1 p.)
"On the Difficulty of Obtaining Potions" undated - typescript, typescript (carbon copy), holograph notes (2 pp.)
"Origins" undated - typescript, holograph notes (1 p.)
"The Persistance of Song" - galley proof for The New Yorker 4/5/66 (1 p.)
"The Persistance of Song" - typescript, holograph notes, signed undated (2 pp.)
"A Picture Hung Two Ways" undated - typescript, holograph notes (2 pp.)
"A Problem in Morals" undated - typescript, holograph notes (1 p.)
"A Rented Sail" undated - typescript, holograph note, succ. rev (3 pp.)
"Rusty" undated - typescript, holograph notes, signed (4 pp.)
"The Skater's Waltz" - galley proof for The New Yorker 9/20/65 - holograph notes, signed (1 p.)
"The Skater's Waltz" - typescript, holograph notes, signed undated (2 pp.)
"Social Climbing" undated - typescript, holograph notes (9 pp.)
"Taxis" undated - typescript (1 p.)
"The Temperate Zone" undated - typescript (1 p.)
"A Thank-you Note for Imaginary Gifts" undated - typescript, holograph notes (1 p.)
(Untitled) "There are no rocks" undated - typescript (1 p.)
"Utilities" undated - typescript, holograph notes (2 pp.)

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