Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 6 May 2009
Overview of the Collection
|Creator:||Nathan, Leonard, 1924-2007.|
|Title:||Leonard Nathan Papers|
|Quantity:||12 linear ft.|
|Abstract:||Correspondence, writings, printed material, etc. of the American poet.|
|Language:||Bulk in English, some in Swedish, French, Italian, and Chinese.|
|Repository:||Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
Leonard Nathan (1924-2007) was an award-winning American poet, essayist, teacher, and critic.
Born in El Monte, California, he served in the United States Army as a combat engineer in World War II and afterwards attended the University of California Berkely (UCB) on the GI Bill. While at UCB he met his future wife, Carol, and George Hochfield, who became a lifelong friend and colleague. Nathan received his BA (1950) and Master's (1952) in English (1950), followed by a PhD (1961). Shortly thereafter he took a position with UCB's Speech Department, becoming associate professor in 1965 and full professor in 1968. He served as chair of the department from 1968-1972, overseeing the department's changeover to become the Department of Rhetoric. He retired from teaching in 1991 but continued to write, and at the time of his death was engaged in a joint project with Hochfield, a translation of the work of Italian poet Umberto Saba.
Nathan's work was published in national magazines and journals, among them the New Yorker, Prairie Schooner, the Kenyon Review, and the Atlantic; he also published several collections of his poetry. His prose work included Diary of a Left-handed Birdwatcher, and he collaborated on several translations of other poets' works.
Among his honors were the National Institute of Arts and Letters prize for poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Phelan Award for Narrative Poetry, and three silver medals from the Commonwealth Club of California, including one for The Potato Eaters (Orchises Press, 1999).
[Portions of this biographical sketch adapted from Nathan's obituary in the UC Berkeley News.]
The Leonard Nathan Papers consist of correspondence-subject files, memorabilia, printed material, and typescripts. Correspondence-subject files includes substantial correspondence with author Ted Kooser, drafts of Nathan's work, and research material; also included here are 5 boxes of material relating to Nathan's collaboration with George Hochfield on the work of Italian poet Umberto Saba and two boxes relating to translations of Chinese poets. Memorabilia includes a scrapbook and several notebooks. Printed material includes published works by Nathan and a small amount of items by others. Typescripts consists entirely of typescripts of poems, many with Nathan's corrections.
Correspondence-subject files have been rearranged into alphabetical order for ease of location. In most cases material remains in the original folders bearing Nathan's original headings; headings added by library staff are enclosed in square brackets [ ]. Printed material and typescripts have been foldered and labeled by library staff and are in no particular order.
Special Collections Research Center has made a concerted effort over the years to ensure that its manuscript and rare books holdings complement each other. As a result, many of our manuscript collections are supported by books, pamphlets, serials and other items which are cataloged in the Rare Books Collection. Please be sure to search the Classic Catalog for these related materials.
Nathan, Leonard, 1924-2007.
Saba, Umberto, 1883-1957.
Diary of a left-handed birdwatcher.
Restarting the world.
American poetry -- 20th century.
Chinese poetry -- Translations into English.
College teachers -- Poetry.
Italian poetry -- Translations into English.
Poets, American -- 20th century.
Genres and Forms
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Leonard Nathan Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
Gift of Leonard Nathan, 1973; George Hochfield, 2009.
|In most cases material remains in the original folders bearing Nathan's original headings; headings added by library staff are enclosed in square brackets [ ].|
|Box 1||Bhagava gita [sic - Bhagavad gita]|
|Box 1||Bird essays|
|Box 1||Bird material (2 folders)|
|Box 1||[Bird] Reviews, etc.|
|Box 1||[Bird] City birding|
|Box 1||Book contracts|
|Box 1||Book reviews|
|Box 18, 19||[Chinese materials] - drafts, research, etc.; poets include Wang Yang-Ming, Wang Dun, Shaodan, Tu Wei-Ming, others (2 boxes)|
|Box 1||"Collected Poems" - proofs? (2 folders)|
|Box 2||Commonwealth Club (2 folders)|
|Box 2||[Copper Canyon Press]|
|Box 2||Copyright information|
|Box 2||Correspondence 1999-2000 (2 folders)|
|Box 3||Correspondence 2001-2003 (4 folders)|
|Box 4||Correspondence 2003-2006, undated (6 folders)|
|Box 5||D'Evelyn [Tom]|
|Box 5||[Diary of a left-handed bird-watcher] letters on translation, also corrections|
|Box 5||Diary [of a left-handed bird-watcher], reviews and comments|
|Box 5||Diary [of a left-handed bird-watcher], Swedish version, reviews and comments|
|Box 5||Dissertation 1961 (3 folders)|
|Box 5||Gavin Douglas|
|Box 5||"Dream watching"|
|Box 6||Dubovsky [Tony] 2003-2004 (3 folders)|
|Box 6||E. Edelin|
|Box 6||Enabling grant expenses|
|Box 6||Essays: Henrietta O'Neill|
|Box 6||T. Farber|
|Box 6||John Gage|
|Box 6||Geraldine Gobi Greig|
|Box 6||Grandfather Fox (2 folders)|
|Box 7||The Group|
|Box 7||Holden [Jonathan]|
|Box 7||Hollins critic|
|Box 7||Indian [poetry]|
|See also Sanskrit|
|Box 7||Kooser [Ted] 1999-2001 (3 folders)|
|Box 8||Kooser [Ted] 2002-2006, undated (6 folders)|
|Box 8||Ted K[ooser]'s short stories|
|Box 8||Lathbury [Roger] (4 folders)|
|See also Orchises folders.|
|Box 9||[Lectures on poetry]|
|Box 9||16th century|
|Box 9||17th century (Augustan)|
|Box 9||Beginning of poetry -- Greek and Roman|
|Box 9||India (2 folders)|
|Box 9||Medieval -- Chaucer|
|Box 9||Rhetorical theory|
|Box 9||Lost Distance|
|Box 10||Mechanics Bank checking|
|Box 10||Milosz [Czeslaw] (2 folders)|
|Box 10||Dr. Narayan|
|Box 10||News from Helicon (4 folders)|
|Box 11||Nilsson [Lennart] 2000-2006 (5 folders)|
|Box 11||Orchises Lathbury Potato Eaters|
|Additional Orchises material also in Lathbury [Roger] folders.|
|Box 12||Orchises Press Tears|
|Box 12||Osaki [Mark Stephen]|
|Box 12||Pending 2004|
|Box 12||Permissions The Potato Eaters|
|Box 12||Pirandello (2 folders)|
|Box 12||Poems on hand|
|Box 12||Professional expense and income|
|Box 12||Proofreaders marks|
|Box 12||Ragged Sonnets (4 folders)|
|See also Printed material: by Nathan for two published copies|
|Box 13||Research information|
|Box 13||Restarting the World (4 folders)|
|Box 13||Retirement forms|
|Box 13||[Rhetoric of poetry]|
|Box 14||Dr. Richardson|
|Box 14||Rosmarin, Adena|
|Box 20-24||[Saba materials] - research, drafts, correspondence, etc. related to Nathan and Hochfield's collaborative work on Italian poet Umberto Saba (5 boxes)|
|See also Indian [poetry]|
|Box 14||Ron Slate|
|Box 14||[Streckfus, Peter]|
|Box 14||Stuart, Debney|
|Box 14||Stumble on the Trail|
|Box 14||Submission information|
|Box 14||to Syracuse [University]|
|Box 14||Talisman Press|
|Box 14||Tears, comments and reviews|
|Box 14||Transport of Love, Meghaduta (Copper Canyon Press)|
|Box 15||[University of California] (3 folders)|
|Box 15||Weiss, Ted and Renee|
|Box 15||Who's Who|
|Box 15||Who's Who and vita|
|Box 15||Miscellaneous early reviews and commentary|
|Box 15||Miscellaneous materials|
|Box 15||Miscellaneous possibilities|
|Box 15||Miscellaneous prose|
|Box 15||[Miscellaneous] - material found loose in boxes; includes clippings, correspondence, other materials|
|Box 25||Miscellaneous - scrapbook, two diaries, birdwatching notebook|
|Box 16||By Nathan - includes copies of Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, other journals with Nathan's poems, articles and essays; two copies of Ragged Sonnets; photocopies of published material|
|Box 16||By others - no mention of Nathan in them; may be memorabilia|
|Box 17||Poems, miscellaneous (4 folders)|