University of Delaware Library

Jones, Gayl.

For Clarence Major : poem

1970, 2006

Descriptive Summary

Identification: MSS 099, F913

Creator: Jones, Gayl.

Title: For Clarence Major : poem

Inclusive Dates: 1970, 2006

Extent: 3 items (4 p.)

Abstract: American novelist and poet Gayl Jones wrote this poem, "For Clarence Major," after meeting Major at Connecticut College in 1970.

Language: Materials entirely in English.


MSS 099, F913, Jones, Gayl, For Clarence Major : poem, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Shelving Summary

Box 63, F913: Shelved in SPEC MSS 099 manuscript boxes


Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267 / Phone: 302-831-2229 / Fax: 302-831-6003 / URL:


Originally laid in a copy of Gayl Jones's Corregidora (Spec PS3560 .O483 C65 1975).


Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, February 2012.

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical Notes

Gayl Jones

American novelist and poet Gayl Jones was born November 23, 1949, in Lexington, Kentucky.

Gayl Jones’s first novel, Corregidora, which was published by Random House in 1975, explored the psychological effects of slavery and sexual abuse on a modern black woman. In addition to novels, Jones has published works of poetry, such as Song for Anninho (1981) and The Hermit-Woman (1983); plays, including award-winning, Chile Woman (1974); and collections of short stories and criticism.

Educated at Connecticut College, (B.A., 1971) and Brown University (M.A., 1973, D.A., 1975). Gayl Jones taught English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor from 1975 to 1983.


"Gayl Jones." Contemporary Authors Online. Gale Biography In Context. (accessed February 2012).

Clarence Major

American poet, novelist and editor Clarence Major was born December 31, 1936, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Educated at the State University of New York at Albany (B.S.) and the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities (Ph.D., 1978), Clarence Major has written numerous books of poetry, including his most recently published, Myself Painting, (2009).

Major has written prize winning fiction, including My Amputations, for which he received the Western States Book Award in 1986. Major is also the author of articles, essays, reviews, and other nonfiction, as well as the editor of several anthologies.

Since 1989, Clarence Major has been a professor of twentieth century American literature at the University of California at Davis.


"Clarence Major" Contemporary Authors Online. Gale Biography In Context. (accessed February 2012). (accessed February 2012).

Scope and Content Note

American novelist and poet Gayl Jones wrote this poem, "For Clarence Major," after meeting Major at Connecticut College in 1970.

In April of 1970, Clarence Major visited Connecticut College to give a reading and to speak informally with students. During that visit Major met and talked with Gayl Jones who was a student at the college. Gayl Jones wrote the poem, "For Clarence Major," a few days after their conversation.

This is the original typescript of the poem which Jones sent to Clarence Major. The poem, which was never published, is accompanied by two handwritten notes in which Clarence Major explained the origin of the poem.

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names
Jones, Gayl.
Major, Clarence.
Topical Terms
Poets, American--20th century.
African American poets--20th century.
Form/Genre Terms

Related Materials in this Repository

This item forms part of MSS 099 Miscellaneous Literary and Historical Manuscripts.

MSS 099, F823, Edward Dorn Letters and Poems

Arranged in chronological order.

Detailed Contents List

For Clarence Major : poem, 1970 April 30   [Box 62 F913]

1 item (2 p.)

Typescript poem.

Clarence Major autograph letter of explanation, 2006 August 22   [Box 62 F913]

1 item (1 p.)

Major explained that Jones's poem is based on conversation they had in 1970.

Clarence Major autograph note to Larry, circa 2006   [Box 62 F913]

1 item (1 p.)

Major noted that this poem was never published.