University of Delaware Library

Combs, Tram, 1924-

Tram Combs correspondence with Agnes Selkirk Clark

1958


Descriptive Summary

Identification: MSS 099, F914


Creator: Combs, Tram, 1924-


Title: Tram Combs correspondence with Agnes Selkirk Clark


Inclusive Dates: 1958


Extent: 9 items (29 p.)


Abstract: American poet Tram Combs exchanged these letters with his friend, American landscape artist Agnes Selkirk Clark, during 1958.


Language: Materials entirely in English.



Citation

MSS 099, F914, Tram Combs correspondence with Agnes Selkirk Clark, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Shelving Summary

Box 63, F914: Shelved in SPEC MSS 099 manuscript boxes

Location

Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267 / Phone: 302-831-2229 / Fax: 302-831-6003 / URL: http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/

Source

Purchase, November 2011.

Processing

Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, March 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, http://www.lib.udel.edu/cgi-bin/askspec.cgi


Biographical Notes

Tram Combs

American poet Tram Combs (Elisha Trammell, Jr.) was born September 25, 1924, in Riverview, Alabama.

Combs attended the University of Washington from 1943-1944 and in 1945 he received a certificate of professional competence in meteorology from the University of Chicago. During these years he also served in the U. S. Army Air Forces as a meteorologist, attaining the rank of 2nd lieutenant.

In 1948, he graduated from the University of California with an A. B. Later he studied electronics engineering at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1948 to 1951 Combs worked as an oil chemist for Tidewater Associated Oil Company in Avon, California, and from 1951 to 1952 managed his own Island Studios, Inc.

In 1952 Tram Combs established a book shop, Tram Combs Book, in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. His book shop specialized in material related to the middle and southern Americas.

Tram Combs's first published book of poetry was pilgrim's terrace: poems american west indian (1957), which included introductions by Kenneth Rexroth and William Carlos Williams. Other books by Combs include: Saints Thomas' & Francis' cities songs o' Tram (1958), Ceremonies in Mind: artists, boys, cats, lovers, judges, priests (1959), but never mind (1961), Saint Thomas: poems (1965), and Briefs: poems (1966).

Agnes Selkirk Clark

American landscape architect Agnes Selkirk Clark was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, in 1898.

From 1915 to 1918, Clark (then Selkirk) attended the Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture in Groton, Massachusetts. In her first position Clark worked in the Des Moines office of Pearse & Robinson as a drafter and planting supervisor, from 1918 to 1919.

Agnes Clark moved to New York City in 1920, where she worked for well-known landscape architect and teacher, Ellen Biddle Shipman for two years. After marrying architect Cameron Clark, she opened her own office at 101 Park Avenue in New York and continued her practice there until moving to Fairfield, Connecticut.

Clark was elected a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1952. Her work primarily includes residential commissions at estates in Santa Barbara, California; Phoenix, Arizona; New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

In the 1960s, Clark and her husband retired and moved to the Caribbean, and later, in 1969, to Guatemala, where Clark died in 1983.

Sources:

"Tram Combs." Kinsman, Clare D. Contemporary Authors. Volume 1316, First Revision. (Detroit: Gale 1965). Page 173.

"Ms B91. Clark, Agnes Selkirk, 1898-1983." Landscape Architecture Records. Fairfield Historical Society Library, Fairfield, Connecticut (accessed March 2012).


Scope and Content Note

American poet Tram Combs exchanged these letters with his friend, American landscape artist Agnes Selkirk Clark, during 1958.

Combs and Clark discussed mutual friends, particularly the tragic deaths of Tommy Bishop and Harry Rennell. Clark mentioned other friends, especially those interested in vacationing in St. Thomas, including American poet John Malcolm Brinnin. Clark also discussed her plans to travel to San Francisco, as well as to St. Croix, where she was designing a landscape at Grapetree.

In his letters, Tram Combs wrote about his poetry, particularly the recently completed, "California poems," which were to be published as But Never Mind. He also shared the encouragement he had received from American poet William Carlos Williams and the news that a California radio station planned to broadcast his poems accompanied by jazz. The verso of one of his letters included a version of his poem, "States," and the verso of another letter, has an untitled poem with the first line: "Maggie, a bold--striped calico cat...."


Selected Search Terms

Personal Names
Combs, Tram, 1924- --Correspondence.
Clark, Agnes Selkirk, 1898-1983--Correspondence.
Topical Terms
Poets, American--20th century.
Landscape architects--United States--20th century.
Form/Genre Terms
Correspondence.
Poems.
Personal Contributors
Clark, Agnes Selkirk, 1898-1983, correspondent.
Caughey, John, correspondent.

Related Materials in this Repository

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

Mss 178, Tram Combs Correspondence

Mss 103, John Malcolm Brinnin Papers


The material is arranged chronologically.


Detailed Contents List

Tram Combs typed letter signed (carbon) to Agnes Selkirk Clark , 1958 July 17   [Box 63 F914]

1 item (1 p.)

The letter is written on the verso of a Gilbert Whitlock book list.

Agnes Selkirk Clark autograph letter signed to Tram Combs , 1958 July 27   [Box 63 F914]

1 item (4 p.)

Tram Combs autograph letter signed (carbon) to Agnes Selkirk Clark , 1958 August 8   [Box 63 F914]

1 item (2 p.)

This letter is written on the verso of carbon copy of a typescript poem written by Combs titled "States."

Agnes Selkirk Clark autograph letter signed to Tram Combs , 1958 September 22   [Box 63 F914]

1 item (7 p.)

Agnes Selkirk Clark autograph letter signed to Tram Combs , 1958 October 13   [Box 63 F914]

1 item (4 p.)

Tram Combs typed letter signed (carbon) to Agnes Selkirk Clark , 1958 October 15   [Box 63 F914]

1 item (2 p.)

This letter is typed on the verso of carbon copy of a typescript an untitled poem written by Combs with the first line, "Maggie, a bold--striped calico cat...."

Agnes Selkirk Clark autograph letter signed to Tram Combs , 1958 November 23   [Box 63 F914]

1 item (6 p.)

Tram Combs typed letter signed (carbon) to Agnes Selkirk Clark , 1958 November 26   [Box 63 F914]

1 item (1 p.)

The letter is written on the verso of a dealer's book list.

Tram Combs typed letter signed (carbon) to "D" , 1958 November 26   [Box 63 F914]

1 item (2 p.)

The letter is written on the verso of a typed letter signed written by Combs to John Caughey (also dated November 26, 1958) regarding a book review. "D" may be Combs's friend, Doris Corinne Clark.