University of Delaware Library

Holmes, John Clellon, 1926-1988.

John Clellon Holmes letter to Shirley Holmes

1967 June 19


Descriptive Summary

Identification: MSS 099, F933


Creator: Holmes, John Clellon, 1926-1988.


Title: John Clellon Holmes letter to Shirley Holmes


Inclusive Dates: 1967 June 19


Extent: 1 item (3 p.)


Abstract: American author John Clellon Holmes (1926-1988) wrote this three-page letter to his wife Shirley, describing his experiences at the West-Central Writers' Conference in June of 1967.


Language: Materials entirely in English.



Citation

MSS 099, F933, John Clellon Holmes letter to Shirley Holmes, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Shelving Summary

Box 63, F933: Shelved in SPEC MSS 099 manuscript boxes

Location

Special Collections, 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, January 2013.

Processing

Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, April 2013.


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, University of Delaware Library, http://www.lib.udel.edu/cgi-bin/askspec.cgi


Biographical Note

American writer and educator John Clellon Holmes (1926-1988), author of novels, short stories, essays, and poems, was best known as a chronicler of the ideology and lifestyle of the "Beat generation writers."

Holmes's semi-autobiographical novel Go, published by Scribner in 1952 and later in England as The Beat Boys , is considered to be the first published novel depicting the Beat generation.

Shirley Allen Holmes married on September 9, 1953. She was his second wife.

Sources:

"John Clellon Holmes." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Biography Resource Center). http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioR (accessed April 2013).


Scope and Content Note

American author John Clellon Holmes (1926-1988) wrote this three-page letter to his wife Shirley, describing his experiences at the West-Central Writers' Conference in June of 1967.

Sponsored by Western Illinois University in June of 1967, the West-Central Writers' Conference was arranged and hosted by Edward W. Johnson and included Holmes, Richard Yates, Frederic Will, and Kurt Vonnegut as faculty. In his extensive letter, written over a two-day span, Holmes offers an account of the classes he taught, the students, the social hours, and his interactions with the other faculty.

Holmes particularly focused on Kurt Vonnegut, writing, "Vonnegut has a lot of class in his way. A big, hulking, quizzical guy.." and later he continued, "he's a calculator, fairly strong nature, mature, direct, adroit in the politics of relationships - a man with strong tastes who can keep them to himself." Holmes noted that Vonnegut determined to leave the conference early because of the "dreary atmosphere" and "the unplanned nature of the schedule." Later that summer Vonnegut published an article in The New York Times (August 5, 1967) titled "Teaching The Unteachable," in which he referenced his experiences at this conference.


Selected Search Terms

Personal Names
Holmes, John Clellon, 1926-1988--Correspondence.
Allen, Shirley--Correspondence.
Vonnegut, Kurt.
Topical Terms
Novelists, American--20th century--Correspondence.
Writers' Conferences--20th century--Correspondence.
Form/Genre Terms
Correspondence.
Occupation
Authors.
Personal Contributors
Allen, Shirley, correspondent.

Related Materials in this Repository

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

MSS 099, F902, John Clellon Holmes letters to Richard Douglass

MSS 099, F864, John Clellon Holmes letters to Shirley Allen


Detailed Contents List

John Clellon Holmes letter to Shirley Holmes, 1967 June 19   [Box 63 F933]

1 item (3 p.)