University of Delaware Library

Thompson, William G.

William G. Thompson Briarwood Writers' Alliance correspondence and publicity records

1964-2007


Descriptive Summary

Identification: MSS 671


Creator: Thompson, William G.


Title: William G. Thompson Briarwood Writers' Alliance correspondence and publicity records


Inclusive Dates: 1964-2007


Extent: 8 linear feet (9 boxes)


Abstract: William G. Thompson as President of the Briarwood Writers' Alliance, Inc., represented more than 150 writers, poets, and performers by booking lectures and readings at educational institutions, literary gatherings, and community events.


Language: Materials entirely in English.



Citation

MSS 671, William G. Thompson Briarwood Writers' Alliance correspondence and publicity records, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Shelving Summary

Boxes 1-8: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons

Box 9: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (24 inches)

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, October 2013.

Processing

Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, December 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 and Organizational Note

William G. Thompson (1922-2009) incorporated the Briarwood Writers' Alliance, Inc. on July 1, 1987, in Needham, Massachusetts.

Prior to creating the Briarwood Writers' Alliance, William Thompson served in the U. S. Army during World War II, deployed with the Combat Engineers in Europe and the Pacific. Following his release from the military, Thompson worked in radio broadcasting, at stations in North Adams and Taunton, Massachusetts, and later for RCA Victor Records. Thompson worked as a literary representative for Lordly and Dame, in Boston, Massachusetts until 1987.

Following his employment at Lordly and Dame, Thompson founded his own company, Briarwood Writers' Alliance, Inc. As Briarwood's President, Thompson represented more than 150 writers and poets, including Pulitzer and Nobel prize winners, as well as a few performers. Thompson booked readings, lectures, events for colleges and universities, and literary gatherings.

Through his work Thompson developed close working relationships with numerous twentieth-century poets and writers, including the likes of Margaret Atwood, Eavan Boland, Donald Hall, Joy Harjo, Marge Piercy, W. D. Snodgrass, and Stephen Spender. The company was voluntarily dissolved in the late 2000s prior to Thompson's death in 2009.

Sources:

"William G. Thompson," The Needham Times, January 12-19, 2010. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries (accessed December 16, 2013).

Wysak Company Profile for Briarwood Writers' Alliance, Inc. http://www.wysk.com (accessed December 16, 2013).

Additional information derived from the Boston Book Company & Book Annex collection description.


Scope and Content Note

William G. Thompson as President of the Briarwood Writers' Alliance, Inc., represented more than 150 writers, poets, and performers by booking lectures and readings at educational institutions, literary gatherings, and community events.

William G. Thompson Briarwood Writers' Alliance correspondence and publicity records comprise eight linear feet of documents created between 1964 and 2007. The collection is arranged in two series, I. Correspondence and publicity files and II. Financial papers.

Over eighty percent of the collection is part of the Series I.A. Authors, which consists of correspondence between Thompson and the authors he represented; correspondence with some of the authors' publishers; the publicity packets sent by publishers, authors, or agents; as well as clippings and reviews gathered by Thompson. Thompson used the biographical sketches, photographs, dust jackets, press releases, and other publicity sent to him to create brochures and flyers used to promote his clientele to universities and other organizations for speaking and reading engagements. Brochures and flyers in various states, from mock-ups to final product, are present in the files. The author files also include itineraries for an author's speaking tours, contracts, letters of recommendation following an author's successful visit, publishers' catalogs, and books written by the authors.

Obviously the authors' files were Thompson's working file for each client. The other segments of the collection, I. B. Events, geographical and miscellaneous correspondence, and the small second series II. Financial papers, provide supporting information. Series I. B. Events, geographical and miscellaneous correspondence comprises ten folders of files and is arranged alphabetically by event or state, from the Bumbershoot Festival to the state of Wisconsin. Correspondence with institutions and event organizers details the negotiation for speaking engagements and the arrangements for the visits.

Series II. Financial papers, is a small series comprising Thompson's correspondence with his accountant, Frank McNutley regarding a tax issue and a file of contracts for speaking engagements. The contracts are arranged in contract number order and are dated between 1987 and 1990.

Although this collection is an agent's working file, the personable correspondence between Thompson and various authors (for example, Donald Hall, Robert Creeley, and Margaret Atwood) suggests a mutual respect and friendship between Thompson and his clients. The correspondence reveals Thompson's busy schedule juggling campus appearances, promoting poets and poetry, keeping informed about publishing trends, and ensuring that his authors and performers are well treated during their travels and engagements. This collection also reveals William Thompson as an advocate for poets and poetry.


Selected Search Terms

Personal Names
Thompson, William G.--Correspondence.
McNutley, Frank--Correspondence.
Corporate Names
Briarwood Writers' Alliance, Inc.
Topical Terms
Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence.
Authors, American--21st century--Correspondence.
Literary agents--United States--20th century--Correspondence.
Literary agents--United States--21st century--Correspondence.
Oral interpretation--History--20th century--Correspondence.
Oral interpretation--History--21st century--Correspondence.
Oral reading--History--20th century--Correspondence.
Oral reading--History--21st century--Correspondence.
Performance poets--United States--20th century--Correspondence.
Performance poets--United States--21st century--Correspondence.
Poets, American--20th century--Correspondence.
Poets, American--21st century--Correspondence.
Recitations.
Women poets, American--20th century--Correspondence.
Women poets, American--21st century--Correspondence.
Form/Genre Terms
Correspondence.
Photographs.
Negatives (photographic)
Contracts.
Periodicals.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Reviews (document genre)
Itineraries.
Fliers (printed matter)
Programs (documents)
Broadsides (notices)
Audiocassettes.
Compact discs.
Page proofs.
Books.
Occupation
Agents (commercial representatives)
Personal Contributors
McNutley, Frank, correspondent.
Corporate Contributors
Bumbershoot (Festival) (Seattle, Wash.)

  • I. Correspondence and publicity files, 1964-2007
    • A. Authors, 1964-2007
    • A. Events, geographical and miscellaneous correspondence, 1972-2004
  • II. Financial papers, 1987-1992

Detailed Contents List

Series I. Correspondence and publicity files , 1964-2007
Subseries I.A. Authors , 1964-2007

Files include correspondence between Thompson and the author, as well as photographs, clippings, programs from events, letters of praise from institutions or event organizers, mock-ups of flyers promoting the authors, schedules and itineraries, biographical information, and some contracts. Frequently the information and advertising sent by an author's publisher, which included publicity photographs, reviews, clippings, dust jackets, press releases, and endorsements, were incorporated into the flyers produced by Briarwood. There is also an occasional offprint, book, or multimedia work by the author.

Achebe, Chinua , 1988-1993   [Box 1 F1]

Adams, Alice , 1987-1993   [Box 1 F2]

Agosin, Marjorie , 1998-2001   [Box 1 F3]

Aiken, Joan , 1988   [Box 1 F4]

Akhmadulina, Bella and Messerer, Boris , 1990-1991   [Box 1 F5]

Aksyonov, Vassily , 1985-1990   [Box 1 F6]

Alexie, Sherman , 1996-1997   [Box 1 F7]

Allen, Paula Gunn , 1991-1992   [Box 1 F8]

Allison, Dorothy , 1988-1996   [Box 1 F9]

Amichai, Yehuda , 1990   [Box 1 F10]

Atwood, Margaret , 1978-1988   [Box 1 F11]

Atwood, Margaret , 1980-1986   [Box 1 F12]

Bang, Mary Jo , 2001   [Box 1 F13]

Banks, Russell , 1985-1998   [Box 1 F14]

Banks, Russell , 1986-1991   [Box 1 F15]

Baraka, Amiri , 1984-2002   [Box 1 F16]

Barnes, Jim , 1988   [Box 1 F17]

Barnestone, Willis , 1972-1980   [Box 1 F18]

Barth, John , 1984-2004   [Box 1 F19]

Barthelme, Frederick , 1989   [Box 1 F20]

Baxter, Charles , 1992-1995   [Box 1 F21]

Bell, Marvin , 1985-1997   [Box 1 F22]

Belli, Gioconda , 1995-1999   [Box 1 F23]

Benedict, Elizabeth , 1989   [Box 1 F24]

Bernays, Anne , 1980-1991   [Box 1 F25]

Bhatt, Sujata , 1990   [Box 1 F26]

Bly, Carol , 1989-1994   [Box 1 F27]

Boland, Eavan , 1985-2007   [Box 1 F28]

Boland, Eavan , 1994-2007   [Box 2 F29]

Brown, Rosellen , 1985-2000   [Box 2 F30]

Bruchac, Joseph , 1997-2003   [Box 2 F31]

Busch, Frederick , 1989-1999   [Box 2 F32]

Cassells, Cyrus , 1991-1997   [Box 2 F33]

Castedo, Elena , 1990-1991   [Box 2 F34]

Chang, Lan Samantha , 1998-2001   [Box 2 F35]

Chin, Frank , 1988-2003   [Box 2 F36]

Includes a typescript draft for "Storyteller."

Chin, Marilyn , 1994-2003   [Box 2 F37]

Christopher, Nicholas , 1982-2000   [Box 2 F38]

Cisneros, Sandra , 1991-1992   [Box 2 F39]

Clifton, Lucille , 1988-1993   [Box 2 F40]

Coover, Robert , 1988-2006   [Box 2 F41]

Cortez, Jayne , 1994-2001   [Box 2 F42]

Creeley, Robert , 1984-2003   [Box 2 F43]

Creeley, Robert , 1982-1999   [Box 2 F44]

Creeley, Robert , 1979-1999   [Box 2 F45]

Crews, Henry , 1990-1992   [Box 2 F46]

Dahl, Roald , 1989   [Box 2 F47]

Delany, Samuel , 1975-1999   [Box 2 F48]

Derricotte, Toi , 1983-2007   [Box 2 F49]

Di Prima, Diane , 1990   [Box 2 F50]

Dorfman, Ariel , 1990-1992   [Box 3 F51]

Dove, Rita , 1987-1999   [Box 3 F52]

Dragonwagon, Crescent , 1989-1991   [Box 3 F53]

Espada, Martin , 1990-2007   [Box 3 F54]

Espada, Martin , 1989-2006   [Box 3 F55]

Featherstone, Joanna , 1971-1973   [Box 3 F56]

Feinstein, Elaine , 1982-1990   [Box 3 F57]

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence , 1988-1989   [Box 3 F58]

Ferrell, Anderson , 1985-1990   [Box 3 F59]

Finkel, Donald and Urdang, Constance , 1969-1980   [Box 3 F60]

Flournoy, Valerie , 1987-1997   [Box 3 F61]

Forche, Carolyn , 1981-2003   [Box 3 F62]

Forche, Carolyn , 1982-1993   [Box 3 F63]

Fort, Charles , 1989-1991   [Box 3 F64]

Freed, Lynn , 1986-2000   [Box 3 F65]

Friman, Alice , 1992   [Box 3 F66]

Gilbert, Sandra and Gubar, Susan , 1987-1999   [Box 3 F67]

Gioia, Dana , 1992-2001   [Box 3 F68]

Glass, Julia , 2003-2004   [Box 3 F69]

Golden, Marita , 1986-2004   [Box 3 F70]

Grafton, Sue , 1995   [Box 3 F71]

Graham, Jorie , 1996-1997   [Box 3 F72]

Grau, Shirley Ann , 1964-1989   [Box 3 F73]

Griffin, Susan , 1985-2001   [Box 3 F74]

Gubar, Susan see Gilbert, Sandra , 1987-1999   [Box 3 F67]

Hall, Donald , 1972-2003   [Box 3 F75]

Hall, Donald , 1969-1993   [Box 4 F76]

Hall, Donald , 1975-1989   [Box 4 F77]

Harjo, Joy , 1989-1997   [Box 4 F78]

Harjo, Joy , 1989-1997   [Box 4 F79]

Harjo, Joy , 1992-1998   [Box 4 F80]

Hawkes, John , 1987-1990   [Box 4 F81]

Hearon, Shelby , 1984-2000   [Box 4 F82]

Hearon, Shelby , 1992-2007   [Box 4 F83]

Hearon, Shelby , 1984-2001   [Box 4 F84]

Heat-Moon, William , 1992   [Box 4 F85]

Heinemann, Larry , 1987-2003   [Box 4 F86]

Hempel, Amy , 1985-1999   [Box 4 F87]

Herrera, Juan Felipe , 1985-2008   [Box 4 F88]

Hijuelos, Oscar , 1989-2002   [Box 4 F89]

Hillerman, Tony , 1988-1990   [Box 4 F90]

Hirsch, Edward , 1989-2004   [Box 4 F91]

Hongo, Garrett , 1995-2003   [Box 4 F92]

Howe, Marie , 1997-2001   [Box 4 F93]

Hower, Edward see Lurie, Alison , 1984-2002   [Box 6 F124]

Humphreys, Josephine , 1989-1990   [Box 4 F94]

Ignatiev, Noel , 1994-1998   [Box 4 F95]

Inez, Colette , 1972-1999   [Box 4 F96]

Inez, Colette , 1999-2005   [Box 4 F97]

Jacobs, Diane , 1981-1982   [Box 5 F98]

Jen, Gish , 1993-1999   [Box 5 F99]

Johnson, Diane , 1985-1986   [Box 5 F100]

Kaplan, Justin , 1980-1991   [Box 5 F101]

Kelly, Robert , 1985-1995   [Box 5 F102]

Kinnell, Galway , 1977-2003   [Box 5 F103]

Kinsella, W. P. , 1988-1993   [Box 5 F104]

Kinsella, W. P. , 1981-2004   [Box 5 F105]

Kinsella, W. P. , 1986-2003   [Box 5 F106]

Kizer, Carolyn , 1985-2004   [Box 5 F107]

Kleinzahler, August , 1987-1999   [Box 5 F108]

Komunyakaa, Yusef , 1993-2000   [Box 5 F109]

Kraft, Eric , 1983-2002   [Box 5 F110]

Kraft, Eric , 1984-1992   [Box 5 F111]

Kumin, Maxine , 1974-1992   [Box 5 F112]

Lau, Evelyn , 1993-2001   [Box 5 F113]

Laughlin, James , 1980-1990   [Box 5 F114]

Lazard, Naomi , 1967-1983   [Box 5 F115]

Lederer, William J. , 1973   [Box 5 F116]

Lemann, Nancy , 1985-1992   [Box 5 F117]

Levertov, Denise , 1989-1990   [Box 5 F118]

Lifshin, Lyn , 1975-1978   [Box 5 F119]

Lim, Genny , 1991-1999   [Box 5 F120]

Lindsay, Nicholas C. , 1968-1978   [Box 6 F121]

Lish, Gordon , 1988-1989   [Box 6 F122]

Lott, Bret , 1987-1989   [Box 6 F123]

Lurie, Alison and Hower, Edward , 1984-2002   [Box 6 F124]

MacBeth, George , 1990   [Box 6 F125]

Madhubuti, Haki R. , 1986-1990   [Box 6 F126]

Major, Devorah , 1995-2002   [Box 6 F127]

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia , 1982-1992   [Box 6 F128]

Marshall, Paule , 1969-1992   [Box 6 F129]

Martin, Valerie , 1979-2003   [Box 6 F130]

McNally, Terrence , 1988   [Box 6 F131]

Meinke, Peter , 1997   [Box 6 F132]

Merwin, W. S. , 1977-1990   [Box 6 F133]

Messerer, Boris see Akhmadulina, Bella , 1990-1991   [Box 1 F5]

Miner, Valerie , 1987-1998   [Box 6 F134]

Mitchell, Adrian , 1982-1990   [Box 6 F135]

Mitford, Jessica , 1979-1992   [Box 6 F136]

Mukherjee, Bharati , 1993-1994   [Box 6 F137]

Munro, Alice , 1990-1991   [Box 6 F138]

Mura, David , 1995-2003   [Box 6 F139]

Naylor, Gloria , 1984-1988   [Box 6 F140]

Nelson, Marilyn , 1998-2006   [Box 6 F141]

Nye, Naomi , 1997-1999   [Box 6 F142]

Ochester, Ed , 1992   [Box 6 F143]

Ojaide, Tanure , 1989-1990   [Box 6 F144]

Olmstead, Robert , 1987-1990   [Box 6 F145]

Ondaatje, Michael , 1979-1997   [Box 6 F146]

Ondaatje, Michael , 1981-1997   [Box 6 F147]

Ortiz, Simon J. , 1984-1988   [Box 6 F148]

Ostriker, Alicia , 1986-2007   [Box 6 F149]

Oz, Amos , 1991-1994   [Box 6 F150]

Paley, Grace , 1995-2003   [Box 6 F151]

Paretsky, Sara , 1995   [Box 6 F152]

Pastan, Linda , 1978-2007   [Box 7 F153]

Pate, Alexs , 1994-1997   [Box 7 F154]

Peacock, Molly , 1981-1998   [Box 7 F155]

Pearlman,. Mickey , 1992-1995   [Box 7 F156]

Peck, Richard , 1982-2003   [Box 7 F157]

Perkins, Robert , 1988-1991   [Box 7 F158]

Phillips, Jayne Anne , 2000-2001   [Box 7 F159]

Piercy, Marge and Wood, Ira , 2001-2006   [Box 7 F160]

Piercy, Marge , 1980-2001   [Box 7 F161]

Pinkney, Jerry , 1989-1993   [Box 7 F162]

Plumly, Stanley , 1977-1997   [Box 7 F163]

Pratt, Minnie Bruce , 1999-2001   [Box 7 F164]

Ray, David and Judy , 1977-1990   [Box 7 F165]

Reeve, F. D. , 1990-1991   [Box 7 F166]

Rich, Adrienne , 1976-1989   [Box 7 F167]

Richard, Mark , 1989-1994   [Box 7 F168]

Ringgold, Faith , 1989-1993   [Box 7 F169]

Robinson, Marilynne , 1985-1989   [Box 7 F170]

Rudman, Mark , 1995-1997   [Box 7 F171]

Rukeyser, Muriel , 1971-1980   [Box 7 F172]

Sanchez, Thomas , 1989-1990   [Box 7 F173]

Sanders, Ed , 1985-1992   [Box 7 F174]

Schaeffer, Susan Fromberg , 1976-2004   [Box 7 F175]

Schwartz, Lynne Sharon , 1980-2002   [Box 7 F176]

Schulman, Alix Kates , 1987   [Box 7 F177]

Schultz, Philip , 1978-1985   [Box 7 F178]

Simon, John , 1970-1983   [Box 7 F179]

Simpson, Louis , 1984-1990   [Box 7 F180]

Skvorecky, Josef , 1990-1991   [Box 8 F181]

Smith, Dave , 1989-1990   [Box 8 F182]

Smith, William Jay , 1971-1982   [Box 8 F183]

Snodgrass, W. D. , 1978-2003   [Box 8 F184]

Spender, Sir Stephen , 1978-1988   [Box 8 F185]

Stitt, Peter , 1985   [Box 8 F186]

Urdang, Constance see Finkel, Donald , 1969-1980   [Box 3 F60]

Wilbur, Richard , 1989-2000   [Box 8 F187]

Wood, Ira see Piercy, Marge , 2001-2006   [Box 7 F160]

Subseries I.B. Events, geographical and miscellaneous correspondence , 1972-2004

Arranged alphabetically by folder titled assigned by Thompson.

Bumbershoot Festival , 1986-2000   [Box 8 F188]

Children's authors , 1990-1991   [Box 8 F189]

Dallas [Texas] , 1972-1993   [Box 8 F190]

Texas , 1988-2004   [Box 8 F191]

Texas State , 1978-1992   [Box 8 F192]

Utah , 1988-2000   [Box 8 F193]

Vermont , 1990-1992   [Box 8 F194]

Virginia , 1988-2002   [Box 8 F195]

Washington , 1988-2000   [Box 8 F196]

West Virginia , 1988-1999   [Box 8 F197]

Wisconsin , 1986-2001   [Box 8 F198]

Series II. Financial papers , 1987-1992

McNutley, Frank , 1990-1992   [Box 8 F199]

Contracts , 1987-1990   [Box 8 F200]

Arranged in contract number order.