University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

W.D. Snodgrass

1940s - present

Manuscript Collection Number: multiple accessions, beginning 1989
Extent: ca. 100 linear ft.
: correspondence, drafts of poems and essays, manuscripts, photographs.
Access: Limited pending completion of processing.

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Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
(302) 831-2229

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Poet W. D. Snodgrass was born William De Witt Snodgrass on January 5, 1926, in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. He attended Geneva College (1943-1944 and 1946-1947) prior to graduating from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in 1949, M.A. in 1951, and a M.F.A. in 1953. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Letters from Allegheny College.

W. D. Snodgrass's first book, a collection of poetry titled Heart's Needle (New York: Knopf, 1959) was awarded the 1960 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Since that publication Snodgrass has produced over thirty books of poetry, translations, and criticism.

In addition to Heart's Needle, the poet's other published collections of poetry include After Experience (1968), the Fuhrer Bunker: A Cycle of Poems in Progress (1977), Remains (1970), and The Death of Cock Robin (1989). Among his other publications are the translations of Gallows Songs by Christian Morgenstern (1967), Six Troubadour Songs (1977), and Traditional Hungarian Songs (1978); as well as the volume of criticism, In Radical Pursuit: Critical Essays and Lectures (1975). A major retrospective collection of Snodgrass's poetry, Selected Poems, 1957-1987, was published by Soho Press in 1987.

Snodgrass has also contributed poetry, essays, reviews, and translations to many major journals, newspapers, and anthologies. His work appears in such anthologies as Reading Modern Poetry (1955), New Poets of England and America (1957), New World Writing (1957), and Theodore Roethke: Essays on Poetry (1965).

His cycle of poems, The Fuhrer Bunker, was adapted as a play and performed off-Broadway at American Place Theatre on May 26, 1981.

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, the poet has been honored with such awards as the Hudson Review Fellowship (1958), the Longview Award (1959), the Poetry Society of America Special Citation (1960), the Guiness Award (1961), the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award (1968), and the Centennial Medel of Romania (1977). Snodgrass was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1972, and was made a Fellow of the Academy of American Poets in 1973.

Following faculty assignments at Cornell University (1955-1957), University of Rochester (1957-1958), Wayne State University (1959-1967), Syracuse University (1968-1977), and Old Dominion University (1978-1979); W. D. Snodgrass joined the faculty at the University of Delaware in 1979. He currently holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing and Contemporary Poetry.


Evory, Ann. Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series, Volume 6. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1982. pp. 481-83.

Scope and Content Note

The W. D. Snodgrass Papers consists of nearly 100 linear feet from multiple accessions of correspondence, photographs and personal papers, drafts of poems, essays, and other manuscripts.

Related Collections:

Mss 272 W. D. Snodgrass Correspondence with Daniela Gioseffi

Mss 273 W. D. Snodgrass Letters and Manuscripts to Jerome Mazzaro

Mss 274 W. D. Snodgrass Collection

Contents List

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