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Jack W. C. Hagstrom (AC 1955) Correspondence with or about Donald Hall, Marianne Moore, Dave Smith and Richard Wilbur

Identifier: MA.00235

Scope and Contents

The collection consists chiefly of Dr. Hagstrom's correspondence with poets Donald Hall, Marianne Moore, Dave Smith and Richard Wilbur, as well as with numerous publishers, scholars, librarians and book dealers, mainly concerning his collection of these writers' works. Also included are critical and bibliographical reviews, invoices, etc.


  • Creation: 1958-2002


Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes. This collection is housed in off-site storage and requires advance notice before use. Please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Jack W.C. Hagstrom (born December 2, 1933), physician, literary collector and bibliographer, is a 1955 graduate of Amherst College. He earned an M.D. degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1959, where he went on to become Instructor in Pathology. He has retained close ties with Amherst College, particularly with the Robert Frost Library in connection with his avocational interest in collecting modern British and American poetry.

Donald Hall was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1928 and earned a B.A. from Harvard in 1951 and a B. Litt. from Oxford in 1953. He has published fifteen books of poetry as well as books on baseball and other topics, children's books, short stories and plays. He served as poetry editor of The Paris Review from 1953 to 1962. Hall has received two Guggenheim fellowships, the Poetry Society of America's Robert Frost Silver medal, a Lifetime Achievement award from the New Hampshire Writers and Publisher Project, and the Ruth Lilly Prize for poetry. Hall also served as Poet Laureate of New Hampshire from 1984 to 1989.

Marianne Moore (1887-1972) was an American poet, critic, and translator. She graduated in 1909 from Bryn Mawr College. Her Collected Poems (1951) earned the poet the National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize, and the Bollingen Prize.

Dave Smith was born on December 19, 1942 in Portsmouth, Virginia. He earned a B.A. at the University of Virginia (1965), an M.A. at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville (1969), and a Ph.D in English at Ohio University (1976). He has taught English at many American colleges and universities, and since 1998 he has been the Boyd Professor of English at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. He also has served as poetry editor for numerous magazines. Smith has published over 18 books of poetry as well as short stories, criticism and a novel.

Richard Wilbur, poet, translator and critic, was born in New York City in 1921. He graduated from Amherst College in 1942 and has taught English at Harvard and Wesleyan Universities and Wellesley and Smith Colleges. He has been awarded a number of honors for his poetry, including the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize (twice), the Wallace Stevens Award, the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, the Frost Medal, the Gold Medal for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Bollingen Prize, the T. S. Eliot Award, a Ford Foundation Award, two Guggenheim Fellowships, the Edna St. Vincent Millay Memorial Award, the Oscar Blumenthal Prize for Poetry, the Harriet Monroe Poetry Award, the National Arts Club medal of honor for literature, two PEN translation awards, the Prix de Rome Fellowship, and the Shelley Memorial Award. He was elected a chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques and is a Chancellor Emeritus of The Academy of American Poets. In addition to poetry, he has also published numerous translations of plays by Molière and Racine, contributed the lyrics for Leonard Bernstein's musical Candide, written several books for children, and produced two collections of critical writing. In 1987-1988 Richard Wilbur served as Poet Laureate of the United States.


7.6 Linear feet (6 records storage boxes, 2 half archives boxes)

Language of Materials



Chiefly Jack Hagstrom's correspondence with poets Hall, Moore, Smith and Wilbur, as well as with numerous publishers, scholars, librarians and book dealers, mainly concerning his collection of these writers' works. Also included are critical and bibliographical reviews, invoices, etc.


This collection is organized into four series:

  1. Series 1: Correspondence with Donald Hall, 1976-2002
  2. Series 2: Correspondence with Marianne Moore, 1958-1966
  3. Series 3: Correspondence with Dave Smith, 1985-1996
  4. Series 4: Richard Wilbur Collection Correspondence, 1958-2000

Custodial History

Series 1 and 3 (Hall and Smith) were the gift of Thomas J. Fleming in November 2003.

Related Materials

  • Richard Wilbur (AC 1942) Papers
  • Jack W.C. Hagstrom (AC 1955) James Merrill Collection (access restrictions apply)
    (includes correspondence related to his collection of Merrill for his descriptive bibliography, published in 2009)

Processing Information

Series 1 and 3 (Hall and Smith) were originally described in separate finding aids, but were joined in 2012 to form separate series in one finding aid. Series 2 (Moore) originally formed part of the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection (formerly MS 122). It, together with Series 4 (Wilbur), was integrated with this collection in 2012.

Peter A. Nelson, archivist
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299