James Hayford (AC 1935) Papers
Scope and Contents
Poetry notebooks and manuscript poems by Vermont poet James Hayford, 1933-1993. There is also a small amount of prose writing, including the text of his Bond oration at Amherst College in 1935, his M.A. thesis (1942) on Robert Frost, and an unpublished short novel. A small amount of correspondence is also included.
- Creation: 1933-1972
- Hayford, James (AC 1935) (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
There is no restriction on access to the James Hayford (AC 1935) Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.
Conditions Governing Use
Requests for permission to publish material from the Papers 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
James Hight Hayford (AC 1935) was a noted Vermont poet. While a student at Amherst, he attracted the interest of Robert Frost, who, upon Hayford's graduation, awarded him with the first and only Robert Frost Fellowship in the amount of $1,000. It stipulated that he not attend graduate school and that he publish a book of poetry within twenty years. (Nevertheless, he earned a Master's degree in 1942 from Teacher's College of Columbia University, writing a thesis on Robert Frost.) As a poet, Hayford considered himself a "disciple" of Robert Frost, and his style is reminiscent of Frost's. His poetry is generally terse and formal, employing traditional meter and rhyme; rural and village life in Vermont was a predominant theme.
In addition to his work as a poet, James Hayford was a teacher, part-time farmer, composer of piano music, and a political activist. He did all of these things in relatively non-traditional ways, preferring to shun the mainstream culture of literature, academia and politics. He joined the Progressive party and was a founding faculty member of Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Hayford's support of Henry A. Wallace, the Progressive candidate for President in the 1948, caused a controversy that led to his resignation from teaching.
By the end of his life, Hayford was acknowledged by some as Vermont's unofficial poet laureate. A few weeks before his death on June 21, 1993, he was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Vermont.
1.5 Linear feet (1 archives box, 1 records storage box)
Language of Materials
Poetry notebooks and manuscript poems by Vermont poet, teacher, and political activist James Hayford, 1933-1993. There is also a small amount of prose writing, including the text of his Bond oration at Amherst College in 1935, his M.A. thesis (1942) on Robert Frost, and an unpublished short novel. A small amount of correspondence is also included.
This collection is organized into four series:
- Series 1: Prose, 1935-1954 and undated
- Series 2: Poetry Manuscripts, 1933-1972
- Series 3: Poetry Journals, 1935-1993
- Series 4: Correspondence (photocopies), circa 1957-1993
1 archives box, 1 records storage box
Processed 1985. Reprocessed 2002 by Sarah Sorscher (AC 2005), Student Assistant, and again in 2012 by Peter Nelson, Archivist.
- Peter A. Nelson
- Language of description
- Script of description