Robert Penn Warren And William Meredith Correspondence

Identifier: MSS.0490

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content Note

In this small collection (.21 linear feet) is the personal correspondence between William Meredith and Robert Penn Warren, his wife Eleanor Clark and his daughter Rosanna Warren for the years 1962-1980. Also included : an album of over 80 manuscript pages of poems by R.P.W.; a folder of invitation cards to Meredith from the Warrens; and a folder of several miscellaneous materials including R.P. Warren’s letter to the Editor of the New York Times dated May 24, 1980.


  • 1962 - 1980

Language of Materials


Biographical Notes

William Meredith (January 9, 1919--) born in New York City is an American poet. He graduated from Princeton University in 1940 and later taught at Princeton, the University of Hawaii, and Connecticut College. He has published nine volumes of poetry and in 1988 won the Pulitzer Prize for Partial Accounts: New and Selected Poems (1987) and in 1997 the National Book Award for Effort at Speech. This collection is an archive of his personal correspondence with Robert Penn Warren, Eleanor Clark Warrren, and their daughter Rosanna.

Robert Penn Warren (April 24, 1905- September 15, 1989) was born in Guthrie, Kentucky where he grew up. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1925. While at Vanderbilt he was associated with the Fugitive poets and later contributed to I’ll Take My Stand a manifesto of the Southern Agrarians. He studied also at the University of California and Yale. In 1928 he entered New College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and took a B.Litt. degree from there in 1930. He taught at Vanderbilt, Southwestern at Memphis, Louisiana State University, the University of Minnesota, and at Yale. In 1952 he married his second wife the novelist Eleanor Clark and they had two children Rosanna Phelps Warren (July 1953--) and Gabriel Penn Warren (July 1955--).

They lived in Fairfield, Connecticut and Stratton, Vermont. Letters from Eleanor Clark and Rosanna Warren are included in this collection. Robert Penn Warren was a poet, novelist, essayist, and critic of the first rank, and he received many honors and awards for his work. He won Pulitzer Prizes for his novel All the King’s Men (1946) and for 2 books of his poetry Promises:Poems 1954-1956 (1958) and Now and Then (1979). On February 26, 1986 he was named the first official poet laureate of the United States. His papers are in the Beinecke Library at Yale University.

Eleanor Clark (1913—1996) was a novelist and writer, author of Rome and a Villa (1952); The Oysters of Locmariaquer a depiction of a fishing community in Brittany for which she won the National Book Award in 1964;, Baldur’s Gate (1970); Gloria Mundi(1979) and others. She married Robert Penn Warren in 1952 and they had two children, Rosanna and Gabriel. Correspondence from her to Meredith is included in this collection.

Rosanna Phelps Warren (1953--) is the daughter of Robert Penn Warren and Eleanor Clark. She graduated from Yale University in 1976 and received her MA in Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins Univeristy in 1980. She has won many awards for her poetry. She is a professor of Comparative Literature at Boston University. Among her published work is Departure (2003), Stained Glass (1993), The Art of Translation: Voices from the Field.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 container)

Finding Aid for the Robert Penn Warren And William Meredith Correspondence
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


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