The William Pratt Fugitive Poets Collection

Identifier: MSS.0342

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content Note

This small collection (2 ½ Hollinger Box --.33 cubic feet) includes letters to Pratt from seven of the original Fugitive poets and Andrew Lytle* dating from 1963 to as late as 1991.

There are a total of 50 letters written by 11 different people. Also included are the photocopy of the entire collection, 40 original envelopes, the 1964 contract for publication, the cover of The Fugitive Poets with a painting by Paul Davis, and the manuscript introduction to the first edition of The Fugitive Poets.

Ransom, Stevenson, and Lytle also included some poems with their letters to Pratt.

* Lytle published id The Fugitive Magazine, but was not one of the sixteen Fugitive poets.


  • multiple

Language of Materials


Biographical Sketch

Wiliam Pratt was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma in 1927. He earned his B.A. degree in English at the University of Oklahoma. He received his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from Vanderbilt University with his thesis on William Faulkner and his dissertation on Henry James, Ezra Pound, and T. S. Eliot. In 1957 Pratt joined the English Faculty at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He has lectured widely on Modern Poetry and American Literature.

In 1965 he published the first edition of The Fugitive Poets which features the work of eight of the poets (John Crowe Ransom, Stanley Johnson, Donald Davidson, Alec Brock Stevenson, Allen Tate, Merrill Moore, Jesse Wills, and Robert Penn Warren). In 1991 he published an expanded edition with an updated and revised introduction. This new edition includes in addition to the eight poets of the first edition: Sidney Mttron Hirsch, Laura Riding, Robert Graves, John Gould Fletcher, Hart Crane, and Andrew Lytle. "Professor Pratt’s detailed treatment of the Fugitive Poets and his recognition of the prominent role in twentieth-century literature constitute an important historical revision."

His most recent work on poetry Singing the Chaos: Madness and Wisdom in Modern Poetry (1996) includes discussion of the poetry of John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson, Allen Tate, Laura Riding, and Robert Penn Warren.


.42 Linear Feet

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Finding Aid for the The William Pratt Fugitive Poets Collection
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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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