Walter Sullivan Collection

Identifier: MSS.0426

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

This collection is 1.21 linear feet. It contains 157 pieces of correspondence, in 27 file folders, to Walter Sullivan from the following Southern literary writers, who were part of the Fugitives/Agrarians: Donald Davidson, Andrew Lytle, Allen Tate, Peter Taylor, and Robert Penn Warren. It also includes four books, and 43 reel-to-reel tapes, in chronological order, from Literary Symposium Lectures, Panels, Readings, and Interviews with Southern writers.


  • 1928-1993


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

Walter Sullivan, a native of Nashville, was a 1947 Vanderbilt University alumnus who later became a Professor of English at Vanderbilt University for 51 years, and retired in 2000. Professor Sullivan was personal friends with Donald Davidson, Peter Taylor, Allen Tate, Andrew Lytle, and Robert Penn Warren. He was a student of Richmond Beatty, Donald Davidson, Walter Clyde Curry, and Claude Finney, each contributing to his dedication to literature and teaching. Professor Sullivan earned a Master’s of Fine Arts degree at the University of Iowa, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years during World War II. He was a fiction writer and his first novel, Sojourn of a Stranger, was published in 1957. His second novel, The Long, Long Love, was published in 1959. After that time he authored numerous articles, books, and short stories. Sullivan died in Nashville, Tennessee, on August 15, 2006.

Professor Sullivan delivered a series of lectures on modern American novelists in 1973 on WDCN, the NET channel in Nashville. The series became an immediate hit, and his subjects included Hemingway, Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty, and Saul Bellow. The next series of lectures focused on modern British authors. These research materials will be part of the Jesse W. Wills Fugitive and Agrarian Collection that was established in 1969, and contains the largest accumulation of Fugitive and Agrarian materials available anywhere.


2.09 Linear Feet

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Finding Aid for the Walter Sullivan Collection
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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