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Howard Nemerov Papers

Identifier: MS-MS-ms089

The Howard Nemerov Papers are a large group of materials which help document the career of this important American poet. The collection includes a great number of worksheets, drafts, and notes towards poems, essays, lectures, stories, collections, and novels. Nemerov corresponded with numerous important literary figures and their letters are housed in the Nemerov Papers. Kenneth Burke, Maxine Kumin, Kay Boyle, and Reed Whittemore, in particular, have been long-time correspondents with Nemerov and the Washington University holdings contain over 800 letters from these four authors. The Howard Nemerov Papers are completed by an extensive collection of business correspondence, most relating to the publication of his books, and a large group of photographs, teaching materials, journals, and miscellany.


  • 1939-1991


Conditions Governing Access

Some restrictions. Please contact Curator for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


267.00 boxes

Biographical Information

Howard Nemerov, a native of New York City, was a widely published poet who has been recognized with numerous prizes, awards, grants, and fellowships. He graduated from Harvard in 1941 and immediately enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Nemerov flew for the Canadian forces in Europe until 1944, when he joined the U.S. Army Air Force and flew combat missions until 1945.

In 1946, Nemerov became an associate editor of Furioso and began teaching at Hamilton College. He served on Furioso until 1951 and taught at several other schools--Bennington College, the University of Minnesota, Brandeis University and Hollins College--until 1963, when he received a one year appointment as Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress. In 1969, Nemerov joined the English faculty at Washington University where he remained a highly visible and popular teacher, holding the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished Professor of English Chair.

Although he was best known as a poet, Nemerov has written novels, short stories, essays, and criticism. His first book, The Image and the Law, was published in 1947 and he has produced over 20 books since then. Nemerov has received nearly every award or prize available to poets including the Prize for Poetry in 1977 for Collected Poems, and the Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 1981. He was inducted into the Academy of American Poets in 1971 and was elected a member of the American Institute of Arts and Letters in 1977.

Method of Acquisition

Accession number MSS2017-029. Purchased from Sarah Eisenman, October 3, 2017 Accession number MSS2021-022. Gift of the Estate of Laurence Garceau, June 1, 2021

Related Materials

See also VMF247 Carol Sklenicka Collection of Howard Nemerov Papers

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Schnuriger.

Howard Nemerov Papers
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 April 9: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collecting Area

Joel Minor
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495