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Tom Clark Papers

Identifier: MS-MS-ms026

The Tom Clark Papers consists of what Clark has termed his “Naropa Archive” - material he gathered together during his two-year investigation of the Naropa Institute including research materials, manuscripts, correspondence, editorial matter and other materials related to this research.  Also included in the Clark Papers are correspondence, manuscripts, and editorial matter toward Clark’s other works including Family Pictures, The Cold Execution, The End of the Line, Incident at Basecamp, The Last Gas Station and Other Stories, The Meatball, One Last Round for the Shuffler, Who is Sylvia?,  and The World of Damon Runyon.


  • 1976-1981


Conditions Governing Access


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.)


18.00 boxes

Biographical Information

Thomas Willard Clark ( March 1, 1941 - August 18, 2018) is an American poet, editor and biographer.  Born in Chicago, Illinois, Clark served as an usher at Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park, where he saw such renowned figures of the era as Joe DiMaggio, Bobby Hull, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Harry S. Truman. His experiences among these figures are reflected in his poems, which frequently feature these and other prominent figures from the 1950s and ’60s.

Clark attended John Carroll University in Ohio for a year before transferring to the University of Michigan, where he earned his BA in 1963. That year, at the recommendation of his former teacher Donald Hall, Clark became the poetry editor of The Paris Review, a post he held until 1973. After graduating from college, he attended Cambridge University in England on a Fulbright Scholarship and earned his MA in 1965 before enrolling at the University of Essex for two years. During this time, Clark began writing and publishing poetry in earnest.

A highly prolific writer, Clark has published dozens of poetry collections, including Truth Game (2013), Something in the Air (2010), and Light & Shade: New and Selected Poems (2006). He is also known for his many works of prose; he has authored several novels and biographies of people such as Ted Berrigan, Robert Creeley, Edward Dorn, Jack Kerouac, and Charles Olson. He has also published literary criticism in magazines such as the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle.

The recipient of awards from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts, Clark has been an instructor in poetics at the New College of California since 1988 and lives in Berkeley, California.

Method of Acquisition

Accession number 928. Purchase from Wallrich Books, June 26, 1968.

Accession number 932. Purchase from Wallrich Books, July 1, 1968.

Accession number 1579. Purchase from Thomas Clark, January 28, 1983.

Accession number 1757. Gift of Thomas Clark, March 1, 1988.

Accession number 23042. Gift of Gerald Byrne, September 1, 2004.

Tom Clark Papers
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Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 April 7: 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