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Table of Contents
Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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At a Glance
Arranged in seven series:
Scope and Contents
Ballots for the election of poets, correspondence by the poets in residence, DVDs and photos of dedication services, and materials relating to the induction and selection of poets.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Other Finding Aids
Daniel Haberman Papers. Columbia University Libraries.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
Conditions Governing Use
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts/University Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
The RBML cannot provide access to original time-based media material which has not been first been reformatted for preservation. Researchers are welcome to examine archival time-based media items and decide whether they wish to place an order for Audio/Video reformatting. If copyright and/or condition restrictions apply, it may not be possible to digitize a requested item. Please note that A/V reformatting is handled by an outside vendor and typically takes 6-8 weeks.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); American Poets' Corner Archive; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Processed by Patrick Lawlor and Barbara Nissman, 2019.
History / Biographical Note
The American Poets' Corner was created in 1984 in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City and modeled after a similar alcove for writers at Westminster Abbey in London. Located in the cathedral's Arts Bay, the Poets' Corner is made up of stone slabs, both on the wall and on the floor, commemorating (as of 2019) thirty American writers with inscriptions of the writer's name, dates of birth and death, and a memorable quotation from the writer's work. For Hart Crane, his words "Permit me voyage, love, into your hands" were chosen, and Edna St. Vincent Millay is remembered with "Take up the song; forget the epitaph." The Cathedral Poet-in-Residence program has been ongoing since 1983. Poets serve for a term of five years. The poet in turn appoints the Electors, for staggered terms, keeping in mind the original guidelines calling for geographical and genre diversity. Every spring, the Poet-in-Residence invites each Elector to nominate a writer deceased for at least 25 years. The Electors and Poet-in-Residence discuss candidates and engage in balloting until consensus is reached. A line of poetry is chosen to be engraved in the cathedral.