Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Raymond Carver photographs
Collection number: MS 130
University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library.
Special Collections and Archives
Santa Cruz, California 95064
Abstract: A small collection of thirty one family snapshots of Raymond Carver's early family life.
Physical location: Stored in Special Collections and Archives : Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection open for research.
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and
their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Raymond Carver photographs . MS 130. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of
California, Santa Cruz.
Purchased from James Carver in 2006.
Raymond Clevie Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon on May 25, 1938. In 1941 his family moved to Yakima, where Carver grew
up, graduating from Yakima High School in 1956. On June 7, 1957, he married 16 year old Maryann Burk, who had just graduated
from high school. In December of 1957 their first child, daughter Christine LaRae, was born. A son, Vance Lindsay, was born
in October of the following year.
For the next dozen years one or both of the young parents were enrolled in various colleges and universities while holding
a continuous succession of menial jobs. Carver wrote his first story, "Furious Seasons," while a student at Chico State College
in California. After two years there, the family moved to Eureka, where he attended Humboldt State College, eventually becoming
editor of the campus literary magazine Toyon. In the spring of 1962 Western Humanities Review accepted "Pastoral" -- Carver's
first story published. The very same day, he received word that Target had accepted his poem "The Brass Ring" for publishing.
After graduating from Humboldt in February 1963, Carver moved to Berkeley, but by autumn the family had moved to Iowa City
so he could attend the two-year master's program of the Writers' Workshop. They stayed only one year, however, before moving
back to Sacramento, California, where Carver's parents were living. Financial difficulties continued, but he continued to
write, and began to garner some success in getting work published. The next several years found them moving often, ending
up in the Bay Area by the late 1960's. In 1970 "Neighbors" became the first of Carver's stories to be accepted by a major
In 1971 he began teaching, despite finding it "a terrifying prospect." His first lecturer position was at the University of
California at Santa Cruz. The following year was at UC Berkeley. During this time his drinking became more and more of a problem.
In the 1973-74 academic year, he tried to teach at both the Iowa Writers' Workshop and at UCSC, without either school being
aware he was teaching at the other. Meanwhile, his first collection of short stories, Put Yourself In My Shoes, appeared.
Nonetheless, by the following year, when he was to teach at UC Santa Barbara, his alcoholism made the situation untenable
and he was forced to resign. He continued a downward spiral, hospitalized for acute alcoholism on four separate occasions.
June 2, 1977, was called by Carver "the line of demarcation" between his "two lives": it was then he had his last alcoholic
drink. It was too late to save his family life (he and Maryann eventually divorced but were already separated, and his children
were estranged from him), but he soon recovered his ability to teach and desire to write. By the 1978-79 academic year, he
held a writer-in-residence position at the University of Texas, El Paso. There he began a relationship with the poet Tess
Gallagher, whom he had met the previous year at a conference in Dallas. They moved in together January 1, 1979, and they stayed
together until his death in 1988. Jobs took them to Tuscon, Arizona, and then to Syracuse, New York, where Carver had his
first permanent teaching post. Throughout the 1980's he continued to write stories and poems, enjoying ever-increasing success.
Then in the fall of 1987 Carver was diagnosed with lung cancer, which by the next spring had spread to his brain. In June
of 1988 he and Tess were married in Reno, Nevada. They returned to their home in Port Angeles, Washington, making only a brief
trip to Alaska before Raymond Carver died on August 2, 1988.
Scope and Content of Collection
A small collection of thirty one family snapshots of Raymond Carver and his family from his earliest years to his death.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.