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John Taggart Papers
MSS 0011  
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Collection Overview
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Papers of John Taggart, a contemporary American poet known for his formal and prosodic innovations. In addition to his long career as a professor at Shippensburg State University, Taggart has been involved in supporting literary communities and has written about key artistic and literary figures, in addition to producing his own creative work. The collection contains manuscripts and typescripts of Taggart's published and unpublished poetry, juvenilia from the 1960s and 70s, and fiction. The collection also contains many of his personal journals, notebooks, and loose notecards, as well as ongoing correspondence with writers, artists, and editors such as Theodore Enslin and Susan Howe. Taggart's work on translations of Sappho, Aeschylus, and Francis Ponge is also included. His nonfiction work consists mostly of essays, both published and unpublished, devoted to the work of individual writers and artists, such as George Oppen and Edward Hopper, as well as collective movements such as the Objectivist poets. Of note are included drafts of his articles "Walk Out: Rereading George Oppen" (CHICAGO REVIEW, 1998) and "George Oppen: One Line" (FLASHPOINT, 2002). The collection represents Taggart's ongoing poetic contributions, such as the collections DODEKA, CROSSES, WHEN THE SAINTS, and, most recently, PASTORELLES, as well as his lengthy continued correspondence with literary figures. Also of note are miscellaneous materials such as three-dimensional paper constructions as well as course materials related to his long tenure as a professor.
John Taggart was born in 1942 in Guthrie Center, Iowa. He graduated with honors in 1965 from Earlham College in Indiana, earning a B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy. In 1966 he received a M.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Chicago, and in 1974 he completed a Ph.D. in the Humanities Interdisciplinary Studies Program at Syracuse University. His dissertation, titled "Intending a Solid Object: A Study in Objectivist Poetics," was one of the first extended discussions of the compositional strategies informing the work of poets Louis Zukofsky and George Oppen. Though the work has never been published as a monograph, revised sections of it have appeared in LOUIS ZUKOFSKY: MAN AND POET, edited by Carroll F. Terrell (National Poetry Foundation, 1979) and CREDENCES: JOURNAL OF TWENTIETH CENTURY POETRY AND POETICS (nos. 2-3 Fall/Winter, 1982).
22.00 linear feet (56 archives boxes, 1 records carton and 2 oversize folders)
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Collection is open for research.