Guide to the Sheila Ortiz-Taylor Papers CEMA 13

Finding aid prepared by Todd Chapman, assisted by Judy Klaus, Alexander Hauschild. Completed March 2000, additions made June 2009 by Chip Badley and Callie Bowdish, 2012 migrated to EAD by Adam Schnee.
UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Collections
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California, 93106-9010
Phone: (805) 893-3062
Email:; URL:

Title: Sheila Ortiz-Taylor Papers
Identifier/Call Number: CEMA 13
Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 4.0 linear feet 9 boxes
Date (inclusive): 1957-2006
Abstract: The Sheila Ortiz-Taylor collection contains material relating primarily to her work as a writer and a teacher. The collection takes up four linear feet and is continually being added to by Ortiz-Taylor, as her work as a scholar and writer continues. Most of the material in the collection focuses specifically on her novels and includes her drafts of these novels, many of them annotated for correction. The scope of the manuscript, as well as the notes on revisions to be made, are invaluable as they illuminate her method and style during the writing process. The collection contains samples of Ortiz-Taylor's writing from her work as a university student, and later, to her recognition as a noted and critically acclaimed novelist. Because of this comprehensive sampling of her work, the collection gives valuable insight into Ortiz-Taylor's growth as an icon of Chicana writing.

Series Description

Series 1 Personal and Biographical information. Series one is arranged as one series, in order of its creation where possible, and following chronological order where ever possible. The series covers the period from 1963 to 1997. It begins with Ortiz-Taylor's travel journal from a trip to Europe in 1963. Included is a journal which was periodically maintained from 1963 to 1965. This second journal contains quotes and some story ideas as well as samples of Ortiz-Taylor's early writing style. Series one contains several interviews with Ortiz-Taylor, covering such topics as, lesbian mothers and other aspects of her novels. These interviews help to describe her thought process during the writing of her novels, for example explanations on various themes she works with in her writing, and comments on writing in general. Lastly, series one contains a lecture written for a women's workshop on her experiences in becoming a published writer. This first series is contained within the first box of the collection. The material in this series is arranged from biographical information throughout the collection, which relate to this subject.
Series 2 Correspondence. The majority of the letters in series two were written to Sheila Ortiz-Taylor during the years 1992-2006. These letters were sent to her by the general public in response to her published books. Small collections of letters refer to Ortiz-Taylor's relationship with Naiad Press, publisher of Faultline, Slow Dancing at Miss Polly's, Southbound, and Spring Forward/Fall Back. The correspondence is arranged in four folders within the first box. Series two is further divided into two sub series, Correspondence with Publishers and General Literary Correspondence.
Series 3 Writings. This series, consisting of seven sub series, is by far the largest of the collection. There are seven sub series spanning six boxes. The first is, Published works: manuscripts 1972-1996 consisting of four manuscripts/drafts of her published works arranged chronologically from Faultline in 1972 to Coachella, in 1998. The second sub series Published works from journals and periodicals 1977-2003 contains excerpts of her work printed in various magazines and journals. Sub series three is self explanatory; titled Miscellaneous Books, consisting of two foreign language versions of Faultline and one book of poetry entitled North of Wakulla, annotated with comments to Ortiz-Taylor from her peers in literature. Also included in this sub series is the lesbian theme calendar, Lesbian Muse. Sub series four, Unpublished works: manuscripts 1970-1999 contains manuscripts of Ortiz-Taylor's as of yet unpublished work arranged in chronological order. There are five complete draft manuscripts, as well as academic papers Ortiz-Taylor wrote while in college. These papers reveal some of Ortiz-Taylor's thought process in the writing of her unpublished dissertation Surrealism in the Picaresque Novel. The fifth sub series, Unpublished academic papers and stories, spans most of box 7 and contains 23 of Ortiz-Taylor's academic papers. Annotated by professors and spanning a variety of subjects from 1957 to 2006 (some of the papers are undated). This portion of the collection shows in detail the formation of Ortiz-Taylor's intellectual foundation in English literature. The sixth sub series, Bibliographic Contributions is a detailed accounting of her work in several bibliographic publications as well as correspondence relating to her bibliographic work. The seventh and final sub series, Miscellany contains free-writes and plot mapping giving an indication of Ortiz-Taylor's work habits.
Series 4 Reviews and Publicity. This series deals specifically with the reviews and critiques of Sheila Ortiz-Taylor's books and her relationship with Naiad press, the primary publisher of her work. It is separated into critiques dealing specifically with Naiad press and each book in chronological order of their publishing.
Series 5 Video and Audio Recordings. Series five contains one video and one audiotape. Both tapes were made at Florida State University, and detail the contributions Ortiz-Taylor has made to that university. The videotape is excellent visual documentation of her Martin Luther King award for teaching excellence.


Sheila Ortiz-Taylor is a critically acclaimed Chicana novelist, poet and lecturer, and winner of the Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award (1997). Born in Los Angeles in 1939, Ortiz-Taylor began writing poetry and plays as early as junior high school. She says of her upbringing: "Daughters of a tap dancer and a yo-yo painter, my sister and I were sitting ducks for the muses, who handed her a paint set and me three yellow pencils." Upon graduation from high school, Ortiz-Taylor enrolled at UCLA where she completed one year as an English Major with a Spanish Minor. The following year, in 1958, She was married and relocated to Iowa where she worked as a nurse's aid with handicapped children and as a secretary. She returned to Los Angeles and enrolled again as a sophomore in 1960 where she won the Mabel Wilson Richards Fellowship. In 1961, she transferred to California State University, Northridge, where she graduated with a Bachelors degree in English, (Cum Laude), and was named Outstanding Student of Language and Literature in 1963. After a summer of travel in Europe, Ortiz-Taylor returned to UCLA where she eventually received her M.A. in 1964 and her Ph.D. in 1972.
During the period from 1964 to 1972, Ortiz-Taylor also worked on her book Emily Dickinson, a Bibliography. This piece was heralded as one of the most complete and essential bibliographies of its kind. Ortiz-Taylor continued to contribute bibliographical pieces to American Literary Realism and to Twentieth Century Literature and it was during this time that she became the proud mother of two daughters, Andrea Bo Clendenning and Jessica Ann Clendenning. Eventually, through perseverance and hard work, Ortiz- Taylor became an important and critically acclaimed novelist. Her work includes the novels Faultline (Naiad, 1982,1995), Spring Forward/Fall Back (Naiad, 1985), Southbound (Naiad, 1990), and Coachella (University of New Mexico, 1998), as well as a volume of poetry, Slow Dancing at Miss Polly’s (Naiad, 1989) and the memoir Imaginary Parents (University of New Mexico, 1996). The Oxford Companion to Women’s Writing in the United States called Faultline “the first Chicana lesbian novel.”
Ortiz-Taylor was a Professor of English at Florida State University where she also served as Director of Women’s Studies. She has received numerous awards for her work; she has been writer-in-residence at the Guadalupe Cultural Center, the Cottages at Hedgebrook, the Hambidge Center, the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, and the Fundación Valparaíso. A former Fulbright Fellow, she has also been recipient of the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Grant and a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship. Her awards include but are not limited to, the Teaching Incentive Program Award (1994 and 1999), the William R. Jones Most Valuable Mentor award (1994-1995), the University Teaching Award 1995-96, (Graduate level), and the Professional Excellence Program Award, 1996-97.

Conditions Governing Access note

Service copies of audiovisual items may need to be made before viewing or listening. Please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.


Series 1: Personal/Biographical 1963-1997

Box 1, Folder 1

Diary (European trip) June 27 – August 4, 1963

Box 1, Folder 2

Journal (Quotes, sketches, notes and poems) 1963-1965


Interviews with Sheila Ortiz-Taylor 1986-1997

Box 1, Folder 3

1. a) Community News, (with Peters, Jeff G.) January 1997

Box 1, Folder 3

1. b) Community News, (with Peters, Jeff G.) December 1996

Box 1, Folder 3

2. Topic: Lesbianism April 18, 1990

Box 1, Folder 3

3. Topic: Spring Forward Fall Back (with Brophy, Mary T.) December 21, 1987

Box 1, Folder 3

4. Topic: Faultline (with McLane, Tania) March 18, 1986

Box 1, Folder 4

Lecture by Taylor to Women’s Workshop, Azalea Grill January 20, 1989

Box 10

Photographs from Friends (2 photos from friends)


Series 2: Correspondence 1981-2006


Correspondence with Publishers 1981-2005

Box 1, Folder 5

Outgoing February - July 1985

Box 1, Folder 6

Incoming 1981-2005


General Literary Correspondence 1981-2006

Box 1, Folder 7

Grants and awards 1985-1996

Box 1, Folder 8

Correspondence with readers, incoming 1981-1998

Box 7, Folder 11

General Correspondence 2002-2006


Series 3: Writings 1957-2006


Published works: Books 1972-1996

Box 9

Ed. Joan Nestle – Naomi Holoch. Women On Women 2: A New Anthology of American Lesbian Fiction

Box 9

Ortiz Taylor, Sheila. Southbound: The Sequel to Faultline

Box 9

Ortiz Taylor, Sheila. Slow Dancing at Miss Polly’s

Box 10

Ed. J.H. Blair. ¡Caliente! The Best Erotic Writing in Latin American Fiction

Box 10

Ortiz Taylor, Sheila. Spring Forward/Fall Back

Box 10

Ed. Valencia, Alejandra Sánchez. Tema Y Variaciones de Literatura 14: Espejos y reflejos: literature chicana

Box 10

Ed. Stelboum, Judith P. HLFQ: Harrington Lesbian Fiction Quarterly. Volume 4, Number 3

Box 10

Lesbian Voices. Volume 4, Number 2

Box 10

Apalachee Quarterly. Number 28

Box 10

Ed. MacEnulty, Pat. Sun Dog: The Southeast Review. Volume 13, Number 1

Box 10

Ed. Corbett, Edward P.J. College Composition and Communication. Volume 29

Box 10

Apalachee Quarterly. Volumes 36-37

Box 10

Ed. Francisco A. Lomelí – Karin Ikas. U.S. Latino Literatures and Cultures: Transnational Perspectives


Published works: manuscripts 1972-1996


Faultline ms. May 23, 1972.

Box 1, Folder 9

Chapters 1-9

Box 1, Folder 10

Chapters 10-16

Box 1, Folder 11

Chapters 17-21

Box 1, Folder 12

Bound copy (44,000 words) 1980


Southbound ms.

Box 2, Folder 1

Chapters 1-8

Box 2, Folder 2

Chapters 9-12

Box 2, Folder 3

Chapters 13-20

Box 2, Folder 4

Chapters 21-32


Imaginary Parents ms.

Box 2, Folder 5

First draft (originally called "Home Movies") Chapters 1-15

Box 2, Folder 6

Chapters 16-26

Box 2, Folder 7

Draft ms. Chapters 1-14

Box 2, Folder 8

Chapters 15-29

Box 2, Folder 9

Chapters 30-41

Box 2, Folder 10

Chapters 42-52

Box 3, Folder 1

Bound draft for publishers titled “First Draft” February 20, 1994

Box 3, Folder 2

Third Draft. (Named, Imaginary Parent: A Memoir, Working copy) Chapters 1-11

Box 3, Folder 3

Chapters 12-23 (Chapter 24 missing.)

Box 3, Folder 4

Chapters 25-36

Box 3, Folder 5

Chapters 37-52

Box 3, Folder 6

Final publication page proofs, Book One July 1996

Box 3, Folder 7

Book Two

Box 3, Folder 8

Book Three

Box 4, Folder 1

Publisher’s blueline copy 1996

Box 4, Folder 2

Talk given by Sheila Ortiz-Taylor on Imaginary Parent undated


Coachella ms.

Box 4, Folder 2a

Two drafts of presentation "Coachella: The Novel as Community" Delivered at UNC Chapel Hill Winter 1999

Box 4, Folder 3

Early drafts (2) n.d. Draft 7 (37,718 words) July 1996

Box 4, Folder 4

Pages. 1-73

Box 4, Folder 5

Pages 74-120

Box 4, Folder 6

Pages 121-182. Draft 10. Titled "First Edition" 1998

Box 4, Folder 7

Pages 1-71

Box 4, Folder 8

Pages 72-125

Box 4, Folder 9

Pages 126-302


Assisted Living ms.

Box 7, Folder 12

Early draft n.d. (36,898 words), Pages. 1-44 undated

Box 7, Folder 13

Pages 45-71

Box 7, Folder 14

Pages 72-106

Box 7, Folder 15

Pages 107-139

Box 7, Folder 16

Pages 140-173

Box 7, Folder 17

Pages 174-212


Published works from journals and periodicals 1977-2003


Miscellaneous contributions

Box 4, Folder 10

Episodic Structure and the Picaresque Novel in The Journal of Narrative Technique

Box 4, Folder 10

La Frontera in Two Worlds Walking

Box 4, Folder 10

Dyke Patrol in Common Lives Lesbian Lives

Box 4, Folder 10

Selections from Imaginary Parents: A memoir in The Americas Review

Box 4, Folder 10

Southern exposure in Sinister Wisdom 34

Box 4, Folder 10

A Friend of the Family (A chapter from the novel, Faultline) in Focus, a journal for lesbians

Box 4, Folder 10

Rearview Mirror in New Visions, Fiction by Florida writers

Box 4, Folder 10

Faultline; excerpt published in Christopher Street Magazine

Box 4, Folder 10

Esther Williams Sister, published in Innisfree magazine

Box 7, Folder 18

Strip in Harrington Lesbian Fiction Quarterly 2003


Miscellaneous Books


North of Wakulla. Annotated anthology of poetry

Box 4, Folder 11

German edition of Faultline

Box 4, Folder 11

Spanish Edition of Fautline

Box 4, Folder 11

Lesbian Muse. Lesbian theme Calendar


Unpublished works: manuscripts 1970-1999

Box 5, Folder 1

“Harley." Chapters 1-7 1970-1972

Box 5, Folder 2

Chapters 8-20. “Captain Jack and the Flying Girl.”

Box 5, Folder 3

Preliminary draft. Pages 1-14

Box 5, Folder 4

Draft 1. Pages 1-15

Box 5, Folder 5

Draft 2. Pages 1-17. “The Flying Girl; Ace of Hearts.” (Renamed from original ms.: Captain Jack and the Flying Girl.) 3,746 words

Box 5, Folder 6

Pages 1-18. “Extranjera.”

Box 5, Folder 7

Early draft Chapter 1 and Chapter 22

Box 5, Folder 8

Journal. Draft Three 9/5/96- 9/4/98

Box 5, Folder 9

Pages 1-74. Chapters 1-18 (Some chapters renumbered)

Box 5, Folder 10

Pages 75-173. Chapters 17-39. (Some chapters renumbered) Draft Seven (49,166 words) 6/11/99

Box 5, Folder 11

Chapters 1-11

Box 5, Folder 12

Chapters 12-24

Box 5, Folder 13

Chapters 25-45. "Suprarealism in the Picaresque Novel." (An unpublished critical study based on Ortiz-Taylor's dissertation

Box 5, Folder 14

“Extranejera” Draft 8-A

Box 6, Folder 1

Chapters 1 & 2. Pages 1-62

Box 6, Folder 2

Chapters 3 & 4 plus notes for Chapters 1-6. Pages 63-164. (Pages 63-164 missing)

Box 6, Folder 3

Notes Chapters 1-2

Box 6, Folder 4

Notes Chapters 3-4

Box 6, Folder 5

Notes Chapter 5 plus miscellaneous notes

Box 6, Folder 6-7

Miscellaneous notes. Drafts (annotated)

Box 6, Folder 8

Chapters 2 & 3

Box 6, Folder 9

Chapters 4 & 5

Box 6, Folder 10

Academic works relating to "Suprarealism in the Picaresque Novel"

Box 6, Folder 11

Correspondence to publishers


Unpublished Academic Papers and Stories

Box 7, Folder 1

Papers 1957-1961

Box 7, Folder 1

“Pain Child.” 12/13/57

Box 7, Folder 1

“The Dramatic Function of two Minds Deceased” May 29, 1961

Box 7, Folder 1

“Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway April 18, 1961

Box 7, Folder 1

“Carmichael and Kilman: Their Raison D’Être” April 18, 1961

Box 7, Folder 1

“Plot and Character in Pride and Prejudice 11/28/61

Box 7, Folder 1

“Marriage in “ Pride and Prejudice 12/7/61

Box 7, Folder 2

Papers 1962

Box 7, Folder 2

“Time as a Structural Device in the Novels of Virginia Woolf” 1/18/62

Box 7, Folder 2

“E. A. Robinson and the Spectrum of Tragedy” 4/30/62

Box 7, Folder 2

“Virginia Woolf: A Heuristic Study” 1/7/62

Box 7, Folder 2

“An Analysis of the Prose styles of Ben Jonson and John Donne” 4/9/62

Box 7, Folder 2

“Tragedy and Sad Countenance” May 14, 1962

Box 7, Folder 3

Papers 1963-1964

Box 7, Folder 3

“A Figure of the Trotaconventos in Spanish Courtly Love Literature” May 14, 1962

Box 7, Folder 3

“Courtly Love in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and Dante’s Vita Nuova May 1, 1963

Box 7, Folder 3

Isabel the Archer: A Study in Military Imagery” 1/17/63

Box 7, Folder 3

“Romantic and Tragic Modes in Mrs Dalloway 5/8/64

Box 7, Folder 3

Reconciliation of Opposites in The Bridge 5/1/64

Box 7, Folder 3

“Mill, Tennyson, and The Philospher-Poet 7/6/64

Box 7, Folder 4

Papers 1971-1980


“The Story-Weaver at His Loom: Plot in Our Mutual Friend 6/11/71

Box 7, Folder 4

“The Woman in the yellow dress” 1980

Box 7, Folder 19

Papers “Doing Mestizaje in the Third Space” 2006

Box 7, Folder 5

Papers undated

Box 7, Folder 5

“Pythia Eleven” undated

Box 7, Folder 5

“Techniques of American Color Fiction” undated

Box 7, Folder 5

“Platonic Structure in Saul Bellow’s, “Looking for Mr Green.”(Also accompanying letter to Studies in Short Fiction, Newbury College, 1971, from Ortiz-Taylor) undated

Box 7, Folder 5

“That Great Sect: Marriage in the Novels of E.M. Forster”


Bibliographic Contributions 1967-1976

Box 7, Folder 6

“Emily Dickinson Annual Bibliography for 1975”

Box 7, Folder 7

Correspondence incoming, relating to Ortiz-Taylor’s contribution to bibliographical works

Box 7, Folder 8

Citations of Ortiz-Taylors bibliographical work 1970-1976

Box 7, Folder 9

Samples of Ortiz-Taylor’s bibliographical works 1967-1972



Box 7, Folder 10

Collection of Ortiz-Taylor’s notes, free-writes and plot-mapping

Box 7, Folder 20

Novel Worksheets – Coachella 1995

Box 7, Folder 21

Novel Worksheets – Extranjera/OutRageous 1996-2003

Box 7, Folder 22

Novel Worksheets – Assisted Living 1999-2005

Box 7, Folder 23

Novel Worksheets – Clarissa 2004

Box 7, Folder 24

Educational Materials – Lectures 2000-2001

Box 7, Folder 25

Educational Materials – Lectures undated

Box 7, Folder 26

Educational Materials – Lectures undated

Box 7, Folder 27

Educational Materials – Lesbians Inscribing Racial and Cultural Identity undated


Series 4: Reviews and Publicity 1980-2006

Box 8, Folder 1

Published criticism

Box 8, Folder 2

Relations with publisher, Naiad Press 1986-1991

Box 8, Folder 3

Relations with publisher, Naiad Press 1980-1985



Box 8, Folder 4

Overview of Faultline by Ortiz-Taylor

Box 8, Folder 5

Copy of Ortiz-Taylor’s promotional/history scrapbook of publication of Faultline

Box 8, Folder 6-7

Reviews and publicity 1982-1990

Box 8, Folder 8

Reviews and publicity (outsize) 1981-1983


Spring Forward Fall Back 1985-1986

Box 8, Folder 9

Reviews and publicity


Slow Dancing at Miss Polly’s 1989-1990

Box 8, Folder 10

Reviews and Publicity


Southbound 1990-1991

Box 8, Folder 11

Reviews and Publicity


Imaginary Parents 1996

Box 8, Folder 12

Reviews and Publicity


Coachella 1996-1998

Box 8, Folder 13

Reviews and Publicity

Box 8, Folder 14

Miscellaneous, reviews and publicity

Box 9, Folder 1

Events Publicity 2002-2004

Box 9, Folder 2

Publicity 2003-2006


Series 5: Video and Audio Recordings 1997


Florida State University audio tape 1997

Box 9


Box 9



Florida State University television video recording 1997

Box 9

Presentation of the Martin Luther King Award