Guide to the Edith M. Shiffert papers

University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz 95064

Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Title: Edith M. Shiffert papers
Creator: Shiffert, Edith Marcombe
Creator: Maloney, Dennis
Identifier/Call Number: MS.186
Physical Description: 20.75 Linear Feet 35 boxes
Date (inclusive): 1916-2002
Abstract: Contains biographical material, diaries, correspondence, manuscripts and typescripts of published and unpublished poetry, prose, and translations, notebooks, books and other printed material, photographs, art work, and video recordings documenting Edith Shiffert's life and literary activity in United States and Japan.
Physical Location: Collection stored, in part, off-site at NRLF: Advance notice is required for access.
Language of Material: English


Collection open for research. MAY CONTAIN RESTRICTED MATERIALS. Additions to this collection have not been processed but are open for research. Special Collections staff must review this material prior to access. Please contact Special Collections and Archives in advance to request access.

Publication Rights

Copyright for the items in this collection is owned by the creators and their heirs. Reproduction or distribution of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the copyright owner. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether a use is fair use, and to obtain any necessary permissions. For more information see UCSC Special Collections and Archives policy on Reproduction and Use.

Preferred Citation

Edith M. Shiffert papers. MS 186. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dennis Maloney, 1998.

Additional material donated by Edith Shiffert, 2002-2004.


The Time of Our Lives

The circuses we get

Are our own lives.

The fight for survival is

Our own tyranny and

Our own entertainment.

Edith M. Shiffert
These lines spring from Edith Marion Marcombe Shiffert, Canadian born poet and translator of Japanese haiku masters. Her books are inspired by the natural and human worlds, and the aesthetic, philosophical and literary traditions of Japan. Many call her a religious poet, but she rejects such labels by stating; "I have no religion. It's a religious feeling that holds me, watching the birds or the sunshine moving on leaves. To me that's religion..."
She was born in Toronto, Canada, in January 19, 1916 to John Benjamin Marcombe and Annie M. Drew. The family immigrated to United States when Edith was only three. Growing up in Rochester, New York and Detroit, Michigan, she frequently attended concerts, art museums and libraries with her father. These activities sparked her interest in Greek philosophy, Shakespeare, as well as Buddhism and Japanese culture. She was very responsive to poetry from early on, and as a teen began to write poems about music and imagined landscapes.
In 1936 her family moved to Redondo Beach, California, where she worked as a secretary to Dr. Hans Nordevin von Koerber, the head of Asian Studies Department at the University of Southern California. Encouraged by the von Kroebers, she spent many hours in Dr. von Koerber's study reading translations of Chinese and Japanese poetry.
During these years, Shiffert also gave regular readings of her poetry on local radio stations, and saw her first poems published in various newspapers and journals. In her early twenties she became known as the "young poet" in local writing circles.
In 1938, at the age of twenty three, Edith traveled to Hawaii, a visit which lasted until 1945. In 1940 she married Steven Ricardo Shiffert, whom she had met in a writers' group in California, and became a U.S. citizen. Throughout the war years she frequently assisted her husband in surveying the local mountains for the United States government. Together they explored the island, its volcanoes and natural life. Later on some of these experiences were included in a published set of poems, For a Return to Kona: Island Poems (1964). While enjoying the simple life and natural beauty of the area, she furthered her studies in Chinese and Japanese culture by attending lectures and performing arts events at the University of Hawaii, the Art Academy, and libraries.
Back on the main land the couple first lived for short periods in Alaska (1947-1949) and San Diego, California (1954-1956), before finally settling in North Bend, Washington, where they built a two story log cabin on twenty five acres of wilderness at the base of Mt. Si. Already in her forties, Edith attended the University of Washington, Seattle from 1956 to 1962, specializing in Anthropology, Far Eastern Studies and Creative Writing. Her teachers included Theodore Roethke, Louise Bogan, and Leonie Adams. While at school she published her first collection of poetry. In addition she was active in Seattle with the magazine Poetry Northwest and gave regular poetry readings at the city library, University, public radio stations, and on TV. Her first book, In Open Woods (1961) is based on her hiking and backpacking experiences in Alaska, Hawaii, and the Cascade Mountains.
Since 1963 she has lived in Kyoto, Japan. She was initially invited to teach English at Dashisha University. After five years of residence, she accepted a position at Kyoto Seika University as a professor of English where she taught until her retirement in 1983. She divorced Steven Shiffert in 1970, and married Minoru Sawano in 1981.
In Kyoto she has steadily published poetry and collaborated in multiple translations. Her first collection of poetry written abroad was The Kyoto Years (1971), which contains poems influenced by Buddhism and her studies of Japanese literature. The same year she teamed up with Yuki Sawa to publish Anthology of Modern Japanese Poetry (1971) and Haiku Master Buson(1978), which was the first book in English to feature writings of Buson. Some other translation work includes Chieko, and When a Bird Rests & Other Tanka by Taeko Takaori both published in 1974. Stimulated by exposure to Buson's writing, Shiffert put out her fourth set of poems A Grasshopper, which was published as a chapbook by White Pine Press in 1976. This was followed by The New and Selected Poems (White Pines Press, 1979), A Way to Find Out (Raiju Press, 1979), Kyoto Dwelling (C.E. Tuttle Co., 1987), When at the Edge (White Pine Press, 1991), and Forest House with Cat (Unio Corp, 1991). Two of her most recent works include The Light Comes Slowly (Katsura Press, 1997), and the Ninth Decade (Katsura Press, 1999), which feature illustrations of traditional ink paintings by Kohka Saito, a renowned artist of the genre.
Today Edith Shiffert is one of several American poets currently living and writing in Kyoto.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of biographical files, correspondence, manuscripts, notebooks, printed material, photographs, art work, video recordings covering the years 1916-2001. The material is accordingly arranged into eight series.
The writings document Shiffert's literary output from early youth to present time. There are both manuscripts and typescripts of published and unpublished poems, prose and translation work. Manuscripts of published works includes For A Return To Kona (1964), Kyoto Dwelling (1987), Forest House With Cat , (1991) and The Ninth Decade (1999). Many of the unpublished sets of poems are a mixture of typescript, carbon, photocopied and printed pages. The original order of these sets has been retained. None of the short stories or novella were published.
Of special interest is the outgoing correspondence to her parents documenting her experiences in Hawaii, Alaska and Kyoto between 1938-1949, and 1962-1978.
Books and video recordings are cataloged separately.
  • Series 1. Biographical Files, 1916-2000;

    Further subdivided into General, Activity, Teaching, Studies, and Diaries. Arranged chronologically within each subseries.
  • Series 2. Correspondence, 1938-1992;

    Further subdivided into Outgoing and Incoming letters. Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
  • Series 3. Writings, 1930-2000;

    Further subdivided into Poetry (Published and unpublished), Prose (Novella, Short Stories, Essays), Translations (By and Of Shiffert's works) and writings By Other Authors. Published works are arranged chronologically, others by title where available.
  • Series 4. Notebooks, 1938-2001; Loosely arranged in chronological order.
  • Series 5. Printed Material, 1923-2001;

    Further subdivided into Books (By Edith and By Other Authors), Serials, Other Printed Material. Books are cataloged separately.
  • Series 6. Photographs, 1919-1998;

    Further subdivided into Portraits, Family, People, Pets, Documentary, Landscape, Architecture, and Computer printouts.
  • Series 7. Art Work, undated

Separated Material

Books and videos are cataloged separately. See online catalog for holdings.

Processing Information

Boxes 1-28 have been processed. There are unprocessed additions included.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

American poetry -- 20th century
Hawaii -- Poetry
Japanese poetry -- Translations into English
Nature in literature
Charles E. Tuttle Co.
White Pine Press
Saito, Kohka, 1930-
Sawa, Yuki, 1945-
Rexroth, Kenneth, 1905-1982
Shiffert, Edith Marcombe

box-folder 1:1-3:10, 13:1-5, 15:1-4, 16-18

Biographical Files 1916-2000

General Physical Description note: 3 document boxes, 3 flat boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series is divided into General, Activities, Teaching, Studies, and Diaries. Included are autobiographical sketches, chronologies, files relating to Edith Shiffert's academic purstuits in Literature and Far Eastern studies, teaching and other public activities from 1950s-1980s, as well as ephemera and clipping files.
box-folder 1:1-15, 15:1-3

General 1916-2000

box-folder 1:1

Autobiographical manuscript sketches (6 pp) [2000]

box-folder 1:2

Autobiographical manuscript sketches, (15 photocopied pages) [2000]

box-folder 1:3

Typescript excerpt from taped interview with Edith Shiffert by Margaret Chula (5pp) 1991

box-folder 1:4

"My Ancestors"; 10th grade school paper, manuscript (2 pp) Dec 2,1930

box-folder 1:5

Chronologies, biographical sketches (8 pp) undated

box-folder 1:6

Bibliographies (11 pp) undated

box-folder 1:7

Curriculum Vitae and attached correspondence inquiring teaching position 1962-1965

box-folder 1:8

Job descriptions, drafts and documents (7 pp) 1948-1964

box-folder 15:2

Applications; carbon drafts (5 pp) undated

box-folder 1:9

Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) employment documents (12 pp and 1 card) 1955

box-folder 1:10

National Endowment For the Arts applications & attached material 1976-1978

box-folder 1:11

Contemporary Authors, International Biographical Center and Charles E. Tuttle Co. author questionnaires and drafts 1974-1988

box-folder 15:1

Ephemera; School report cards (10), and certificates (5) 1922-[1928]

box-folder 1:12

Ephemera; Library cards (1936-1944; 4 cards); Baby clinic weight card (1916); Confirmation certificate (Apr 2, 1930); Certificate of proficiency in typing (Jan 10, 1957) 1916-1957

box-folder 1:13

Receipts, royalty statements (5 pp) 1966-1993

box-folder 1:14

Address slips and business cards undated

box-folder 1:15

Address books (3); "1963 & before, Seattle", "1964-", and "Late 1970's Takanogawa house, Ikeda Mansion" 1963-1970

box-folder 15:3

Clippings and articles about Edith Shiffert 1938-1994

box-folder 3:12-13

Minoru Sawano's personal history; typescript page and notes by Edith Shiffert, and photocopied manuscript (in Japanese) 1980

box-folder 1:16-22

Activity 1956-1989

box-folder 1:16-17

The 26th Annual Kyushu Seminar in American Literature; Invitation letter, schedule, notes, background material, and typescript and photocopies (annotated and unannotated drafts) to a lecture on "Several Women Poets Who Influenced Theodore Roethke" by Edith Shiffert 1980

box-folder 1:18

Workshop on "Chinese and Japanese Poetry in Translation" by Edith Shiffert; handouts Apr 23, 1976

box-folder 1:19

Speech on "Pacific Northwest poets" given at Literary Group meeting, Tallmadge Hamilton House; annotated typescript (4 pp) and clippings (3) Mar 2, 1959

box-folder 1:20

Speech on creative writing, San Diego Sorority; annotated typescript (6 pp) Apr 26, 1956

box-folder 1:21

Edith's lecture and poetry reading flyers and programs 1961-1986

box-folder 1:22

Misc. programs, handouts and notes from attended events [includes information on Buddhism and Japanese culture] 1956-1989

box-folder 2:1-7

Teaching 1966-1976

box-folder 2:1-6

American Literature; teaching material on "Love Lyrics", Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, William C. Williams, "Stories for classes" 1966-[1976]

box-folder 2:7

"Northern Studies"; student papers undated

box-folder 2:8-3:10, 15:4

Studies 1949-1959

Scope and Contents note

Note: see also Notebooks for more material.
box-folder 2:8

Anthropology 210; term paper "Some Impressions of Hopi Culture from Reading Sun Chief", typescript (15 pp) Fall 1957

box-folder 2:9

Anthropology 390; term papers (7) and notes 1957-1958

box-folder 2:10

English 410-411; term papers (carbons) and handouts 1956-1957

box-folder 2:11

English 415; term paper "An Introduction to Contemporary Japanese Poetry"; annotated carbon copy (26 pp) May 1950

box-folder 2:12-13

English 458; term paper "Concerning a Possible Novel", annotated typescript (57 pp) and carbon copies (3 versions; 83 pp) 1958

box-folder 2:14

Far East 240; notebook, test booklets (2), handouts 1957

box-folder 2:15

Far East 453J; term paper "Tokugawa Poetry and Some of Its Social Implications", annotated carbon copy (22 pp) 1958

box-folder 2:16

Far East 452J; term paper "The Poetry in Relation to the History of the Heian Period", typescript and carbon copy (40 pp) 1957

box-folder 3:1

Far East 499 A, B; Undergraduate research paper "A Study of Chinese Poetry As It Has Been Translated into English", carbon copy (226 pp) 1957

box-folder 3:2

Far East 499; term papers on "Kojiki", typescripts 1958

box-folder 15:4

Far Eastern and Japanese Studies; notes 1958-1959

box-folder 3:3

Japanese 320; term papers "Basho, the Haiku, and Zen" (23 pp), and "Japanese Prose Literature Before the 19th Century" (7 pp), carbon copies 1957

box-folder 3:4

Japanese 420; term papers on "Kojiki" and handouts 1959

box-folder 3:5

Japanese 499; term papers "Modern Japanese Poetry in Translation", and "Relationship Between Modern Japanese Poetry and That of Europe and America", annotated typescripts May 1961

box-folder 3:6

Mongolian 320; term paper "Mongolian Poetic Techniques and a Comparison with Those of Some Other Literatures", typescript and carbon copy (25 pp each) and notes May 1960

box-folder 3:7-8

Philosophy 428 (Chinese Philosophy); term papers "A Comparison of Some Translations into English of the Tao Te Ching" typescript (27 pp), and "Taoist Aspects of Some of My Verses" typescript and carbon (28 pp each), tests and notes 1957

box-folder 3:9

Sociology 1c & 362c; written tests 1949 1952

box-folder 3:10

Dr. H. N. Von Koerber lecture material on Taoism and Chinese spirits 1955-1956

box-folder 16-18, 13:1-5

Diaries 1938-2000

box-folder 16

A Line A Day 1932-1937

box-folder 16

Diary [written in short hand] 1938

box-folder 16

"Desk Private" [book cover dates 1937 content written in 1938] 1938

box-folder 13:1

"Diary 1938"; loose pages (18) 1938

box-folder 16

"Hawaii camping etc." 1938-1945

box-folder 13:2

"September 6, 1946"

box-folder 13:03

"California Trip, Kyoto, September 6, 1946" (26 pp and covers)

box-folder 16

Five Year Diary 1956-1960

box-folder 16

Five Year Diary 1961-1965

box-folder 16

January 1, 1966 - December 31, 1970

box-folder 17

Hakubunkan's Diary 1971-1976

box-folder 17

"Kyoto January 1972 - May 1975" [content includes "Prose: Buddhism notes"]

box-folder 17

Hakubunkan's Diary 1977-1982

box-folder 18

Hakubunkan's Diary 1983-1988

box-folder 18

Hakubunkan's Diary 1989-1991

box-folder 16

3 Year Diary 1995-1997

box-folder 16

Three-Year Diary 1998-2000 [only entries in 1998]

box-folder 13:4

"Haiku Diary", loose pages (4 pp) 1985

box-folder 13:5

Unidentified loose pages (18 pp) 1930-1976

box-folder 4:1-6:15, 15:5-10

Correspondence 1938-1992

Physical Description: 3 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

The material is arranged alphabetically into outgoing and incoming letters by correspondent. Bulk of the outgoing letters are written to Edith's immediate family (John, Annie and Alice Marcombe) between 1938-1978. These letters contain narratives to Edith Shiffert's life in Hawaii, Alaska, Washington and Kyoto, Japan. Included also is correspondence from publishers Allan Swallow, Charles E. Tuttle Company Inc. and White Pine Press (Dennis Maloney).
box-folder 4:1-5:8, 15:5-10

Outgoing 1938-1992

box-folder 4:1-12, 15:5-8

Family 1934-1978

box-folder 4:1

ALS & TL from San Francisco and Grand Rapids, Michigan (49 pp) 1934-1938

box-folder 4:2-4, 15:5-6

ALS & TL from Hawaii (288 pp) 1938-1941 1944-1946

box-folder 4:5, 15:7-8

ALS & TL from Hawaii, Washington and Alaska (154 pp) 1947-1949 1956

box-folder 4:6-12

TL from Kyoto (206 pp and envelopes) 1961-1968 1970-1978

box-folder 5:1, 15:10

A-Z - mainly carbons and photocopies [includes letters to Carolyn Kiezer, Shiro Murano, Kazuo Sato from Mainichi Daily News, Jonathan Williams] (59 pp) 1958-1992

box-folder 5:2

Charles E. Tuttle Company Inc.; photocopies (13 pp) 1986-1987

box-folder 5:3

Susie Maud; AL and TL (22 pp) 1938-1941

box-folder 5:4

Theodore Roethke; TL and carbon (3 pp) 1956, 1958

box-folder 5:5, 15:9

Steven Shiffert; ALS, TLS and carbons (132 pp) 1961-1967

box-folder 5:6

Alan Swallow; carbons (13 pp) 1963-1966

box-folder 5:7

Makoto Ueda; carbon (18 pp) 1962-1966

box-folder 5:8

Unidentified (9 pp) 1966-1980

box-folder 5:9-6:15

Incoming 1944-1992

box-folder 5:9

A [includes letters from Ichiro Ando, Asphodel Book Shop, Atsuhiro, Associated Writing Program](6 pp) 1971-1986

box-folder 5:10

B [includes Bruce Boaz (nephew) and David Burleigh](28 pp and 2 clippings) 1966-1992

box-folder 5:11

C [includes Jonathan Chaves, Bonnie R. Crown from Asian Literature Program NY](17 pp) 1957-1993

box-folder 5:12

Charles E. Tuttle Co. Inc. and Kyoto Dwelling Contract; (65 pp) 1971-1990

box-folder 5:13

D [includes Patricia Donegan](5 pp) 1987

box-folder 5:14

E [includes Richard Eberhart, Heike Eggers](9 pp) 1960s-1984

box-folder 5:15

F-G [includes Morgan Gibson](7 pp) 1984-1989

box-folder 5:16

H [includes Harukiyo Hasegawa, Heian International Publishing Comp., William J Higginson from Haiku Magazine] (29 pp) 1975-1992

box-folder 5:17

I-J [includes Thomas Johnson] (5 pp) 1972-1986

box-folder 5:18

K [includes Kansai Time Out, Carolyn Kizer](18 pp) 1962-1988

box-folder 5:19

L [includes only Dorothy Liedquist](8 pp) 1982-1984

box-folder 5:20

Libraries [includes Huntington Library, Library of Congress, National Library of Canada] (22 pp) 1962-1988

box-folder 6:1

M [includes Mainichi Daily News, Modern Haiku](12 pp) 1944-1992

box-folder 6:2

Masaaki Monju [include Manuscript pages in Japanese](28 pp) 1966-1968

box-folder 6:3

N-R (14 pp) 1963-1989

box-folder 6:4

Mary Randlett; TLS, ALS, APCS, (38 pp) 1988-1990

box-folder 6:5

S [includes John Salt, Genjun H. Sasaki, Kazuo Sato (editor of Haiku Column,Mainichi Daily News), Howard Simons, Earl J. Stone](58 pp) 1962-1988

box-folder 6:6

Yuki Sawa [see also Writings: Poetry: Sentient Beings](13 pp) 1976-1979

box-folder 6:7

Alice Sindzinski [Edith's sister] (83 pp) 1983-1990

box-folder 6:8

Ann Stanford (43 pp) 1971-1987

box-folder 6:9

Alan Swallow Publisher (25 pp) 1962-1966

box-folder 6:10

T [includes Leonie A. Troy](24 pp) 1961-1992

box-folder 6:11

U, V, W [includes Makoto Ueda, Burton Watson, Scott Watson, Rob Wilson](26 pp) 1965-1992

box-folder 6:12

White Pine Press [includes original contract authorizing Dennis Maloney as Edith's Literary Executor, dated Dec 10, 1991.](Dennis Maloney; 75 pp) 1982-1992

box-folder 6:13

Y [includes Yuki](17 pp) 1976-1981

box-folder 6:14

Greeting Cards (28 items) 1983-1990

box-folder 6:15

Unidentified pages (13 pp) 1971-1990

box-folder 7:1-11:33, 15:11-24

Writings 1930-2000

General Physical Description note: 5 document box, 14 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains Poems (published and unpublished); Prose (including novella, short stories, and essays); Translations by and of Edith Shiffert's works; and Writings by others. The material consists of outlines, sketches, drafts, manuscripts, typescripts, photocopied pages, printed samples, and publicity. Published works are organized chronologically by the year of the publication, the rest are arranged alphabetically by title. Although the bulk of the material is written after 1950, juvenilia and early poems from 1930's have been included. Some of the translations are in Japanese.
box-folder 7:1-10:17; 15:11-12

Poetry 1930-2000

Physical Description: 3 boxes

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Poetry is divided into published and unpublished poems. Unpublished works are arranged chronologically, unpublished works by title where available. Included typescripts are For a Return to Kona, Kyoto Dwelling, Forest House With Cat, and The Ninth Decade. Unpublished material includes miscellanous sets from early juvenilia onwards. The bulk of the material is written after 1963. Many of the sets comprise combinations of manuscript, typescript and photocopied pages. The original order of each set has been retained.
box-folder 7:1-24; 15:12

Published 1938-1999

box-folder 7:1

In Open Woods; book reviews (4 items) 1961

box-folder 7:2-3

For A Return To Kona; typescript (47 pp), book review & publishers catalog (3 items) 1964 1970

box-folder 7:4

The Kyoto Years; book reviews [some reviews in Japanese] 1971-1972

box-folder 7:5-6

A Grasshopper; photocopied typescript sample book, book reviews (4 pp) 1976

box-folder 7:7

New & Selected Poems; book reviews and correction list (5 pp) 1979

box-folder 7:8-11

Kyoto Dwelling; Introduction, manuscript, typescript drafts and sketches (9 pp), corrected typescript (98 pp), contact lists, publisher info & miscellany, book reviews 1987

box-folder 7:12

When On The Edge; book reviews 1989

box-folder 7:13-16

Forest House With Cat; 1st set, typescript and photocopied pages (55 pp and 4 notes), photocopied set (12 pp), corrected typescript 1 (45 pp), corrected typescript 2 (50 pp) [1991]

Scope and Contents note

Note:Original working title "Kyoto Dwelling With White Cat".
box-folder 15:12

"The Chrystal Dropping..."; broadside printed by White Pine Press. Signature Edition signed by author. Artwork by Akio Saito [size 9 1/4" x 13"] (2 copies) 1996

box-folder 7:17

The Light Comes Slowly; book reviews [1997]

box-folder 7:18-20

The Ninth Decade; photocopied typescript (59 pp), incomplete typescript (9 pp), book reviews 1999

box-folder 7:21

Printed poems in serials (torn out pages) 1959-1975

box-folder 7:22

Printed early poems; newspaper clippings 1938-1939

box-folder 7:23

Printed poem in New York Times and Christian Science Monitor ; newspaper clippings 1954-1975

box-folder 7:24

Printed poem in Mainichi Daily News; clippings and a list of published poems (2 pp) 1982-1990

box-folder 8:1-10:17; 15:11, 15:13-16

Unpublished 1930-2000

box-folder 8:1

"Juvenilia, 1930-1936"; typescript 1930-1936

box-folder 8:2

"Early Work - 1938"; typescripts and fragments pre-1938

box-folder 8:3

"Seattle Poems: An Episode 1957-1963"; corrected and uncorrected typescripts and carbon copies (93 pp., note) 1957-1963

box-folder 8:4

"Seattle North Bend Before Sept 1963" (unpublished set); typescript, carbons & photocopied pages (133 pp., 2 notes) pre 1963

box-folder 8:5

"Pre 1963 Poems, Unpublished", typescript and carbon copies (67 pp) pre 1963

box-folder 8:6-8

"Mostly Unpublished Poems, 1963 - "; manuscripts, fragments, typescripts, carbon copies, photocopied pages 1963-1982

box-folder 8:9

"Haiku, Old - 1986"; manuscripts, typescripts, photocopied pages 1986

box-folder 9:1

"72 Poems", photocopied typescript set (80 pp., 2 notes) 1962-1988

box-folder 9:2

"Azaleas", manuscript, typescript and photocopied set of poems (9 pp) undated

box-folder 15:11

"For Beatrice Irwin", photocopied memorial service program with Edith's poem dedicated to Beatrice Irwin (3 pp) undated

box-folder 9:3-6

"Buddhist Mss"; Set I, photocopies (20 pp and 1 note); Set II, photocopies (30 pp and 1 note); Set III, photocopies (29 pp and 1 note); Extras, manuscript, typescript, photocopied pages (35 pp) [1980s]

box-folder 9:7

"Buddhism etc."; set of manuscript, typescript, photocopied pages 1980

box-folder 9:8

"Poems About Basho, Buson, Tanizaki."; set of manuscript, typescript, photocopied pages (23 pp) 1974-1981

box-folder 9:9

"Cat Poems"; typescripts, carbons and photocopied pages (33 pp) 1958-1980

box-folder 9:10

"Childhood and Family" (Unpublished); manuscripts, carbons and photocopied pages (38 pp., 1 note) undated

box-folder 9:11

"The Happy Old Man With Waka and Haiku"; typescript and photocopied pages 1983

box-folder 15:13

"Hundred Stanzas for a Return to Kona Hawaii", manuscript (4 pp) undated

box-folder 9:12

"Land" (single poem); corrected typescript and photocopy (14 pp) 1988

box-folder 9:13

Selected poems for a chapbook "AWP Mss"; typescript and photocopied pages (39 pp) 1961-1983

box-folder 9:14-17

"Sentient Beings"; Unsorted set, manuscripts, carbons, photocopies, and fragments; Set I, manuscripts, carbons, photocopies, and fragments; Set II, manuscript, typescript, carbon and photocopied pages (22 pp); Set III; typescript, carbon and photocopied pages (17 pp) undated

box-folder 9:18

"Waka"; typescript and photocopied pages (33 pp) [1980s]

box-folder 9:19

"Wandering Among Buddhas"; typescript and photocopied pages 1967-1984

box-folder 10:1

"Fragmentary Unsorted"; manuscript, typescript, carbon and photocopied pages 1964-1985

box-folder 10:2-3

"Extras from Books"; typescripts and carbons (53 pp), photocopied typescripts (48 pp) undated

box-folder 15:14

Autobiographical verse Drama in a style of No; outlines, notes, manuscript drafts, and photocopied version (38 pp) [post 1980]

box-folder 10:4-13, 15:15

Untitled manuscripts 1937-2000

box-folder 10:4

Bound carbon copy set (8 pp) 1937

box-folder 10:5

Carbon copy (69 pp) 1937-1938

box-folder 15:15

Typescript and sketches written in Hawaii 1940s

box-folder 10:6

Corrected and uncorrected typescripts and carbons (87 pp) 1949 1953-1957

box-folder 10:7

Typescripts (90 pp) 1949 1953-1957

box-folder 10:8

Typescripts and carbons (42 pp) 1956-1960

box-folder 10:9

Typescripts and carbons (131 pp) 1956-1961

box-folder 10:10

Typescript, carbon, and photocopies 1959-1982

box-folder 10:11

Manuscript, carbon, and photocopies 1961-1979

box-folder 10:12

Manuscripts and photocopies 1998-2000

box-folder 10:13

Photocopies (23 pp) undated

box-folder 10:14

Unidentified manuscript drafts and sketches 1951-1993

box-folder 15:16

Unidentified manuscripts and drafts (9 pp) 1958-1988

box-folder 10:15

Typescript and carbon copies 1953-1990

box-folder 10:16

Unidentified photocopied pages 1957-1982

box-folder 10:17

"Poems", incomplete bound set (7 pp and cover) undated

Scope and Contents note

Note:Material if from Second Poetry Reading, The East-West Review, Doshisha University
box-folder 11:1-33, 12:15, 13:11, 15:17-25

Prose 1940-1999

General Physical Description note: 1 document box, 21 folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

Divided into Novella, Short Stories, Essays, and Miscellany files. Neither the novella or short stories were published.
box-folder 11:1, 15:18

Novella 1961

box-folder 11:1, 15:18

"A Swaying Phantom" in Japanese diary & poem-tale form; manuscript (24 pp), corrected typescript (102 pp) 1961

box-folder 11:2-12; 15:19-22

Short Stories 1958-1981

box-folder 15:20

"The Day"; manuscript draft (2 pp) Mar 31, 1961

box-folder 15:21

"A Green Isle in the Sea"; manuscript and typescript (8 pp) Mar 10, 1958

box-folder 15:22

"Monologue for a Penelope", manuscript (5 pp); and "The Moon Flowers", manuscript (6 pp) 1960

box-folder 15:19

"The Story in the Bell"; manuscript and typescript (23 pp) [1968]

box-folder 11:2-7

"Six Short Stories" 1961

Scope and Contents note

Note: Includes "The Stray Kitten" and "Plum Blossoms" which were originally presented as work for a short story writing class under Professor Markham Harris, Winter 1961. "Lament for Eurydice", "A Memory of Celeste" and "The House' were written while a student of Professor Grant Redford, Spring 1961. "The Hole in the Wall" was done the following summer.
box-folder 11:2

Corrected typescript (79 pp) [1961]

box-folder 11:3

Corrected carbon copy (66 pp) 1961

box-folder 11:4

"A Memory of Celeste"; corrected carbon copy (20 pp) 1961

box-folder 11:5

"The House"; manuscript draft (13 pp) 1961

box-folder 11:6

"Lament for Eurydice"; corrected typescript (6 pp) 1961

box-folder 11:7

"Plum Flowers"; corrected typescript (4 pp) 1961

box-folder 11:8

"Spring Vacation", carbon copy (16 pp) ca. 1968

box-folder 11:9

"The Squirrel and Mrs. Morris"; corrected and uncorrected typescripts (13 pp) 1961

box-folder 11:10

"The Temple of Strong Women"; manuscript and typescript pages (12 pp) 1981

box-folder 11:11

"Making of Afghans: and recollections of my mother"; manuscript drafts, typescript (17 pp) 1970-1983

box-folder 11:12

"An Opal King"; 3 corrected typescript drafts (23 pp) undated

box-folder 11:13-33; 15:23-25

Essays 1940-1999

box-folder 11:13

"Associations with Dylan Thomas"; corrected typescript (2 pp 1956

box-folder 11:14

"Beyond The Age Beyond", photocopied typescript [late 1990s]

box-folder 11:15

"Comments on Translation of Tanka"; photocopy (4 pp) undated

box-folder 11:16

"On Yoichi Nakagawa Work"; manuscript, corrected typescript and carbon pages (67 pp) undated

box-folder 11:17

"The Individual"; photocopied manuscript (2 pp) 1999

box-folder 11:18

"Notes for a Poem"; carbon copy (26 pp) undated

box-folder 15:25

"Notes on Japanese social pattern etc." (32 pp) 1963-1964, 1981

box-folder 11:19

"Pacific Crest Trail Trip"; typescript (7 pp) 1946

box-folder 11:20

"Article for Magazine Haiku"; manuscript, typescript and carbon copy pages (11 pp) undated

box-folder 11:21

"N. W. Poetry's Flavor Distinct, Says Poet"; clipping from University of Washington Daily (1 pg), Apr 7, 1960

box-folder 11:22

Background material on social issues and eastern religion, 1965-1990

box-folder 11:23-30

"J. Lit. for ", 1963-1980

box-folder 11:23

Hand written drafts (20 pp), 1971-1980

box-folder 11:24

Includes "For spacious Skies"; hand written draft (5 pp), Jun 20, 1969

box-folder 11:25

Includes "A Kimono", "Bon Voyage", "Evening Talks", "Japanese Court Poetry"; hand written draft (10 pp), 1963-1964

box-folder 11:26

Includes "Women in J. Fiction"; hand written draft (5 pp)

box-folder 11:27

Includes "A Net of Fireflies"; corrected typescript and carbon (8 pp)

box-folder 11:28

Includes "Japanese and Death" & "Manners, Morals and Compassion"; typescripts (7 pp)

box-folder 11:29

Includes "Lullabies of Nippon" & Untitled ("Here are a few brief..."); carbon copies (7 pp)

box-folder 11:30

Misc. hand written outlines and sketches (16 pp)

box-folder 11:31

Untitled set; typescript [contains stories on Japanese people & culture in Hawaii] (73 pp) ca. 1940's

box-folder 11:32

Notes on Morality in Japanese society; manuscript fragments (23 pp) 1979-1980

box-folder 15:23

Misc. manuscript sketches and drafts (28 pp) 1961-1962, 1984

box-folder 15:24

Typescripts [Includes "Mauna Loa Remembered", "History of a poem's meaning", "Comments on observances made while I lived in the Kona District of Hawaii, 1940-1942", "Poor old pop", "Dorothy", "I'd like to tell about our honeymoon trip..."] (25 pp) 1945, 1962

box-folder 11:33

Notes and fragments (20 pp)

box-folder 12:15, 13:11, 15:17

Misc. pages 1941, undated

box-folder 15:17

Manuscripts and typescripts (6 pp) undated

box-folder 12:15


box-folder 13:11

Set of loose pages (13 pp) [ca. 1941]

box-folder 12:1-14

Translations 1971-1988

Physical Description: 14 folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This series contains both translations by Edith Shiffert, and translations of her works into Japanese. Includes manuscript to Clean Water published in 1983.
box-folder 12:1-8

Translations by Edith Shiffert 1971-1988

box-folder 12:1-2

Anthology of Modern Japanese Poetry "Comments on Translation of Tanka"; paste-up pages and photocopies (5 pp), and book reviews 1971-1972

box-folder 12:3

Haiku Master Buson; book reviews 1978-1980

box-folder 12:4-6

Clean Water; haiku/sumie manuscript (35 pp), extra sumie drawings (28 pp), photocopied set (36 pp) 1983

box-folder 12:7

"Translations from Japanese Poetry"; manuscript, typescript and carbon copies [consists mainly of poems by Sakutaro Hagiwara](30 pp) undated

box-folder 12:8

"Translations from Japanese"; photocopies of printed versions from Kansai Time Out & The Southern Review 1984-1988

box-folder 12:9-14

Translations of Edith Shiffert's poems 1980s

box-folder 12:9-10

"A Woman's Career", translated by Taguchi; manuscript (5 pp), and printed versions 1982-1984

box-folder 12:11-13

Translation of Edith Shiffert's poems into Japanese; manuscripts and corrected drafts (24 pp), photocopies, printed versions

box-folder 12:14

"Translations, Edith Shiffert's poetry reading"; paste-up and photocopied pages undated

box-folder 12:16-23

Writings by Others 1960-1980

Physical Description: 8 folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This series contains mainly writings by Makoto Ueda. Arranged alphabetically by author.
box-folder 12:16

Hakuseki, Arai; "Autobiography of Arai Hakuseki", photocopy (39 pp)

box-folder 12:17

Noguchi, Kenji; "The Ambiguity of Pierre", off-print 1980

box-folder 12:18

Tenzin, Kunzang; "The Chod Rite", photocopied manuscript [1978]

box-folder 12:19-21

Ueda, Makoto; carbon copies of translated prose(47 pp) and, carbon copies of translated poems (124 pp), printed versions 1960-1965

Scope and Contents note

Note:Includes titles "Akogi" (9 pp), "Basho and the poetics of Haiku" (8 pp), "A Blue Hood" (8 pp), "A Buttlefly" (6 pp), "Chikamatsu and his ideas on drama" (12 pp), "The Year of My Life" (4 pp).
box-folder 12:22

Translations of Japanese stories; photocopies (28 pp)

Scope and Contents note

Note:Includes stories "Building Bridges" by Takeda Taijun, "By the Shore of the Sorachi River" by Kunikda Doppo (6 pp), "The Carlyle Museum" by Notsume Soseki (8 pp), "The Dog that Kills Men" by Kyoboyashi Takiji (6 pp).
box-folder 12:23

Misc. translations of Japanese poetry; carbons (10 pp)

Box 19-23; 13:6-10

Notebooks 1938-2001

General Physical Description note: 5 flat boxes, 5 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

Includes spiral and pocket notebooks and calendars. Majority of the notebooks contain verses or lecture notes. Arranged loosely by date. Also see diaries for more verse writing.
Box 19

"1938-1947 (Hawaii & Alaska), 1953 Verses" 1938-1947, 1953

Box 19

"1948 (Jade), 1953-1954 (Kona play, Verses)" 1948, 1953-1954

Box 19

"August 1954 - November 1955, Verses" 1954-1955

Box 19

"November 1955, Verses" 1955

Box 19

"September 1956 - February 1957, Verses" 1956-1957

Box 19

"February - June 1957, Verses" 1957

Box 19

"October 1957 - December 1958, Verse Writing" 1957-1958

Box 19

"January 1959 - January 1960, Verse Writing" 1959-1960

Box 19

"January 1960 - March 1961" 1960-1961

Box 19

"March 1961 - August 1962, Verses" 1961-1962

Box 19

"August 1962 (Seattle)-January 1, 1964 (Yoshidayama, Kyoto)" 1962-1964

Box 19

"January 2,1964 (Yoshidarama, Kyoto) - March 21,1965 (Kobai-in)" 1964-1965

Box 19

"March 21,1965 - December 24,1965 (Kyoto), Verses" 1965

Box 20

"Utility, Sociology, Notes, Bibliography, 1949" 1949

Box 20

"Bibliography, Verses, Sociology, 1950" 1950

Box 20

"Anthropology, Hawaii writing, October 1957 - April 1958" 1957-1958

Box 20

"Japanese, October 1957 - February 1958" 1957-1958

Box 20

"Japanese, Anthro, February 3, 1958" 1958

Box 20

"Far East October 1959" 1959

Box 20

"Mongolian & Poetry, March 1960 - June 1960" 1960

Box 20

"1965 - 1967" - verses 1965-1967

Box 20

"Kyoto July 1967 - November 1970, Edith Shiffert" - verses 1967-1970

Box 21

"Kyoto from September 13, 1963" 1963-1965

Box 21

"July 1972 - April 1974, etc. Takanogawa house, Kyoto, Kashikoyima & other trips" 1972-1974

Box 21

"June 1975 - January 1977, Takanogawa house" 1975-1977

Box 21

"March 23,1977 - January 2,1979, Kyoto, Takanogawa house, Ikeda mansion" 1977-1979

Box 21

Untitled; January 1,1979 - July 16,1980 - verses 1979-1980

Box 21

"Prose, April 28,1981- " 1981-1983

Box 21

"July 9,1992 - January 1994, Baptist hospital, Grostal Hof Apt. 101, Haiku" 1992-1994

Box 21

"Haiku January 1994 - September 1994, Ending in Kyoto" 1994

Box 21

"Journal III, April 1994 - September 1994" 1994

Box 21

"Journal IV, November 9,1997" 1997-2000

Box 21

"January 1, 2000" 2000-2001

Box 21

"Tarpei trip, poems, Buvako, Aso", 1969 - 1973 - pocket calendar 1969-1973

Box 21

"U.S. trip diary, Alaska with Alice, July 1973 - 1974, Hiking, Diaries, Poems" - pocket calendar 1973-1974

Box 21

"1974 - 1977" pocket calendar 1974-1977

Box 21

"1979 July - to U.S."; pocket calendar 1979

Box 21

1976 pocket calendar [contains account of poetry readings] 1976

Box 22

"May 1975 - September 1976, Kyoto - Takanogawa house"; calendar 1975-1976

Box 22

"January 1,1984 - May 1987, November 17,1994 -"; diary, verses etc. 1984-1998

Box 22

"1991" - verses 1991

Box 22

"Records of publishings etc."

Box 22

"January 1979 - December 21,1979" - pocket notebook 1979

Box 22

"December 24,1979 - August 1,1980" - pocket notebook 1979-1980

Box 22

"March 5,1981 - August 29,1981" - pocket notebook 1981

Box 22

"July 28,1980 - March 28,1981" - pocket notebook 1980-1981

Box 22

"Haiku 1988 - 1990" - pocket notebook 1988-1990

Box 22

"September 2000 - December 2001, Kyoto" - pocket notebook 2000-2001

Box 22

October 1981 - December 1984 - pocket calendar 1981-1984

Box 22

1981 pocket calendar 1981

Box 22

1983 pocket calendar [contains verses] 1983-1989

Box 22

1986 pocket calendar 1986

Box 22

1991 pocket calendar 1991

Box 22

Address book 1990

Box 22

Schedule 1990

box-folder 13:6

"Prose 1964" - spiral notebook pages 1964

box-folder 13:7

"Kyoto, June 10,1978 - 1980" [notes on Buddhism, Tibetan, Tenrikyo] 1978-1980

box-folder 13:8-10

3 Untitled sets; (44 pp, no covers)[1957], (19 pp and covers) 1973 - 1974, 1990 - 1991 1957-1991

Box 23-28

Printed Material 1923-2001

General Physical Description note: 6 flat boxes, and separately cataloged books

Series Scope and Content Summary

Organized into Books (by Edith Shiffert and other authors); Serials (feature Edith Shiffert's poems); and Other Printed Material (includes clippings, pamphlets and postcards). Serials are arranged by title.
Books are cataloged separately - see online catalog for library holdings.

Books, 1923-2001

Scope and Contents note

Note:Includes books from Edith Shiffert's personal library authored by her and by other writers. Cataloged separately. See online catalog for library holdings, or contact Special Collections for a more complete inventory.
Box 23-28

Serials (85 issues) 1953-1980

Scope and Contents note

box-folder 27:1; 15:26; 28

Other Printed Material; contains postcards, off-prints, pamphlets, and clippings 1963-1992

box-folder 14:1-3

Photographs 1919-1998

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains photographs taken from early childhood onward, mainly covering travels in Hawaii, Alaska, Washington and Japan between 1940-1970. Material is arranged by subject, size and type. The subject divisions are Portraits, Family, People, Pets, Documentary, Landscape, and Architecture. Contains both black/white and color photographs. Contact Special Collection for a more detailed inventory.
box-folder 14:1.1-14:1.8, 14:1.36-14:1.37, 14:2.1-14:2.2, 14:2.9

Portraits (16 photos) 1930-1994

box-folder 14:1.9-14:1.11, 14:1.38

Family (4 photos) 1919-1990

box-folder 14:1.12-14:1.20, 14:2.5

People (10 photos) 1940-1960

box-folder 14:1.21-14:1.23

Pets (10 photos) undated

box-folder 14:1.24-35, 14:1.39-41, 14:2.3, 14:2.4, 14:2.7

Documentary (36 photos; includes snapshots from Alaska 1947-1948, Seattle 1949, Hawaii 1962, Asilomar Haiku Conference 1985) 1940-1985

box-folder 14:1.33, 14:1.35

Landscape (6 photos; includes snapshots from Mt. Si and Teneriffe, WA 1949) 1949

box-folder 14:1.34, 14:2.6, 14:2.8

Architecture (6 photos; unidentified buildings) [1940s-1950s]

box-folder 14:3

Computer printouts (6 pp; Edith and Minoru Sawano at Poetry Reading) 1989-1998

box-folder 3:11; 15:27-28

Art Work undated

Physical Description: 3 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains pencil, charcoal and watercolor drawings.
box-folder 3:11

Sumie and watercolor drawings (13 sheets) undated

box-folder 15:27

Pencil drawings (5 pp) undated

box-folder 15:28

Pastel and charcoal drawing (2 sheets) undated


Unprocessed 2011 addition to Shiffert papers

Access Restrictions

MAY CONTAIN RESTRICTED MATERIALS. This addition has not been processed but is open for research. Special Collections staff must review this material prior to access. Please contact Special Collections and Archives in advance to request access.
Box 29, 33

Correspondence circa 1968-2000

Box 30


Box 31-32

Poems, manuscripts circa 1980s-2002

Box 34

VHS tapes of poetry reading performances 1994-2004

Box 2017.043.001

Accession 2017.043 unprocessed addition to Shiffert papers circa 1950-2010

Access Restrictions

MAY CONTAIN RESTRICTED MATERIALS. This addition has not been processed but is open for research. Special Collections staff must review this material prior to access. Please contact Special Collections and Archives in advance to request access.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Dennis Maloney, executor, in 2017.

Scope and Contents

Photographs, correspondence, visa documents, teaching contracts, visitor log book, photocopies of writings, publications, and recordings of 2004 readings on VHS tape.