Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Edgar Bowers papers, 1868-2003 (bulk 1920-2000)
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (201.05 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Processing Information:
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement

  • Title: Edgar Bowers papers
    Collection number: 565
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.5 linear ft. (1 shoebox and 1 oversize box)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1920-2000
    Date (inclusive): 1868-2003 (bulk 1920-2000)
    Abstract: The Edgar Bowers papers consist of the poet's original correspondence, manuscripts, personal papers, photographs, recordings, and publications that document Bowers' family life, personal history, and development as a poet and scholar.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Creator: Bowers, Edgar

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Processing Information:

    The collection was originally processed by by Marisol Ramos-Lum in 2002. In preparation for the Department's 2003 Bowers conference and exhibit, Kevin Durkin and Octavio Olvera completed additional processing in the correspondence and manuscripts series. Royce Dieckmann reprocessed the collection in the summer of 2005 and created a finding aid for the collection with the assistance of Laurel McPhee.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    • Gift of the Edgar Bowers estate, 2002.
    • Gift of Joshua Odell, 2002.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Edgar Bowers Papers (Collection 565). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 5265240 


    Edgar Bowers was born in Rome, Georgia in 1924. He began writing poetry at a young age, and had published poems in newspapers by the time he was 13 years old. He entered the University of North Carolina (UNC) in 1942, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. As part of his training, he entered the Army Specialized Training program (ASTP) at Princeton University, where he met a number of sophisticated young men who furthered his commitment to the arts. He served in Bavaria with the counterintelligence corps of the Army's 101st Airborne Division, and was stationed at Berchtesgaden as part of the "de-Nazification" program of the U.S. occupation force.
    After his discharge in 1946, he completed his undergraduate studies at UNC, and moved to Stanford in 1947 to pursue his master's degree and doctorate. Under the guidance of poet and critic Yvor Winters, he wrote his dissertation on the poetry of T. Sturge Moore, and further developed his poetic sensibilities. He taught at Duke University, Harpur College, and from 1958 until his retirement in 1991 at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he specialized in English Renaissance and modern poetry. He died in San Francisco in 2000.
    Bowers earned several distinctions, including two Guggenheim fellowships (1959 and 1969), and the Bollingen Prize for Poetry (1989). Bowers carefully controlled his literary output, developing a reputation as a true "poet's poet." He published five collections of poetry in his lifetime: The Form of Loss (1956), The Astronomers (1965), Living Together (1973), For Louis Pasteur (1989), and Collected Poems (1997).

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of Edgar Bowers' original correspondence, manuscripts, personal papers, photographs, recordings, and publications that document Bowers' family life, personal history, and development as a poet and scholar. Of particular interest are letters written during the period between World War II and his graduate studies at Stanford in the 1950s, including letters from Yvor Winters, Robert Lowell, and many other peers and colleagues. The manuscript series includes a significant collection of Bowers' poems, often in variant forms, including unpublished and uncollected works. Other series include manuscripts by other poets edited by Bowers, video and audio recordings of Bowers' readings, journal and little magazine publications, and an extensive assortment of correspondence and documents concerning the Anderson and Bowers families.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Correspondence, 1886-2001 (4 boxes).
    2. Manuscripts, ca. 1900-2000 (6.5 boxes), subseries A-C as follows:
      1. Manuscripts by Edgar Bowers, 1937-2000.
      2. Notebooks and course materials, ca. 1970-1999.
      3. Manuscripts by other authors, ca. 1900-1999.
    3. Miscellaneous, 1868-1999 (2.5 boxes).
    4. Photographs, ca. 1900-1999 (1 box).
    5. Cassettes and compact discs, 1966-2000 (1 box).
    6. Publications and printed materials, 1921-2003 (4 boxes).

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Bowers, Edgar--Archives.
    Poetry, Modern--20th century--Archives.
    Poets, American--Archives.