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Guide to the William Plumley Collection
MS 175  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Contents Note
  • Related Material
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: William Plumley collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1942-1972
    Date (bulk): (Bulk 1956-1958)
    Collection number: MS 175
    Collector: Plumley, William
    Extent: 2 boxes
    Repository: University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. Special Collections and Archives
    Santa Cruz, California 95064
    Abstract: This collection contains correspondence from Kenneth and Miriam Patchen to Hortense Baer written between 1946-1972, and ephemera on Kenneth Patchen.
    Physical location: Stored in Special Collections & Archives: Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection open for research.

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    William Plumley Collection, MS 175. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 1994.

    Biographical Note

    William Crawford Plumley, a scholar of modern American poetry and a published author, was born in Hamlin, West Virginia. From 1980 on, he has performed academic duties as a professor of English at University of Charleston, the former Morris Harvey College, in Charleston, West Virginia. He received an A.B. from Marshall University (1963), M. Ed. from Kent State University (1967), M.A. from Marshall University (1971), and Ph.D. on Appalachian studies from Union Graduate School, Ohio (1977).
    He has written poetry and edited anthologies and articles on folklore, poetry and fiction, mainly focusing on the Appalachian literature and culture. His first set of personal poetry Many Faces was published in 1969 by Morris Harvey Press, followed by Poems from the Hills, 1970 and Poems from the Hills, 1971. He has also made guest appearances as the Appalachian scholar on TV produced by Public Broadcasting Company.
    Mainly publishing in the 1970's, his latest literary activity includes a book production, consisting of criticism on, poetry dedicated to, and an interview with American poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti ( Lawrence Ferlinghetti :in Search of Eros, 1995). This project was inspired by the exhibition of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's drawings and his public reading produced by Plumley at the University of Charleston, West Virginia.
    His literary interest also extends to collecting primary research material (manuscripts, letters, original art) and books by notable modern writers such as Patchen, Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, and Bukowski.
    He has been an active member on the board of directors for Appalachian Heritage Foundation, Inc., and Mountain State Press (1977-) and holds a membership in American Poetry Society.

    Scope and Contents Note

    The William Plumley collection of Kenneth Patchen material was purchased through an auction in 1994. It consists of correspondence, annotated and typed letters from Kenneth and Miriam Patchen and printed material.
    The correspondence consists mainly of autographed and typed letters from Kenneth and Miriam Patchen to their friend and occasional patron, Mrs. Hortense Baer. Three letters from Kenneth Patchen and over eighty letters written by Miriam Patchen provide an intimate glimpse into their lives from 1956-1958. The letters cover Patchen's jazz-poetry venture, medical affairs, financial strains and various moves around the Bay Area.
    The printed material consists of picture-poem postcards, an exhibit catalog and clippings.

    Related Material

    The following collections in Special Collection at UCSC:

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Plumley, William--Archives
    Patchen, Kenneth--1911-1972.
    Poets, American--20th century

    Other Index Terms Related to this Collection

    Patchen, Kenneth,1911-1972--Kenneth Patchen archive
    Patchen, Miriam
    Baer, Hortense