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Guide to the David Swanger Papers 1962-2005
MS 117  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of the Collection.
  • Indexing Terms
  • Separated Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: David Swanger Papers
    Date (inclusive): 1962-2005
    Collection number: MS 117
    Creator: Swanger, David
    Extent: 2 boxes
    Repository: University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. Special Collections
    Santa Cruz, California 95064
    Abstract: This collection contains correspondence, poetry, fiction and prose writings by UCSC education and creative writing Professor Emeritus David Swanger.
    Physical location: Stored offsite at NRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is 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.

    Preferred Citation

    David Swanger Papers, MS 117, Special Collections, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of David Swanger.


    David Swanger, long-time professor of education and creative writing at UCSC, was born in New Jersey on August 1st, 1940, the son of Saul and Pearl (Ginevsky) Swanger. He married Lynn Lundstrom on April 5th, 1969. They have three children.
    Professor Swanger started out as a short story writer while living for a while in England. In an interview with Maggie Paul he remembered it this way: "There was something about living in this bleak, D.H. Lawrencian kind of landscape, where one could be very lonely and miserable, and I seemed to have a lot of time on my hands. I began to write short stories, shamelessly imitative of Thomas Wolfe -- but that didn't seem to the bother the publisher. But then I came back to the United States and I wasn't quite as unhappy." However, he then noted that nonetheless the "bleak period" he'd experienced had "created its own momentum, its own literary momentum."
    But it was education that David Swanger pursued as a vocation in college, earning a BA at Swarthmore in 1963, and an MAT in 1964, followed by a Doctorate in Education in 1970, both at Harvard University. He had already been teaching at Harvard beginning in 1969, and after graduating from Harvard, he took an appointment as an assistant professor there, remaining a year before moving to the relatively new University of California campus at Santa Cruz in 1971. At the west coast campus he began as an assistant professor of education, becoming full professor in 1985, and Professor of Education and Creative Writing in 1987. He taught at UCSC for thirty three years before his retirement, and continues to be associated with UCSC as Professor Emeritus.
    Over the years David Swanger has earned numerous honors and awards, including the Best of the Small Presses Award for Literary Magazines in 1981, and the Best of the Small Presses Nominee for Poetry in 1983 and 1992, all from Pushcart Press. Locally he has several times been prizewinner (including 1st prize in 1989) in the Senior Poetry Division of the Santa Cruz County Fair. In both 1986 and 1990 he was a finalist in the Walt Whitman Award Competition, and won the Foley Poetry Award in 1991. As an educator, he has been named "Advisor of the Year" by Porter College, UCSC, in 1980, and "Teacher of the Year" by the Re-entry Students' Association in 1991. The Social Sciences Division gave him the "Golden Apple" award for teaching excellence in 1997, and Crown College Award of Merit.
    David Swanger has written 7 books, and edited the 1985 textbook The Evolution of Education. His many poems have appeared in such journals as Poetry Northwest, the Georgia Review, the Literary Review, the Chariton Review, the Kansas Quarterly, and Poetry Flash, in local journals such as Quarry West, Sundaze, and the Oakes Literary Review, as well as The Blue Penny Review, an on-line magazine. His articles have appeared in newspapers from coast to coast (in the Boston Sunday Globe and the San José Mercury News), and in professional journals such as The Journal of Aesthetic Education, Educational Theory, and the Art Education Journal. He has also written chapters for many other books, and continues to give public readings and lectures, both locally in the Santa Cruz area, and as far away as London, England.

    Scope and Content of the Collection.

    The collection includes biographical material, correspondence with editors, reviewers and readers and photocopied examples of David Swanger's published poems and prose.

    Indexing Terms

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


    Swanger, David--Archives
    American Poetry
    Authors, American--California--Santa Cruz County
    English Poetry
    Santa Cruz County (Calif.)--Imprints

    Separated Material

    The books have been removed and cataloged separately. These can be searched through the Library's online catalog.