American writer, poet, editor and critic Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on Jan. 19, 1809. The Ransom Center’s Edgar Allan Poe collection contains several manuscript works and about 70 letters written by Poe, and works about him.
Outlined here are eight important moments that occurred during PEN’s first 25 years. All these and many others are treated in more depth and detail in the book PEN: An Illustrated History (Interlink Publishing, September 2021).
October 5, 1921
CATHARINE AMY DAWSON SCOTT, a poet and novelist who was sometimes described as “unstoppable,” hosted the inaugural dinner of the PEN Club at the Florence Restaurant in London. More than 40 writers and guests enjoyed a six-course banquet in the chandeliered splendor of the main dining room. The urbane John Galsworthy, the first president, offered the toast. “We writers are in some sort trustees for human nature,” he said. “If we are narrow and prejudiced, we harm the human race. And the better we know each other […], the greater the chance of human happiness in a world not, as yet, too happy.
It was not the year we anticipated, hoped for, or a year we would want to repeat. The first rumblings of the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, escalated in February, and eventually erupted in our community in March when the Center closed its doors to in-person visits and staff began working remotely. What happened next was a natural shift to expanding the Center’s online presence throughout the year. [Read more…] about Highlights from an unprecedented year
A digital collection of manuscripts and photographs related to Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas will soon be available online thanks to an international collaboration. [Read more…] about International collaboration will lead to online archive of Welsh poet and writer
In her 2019 memoir, In The Dream House, author Carmen Maria Machado writes about the importance of seeing queer people not as saints, but as full human beings – human beings with complicated and sometimes upsetting ideologies. She writes in her essay, “Dream House as Queer Villainy,” “…it sounds terrible but it is, in fact, freeing: the idea that queer does not equal good or pure or right. It is simply a state of being—one subject to…moral complexities of every kind.” [Read more…] about Archive of The Well of Loneliness author offers a view of queer history
In part one of a two-part blog post series, NEH Audio Digitization Project Coordinator Katie Quanz chronicles the progress of Unlocking Sound Stories, a NEH grant funded project digitizing and preserving more than 2000 rare recordings. [Read more…] about Unlocking sound stories