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Howes, Barbara, 1914-1996



  • Existence: 1914-05-01 - 1996-02-24


Barbara Howes (1914-1996) was born in New York and adopted by Mr. and Mrs.Osborn Howes, Jr.of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. She was raised there and educated at Beaver Country Day School; she graduated from Bennington College in 1937. After working briefly for the Southern Tenant Farmers Union in Mississippi, she moved to Greenwich Village and began submitting her poems to literary magazines.

From 1943 until 1947 she was editor of Chimera, with David Newton and Ximena de Angulo. A "little magazine," the journal published poetry by John Berryman, Richard Eberhart, Randall Jarrell, Kenneth Patchen, and others, as well as articles by such authors as Carl Jung, Thomas Mann, and Henry Miller.

Howes published seven collections of poetry: The Undersea Farmer (1948); In the Cold Country (1954); Light and Dark (1959); Looking Up at Leaves (1966); The Blue Garden (1977); A Private Signal: Poems New and Selected (1977); and Moving (1983). The Collectted Poems of Barbara Howes, 1945-1990 was published in 1995.

In addition, Howes also edited the anthologies From the Green Antilles: Writings of the Caribbean (1966) and The Eye of the Heart: Short Stories from Latin America (1970).

She married the poet William Jay Smith in 1947, and they lived for a time in England and Italy before settling in Vermont. They had two sons, Gregory Jay Smith and David Smith. The couple divorced in the mid-1960s, and thereafter Howes lived mostly a secluded life on her farm in Pownal, Vermont. Barbara Howes died in Bennington, Vermont in February, 1996.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Chimera papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 35

The Chimera Papers consist of manuscripts, correspondence, and business papers relating to the publishing history of Chimera: A Literary Journal (1942-1947), with manuscripts of writings by Barbara Howes, editor of Chimera from 1943 to 1947.

Dates: 1943-1959

Barbara Howes papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 59
Abstract: The Barbara Howes papers contain writings, correspondence, personal and financial papers, and photographs documenting the life and literary career of American poet and editor Barbara Howes. The collection includes extensive files on all of Howes's book-length publications and many manuscripts and typescripts of individual poems, short stories and articles; her correspondence with her family, particularly with her mother and her husband, the poet William Jay Smith; and letters from a wide...
Dates: 1914-1995

Margaret Marshall papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 10

The papers contain personal correspondence, correspondence concerning The Nation and the American Men of Letters series, drafts of her autobiography and other writings, and personal papers.

Dates: 1805-1980 (inclusive), bulk 1930-1974