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Barbara Henning papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 1303

Content Description

The collection consists of writings, correspondence, personal papers, audio and video recordings, digital files, and other papers by and relating to American poet and writer Barbara Henning. Materials including notes, drafts, and manuscripts document Henning’s career as a poet, writer, and editor, and provide insight into her creative process. Correspondents include Charles Alexander, Charles Baxter, E. M. Broner, Bill Kushner, Harry Mathews, Harryette Mullen, and Maureen Owen.


  • 1970-2017


Language of Materials

In English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Box 17 (digital media): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies of electronic files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Box 18 (audiovisual materials): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Barbara Henning Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Granary Books, Inc. on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2017.


Organized into four series: I. Writings, 1980-2016. II. Correspondence, 1970-2015. III. Personal Papers, 1974-2017. IV. Computer and Audiovisual Media, 2007.

Related Materials

Long News: In the Short Century Records (YCAL MSS 1004). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.


14.9 Linear Feet ((17 boxes) + 1 broadside)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

Barbara Henning (1948-)

Barbara Henning, American poet and writer, is the author of eighteen books of poetry and fiction, as well as a series of twenty artists’ books combining poetry with photography. She was born on October 26, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan. She received both a B.A. and M.A. in English from Wayne State University in 1981 and 1983, respectively, and later earned her Ph.D. in English from The Graduate School of Union Institute in 1988. In 1983, she moved to New York City, residing in the East Village for many years.

Henning has published eight poetry collections, beginning with Smoking in the Twilight Bar (1988); other titles include Love Makes Thinking Dark (1995) and Cities and Memory (2010). Her five novels include Thirty Miles to Rosebud (2009) and Just Like That (2018). She edited Looking Up Harryette Mullen (2011), a book of correspondence and interviews with African American poet Harryette Mullen, and collected the short stories of Beat writer Bobbie Louise Hawkins in The Selected Prose of Bobbie Louise Hawkins (2012). Henning’s poetry and prose have been published in journals such as Dispatches, Talisman, The Brooklyn Rail, and Journal of Poetics Research. Henning is Professor Emerita at Long Island University Brooklyn, where she taught from 1988 to 2005. She has also taught at Naropa University in Colorado and the University of Arizona.

Henning was previously married to Allen Saperstein, with whom she had two children, Michah and Linnée. She currently lives in New York City and has also lived in Detroit, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Tucson, Arizona, as well as Mysore, India, where she studied yoga for a year.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Barbara Henning Papers
by Nora Soto
April 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
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Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.