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William Heyen papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 352
Scope and Contents

The collection consists of material created and accumulated by William Heyen in the course of his activities as a poet and editor, and primarily documents Heyen's literary career from 1995 to 2009. Material includes correspondence with poets and writers, writings by Heyen and others, bound copies of Heyen's journals dating from 1965 to 1994, original journals dating from 1994 to 2006, notebooks, printed material, and other papers.

Writings by Heyen include typed and manuscript drafts of poems that appeared in Crazy Horse in Stillness (1996), Shoah Train (2003), and A Poetics of Hiroshima (2008), among other works; books annotated with manuscript drafts of poems and notes; and galley proofs of early published works, including Noise in the Trees (1974), Swastika Poems (1977), Long Island Light (1979), that were returned to Heyen when Vanguard Press was sold to Random House. Also included are correspondence and manuscripts relating to September 11, 2001: American Writers Respond (2002), edited by Heyen; correspondence, manuscripts, and art work stemming from planned collaboration between Heyen and the artist Robert E. Marx; correspondence with Joyce Carol Oates; and materials related to collaborations with June Prager and Douglas Knehans.

Conditions Governing Use

The William Heyen 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 William Heyen on various funds, 2005-2023.

March 2011 Acquisition: Purchased from Clouds Hill Books on the Danford N. Barney, Jr. Fund, 2011.


The collection is organized into nine groupings: I. February 2005 Acquisition, 1970-2003. II. May 2006 Acquisition, circa 1950-2006. III. August 2006 Acquisition, 1984-2005. IV. January 2010 Acquisition, 1961-2009. V. March 2011 Acquisition, 1979-2010. VI. October 2015 Acquisition, 1915-2015. VII. June 2021 Acquisition, circa 2006 December. VIII. August 2022 Acquisition, 2018 - 2020. IX. February 2023 Acquisition, 1937 - 2022.

Material within this collection has been organized by acquisition reflecting the fact that the collection has been acquired in increments over time.

Researchers should note that material within each acquisition overlaps with and/or relates to material found in other acquisitions. For instance, correspondence and writings can be found in all four groupings. In order to locate all relevant material within this collection, researchers will need to consult each acquisition described in the Collection Contents section.

Researchers should also note that similar material can be arranged differently in each acquisition, depending on how the material was organized when it was received by the library.

Associated Materials

William Heyen Papers Relating to William B. Ewert (YCAL MSS 235). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

William Heyen Papers (MC 71). Milne Special Collections, University of New Hampshire Library.

77.89 Linear Feet (114 boxes)
Related Names
Heyen, William, 1940-
Language of Materials