Scope and Contents
The collection contains correspondence, writings, and other papers documenting the life and literary activities of the American poet Tony Towle. Towle spent the bulk of his life in New York City and, after he started writing poetry in the early 1960s and trained with Kenneth Koch and Frank O'Hara at The New School in 1963, he was associated with the second generation of the New York School. In addition to Koch and O'Hara, Towle corresponded with numerous poets, artists, and editors based in the city, including John Ashbery, Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Joe Brainard, Rob Hershon, Lita Hornick, Sheila Lanham, Charles North, Jeni Olin, Ron Padgett, James Schuyler, David Shapiro, Paul Violi, Anne Waldman, and others.
Writings in the collection consists of drafts and proofs for many of Towle's published works, including Autobiography and Other Poems (1977), Works on Paper (1978), The History of the Invitation (2001), New & Selected Poems (1983), North (1970), Winter Journey (2008), and Memoir (2003). In addition to the material relating to published works, there are drafts for individual poems and prose works, fiction and non-fiction, printed publicity, reviews, royalty statements, permissions, as well as material relating to Towle's employment in the printmaking studio, Universal Limited Art Editions. Also included are photographs, audiovisual material, and computer media.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Box 17 (correspondence): Restricted until 1 January 2028. For further information consult the appropriate curator.
Box 26 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Box 27 (computer media): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of computer files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Tony Towle 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 James S. Jaffe Rare Books on the Ezra Pound Archive Fund, 2012 and the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2017.
Organized into three series: I. Correspondence, 1962-2011. II. Writings, 1960-2010. III. September 2017 acquisition, circa 1963-2017.
24.04 Linear Feet (27 boxes)
Language of Materials
Collection contains correspondence, writings, and other papers documenting the life and literary activities of New York City poet Tony Towle. Towle spent his life in New York City and, after training with Kenneth Koch and Frank O'Hara, was associated with the second generation of the New York School. In addition to Koch and O'Hara, Towle corresponded with numerous poets, artists, and editors based in the city, including John Ashbery, Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Joe Brainard, Rob Hershon, Lita Hornick, Sheila Lanham, Charles North, Jeni Olin, Ron Padgett, James Schuyler, David Shapiro, Paul Violi, Anne Waldman, and others.
Tony Towle (1939-)
Tony Towle was born 13 June 1939 in New York City to Erwin W. and Mary E. (Rigg) Towle. He attended Georgetown University (1957), New York University (1961-1962), Columbia University (1963), and The New School for Social Research (1963-1964). Towle worked as the secretary at Universal Limited Art Editions, a printmaking studio, in West Islip, New York, from 1964 to 1981. His published works include: Poems (1966), After Dinner We Take a Drive Into the Night (1968), North (1970), Autobiography, and Other Poems (1977), Works on Paper (1978), Gemini (1980), New and Selected Poems (1983), Some Musical Episodes (1992), The History of the Invitation: New & Selected Poems (2001), and Winter Journey (2008). Awards include the Gotham Book Mart Avant-Garde Poetry prize (1963), Wagner College Writer's Conference poetry prize (1963), Poet's Foundation awards (1964, 1966), and Frank O'Hara Award (1970) for North.
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 as they are acquired, 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.
- American literature -- 20th century
- American poetry -- 20th Century
- Ashbery, John, 1927-2017
- Audiovisual materials
- Authors, American -- 20th Century
- Berkson, Bill, 1939-2016
- Berrigan, Ted, 1934-1983
- Born digital
- Brainard, Joe, 1942-1994
- Hershon, Robert, 1936-
- Hornick, Lita R., 1927-
- Koch, Kenneth, 1925-2002
- Lanham, Sheila Mae
- North, Charles, 1941-
- Olin, Jeni, 1974-
- Padgett, Ron, 1942-
- Poets -- United States -- 20th century
- Poets, American -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Schuyler, James
- Shapiro, David, 1947-
- Towle, Tony, 1939-
- Violi, Paul, 1944-2011
- Waldman, Anne, 1945-
- Guide to the Tony Towle Papers
- by Beinecke staff, Elizabeth Vitek
- May 2013. Revised: May 2023.
- 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
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
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