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Tony Towle papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 745
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)
Related Names
Towle, Tony, 1939-
Language of Materials