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 statments, permissions, as well as material relating to Towle's employment in the printmaking studio, Universal Limited Art Editions.