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MC 538

Valentine, Jean. Papers of Jean Valentine, 1952-2004 (inclusive), 1970-2004 (bulk): A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Processing of this collection was made possible by a gift from the Radcliffe College Class of 1956.

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 538
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Jean Valentine
Title: Papers of Jean Valentine, 1952-2004 (inclusive), 1970-2004 (bulk)
Date(s): 1952-2004
Date(s): 1970-2004
Quantity: 2.5 linear feet (6 file boxes) plus 1 folio+ folder, 3 photograph folders, 1 videotape, 4 audiotapes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Poetry, correspondence, and prose of Jean Valentine.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 2004-M57
The papers of Jean Valentine were given to the Schlesinger Library by Jean Valentine in June 2004.

Processing Information:

Processed: November 2006
By: Cat Lea Holbrook

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted, except that #2.2-2.4 are closed until January 1, 2025. Individual items throughout the collection are closed as noted to protect personal privacy. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Permission to cite or quote passages of any length from the collection, whether drafts of poems, correspondence, or any other text by the donor, must be sought in writing from her during her lifetime. Upon her death, permission to quote from the above mentioned must be sought in writing from her literary executor, Julie Carr.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures. Papers may not, however, be reproduced on the internet until after the donor's death.

Preferred Citation:

Jean Valentine Papers, 1952-2004; item description, dates. MC 538, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Donors: Jean Valentine
Accession number: 2004-M57
Processed by: Cat Lea Holbrook
The following item was removed and transferred to the Schlesinger Library's book collection:


Jean Valentine was born in Chicago, Illinois, on April 27, 1934, to John and Jean Purcell Valentine. Later, the family moved to Massachusetts, where Valentine attended Milton Academy Girls' School. In 1952 Valentine entered Radcliffe College, and majored in English. In December 1955, a Harvard University student publication, The Harvard Advocate, published her "Poem", which received a favorable review in The Harvard Crimson (January 10, 1956). Valentine graduated cum laude in June 1956. Valentine married James Chace in 1957 and was later divorced; they had two daughters, Sarah (b.1958) and Rebecca (b.1960). A second marriage in 1991 to artist Barrie Cooke, also ended in divorce. In 1964, a collection of her poems won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, chosen over 300 other entries; it was published in 1965 as Dream Barker and Other Poems.
Valentine has taught poetry at 92nd Street Young Men's Hebrew Association, Sarah Lawrence College, Hunter College, City University of New York, Pierson College at Yale University, Swarthmore College, Barnard College, Bucknell University, American University, Columbia University, and the University of Pittsburgh. She has also won various awards and fellowships including: the Rockefeller Fellowship, the Bunting Institute Fellowship, the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Shelley Memorial Prize (2000), the National Book Award for Poetry (2004), and the Jean Kennedy Smith New York University Creative Writing Award of Distinction (2005).
Valentine's other published works include: Pilgrims (1969); Ordinary Things (1974); Turn (1977); The Messenger (1979); Home.Deep.Blue (1989); Night Lake (1992); The River at Wolf (1992); Night Porch: Poems (1995); The Under Voice: Selected Poems (1995); Growing Darkness, Growing Light (1997); The Cradle of the Real Life (2000); The Lighthouse Keeper: Essays on the Poetry of Eleanor Ross Taylor (2001); and Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965-2003 (2004).


The collection is arranged in four series:


This collection documents the personal and professional life of poet Jean Valentine. The bulk consists of correspondence, including extensive correspondence with other well-known poets. The processor retained the original arrangement of the correspondence. The remainder includes her writings (drafts and proofs of poems, examples of prose, etc.); reviews of her published books; photographs; one videotape; and four audiotapes.
Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, 1964-2003 (#1.1-1.5), includes Valentine's curricula vitae, articles about her, transcripts of interviews, and introductions by others given at poetry readings. For brief diary excerpts of daily life and snippets of poems from 1989-1990, see #2.19.
Series II, CORRESPONDENCE, 1965-2004 (#1.6-3.9), is arranged in two subseries: alphabetical and general.
Subseries A, Alphabetical, 1969-2004 (#1.6-2.6), consists of substantive correspondence with friends and poets. Poets would send a poem back and forth for criticism and validation, providing insight into the evolution of the work. This subseries also highlights Valentine's life in Ireland with her second husband, Barrie Cooke, as well as her trips to artists' communities, Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, New York), and Macdowell Colony (Peterborough, New Hampshire).
Subseries B, General, 1965-2004 (#2.7-3.9), consists of correspondence with other friends and other poets, discussing their health, personal lives, and professional activities. The subseries includes spouses and friends of correspondents from Subseries A; many of the same people and subjects are discussed. Arranged chronologically.
Series III, WRITINGS, 1952-2002 (#3.10-6.13) is arranged in two subseries: poetry and prose.
Subseries A, Poetry, 1955-2002 (#3.10-6.1), contains drafts, proofs, reviews, correspondence concerning Dream Barker and Other Poems; Pilgrims; Ordinary Things; The Messenger; Home.Deep.Blue; The River at Wolf; Growing Darkness, Growing Light; The Cradle of the Real Life; and Door in the Mountain. Also included is the poem Valentine published while attending Radcliffe College. See also F+D.1 for book jackets of some of her volumes.
Subseries B, Prose, 1952-2001 (#6.2-6.13), consists of articles written by Valentine about Eleanor Ross Taylor, Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney, Jane Cooper, Jane Keynon, Robert Lowell, and Czeslaw Milosz, and various other writings.
Series IV, PHOTOGRAPHS, AUDIOVISUAL, AND OVERSIZED, 1980-2002 (# PD.1-PD.3, Vt-143, T-334.1-334.4, F+D.1) is arranged in four subseries: photographs, videotapes, audiotapes, and oversized material.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

American literature--20th century
American literature--Women authors
Authors, American
Authors and publishers
College teachers
Feminist poetry
Feminist poetry--Book reviews
Ireland--Description and travel
Manuscripts for publication
Motherhood--United States
Poets, American
Poets, Irish
Poets, Polish
Proofs (printed matter)
Publishers and publishing--United States
Women poets
Alfred, William, 1922-1999
Andrews, Tom, 1961-2001
Bishop, Elizabeth, 1911-1979
Burkard, Michael, 1947-
Carruth, Hayden, 1921-2008
Carruth, Joe-Anne McLaughlin
Cooper, Jane, 1924-2007
Cuddihy, Michael
Doty, Mark A. (Mark Allen), 1948-
Fitzgerald, Robert, 1910-1985
Greenstreet, Kate
Greenstreet, Max
Gurganus, Allan
Heaney, Seamus, 1939-2013
Hughes, Ted, 1930-1998
Klein, Michael
Kunitz, Stanley, 1905-2006
Lowell, Robert, 1917-1977
McGuckian, Medbh, 1950-
92nd Street Y (New York, N.Y.)
O'Driscoll, Dennis
Radcliffe College--Students
Rich, Adrienne, 1929-2012
Taylor, Eleanor Ross, 1920-2011
Taylor, Peter, 1917-1994