Entries Tagged as 'Poetry'

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Perhaps Silence Is More Decent: Thomas Merton at 100

January 31st marks the closing of the centenary of Thomas Merton’s birth. Merton is best known for his 1948 autobiography The Seven Story Mountain, which charted his trajectory from world citizen and aspiring literati to cloistered monk at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky. In addition to writing prose and poetry related […]

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Baking Emily Dickinson’s Black Cake

  The Emily Dickinson manuscripts are a cherished part of Houghton Library’s collections and while it is her poems and letters that are most often celebrated, we’ve lately been dwelling on the poet’s lesser known lines: “2 Butter. / 19 eggs. / 5 pounds Raisins.” Dickinson’s manuscript recipe for black cake, from which these lines come, was sent […]

Friday, July 17th, 2015

REEL WRITING podcast series

Reel Writing: Poems and prose off and on the tape reel, brought to you by Houghton Library and the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University, is a podcast series by Virginia Rose Marshall. Virginia is a recent graduate of Harvard University and one of the 2015 recipients of the Houghton Library Undergraduate Fellowship. Three episodes […]

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Ginsberg for sale

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring material from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. The Beats continue their expansion onto Houghton’s shelves by means of Santo Domingo Collection accessioning; Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) is the most recent author to attain fuller representation in our catalog. Ginsberg books in the collection range from the slightest volume […]

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Re-Sounding Wallace Stevens

“It is/ A sound like any other. It will end,” writes Wallace Stevens in “It Must Change,” a sequence whose audible existence (at least as rendered in the poet’s voice) had until this Fall to a certain extent ceased. The lacquer microgroove disc of “It Must Change,” recorded 60 years ago this month, on October […]

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

SHIFTING BRILLIANCIES: Digitizing Harvard’s Heaney Recordings

“You can go backwards as well as forwards.” –Seamus Heaney When I first began the task of creating metadata for our recently-digitized Seamus Heaney recordings (part of the Woodberry Poetry Room’s initiative to digitize its entire collection of rare and at-risk Heaney cassettes), I anticipated a fairly straightforward trajectory. I’d sit down, don the headphones, […]

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

2013 Year in Review

It’s been a great year for the Houghton Blog, which attracted more than 35,000 unique visitors during 2013. Let’s take a look back at our ten most popular posts on the year.   10. Reading Ira Aldridge. On the great 19th century African-American actor and expatriate. 9. What’s New: A Digital Harmony. Announcing the digitization […]

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

New on OASIS in September

Finding aids for seven newly cataloged collections, and a preliminary box list for one recent acquisition, have been added to the OASIS database this month, including a scrapbook of Theodore Roosevelt’s time at Harvard, a collection of playbills for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and the recordings of the Phone-A-Poem project. Processed by Michael W. Austin: Christophe […]

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

What’s New: Poetry on the line

A story in this week’s Harvard Gazette covers a new exhibition at the Woodberry Poetry Room called PHONE-A-POEM: A Selection of Archival & Newly-Commissioned Answering Machine Poems. Started in 1976 by Cambridge poet Peter Payack, for 25 years Phone-a-Poem offered callers recorded poems from the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, or Donald Hall. Visitors […]

Monday, February 11th, 2013

THE REEL PLATH: On the Handwritten Track-Lists of Sylvia Plath’s 1958 and 1959 Sound-tape Reels

Graphology is not necessarily a part of my job description. But, as the curator of the Woodberry Poetry Room, I’ve had occasion to grow curious about the convergence of an author’s handwriting with the audio recordings in our collection. Sound archives offer a particularly compelling constellation of human tools and technology. In the case of […]