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Untermeyer (Jean Starr) collection



The Jean Starr Untermeyer Collection contains over 3,000 letters to Jean Starr Untermeyer and in some cases to Louis Untermeyer from a list of distinguished people including Louise Bogan, Bryher, H.D., Norman Holmes Pearson, Marianne Moore, May Sarton, Charles D. Abbott, Anne Sexton, Edith Sitwell, William Carlos Williams, Stanley Kunitz, Sara Teasdale, Amy Lowell, Vachel Lindsay, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Albert Einstein, and Lukas Foss; Jean Starr Untermeyer's letters to Jule Brousseau Roth, Richard Untermeyer, Charles D. Abbott, Louis Untermeyer, and others; Louis Untermeyer's letters to Charles D. Abbott, Richard Untermeyer, Jean Starr Untermeyer, and others; various manuscripts for individual poems and prose works by Jean Starr Untermeyer and Louis Untermeyer; typescripts with corrections for Private Collection; Hermann Broch's typescript for Der Tod Des Vergil; typescripts with corrections for three different versions of Jean Starr Untermeyer's translation of Broch's The Death of Virgil; typescripts and proofs for Poets at Work: Essays Based on the Modern Poetry Collection at the Lockwood Memorial Library, University of Buffalo (1948); various auxiliary manuscripts by other authors; photographs of Jean Starr Untermeyer, Louis Untermeyer, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Valentine Ackland, Vachel Lindsay, Siegfried Sassoon, and others; and miscellaneous peripheral items.

The poet Jean Starr Untermeyer was born in Zanesville, Ohio in 1886. Between 1907 and 1951 she was married twice to the poet Louis Untermeyer, editor of, among many others, the anthology Modern American and British Poetry(1919). Their son Richard died in 1927. She spent a brief career as a lieder-singer, debuting in Vienna in 1924. In 1940 she was the Ford Madox Ford Chair of Creative Literature at Olivet College, and later taught at the New School for Social Research. Untermeyer's books of poetry include Growing Pains (1918), Dreams out of Darkness (1921), Steep Ascent (1927), Wingèd Child (1936), Love and Need: Collected Poems 1918-1940 (1940), and Job's Daughter (1967). She also translated Hermann Broch's The Death of Virgil (1945), and her autobiography Private Collection (1965) recounts her experiences with Broch and with such other literary figures as Robert Frost, Amy Lowell, Sara Teasdale, Vachel Lindsay, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Carl Sandburg, Ezra Pound, Edith Sitwell, Siegfried Sassoon, and Bryher. Re-creations, an anthology of her translations, was published in 1970, the year she died.