Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Fall 2014 Newsletter
Two men

Billy Collins with ‚ÄčArthur Plotnik in Italy. Summer 1983. Photo by Mary H. Phelan. © Mary H. Phelan and Arthur Plotnik


Typescript pages annotated by Billy Collins of his poem "The Names," which commemorates victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Collins read the poem before a special joint session of Congress on September 6, 2002.


Pages from Billy Collins's journal with notes related to his poem "The Names," ca. 2002.

Recent Acquisitions

The witty, conversational poems of former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins have delighted readers for decades and invite them to recognize and ponder the poignant details that often go unnoticed in everyday life. Collins is among the most beloved and widely celebrated poets in America, and his rich and extensive archive has now found a home among the Ransom Center's collections. The materials span Collins's personal and professional life from the 1950s to the present and document in detail his creative development. Within the archive are dozens of journals filled with notes, observations, doodles, clippings, and drafts of Collins's poems, both published and unpublished. His archive includes extensive correspondence, compositions from his childhood, family photographs, desk diaries and datebooks, audio and video recordings, and drafts of his speeches, documenting his busy public life as one of the country's most popular poets.

The Ransom Center also recently acquired two early, handwritten Yiddish manuscripts by Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer: the complete, original manuscript of Singer's novel Neshome Ekspeditsies and a 102-page fragment of an unidentified novel by Singer. These manuscripts enhance the Ransom Center's extensive archive of Singer's work and were acquired with the generous support of a friend of the Ransom Center, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.

Other recent acquisitions include:

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