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News Release — November 5, 2007

Materials Related to Poet Dara Wier Acquired By Harry Ransom Center

Materials related to the life and career of writer and poet Dara Wier have been acquired by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

The collection includes manuscripts, typescripts, correspondence, materials related to collaborative work between Wier and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Tate, Carolyn Forché manuscripts and a broad range of materials related to poet John Ashbery.

Wier and Tate will visit the Ransom Center for a poetry reading on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m., as part of the Center's Signature Series, which highlights works in the Center's collections.

Wier is the author of 10 collections of poetry, including "Remnants of Hannah" (2006), "Reverse Rapture" (2005), "Hat on a Pond" (2002), "Voyages in English" (2001) and "Our Master Plan" (1998), which was a Phi Beta Kappa award finalist.

Her work has been included in "Best American Poetry" and "The Pushcart Prize Anthology." "The American Poetry Review" awarded her the Jerome Shestack Prize in 2001.

"My papers being in Austin keeps them in good company, and I'm exceedingly pleased with that," Wier said. "Austin's always found a soft spot in my feelings. I moved there when I was pregnant to give birth to my daughter, for instance. I love the Ransom and have been a visitor since the '80s. And, of course, Jim [Tate] and I like having our things together."

The collection contains manuscripts and typescripts related to her poetry collections "Blood, Hook, & Eye" (1977), "The 8-Step Generation" (1981), "All You Have in Common" (1984), "The Book of Knowledge" (1989), "Blue for the Plough" (1992), "Our Master Plan," "Hat on a Pond" and "Reverse Rapture."

The archive contains manuscript material related to longtime companion and collaborator Tate, whose papers already reside at the Ransom Center. The manuscript related to Tate's editing of "The Best American Poetry" edition of 1997 and other materials help fill gaps in Tate's papers at the Center.

"Many research possibilities arise from having the papers of two writers who have collaborated in both their literary and personal endeavors," said Molly Schwartzburg, Ransom Center curator of British and American literature. "We look forward to seeing how scholars take advantage of this unusual opportunity."

Wier's collection also includes correspondence related to a number of authors, such as Alan Cheuse, Fred Chappell, Stephen Dixon, George Garrett, Joy Harjo, John Clellon Holmes, Valerie Martin, W. S. Martin, C. D. Wright, Al Young, Billy Collins, Annie Dillard, Louise Gluck, Garrett Hongo, Frances Mayes, Harry Mathews, Laura (Riding) Jackson, Charles Simic, Rosmarie Waldrop, Tobias Wolff, Mary Ruefle, John Ashbery and Carolyn Forché.

More than 150 pages of working manuscripts for three Forché projects, including "Something Being Held," "Angel of History" and a journal from Forché's time in Central America are included in the collection. Materials related to Ashbery include papers related to the Flow Chart Foundation, a resource for studies of Ashbery at Bard College. The collection also contains manuscript materials related to Dixon and Ruefle.

Journals, scrapbooks, broadsides, posters, chapbooks, little magazines and ephemera poetry publications are also included in the collection. Several single sheet printings of poems and small regional publications are out of print and otherwise unavailable.

Wier is a professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where she directs the Master of Fine Arts Program for Poets and Writers.

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Alyssa Morris
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