University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

May Swenson:

An Inventory of Her Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Swenson, May, 1913-1989
Title: May Swenson Collection
Dates: 1956-1987, undated
Abstract: Includes works and correspondence of the American poet May Swenson, chiefly concerning The Green Moment, In Other Words, and poems published in the New Yorker.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-4132
Extent: 1 box (.42 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center



Open for research

Administrative Information

Processed by:

Joan Sibley and Katherine Noble, 2012

Note: This finding aid replicates and replaces information previously available only in a card catalog. Please see the explanatory note at the end of this finding aid for information regarding the arrangement of the manuscripts as well as the abbreviations commonly used in descriptions.

Container List


1.1 Each like a leaf, signed typescript / copy, 1 page, 12 August 1966.
Flying home from Utah, 2 signed typescripts with editor's and printer's handwritten notes and marks, 1 page each, 3 June 1963, undated. For the New Yorker.
1.2 The green moment, carbon typescript with signed handwritten note, 54 pages, undated. With ANS by Swenson: "contains about 20 poems not published in book and some not published in periodicals," 7 October 1971.
1.3 In other words, typescript with corrections / setting copy, 110 pages, 1987. TLS from Daren Salter of Alfred A. Knopf Inc. to Swenson, 28 October 1987. Not described in card catalog. (G11103)
1.4 In other words, paste-up / incomplete, bluelines, unbound page proofs, approximately 248 pages, 1987. Not described in card catalog. (G11103)
1.5 Poems, handwritten and typescript drafts with revisions, approximately 97 pages, 1969. Titles include: Seeing Jupiter; First walk on the moon; On Tranquility base (a simulation); and Spider and gumdrop, 1969. Included with these: clippings re moon landing and moon rocks, 1969, undated. Not described in card catalog. (Gift, 1974)
1.6 Poems published in the New Yorker, 24 typed and carbon manuscripts, 22 signed, some with handwritten revisions, each with editor's and printer's notes and markings, 29 pages, 1956-1968. Magazine make-up slips pasted on versos of most manuscripts.


1.7 TLS to Holman, William, 3 April 1974. Not described in card catalog. (Gift, 1974)


1.8 Luetge, William J. ALS, TLS to Swenson, 31 July and 30 September 1971; includes 2 TccL replies from Swenson, 31 August and 7 October 1971. Not described in card catalog. (09-09-004-G)

Explanatory Note Concerning Manuscript Collections Cataloged in the Card Catalog

Prior to 1990 when archival cataloging procedures were adopted at the Ransom Center, all manuscript collections were described in a card catalog.

Organization of Collections:

Manuscripts for each author collection were organized into four categories:

  • Works: manuscripts by the author, arranged alphabetically by title;
  • Letters: the author's outgoing correspondence, arranged alphabetically by recipient name;
  • Recipient: the author's incoming correspondence, arranged alphabetically by the author of the letter; and
  • Miscellaneous: all other manuscripts and correspondence, arranged alphabetically by creator.

Materials that did not fit into these categories, such as art, photographs, books, and near-print materials such as newspaper clippings, were dispersed to other Ransom Center collections for cataloging and storage.

Abbreviations Used in Descriptions:

The symbols below were used in combinations. For example ALS means autograph letter signed; Tccms means typed carbon copy manuscript, etc.

  • A = autograph (i.e., handwritten)
  • T = typed
  • S = signed
  • I = initialed
  • Ms = manuscript
  • Mss = manuscripts
  • L = letter
  • FL = form letter
  • N = note
  • D = document
  • C = card
  • PC = post card
  • cc = carbon copy
  • p = page
  • pp = pages
  • l = leaf
  • ll = leaves
  • nd = no date
  • inc d = incomplete date