is a familiar name. His Little Treasury
poetry series and other anthologies
are known the world over. At least four collect poems by Henry Reed: The War Poets: An Anthology of War Poetry of the 20th Century
(1945), A Little Treasury of Modern Poetry, English and American
(1950), A Little Treasury of British Poetry: The Chief Poets from 1500 to 1950
(1951), and An Album of Modern Poetry: An Anthology Read by the Poets
(1959). There are certainly (probably) more.
Though Williams is familiar as an editor and anthologist, he was a poet in his own right, and while my Granger's
lists 26 poems in various anthologies, I am pressed to find a single verse of his online.
Not surprisingly, Williams' correspondence with authors and poets is voluminous and manifold: his collected papers at Indiana University's Lilly Library
contains over 11,000 items, including 6,300 photographs of the likes of Conrad Aiken, Anatole Broyard, Richard Eberhart, Robert Frost, Anne Sexton, and Dylan Thomas.
Hidden amidst this trove of treasures is a (carbon copy of a) letter from Williams to Reed, dated July 9th, 1959, and a 1963 letter to Reed, along with Reed's response (carbons, also)! See the "Index to Correspondents
The index also contains a minor literary mystery: a letter from one Henry J. Dubester, addressed to Henry Reed and dated October 2nd, 1959.
Dubester, as near as I can figure, was Chief of the Census Library Project
, at the Library of Congress, sometime in the late 1940s and early 1950s, in charge of cataloging and indexing censuses and vital statistics. The Williams collection contains letters from Dubester to an absolute litany of poets, including W.H. Auden, William Empson, Roy Fuller, Robert Graves, W.S. Merwin, Theodore Roethke, Delmore Schwartz, Stephen Spender, and Richard Wilbur, among many others.
So, my question is (or my questions are
): What was a bibliographer doing, writing to all these authors and poets? And how did copies end up collected among Williams' papers?