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Series 2
Writings, 1932-1987
Boxes 7-16 and 26

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of Owen Dodson's published and unpublished writings, as well as writings by others, from 1932-1987. Materials include drafts, notes, and a small amount of printed material directly pertaining to drafts. Writings by Dodson consists of articles and essays, the unpublished "Gossip Book", notes and notebooks, novels, poems, scripts, short stories, speeches, and student writing. Writings by others include drafts of short pieces kept by Dodson.

Articles and essays by Dodson demonstrate his interest in the Harlem Renaissance, his literary predecessors, and the theatre. The "Gossip Book", an unpublished collection of vignettes about literary, political, and musical figures, records Dodson's memories of his time at Howard University. His notes and notebooks from the 1930s show the development of some of his early plays and also provide insight into his critical judgments of prominent playwrights. Later notebooks pertain to his teaching and commentary on theatrical works. Material relating to his novels primarily consists of notes for unpublished projects, although there is a partial draft of his semi-autobiographical novel Come Home Early, Child.

Poetry and scripts constitute the largest part of the series. Dodson's poetry shows the eclectic influences of Harlem Renaissance poets, W.H. Auden, William Stanley Braithwaite, and classical poetry. Multiple drafts exist for many of the poems. The scripts show Dodson's development as a playwright from his years at Yale in the 1930s through the end of his life. Of particular interest are the multiple drafts of his major works Bayou Legend and Divine Comedy.

A smaller amount of material pertains to Dodson's speeches, short stories, and student writings. The small section of writings by others includes writings about Dodson in the form of introductions, essays, and tributes; poems; lyrics and musical scores; and speeches, essays, and articles on a variety of topics.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.

Articles and essays
Box Folder Content
7 1 "An Appreciation of the Bibliography by James Hatch and Omanii Abdullah"
7 2 "The Following is a True Story"
7 3 "The Harlem Renaissance: A Personal View"
7 4 Memorial tribute to W. H. Auden, 1974
7 5 "Mene, Mene Teckle Upharsin", (You have been Weighed in the Balance and Found Wanting)
7 6 "Playwrights in Dark Glasses"
7 7 Reviews, 1963-1980 and undated
7 8 "Who has Seen the Wind", Part I, 1977
7 9 "Who has Seen the Wind", Part II, 1977
7 10 "Who has Seen the Wind", Part III, 1977
"Gossip Book" (unpublished)
7 11 Amram, David
7 12 Arsenic and Old Lace
7 13 Atlanta University Dean of Women
7 14 Baldwin, James
7 15 Baraka, Imamu Amiri
7 16 Bates College and Robert Birkelman
7 17 Braithwaite, William Stanley
7 18 Bryant, Joyce
7 19 Charlotte Amalie High School
7 20 Committee for Mass Education in Race Relations
7 21 Cullen, Countee
7 22 Death
7 23 Dowling, Eddie
7 24 Du Bois, W.E.B.
7 25 Duse, Eleanora/European Tour
7 26 Ellington, Duke
7 27 Europe, 1949
7 28 Evanti (Lillian Evans-Tibbs)
7 29 Fables
7 30 Family
7 31 Father Divine
7 32 Grimke, Angelina
7 33 Harriott, Frank
7 34 Harten, T.S.
7 35 Holiday, Billie
7 36 Howard University
7 37 Hughes, Langston
7 38 Hyman, Earle
7 39 Ischia/Richard Selig
7 40 Johnson, Georgia Douglas
7 41 Keith
7 42 Keith, Kermit
7 43 Library of Congress reading
7 44 Locke, Alain
7 45 McKay, Claude
7 46 McNeil, Claudia/Raisin in the Sun
8 1 Notes and outline
8 2 Phelps, Myrtle
8 3 Reid, Ann Cooke
8 4 Robeson, Paul
8 5 Robinson, Edwin Arlington
8 6 Robinson, Helen
8 7 Sebree, Charles
8 8 Shakespeare 400
8 9 Shaw, Esther Pouple
8 10 Silvera, Frank
8 11 Simms, Hilda
8 12 Whipper, Leigh
8 13 Wilkerson, Frederick
8 14 Wright, Richard
Notes and notebooks
8 15 1930s [1 of 3]
8 16 1930s [2 of 3]
8 17 1930s [3 of 3]
8 18 "12 Gates to the City"
8 19 "Black Vaudville", 1968
8 20 The Seagull by Anton Chekhov Anton Chekhov
8 21 Teaching
8 22 Tennessee Williams
8 23 Unidentified
Novels
8 24 April is the Cruelest Month, book proposal
8 25 Come Home Early Child, notes
8 26 Come Home Early Child, partial draft
8 27 Flesh to Violets, [unpublished] notes, 1978
Poems
8 28 1930s
8 29 "After the Lynching", 1938
8 30 "Allegory of Black Seafaring Mothers"
8 31 "Am I Kidding?"
8 32 "Asking"
8 33 "At Now"
8 34 "Ballad of Badmen", 1968
8 35 "Bleeding Lamb"
8 36 "Bazzar"
8 37 "Cages"
8 38 "Carl Van Vechten"
8 39 "Cast our Kits"
8 40 "A Certain Glory" [Christmas poem], 1974
8 41 "Christmas Day 1977 at Swanstowe Bermuda"
8 42 Christmas poems, 1940, 1943, 1979
8 43 "Chronicles from Outer Space"
8 44 "The Clown"
8 45 Compilation notes
8 46 "Crazy Woman to the Virgin"
8 47 "Crystal us the Future"
8 48 "Did Bessie Smith Sing This?"
8 49 "Dogwood and Charred Rope"
8 50 "Easter, 1941"
8 51 "The Enemy"
8 52 "The Failure"
8 53 "For Billie Holiday"
8 54 "For Charles Hughes"
8 55 "For the Inaugural of a Leader"
8 56 "For Kermit"
8 57 "For Kermit Keith's Grandfather"
8 58 "For Margaret Banner"
8 59 "For Marvin", September 1964
8 60 "For Pearl Fisher"
8 61 "For Peggy"
8 62 "For Peter Yu"
8 63 "For Robert Berkelman"
9 1 "For Ted Shine"
9 2 "For W. H. Auden"
9 3 "Funeral Sermon for a Poet"
9 4 "Grand Central Station"
9 5 "Harlem Book of the Dead"
9 6 "Hymn Written after Jeremiah Preach to me in a Dream"
9 7 "I am Tierrieas"
9 8 "I was a Champ"
9 9 "Ira Aldridge"
9 10 "It is Goodnight"
9 11 "Job's Lament"
9 12 "Judas" circa 1952
9 13 "Karia (As She was Baptised)"
9 14 "King Lear and the Fool", 1939
9 15 "Lady-O"
9 16 "Let's Say"
9 17 "Lonesome Blues"
9 18 "Lullaby for the children of Montgomery, Alabama"
9 19 "The Lynching", 1938
9 20 "The Morning Duke Ellington Praised the Lord and Seven Little Black Davids Tapped Danced Unto" [1 of 2]
9 21 "The Morning Duke Ellington Praised the Lord and Seven Little Black Davids Tap-Danced Unto" [2 of 2]
9 22 "The Morning Duke Ellington Praised the Lord and Six Little Black Davids Tap-Danced Unto"
9 23 "My Love is Tender of the Holy Crosses"
9 24 "Not the Dead"
9 25 "Note Left on a Door"
9 26 "Oh I am Pleased"
9 27 "On My Birthday", 1982
9 28 "On My Twenty-Ninth Birthday", 1943
9 29 "One Day"
9 30 "Open Letter" [Christmas Poem], 1945
9 31 "Pearl Primus"
9 32 "Please"
9 33 "Prayer for Christmas" 1951
9 34 "Prisoners"
9 35 "Rite in Spring"
9 36 "The Reason"
9 37 "Round Song for Eleanor Traylor on her December Birthdays", December 1966
9 38 "Round Song", December 1982
9 39 "Sailors on Leave"
9 40 "Seashell"
9 41 "Sickle Pears"
9 42 "Six O' Clock"
9 43 "Sleep"
9 44 "Song Cycle for Jessye Norman"
9 45 "Song for Myself", 1977
9 46 "Song Written in a Boat", 1958
9 47 "Spiritual"
9 48 "A Star"
9 49 "The Star"
9 50 "Stay Where You Are-Chile"
9 51 "Summing up by the Defendant", 1960
9 52 "Tell Rachel, He Whispered"
9 53 "Three Colors for You"
9 54 "Time Between"
9 55 "Trains Passing in the Night"
9 56 "Trilogy for Earle Hyman", 1960
9 57 "A Trip", 1980
9 58 "The Un-cool People"
9 59 Unidentified fragments
10 1 "Vertigo"
10 2 "War Games"
10 3 "We Share the Greed"
10 4 "Well Hey Now"
10 5 "What the News Had"
10 6 "The White Stone", 1934
10 7 "Who is Secret"
10 8 "Who Speaks?" 1961
10 9 "The Widows Talk"
10 10 "The Winning Daylight"
10 11 "Yardbird's Skull (For Charlie Parker)", 1968
10 12 "You October Birds"
Poems, collected
10 13 "Cageo", 1953
10 14 "Illusions in the City Streets", notes and drafts
10 15 "Illusions in the City Streets," proposal
10 16 "The Lyric Year", 1930s
10 17 Signifying Darkness, table of contents
10 18 "The Sky is Falling", 1978
Scripts
10 19 Always Go Up, notes
10 20 Amistad, 1939 [photocopy]
10 21 April Is the Cruelest Month, notes and fragments, 1940
10 22 The Author Meets the Critics, April 2, 1947
10 23 The Ballad of Dorrie Miller, 1943
10 24 Bayou Legend, notes
10 25 Bayou Legend, draft [1]
10 26 Bayou Legend, draft [2]
10 27 Bayou Legend, draft fragments [1 of 2]
11 1 Bayou Legend, draft fragments [2 of 2]
11 2 Bayou Legend, typescript [1]
11 3 Bayou Legend, typescript [2]
11 4 Bayou Legend, typescript [3]
11 5 Climbing to the Soil, 1943
11 6 The Confession Stone, notes and fragments
11 7 The Divine Comedy, notes and outlines
11 8 The Divine Comedy, fragments
11 9 The Divine Comedy, 2nd version, unperformed
12 1 The Divine Comedy, typescript [1]
12 2 The Divine Comedy, typescript [2]
12 3 The Divine Comedy, typescript, 1937
12 4 The Divine Comedy, typescript, 1976
12 5 The Divine Comedy, musical score
12 6 Doomsday Tale
12 7 The Dream Awake
12 8 Everybody Join Hands, 1943
12 9 Freedom the Banner
12 10 Garden of Time (alternate title: The Golden Fleece), 1939 The Golden Fleece), 1939
12 11 Gargoyles in Florida
13 1 Graffiti the Great, 1977
13 2 Graffiti the Great, 1982
26 1 The Harlem Renaissance, partial draft of commentary, undated
13 3 Including Laughter, 1937
13 4 Jane, 1933
13 5 Journey to Paradise
13 6 Justice Blindfolded, notes and fragments
13 7 Lord Nelson, Naval Hero, 1943
13 8 Mama Warm Me in Hell
13 9 The Medea of Euripides
13 10 The Midwest Mobilizes: From Parkway Community House, 1943
13 11 The Morning Duke Ellington Praised the Lord and Seven Little Black Davids Tap-Danced Unto, 1976 [1 of 2]
13 12 The Morning Duke Ellington Praised the Lord and Seven Little Black Davids Tap-Danced Unto, 1976 [2 of 2]
13 13 New World A-Comin', 1944
13 14 Old Folks at Home, notes and fragments, 1940
14 1 Owen's Song, 1974 [photocopy]
14 2 Potsy Played Poison
14 3 Robert Smalls, 1942 [photocopy]
14 4 School Yard Play, notes and fragments
14 5 School Yard Play, typescript
14 6 The Shining Town, 1937
14 7 The Shining Town, 1987
14 8 The Sound of Soul, notes
14 9 The Sound of Soul, drafts
14 10 The Sound of Soul, 1976
14 11 The Sound of Soul, 1979
14 12 The Southern Star, 1937
14 13 St. Louis Woman, 1943
14 14 They Seek a City, 1945
15 1 The Third Fourth of July
15 2 Til' Victory Is Won, notes and fragments
15 3 Til' Victory Is Won, 1967
15 4 Til' Victory Is Won [retitled A Season of Summer], circa post-1967 A Season of Summer], circa post-1967
15 5 Where You From?
15 6 With This Darkness
15 7 Untitled plays
Short stories
15 8 "Clarion"
15 9 "The Giraffe and the Birds"
15 10 "The Graveyard and the Circus"
15 11 "The Gypsies Who Go by Night through the Tall Grass"
15 12 "The Kisses were the Color of his Hands"
15 13 "The Other Self", 1935
15 14 Unidentified story about death of Dodson's father
Speeches
15 15 Audeko recognition award presentation to Garland Lee Thompson, November 15, 1976
15 16 Valedictory address to Thomas Jefferson High School, 1932
Student writing
15 17 Review of Abe Lincoln in Illinois, 1936
15 18 "The Supernatural in the Modern Theatre", 1937
Writings by others
15 19 Anderson, Michael Sean, poetry, 1982
26 2 Croxton, Darryl, "Ode to Owen Dodson," 1975
15 20 Darmstadter, Karl, "Selichah" Darmstadter, Karl,
15 21 Dixon-Stowell, Brenda, biography of Owen Dodson in Dictionary of Literary Biography: Afro-American Writers, Volume I, November 3, 1981 Dixon-Stowell, Brenda, biography of Owen Dodson in
15 22 Dodson, Kenneth, essay on "Dauber" by John Masefield Dodson, Kenneth, essay on John Masefield
15 23 Eberhart, Richard, introduction of Owen Dodson at Dartmouth College, January 10, 1968
15 24 Hatch, James V., draft of article on Owen Dodson for World Authors, 1986 Hatch, James V., draft of article on Owen Dodson for
15 25 Hauptman, Gerhardt, Hannah Lee's Ascension, translated by Regine Kurlander, 1949 Hauptman, Gerhardt, Regine Kurlander, 1949
15 26 Jackson, Patricia, "In Dedication to Owen Dodson", February 17, 1978 Jackson, Patricia,
15 27 Kelch, Beverly Barnes, A Commentary on Life in Poem and Song, May 21, 1975 Kelch, Beverly Barnes,
15 28 Miller, Francis, poetry, 1977
16 1 Owens, Delee, Paul Graham, Denise Collins, Lone L. Hodges, Jr., and Chico Chambers, Seeds of Nature, 1982 Owens, Delee, Paul Graham, Denise Collins, Lone L. Hodges, Jr., and Chico Chambers,
16 2 Raphling, Sam, Without Rhyme or Reason, musical score Raphling, Sam,
16 3 Redding, J. Saunders, "Equality and Excellence: The Eternal Dilemma", keynote speech at conference on "The Image of the Negro in American Films," August 17, 1969 Redding, J. Saunders,
16 4 Salaam, Yusef Abdul, unidentified article on Owen Dodson
16 5 Smith, Theodore, poetry
16 6 Thompson, H. Q., song lyrics, 1981
16 7 Unidentified author, "La Crosse arrives in Guadeloupe"
16 8 Unidentified interview of Dodson
16 9 Wallen, John L., "The Constructive Use of Feelings" Wallen, John L.,
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