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Subseries 6.4
Prose, poetry, and lyrics, 1960-2008
Boxes 134 - 137

Scope and Content Note

This subseries consists of writings by Geoffrey Holder dating from 1960 to 2008, including newspaper columns and essays for magazines, short stories, book-length works, poems, and songs. Related correspondence, editorial notes, notes by the artist, and drawings accompany some items. Writings by other authors that relate to Holder or were submitted to Holder for review are also present.

A significant number of newspaper columns and magazine essays dating from the 1960s evidence Holder’s early writing career. His editorial pieces include: "The Authentic Caribbean" (circa 1964), "The Awful Afro Trend" (SHOW: The Magazine of the Performing Arts, New York, New York, 1962), "Barefoot in Lagos" (SHOW: The Magazine of the Arts, New York, New York, 1962), "The Body Does Not Lie" (Cosmopolitan Magazine, New York, New York, 1962), "A Man of Many Talents" (New York Journal-American, 1960), "The Twist? It's Not a Dance" (The New York Times, 1961), and several untitled essays. "Rewards," Holder’s essay on Martha Graham for (SHOW: The Magazine of the Arts, New York, New York, 1962-1963) is represented in multiple drafts, with editorial proofs, notes, and related correspondence.

The subseries also contains several unpublished short stories and fairy tales. They include: "Aurora's Golden Aura: A Tale of a Sleeping Beauty," "Cinderella in New Orleans," "Cindy and the Brown Paper Bag," "Hansel & Gretel Jackson and the House of Fruitcake," "Mr. Orpheus Black," "The Odyssey of Anna in Her Red Pumps," "The Pied Piper: Felix the Singing Detective," and "Sister Alice in Wonderland." Several of these were compiled in Geoffrey Holder’s Tall Tales (circa 2008), an unpublished collection of Holder’s stories. Some of the stories exist in multiple versions and are also represented in subseries 6.2, where they include or have been adapted as screenplays, synopses, and musicals.

Drafts of several book-length projects authored by Holder, with related editorial notes and correspondence, are also present. Manuscripts by Holder include: Choucun (undated), an autobiographical text titled Geoffrey Holder Biography (circa 1984), and Geoffrey Holder's Caribbean Cookbook (1973). Several drafts of Jennifer Dunning’s book Geoffrey Holder: A Life in Theater, Dance, and Art (2001) are also present.

Arrangement Note

Arranged in alphabetical order by title.

Processing Note

Items in this subseries are authored by Geoffrey Holder unless otherwise stated. Any original labels included by the donor have been transcribed in file level scope and content notes. Unidentified writings are detailed in file level scope and content notes.

Box Folder Content
137 1 "Anna and Her Red Pumps," hell, with printed reference images, undated
137 2 "Annie's Mother left her Father," lyrics, undated
134 1 "Aurora's Golden Aura: A Tale of a Sleeping Beauty," short story, 1996
134 2 "The Authentic Caribbean," essay, circa 1964
134 3 "The Awful Afro Trend," essay for SHOW: The Magazine of the Performing Arts (New York, New York), circa 1962
134 4 "Barefoot in Lagos: An American Cultural Platoon Finds Nigerian Tastes, Manners, and Critical Skills Far from Underdeveloped," essay for SHOW: The Magazine of the Arts (New York, New York), circa 1962
134 5 "The Body Does Not Lie," essay for Cosmopolitan Magazine (New York, New York), with correspondence, 1962 January-May
134 6 Caribbean folk tales by Auntie Kay [Kathleen Warner], with correspondence, illustration, and envelope, 1969 April 15
134 7 The Caribbee Caper by Peter Davis, with correspondence, 1970 November 23
134 8 Choucun, manuscript, undated [1]

Originally arranged in a folder labeled "Choucounne" and "Black Gods, Green Islands."

134 9 Choucun, manuscript, undated [2]
134 10 "Cinderella in New Orleans," story drafts and reference material, undated
137 3 "Cindy" and "Cinderella in New Orleans," drafts and reference material, 1994 August and undated
134 11 "Cindy and the Brown Paper Bag," short story, 1996 and 2002
134 12 "Cindy and the Brown Paper Bag," short story, revised text, 2008
134 13 "Dreaming of a Black Christmas," short story, undated

Possibly written by Geoffrey Holder.

137 4 Dufty, William, lyrics and correspondence, 1997 August
134 14 Fairy tales, synopses and stories, undated [1]

Includes: "The Ugly Duckling," "The Garden of Eden," "The Bell," "She Was No Good," "The Naughty Boy," "Thumbelina," "The Emperor's New Clothes," "Simple Simon," "The Nightingale," "The Angel," "The Butterfly," "The Happy Family," "The Legend of the Wicked Prince," "Heartbreak," "The Princess and the Pea," "The Cripple," "The Story of a Mother," "The Old House," "The Gardener and the Squire," "The Wild Swans." "The Bell" includes post-it note with the following list written in script: "Stories left to be done: The Cripple, The Gardener, The Garden of Eden, The Old House, Story of A Mother, Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina."

137 5 Fairy tales, synopses and stories, undated [2]

Includes: "The Butterfly," "The Angel," "Simple Simon," "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Nightingale."

134 15 Geoffrey Holder Biography, circa 1984

Includes note: "Ron Original Re Type."

134 16 Geoffrey Holder Biography, annotated draft with comments, circa 1984
134 17 Geoffrey Holder Biography, comments and partial manuscript, circa 1984
134 18 Geoffrey Holder Biography, draft, circa 1984 [1]
134 19 Geoffrey Holder Biography, draft, circa 1984 [2]
134 20 Geoffrey Holder Biography, draft, circa 1984 [3]
134 21 Geoffrey Holder Biography, draft, circa 1984 [4]
134 22 Geoffrey Holder Biography, notes, 1984 March and undated
134 23 Geoffrey Holder Biography, sections with notes and envelope, circa 1984
137 6 Geoffrey Holder: A Life in Theater, Dance, and Art (2001) by Jennifer Dunning, annotated draft, undated
134 24 Geoffrey Holder: A Life in Theater, Dance, and Art (2001) by Jennifer Dunning, chapters 1, 2, and 3, undated
135 1 Geoffrey Holder: A Life in Theater, Dance, and Art (2001) by Jennifer Dunning, chapters 4, 5, and 6, undated
135 2 Geoffrey Holder: A Life in Theater, Dance, and Art (2001) by Jennifer Dunning, draft, postcard, and envelopes, undated
135 3 Geoffrey Holder Memoirs, first draft, 1984 March 8 [1]

Note: "Ron Richardson original" written on envelope. Draft of Geoffrey Holder Biography.

135 4 Geoffrey Holder Memoirs, first draft, 1984 March 8 [2]

Draft of Geoffrey Holder Biography.

135 5 Geoffrey Holder's Caribbean Cookbook, 1973 [1]
135 6 Geoffrey Holder's Caribbean Cookbook, 1973 [2]
137 7 Geoffrey Holder's Caribbean Cookbook, 1973 [3]
135 7 Geoffrey Holder's Caribbean Cookbook, editing notes, circa 1973
135 8 Geoffrey Holder's Caribbean Cookbook, manuscript, circa 1973

Alternate title Caribbean Cuisine By Geoffrey Holder. Binder cover photocopied by archivist.

135 9 Geoffrey Holder's Tall Tales, manuscript, circa 2008 [1]

Includes: Title page, "Jubilee" (2002), "Mr. Orpheus Black" (undated), with annotations, "Sister Alice In Wonderland, Rhyme" (2002), "Sister Alice in Wonderland" (1998), "The Badness of Mr. Best" (undated), "Cindy and the Brown Paper Bag" (2002), "Hansel and Gretel Jackson and the House of Fruitcake" (2002).

135 10 Geoffrey Holder's Tall Tales, manuscript, circa 2008 [2]

Includes: Title page, "Mr. Orpheus Black" (undated), "Jubilee" (2002), "The Odyssey of Anna In Her Scarlet Pumps" (2002), "The Golden Aura of Aurora" (2002), "Cindy and the Brown Paper Bag" (2002), "Sister Alice In Wonderland, Rhyme" (2002), "Sister Alice in Wonderland" (1998), "Hansel and Gretel Jackson and the House of Fruitcake" (2002), "The Badness of Mr. Best" undated; with post-it notes.

135 11 Geoffrey Holder's Tall Tales, stories and notes, circa 2002

Includes: "Mr. Orpheus Black," (undated), "Jubilee" (2002), "The Odyssey of Anna In Her Scarlet Pumps" (2002), "Cindy and the Brown Paper Bag" (2002), "Sister Alice In Wonderland, Rhyme" (2002), "Sister Alice in Wonderland" (1998), "The Badness of Mr. Best" (undated); binder cover photocopied by archivist.

135 12 "Get Her-The Girl with the Long Name," Carmen de Lavallade biography by Geoffrey Holder, undated
135 13 "Hansel & Gretel Jackson and the House of Fruitcake," short story, circa 1990s
135 14 "A History of Waxey Gordon and the United States," book proposal by William Dufty, 1961
135 15 Holder, Geoffrey as painter, anecdote, unidentified author, 1963 September
135 16 Holder, Geoffrey, autobiographical writings about painting, undated
135 17 Holder, Geoffrey, biography, undated

Possibly written by William Dufty.

135 18 Holder, Geoffrey on acting, undated
135 19 "Hooray for Geoffrey Holder!," school paper by Ruth Van Laningham, 1981 November 2
135 20 House of Flowers, photo caption, undated

Includes note: "first picture in book caption."

135 21 "Maladie d'Amour," song/poem, undated
135 22 "A Man of Many Talents," newspaper column, New York Journal-American, with correspondence and Holder biographies, 1960 August 31 and undated
137 8 "Mouge" and "Ti Paul," handwritten songs/poems with drawings, undated
135 23 "Mr. Orpheus Black," revised story, 2008
135 24 "Mr. Orpheus Black," treatment and story, undated
135 25 "The Odyssey of Anna in Her Red Pumps," prologue, undated
135 26 "The Odyssey of Anna in Her Red Pumps," songs, poems, artist notes, and drawings, undated
135 27 "The Odyssey of Anna In Her Scarlet Pumps," with French translation, 1997 August 4
135 28 "The Pied Piper: Felix the Singing Detective," short story, 2000
135 29 "Red Shoes-Scarlet Pumps," "Mr. Orpheus Black," and "Cindy and the Brown Paper Bag," revised texts, 2008

The order reflects the original arrangement.

135 30 "The Renaissance Experience, circa 1972 with Geoffrey Holder," unidentified author, undated
135 31 "Rewards," Martha Graham essay for SHOW: The Magazine of the Arts (New York, New York), correspondence with notes and captions, 1962-1963

Correspondence with SHOW: The Magazine of the Arts (New York, New York) editors George Wiswell and Helen Lawrensen and editors from The Queen and Saturday Review.

137 9 "Rewards," Martha Graham essay for SHOW: The Magazine of the Arts (New York, New York), editorial proofs, 1962
135 32 "Rewards," Martha Graham essay for SHOW: The Magazine of the Arts (New York, New York), original draft, circa 1963
135 33 "Rewards," Martha Graham essay for SHOW: The Magazine of the Arts (New York, New York), partial draft, circa 1963
135 34 "Rewards," Martha Graham essay for SHOW: The Magazine of the Arts (New York, New York), revised draft, circa 1963
135 35 "Sam's White Day," short story by Judith Young Mallin, undated
135 36 "Sister Alice in Wonderland," "Mr. Orpheus Black," "The Scarlet Pumps," and "Cindy and the Brown Paper Bag," revised texts, 2008

Stories kept in their original arrangement.

135 37 "Sister Alice in Wonderland," "Mr. Orpheus Black," "The Scarlet Pumps," and "Cindy and the Brown Paper Bag," revised texts with title pages, 2008

Stories kept in their original arrangement.

135 38 "Sister Alice in Wonderland," "Red Shoes-Scarlet Pumps," "Mr. Orpheus Black," and "Cindy and the Brown Paper Bag," revised texts, 2008 [1]

Stories kept in their original arrangement.

135 39 "Sister Alice in Wonderland," "Red Shoes-Scarlet Pumps," "Mr. Orpheus Black," and "Cindy and the Brown Paper Bag," revised texts, 2008 [2]

Stories kept in their original arrangement.

135 40 "Sister Alice in Wonderland," revised text, 2008
136 1 "The Social Evolution of the Steelbands," unidentified author, undated
136 2 "Some Good-Some Not So Good: Tales by and Tales Retold by Leo de Lavallade," with correspondence, 1976 April and 1974 February 17
137 10 "Song 4-What Is This World Coming Too," lyrics, 1997 July 3
136 3 "The Story of Geoffrey," unidentified author, undated
136 4 "The Twist? It's Not a Dance," handwritten essay draft, circa 1961
136 5 Untitled essay, undated [1]

Subjects: Katherine Dunham, African-American dance.

136 6 Untitled essay, undated [2]

Subjects: tourists, Caribbean, food, voodoo.

136 7 Untitled poem, undated [1]

Subjects: Adam, Lilith.

136 8 Untitled poem, undated [2]
136 9 Untitled poem/song, undated
136 10 Untitled story, unidentified author, with correspondence, undated
136 11 Untitled synopsis, undated

With character named Slim.

136 12 Untitled writing, undated

Possibly written by William Dufty.

137 11 Untitled writing in verse, 2002 January

Possibly written by Geoffrey Holder. The subject is Ella Sheppard, original director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers at Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee).

136 13 Untitled writing in verse, with research and "Songs My Mother Taught Me" poem, 2002 January-February and undated

The subject is Ella Sheppard, original director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers at Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee). Research materials focus on Shappard and the abolishment of slavery in the United States.

136 14 "The World of Geoffrey Holder: Borders Dissolved," exhibition description by John Nunley, undated
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