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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the James Hearst Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1950-1987
Creator: Hearst, James (1900-1983)
Extent: .50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0623
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: James Hearst, partially paralyzed at the age of nineteen by diving into a shallow pond, nevertheless lived an active life as a farmer and went on to become Iowa's distinguished farmer poet. This collection includes published poems, drafts of poems, correspondence, interviews, and a photograph.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 1.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries by James Hearst.

Preferred Citation: James Hearst Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

James Schell Hearst was born in Black Hawk County near Cedar Falls, Iowa in 1900. Hearst cultivated his interest in writing early in life, in eighth grade rewriting prose stories into verse. At the age of nineteen, Hearst became a paraplegic after a diving accident in the Cedar River. For much of his life Hearst, along with his brother, Charles, was an active farmer on the Hearst family farm, Maplehearst, near Cedar Falls. Hearst wanted to use his writing to tell the truth about farming and about life as it is lived on a farm, (The North American Review, Fall 1974). He began his professional writing career in his twenties writing articles on farm matters. In 1941 Hearst was invited to teach creative writing at the Iowa State Teachers College (the University of Northern Iowa) by Dr. H. W. Reninger, Head of the English Department. Upon his retirement Hearst was a Distinguished Professor of English and in 1975 he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature from UNI. Hearst was also a poet-in-residence for many summers at Aspen, Colorado.
 
At the age of 43 Hearst married Carmelita Calderwood, a nurse he had met in Iowa City, Iowa during his physical therapy. Their marriage ended prematurely as Carmelita succumbed to cancer seven years later. In 1953 Hearst was married again to Meryl Norton, a friend of Carmelita's with whom Hearst corresponded frequently after Carmelita's death. Meryl devoted much of her time to Hearst: harvesting corn on his farm, typing his manuscripts and helping edit his autobiography, My Shadow Below Me (1981) . The two invited many notable writers into their Black Hawk County home including Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg. Hearst authored thirteen volumes of poetry and two autobiographical works, publishing more than 600 poems in his lifetime. Known often as the farmer-poet, Hearst died in 1983.

The papers of James Hearst include poems, correspondence, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, publicity materials, and other miscellaneous materials.
The Hearst Family Papers are held at the University of Northern Iowa Library in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
 
Hearst corresponded with Paul Engle MsC514
 
See the Carroll Coleman Papers for correspondence with Hearst
 
Lanter, Wayne. Threshing Time: A Tribute to James Hearst. SPECIAL COLLECTIONS Iowa Authors Collection

Browse by Series:
Series 1: MISCELLANEOUS
Series 2: CORRESPONDENCE
Series 3: PUBLICATIONS
Series 4: GENERAL
Series 5: POEMS
Series 6: POEMS PUBLISHED
Series 7: POEMS ROUGH DRAFTS
Series 8: DISSERTATION

  • Series 1: MISCELLANEOUS
  • Box 1:
  • Breachy, by James Hearst. Today, October - 1965
  • A Conversation With James Hearst, by Bill Witt. The Iowan, Spring - 1979
  • Series 2: CORRESPONDENCE
  • Box 1:
  • 1971-1982
  • J. Hearst to Milton Monroe Reigelman, June 17 - 1971
  • W. Leslie Garnett, January 3 - 1978
  • Frank Paluka, January 3 - 1978
  • Don H. Stefanson, May 5, September 12 - 1978
  • Nancy Langanwater, September 29 - 1981
  • Clarence Andrews, May 21 - 1982
  • Steve Scaffer, October 13 - 1982
  • Ferner Nuhn, Sunday the 29th
  • 1968-1972
  • J. Hearst to Rochelle Holt Stefanson DuBois
  • October 6 1968
  • April 24 1969
  • May 6 1969
  • May 16 1969
  • June 14 1969
  • June 18 1969
  • September 6 1969
  • September 17 1969
  • October 5 1969
  • November 16 1969
    With enclosed poem "Hard Words"
  • Two holiday cards, one undated and one dated December 17
  • January 7 1970
  • February 9 1970
  • April 29 1970
  • May 15 1970
  • May 25 1970
  • June 14 1970
  • July 10 1970
  • July 29 1970
  • September 27 1970
  • November 7 1970
  • November 22 1970
  • January 17 1971
  • April 23 1972
  • April 28 1972
  • May 25 1972
  • June 11 1972
  • July 14 1972
  • July 28 1972?
  • August 24 1972?
  • September 1 1972
  • September 7 1972
  • September 27 1972
  • October 8 1972
  • October 13 1972
  • October 13 1972
  • November 18 1972
  • November 24 1972
  • Elizabeth [?] to Rochelle Holt, December 12 1972
  • L.M.H. Lusk to Rochelle Holt, December 27 1972
  • 1973-1975
  • James Hearst to Rochelle Holt (cont.)
  • January 4 1973
  • January 14 1973
  • January 14 1973 From Meryl Norton
  • January 28 1973
  • February 11 1973
  • April 1 1973
  • R.E.W. Adams to J. Hearst, April 2 1973 Mailed to Rochelle Holt
  • L.M.H. Lusk to Rochelle Holt, April 7 1973?
  • April 9 1973
  • April 15 1973
  • Undated 1973
  • May 2 1973
  • June 1 1973
  • June 10 1973
  • July 6 1973
  • August 5 1973
  • August 30 1973
  • September 23 1973
  • November 11 1973
  • December 1 1973
  • January 27 1974
  • February 3 1974
  • St. Valentine's Day card, undated
  • March 1 1974
  • April 14 1974
  • May 10 1974
  • June 5 1974
    With enclosed poem "For God's Sake"
  • June 25 1974
  • July 21 1974
  • August 11 or 12 1974
    Misdated as August 18
  • September 5 1974
  • September 29 1974
  • January 22 1975
  • March 23 1975
  • May 6 1975
    With enclosed newspaper clipping
  • May 18 1975
  • June 1 1975
  • September 3 1975
  • September 21 1975
  • October 12 1975
  • December 15 1975
    With poem "Each To Its Own Purpose"
  • December 31 1975
  • 1963-1983
  • James Hearst to Rochelle Holt (cont.)
  • January 15 1976
    With poem "Two Men"
  • January 22 1976
  • February 6 1976
  • February 27 1976
    With enclosed letter to J. Hearst from William J. Parker
  • March 28 1976
  • May 2 1976
    With enclosed poems "Muskrats in the Cornfield," "Born Again," and "Instead of Honey"
  • July 6 1976
  • August 25 1976
  • September 24 1976
  • October 12 1976
  • October 27 1976
  • December 10 1976
    With poem "Veteran's Day"
  • February 22 1977
    With enclosed poems "The Maid Who Served an Ogre" and "Still Heard But Faintly"
  • March 3 1977
  • September 1 1977
    With poems "Words That Smell Bad" and "The Promise Seems True"
  • November 10 1977
    With poem "The Enemy"
  • December 26 1977
  • February 20 1978
  • April 9 1978
  • April 23 1978
    With poem "No News is Good News"
  • May 8 1978
    With poem "No News is Good News"
  • July 24 1978
    With poem "Bereaved"
  • August 27 1978
    With poem "Change in Appetites"
  • August 29 1978
    With enclosed writing by Rochelle Holt
  • November 1 1978
  • April 5 1979
    With poem "The Insatiable Demand"
  • April 23 1979
    With poem "The Insatiable Demand"
  • June 20 1979
  • August 27 1979
    With poem "Outsider"
  • December 1 1979-
    Christmas card with poem "Still Heard But Faintly"
  • January 11 1980
  • May 10 1980
    With poem "The Backward Flow"
  • December 17 1980
  • March 15 1981
    With poems "House Broken" and "Espaliered on a Wailing Wall"
  • January 25 1982
  • March 7 1982
  • July 21 1982
  • January 17 1983
  • Two holiday cards, undated
  • Correspondence from editors to J. Hearst
    67 items
  • Miscellaneous envelope, State College of Iowa, April 25 - 1963
  • Series 3: PUBLICATIONS
  • Box 1:
  • Enid Harlow Harper's Bazaar, 30 June 1970
  • Bruce Bennet Brown Twigs Magazine, 19 January 1971
  • Richard S. Alm English Journal, 20 January 1971
  • Radcliffe Squires Michigan Quarterly Review, 9 February 1971
  • H.C. Dillow Wascana Review, 15 March 1971
  • A. Lagams ? Quartet Magazine, 28 March 1971
  • Phil Dacey Crazy Horse, 20 November 1971
  • John Moffit publication unknown, 12 December 1971
  • Jim Maare ? publication unknown, 4 January 1972
  • Michael Heffernan Midwest Quarterly, 3 February 1972
  • Howard McKinley Corning Oregonian Verse to Meryl Norton, Good Friday 1972
  • Julia Sciscento Ladies' Home Journal, 12 June 1972
  • Jean Burden Yankee, 6 August 1972
  • John America, 28 October 1972
  • Charlotte Kohler The Virginia Quarterly Review, 10 July 1974
  • Leo Romero Puerto Del Sol, 10 January 1975
  • Phil Dacey Crazy Horse, 4 March 1975
  • Jane Ellen Glasser The Ghent Quarterly, 7 March 1975
  • Jane Ellen Glasser The Ghent Quarterly, 11 April 1075
  • John The South Dakota Review, 9 September 1976
  • William Howard Wascana Review, 29 December 1976
  • Tom Marshall Canadian Forum, 2 January 1977
  • Jerry Nemanic The Great Lakes Review, 18 January 1977
  • Gar Smith The Berkeley Barb, 9 April 1977
  • Louise T. Reynolds The New Renaissance, 2 May 1977
  • Cheryl Lang for William Howard Wascana Review, 25 May 1977
  • John Milton South Dakota Review ?, 22 June 1977
  • Danny The Small Farm, 21 July 1977
  • Linda Getze NRTA Journal, 17 August 1977
  • Jack Garlington Western Humanities Review, 23 August 1977
  • Ron Slate The Chowder Review, 27 August 1977
  • Staige D. Blackford The Virginia Quarterly Review, 21 August 1977
  • Jean Burden Yankee, 31 August 1977
  • Ben Nyberg Kansas Quarterly, 4 October 1977
  • Margaret L. Hartley Southwest Review, 19 October 1977
  • Lisa McAuliffe The American Scholar, 25 October 1977
  • Patti Petrosky Rapport Magazine, 29 October 1977
  • Ernest J. Oswald Heirs Magazine, 29 October 1977
  • Leona Gom Event, 5 November 1977
  • Editors The Colorado Quarterly, 22 November 1977
  • David E. Hostetler Purpose Magazine, 23 November 1977
  • Phil Dacey Crazy Horse, 4 December no year
  • Rich Hughes Freshwater Biological Research Foundation, 28 February no year
  • Diane Kruchkow University of New Hampshire English Department, 20 June no year
  • Dorothy Dalton Poetry View, undated
  • Rosellen Brown Ploughshares, undated
  • DeWitt Henry Ploughshares, undated
  • David Lenson Panache, undated
  • Mark Vinz Dacotah Territory, undated
  • Dana Neugent The Westerly Review, undated
  • Michael McFee ? Carolina Quarterly, undated
  • Marvin Malone The Wormwood Review, undated
  • Dana F. Neugent The Westerly Review, undated
  • Tom ? Oldknow Mainstreeter, undated
  • Ernest Oswald Heirs Magazine, undated
  • David Schuermer ? Amanuensis, undated
  • Ron Slate The Chowder Review, undated
  • Ron Slate The Chowder Review, undated
  • Ron Slate The Chowder Review, undated
  • David Young Field, undated
  • Editors The Christian Science Monitor, undated
  • Editors In Wyoming, undated
  • Editor University of Windsor Review, undated
  • Editors The Colorado Quarterly, undated
  • Pat Gray publication unknown, undated
  • Mike publication unknown, undated
  • Excerpt from "The Dark Boy"
  • James Hearst: Prairie Poet. The Iowan. Fall 1963
  • James Hearst: Voice of the Earth We Stand On, by Rochelle Holt. Sunday Clothes. Summer 1973, vol. 2, no. 2
  • Series 4: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Hearst Center for the Arts materials
  • Interview with Rochelle Holt Stefanson - 1973
  • Interview questions
  • Answers and interview notes
  • Rough draft of interview introduction
  • Questions and answers
  • Iowa Humanities Board program. "James Hearst: Farmer and Poet"
  • Limited View galley copy. The Prairie Press 1962
  • Manuscript Collections: The Hearst Papers, by Gerald L. Peterson. Annals of Iowa, Fall 1982
  • Miscellaneous
  • Newspaper clippings, some undated - 1950-1987
  • Photograph
  • Series 5: POEMS
  • Box 1:
  • Poems with letter of explanation from J. Hearst
  • Barns in November
  • When a Neighbor Dies with corrections by Ruth Suckow
  • Untitled
  • Now I Have Taken to the Fields
  • On the Credit Side
  • Burning a Dead Heifer
    2 drafts
  • All Anyone Could Say
    2 drafts
  • Three Old Horses
    3 drafts
  • For a Neighbor Woman
    2 drafts
  • Weather Wise
    2 drafts
  • Shake in Vain
  • The Orchard Man
  • A Home of Her Own
  • The Landowner
  • Threat of Weather
  • After Corn Husking
  • Series 6: POEMS PUBLISHED
  • Box 1:
  • Calendar's Mischief, America, September - 1977
  • Shaped by Names, The Canadian Forum, October - 1977
  • The Cure, The Sandlapper, November - 1977
  • Born Each Morning, The Colorado Quarterly - 1977
  • It Never Went Away, The New River Review - 1977
  • The Enemy, The Westerly Review - 1977
  • Ute Cemetery, The Westerly Review - 1977
  • Series 7: POEMS ROUGH DRAFTS
  • Box 1:
  • The morning paper carried a story...
  • Iowa dreams of cloud strewn blossoms...
  • Day with a Bad Taste
  • Need for a Quick Step
  • The committee debated... on verso of "Need for a Quick Step"
  • Just when the grass begins...
  • It waits on the hill...
  • She's liberated, you know... "The Dainty Lily Bell"
  • There's music in my heart... on verso of "She's liberated, you know..."
  • Thank goodness it doesn't bug you often...
  • Modern Design
  • Granted the meeting... "Beloved"
  • On the road to the farm...
  • The Cure
  • Live with Love
  • Chilled and speared by the weather... "Book of the Mind"
  • Lust stinks in my nostrils... "Ape in My Heart"
  • The Road and "Country Road"
  • You better grow the greenest grass... "Enjoy Your Release?"
  • Every morning the paper boy...
  • Interview with Myself
  • Survival
  • The horrendous voice of headlines... "Pray for Belief"
  • Women Shearing Men
  • This country needs live dragons... "Dragon Lesson"
  • Proved by Trial, by James Hearst - 1977
  • Publicity materials
  • Roots of Poetry, The North American Review, Fall - 1974
    Feature including poems, reflections, and a bibliography, 3 copies.
  • Salute to Iowa, by James Hearst. Iowa 2000: Land, Water, Energy, May - 1978
  • A Tribute to James Hearst. Program and publicity materials, November - 1981
  • Series 8: DISSERTATION
  • Box 2:
  • Allen, Nelson Thomas. Notes for dissertation. Index cards with OP original publication? and book information for poems. Arranged alphabetically

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.