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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Al M. Lee Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1957-1994
Creator: Lee, Alfred M.
Extent: 1.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0851
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Graduate of the Writers' Workshop, novelist and poet. This collection contains manuscripts, clippings, a photograph, and correspondence. Correspondents include Hubert Humphrey, Gene McCarthy, John F. Kennedy, Mark Strand, Cleanth Brooks, and Donald Justice among others.

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition:

Preferred Citation: Al M. Lee 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

Alfred Matthew Lee was born in 1938 in Louisville, Kentucky and educated at Male High School, were he won a scholarship to Yale. After graduating from Yale in 1960, he attended the Writer's Workshop in Iowa City. In 1963 -- 1964 he served in the Peace Corps in Ghana. After living in New York for a time, he accepted a teaching position in the English and Humanities Department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1977.
 
Lee published a book of poetry, Time, and edited Major Young Poets.
 
He died on November 26, 1994, at the age of fifty-six.

This collection consists of clippings, correspondence, and manuscripts. Correspondents include Mark Strand, Hubert Humphrey, John F. Kennedy, Donald Justice, Cleath Brooks, and Gene McCarthy, among others. The correspondence with writers includes in-depth discussions of literary matters, including the letter-writers' assessment of their own work and that of others, making it an important resource for scholars of modern poetry.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: CLIPPINGS AND DOCUMENTS
Series 2: LETTERS
Series 3: NOVELS BY AL LEE
Series 4: PROSE MANUSCRIPTS
Series 5: POEMS BY AL LEE

  • Series 1: CLIPPINGS AND DOCUMENTS
  • Box 1:
  • Louisville Courier-Journal story reporting Yale scholarship
  • Transfer for Armed Forces Physical Examination or Induction - 1966
  • Order to report for Armed Forces Physical Examination - 1966
  • The University of Iowa Placement Office Confidential Information - 1966
  • Notice re: Selective Service Examination - 1966
  • Selective Service Statement of Acceptability - 1967
  • Peace Corps release of information - 1967
  • Selective Service notice - 1968
  • Acknowledgement for gift to The League School - 1970
  • Notice of Eligibility for appointment as a Foreign Service Information Officer - 1973
  • Obituaries, New York Times and Maplewood, NJ Star-Ledger - 1994
  • Ted Perry funeral statement
    Fax
  • "The End," Poem by Mark Strand, photocopy to be read at service
  • Series 2: LETTERS
  • Box 1:
  • Aeschiman, M.D. (1)
  • Ahmadiya, T.I. (1)
  • Bradford, Gigi (1)
  • Bell, Marvin (19)
  • Benedikt, Micahel (1)
  • Brooks, Cleanth (1)
  • Brown, William (38; 2 postcards)
  • CIA/FBI (5)
  • Carter, Jared (Jeb) (12 including 1 to Karen Lee with drafts of a poem, "Reprise for Al Lee" and photocopy of a letter to Joseph Parisi, Poetry magazine; postcard; small volume of poems)
  • Cassill, R. Verlin (1)
  • Chapin, Victor (John Schaeffer Associates) (23)
  • Cooper, John Sherman, Senator from Kentucky, TLS, February 26 - 1965
  • Cumminghan, Dave (2)
  • Dacey, Philip. Editor of Crazy Horse (1)
  • Ecco Press (2 royalty notices, one with cover letter from Daniel Halpern)
  • Engle, Paul (1)
  • Fallon, Tom (1 letter; 1 signed prospectus)
  • Hittelman, Georgyn (1)
  • Hommon, Bill (2)
  • Humphrey, Hubert H., Vice-President, TLS, February 6 - 1965
    Inviting Lee to Peace Corps conference
  • Johnson, Denis (1)
  • Box 2:
  • Justice, Donald (78; 12 postcards)
  • Karpas, Andrea (1 postcard)
  • Kennedy, John F., President, TLS. July 18 - 1963
    Acknowledging Lee's service in the Peace Corps
  • Knott, Bill (2)
  • Lee, C. P. (Al's father) (1)
  • Leggett, John (1)
  • McCarthy, Eugene J., TLS - 1968
  • Merker, Kim (5 letters, 2 postcards)
  • Merwin, Bill. [W.S.?] (1)
  • Mvusi. (Winston) (1)
  • New, Melvyn, Chair, English, University of Florida (3)
  • O'Reilly, Kevin (1)
  • Parsons, Peter (1)
  • Perry, Tod (2)
  • Petrie, George W. (1)
  • RCPC
  • Semonin, Paul (2)
  • Simic, Charles (14)
  • Spanidou, Irini (3)
  • Strand, Mark (51 letters; 2 postcards)
  • Box 3:
  • Sucher, Laurie (1 postcard)
  • Talbutt, John (3)
  • Tate, James (4)
  • Thompson, Hunter S. (1)
  • Townsend, Henry (2)
  • Truitt, Mark (1)
  • Wild, Florie-Ann (1)
  • Williams, Charles K. (5)
  • Wilson, Kirke (1 letter, 1 postcard)
  • Workman, Sam (2)
  • Wright, Charles P. (Chuck) (21 letters; 4 postcards)
  • Young, David (8 letters; 1 postcard)
  • Series 3: NOVELS BY AL LEE
  • Box 4:
  • An Amiable American
    Carbon typescript, 314 pages
  • Righteousness
    Typescript, 145 pages "how a working class boy from Bayonne finds adventure and fortune in the smuggler's trade, how he achieves civic responsibility in service to the FBI"
  • Series 4: PROSE MANUSCRIPTS
  • Sub-Series: Harmon, William
  • Box 4:
  • Civic Choruses
    Typescript, 50 pages
  • Sub-Series: Lee, Al
  • Box 4:
  • "Although everybody knows how the story ends"
    Three short Ms drafts removed from spiral-bound notebook
  • Ms fragments on pages removed from spiral-bound notebook
  • "Documentary Poetry and William Brown"
    Four drafts; typescripts of Brown poems; rejection letter from Ramparts signed by Sol Stern
  • "How I Joined the Peace Corps and Found Mao"
    Edited draft
  • "The Paradox of Volta Place"
    Carbon typescript
  • "Three Days Late"
    Ms draft removed from spiral-bound notebook
  • "Who Wrote Arthur Bremer's Diary?"
    Edited draft; finished carbon; carbons of letters transmitting the article to The Nation and Harper's
  • John Kennedy's Dangerous Game
    A book on the assassination. Printout of last draft, 267 pages
  • Undated outline of the book; long letter to Victor [Chapin]; letter to Marc Truitt; letter to Larry Bensky; draft of an article, "The Contemporaneity of Lee Harvey Oswald" - 1982?
  • Box 5:
  • Drafts on three 3.5" disks; one Zip disk; one CD (notes may be encrypted)
  • Draft printouts
  • Research notes and articles; correspondence with E. Martin Schotz
  • Series 5: POEMS BY AL LEE
  • Box 5:
  • Ms draft poems on pages removed from spiral-bound notebook; with course outline for programs at The Academy of American Poets
  • First Poems, 1960-1970
    Ribbon and carbon typescripts that collect drafts under three sub-titles: "Poems for the Year 2020 and Other Poems;" "Sex Lives of the Poets;" and "Experimental Poetry"
  • "Poems for the Year 2020 and Other Poems"
    Three versions, mixed ribbon and carbon typescript

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.


Browse:
English & American Literature
Writers Archive at Iowa
Novelists, Story Writers, & Poets