John Ciardi Collection
Manuscript Collection 372
SUBGROUP III: Manuscripts and Letters
1) THE REASON FOR THE PELICAN – Manuscript
Dates from Nov. 1951, when Ciardi nearly published the book that did get
published eight years later, in 1959. Eighteen poems in a brown folder;
Signed on folder cover with his address on title page: 84 South Street,
Medford, Massachusetts, which dates the ms to pre-1953
2) CIARDI LETTER TO ALFRED KREYMBORG (Nov. 28, 1949)
Typed Letter Signed. Ciardi is writing to Kreymborg about the poetry series
he is editing for Twayne.
4) CIARDI LETTER TO ED CIFELLI (Dec. 24, 1973)
Dear Ed: Thanks for handsomeness. May you have 397 good days in 1974 with
a 15% cost of living increase each of the next hundred years thereafter.
5) “ON OCASSION OF HIS 65TH BIRTHDAY PARTY” (Feb. 21, 1972)
Undated but probably written for the 65thbirthday party of W. H. Auden
given by Random House, and intended as well as a farewell because Auden
had accepted an invitation to live at Christ
Church, Oxford. Not signed. On half of a steno pad sheet.
This in praise of a poet named Aud'n
His poems are not maudl'n but mod'n.
The first things he wrote
Struck a socialist note
But increasingly now he lets God'n.
Gift from Judith or Myra Ciardi.
6) CLOSE-OUT (n.d.)
By John Ciardi. After 7 days of no-caloric food and with only a skim-world
left to rest on, there came utter lightlessness bursting, a change of
vowels, and then nothing, infinitely, to say. John Ciardi
8) MIND YOU KNOW (Jan. 28, 1969)
Handwritten children's poem from YOU READ TO ME AND I READ TO YOU. Signed,
inscribed, and dated. For Mr. Bean and all his happy scholars- John Ciardi.
9) CIARDI LETTER TO ED CIFELLI (June 13, 1973)
Dear Ed- A pleasure. I'd be honored to have you do the book and will write
Sylvia Bowman. Best in all -John.
This followed my expressed interest in writing the Twayne volume on him.
10) CIARDI LETTER TO CIFELLI (June 28, 1973)
28 June 1973. Handwritten on WORLD stationery with paper clip stain upper
left and a small smudge near top. Also his home address stamp. Subject:
about the Frost interview Cifelli and Ciardi did and about the possibility
of Cifelli's expressed interest in writing a book about Ciardi 13 years
before he died.
11) CIARDI LETTER TO CIFELLI (Oct. 18, 1973).
With envelope. Dictated and typed on SR/W stationery and signed "John."
Home address stamp upper right. Why he could not appear for CEA in April
1974 in Philadelphia.
12) CIARDI LETTER TO CIFELLI (July 12, 1974)
Handwritten note on SRIW stationery with home address stamp upper right.
Subject: to say that Ciardi had written a letter on Cifelli's behalf for
the International Exchange Council (for a year in Italy). Signed "Yours
13) CIFELLI LETTER TO CIARDI (June 6, 1973) TLS
14) CIFELLI LETTER TO CIARDI (photocopy) (June 26, 1973) TLS
15) CIFELLI LETTER TO CIARDI (Oct. 10, 1973) TL
16) CIFELLI LETTER TO CIARDI (June 21, 1974) (photocopy of TLS)
17) CORRESPONDENCE AND PAGE PROOFS FOR “CIARDI ON THE FROST: AN
18) CIARDI LETTER AND PROOF TO INGA PRATT (1958-59)
Proof page for "At Cocktails" with a dedication line printed
in the poem "For Fletcher and Inga" [Pratt] from ANTIOCH REVIEW,
not dated but 1958-59. Signed and inscribed: For Inga, the mistress mercy
with love John Ciardi. Also a typed letter to Inga accompanying the poem,
undated. Signed John. On SR letterhead.
19) CIARDI LETTER AND POEM TO INGA PRATT (Sept. 23, 1958)
Typed poem, "The One Dull Thing You Did Was to Die, Fletcher,"
signed and inscribed: for Inga, with love John Ciardi. Plus a typed letter
signed accompanying the poem. On SR letterhead.
20) “CHRISTMAS GREETINGS TO THE AMERICAN DREAM” (Dec. 23,
Christmas Poem. To Inga Pratt and her second husband "Doc" Clark.
21) CIARDI LETTER TO INGA PRATT (Dec. 31, 1957)
Friendly end-of-year letter lamenting that they hadn't seen enough of
each other and how busy he'd been.
22) AN ULCER, GENTLEMEN, IS AN UNWRITTEN POEM (pamphlet)
23) THE BURIAL OF THE LAST ELDER (LIVES OF X) (n.d.)
One typed page. Signed at bottom.
24) CIARDI LETTER TO MISS BARBARA TURNER (Feb. 10, 1961)
ALS. On SATURDAY REVIEW note paper with the name John Ciardi Poetry Editor
at top left. Also the hand- addressed envelope.
Dear Miss Turner-;-
I think I'll have to pass on the cookbook idea. A good one-but not a natural
for me. Sincerely[,]
25) CIARDI LETTER TO LEWIS TURGO (Feb. 28, 1961) ALS
26) CIARDI LETTER TO MRS. EVANS (Aug. 26, 1982)
A note accompanying two signed bookplates (not with the letter).
27) CIARDI LETTER TO MR ANDREWS (April 11, 1975)
Autograph Note Signed.
Dear Mr. Andrews-
Yours with good wishes.
28) CIARDI LETTER TO ED MAYO (March 5, 1953)
ALS to Ed [Mayo, the poet]. On Twayne Publishers stationery, imprinted
with Ciardi's home address: 84 South Street, Medford 55, Mass. Letter
tells Mayo that the administration at the University of Kansas City has
changed, and that the UKC Review, which Ciardi was poetry editor of, was
uncertain of continuing: "I now assume 1have no further connection
with it, even nominal." Letter refers also to "Cid" [Corman].
Contains an interesting
P.S.: "Sold my Inferno to Mentor Pocket Books. Out early next year."
29) CIARDI LETTER TO MRS BEHRINGER (Sept. 11, 1974)
ALS. On Saturday Review stationery. Fine letter that explains the origins
of perhaps Ciardi's least known book, done in collaboration with Laurence
Perrine and James Reid, a programmed poetry textbook called Poetry: A
Closer Look. In short, it was the work of Reid, who took the idea "from
an article 1had published in SR." He then spends two paragraphs defending
the book, despite the "mechanical" method: "There are 300+
sound questions asked in that book and in a meticulously reasoned order.
How many teachers to you know who could ask their questions that well[?]
1 couldn't offhand."
30) CIARDI LETTER TO PROFESSOR HENRY LEFFERT (three letters)
- Dated June 5, 1952. On Twayne Publishers letterhead and in envelope
printed with his home address, 84 South St., Medford 55, Mass. Seven-line
note agreeing to speak "on any Monday that suits your convenience."
- Autograph Letter Signed. To Professor Henry Leffert. Dated October 26,
1955. No envelope. On Rutgers letterhead with his home address stamped
on top, 31 Graham Ave, Metuchen. Seven-line note agreeing to "gather
some thoughts on the matter of poetry and translation.”
- Typed Letter Signed to Professor Henry Leffert. Dated October 30, 1958.
On Saturday Review letterhead and with matching envelope (small size).
Home address on the letterhead, 31 Graham Ave., Metuchen, NJ. Twelve-line
note agreeing to speak "some Monday in the second semester."
31) LETTER TO LEWIS TURC0 (May 16 (?) 1979)
Autographed Letter Signed. On one of Ciardi's cards: "Some of the
best people everywhere are waiting for less than happens every time you
smile." Friendly note about book binding and his own Franklin Library
edition of the Divine Comedy.
32) "AUDIT AT KEY WEST"
Approx.9x14. Broadside/Poster. Signed by Ciardi.
33) “OF THE KINGDOM” Typed poem, signed.
34) CIFELLI LETTER TO SYLVIA BOWMAN (June 6, 1973) TLS
35) ALBERTA HINES LETTER TO ED CIFELLI (June 12, 1973) TLS
36) “THE INFERNO” Advertising Brochure (1954).
37) CIARDI AND “TREAT IT GENTLE”
38) JOHN CIARDI BY AMERICO TIRONE
39) HAYFORD ON CIARDI
40) JOHN CIARDI: RPOSE PIECES, ETC
41) POEMS ABOUT JOHN
43) DEDICATION OF THE JOHN CIARDI COLLECTION (SUNYSB- Nov. 19, 2003)