General Sam Houston’s Stamp of Approval

SH stamp 1964 SH stamp postcard087

On January 10th, 1964 a first day issue commemorative stamp was unveiled in Houston, Texas, bearing the portrait of the man the city was named after, General Sam Houston.

Tom Lea, a Texas artist, designed the 5-cent stamp of Sam Houston, the first President of the Republic of Texas, in a heroic pose based upon a lithograph that was done in 1848 by F. Davignon.

A well-known Texas artist, Mr. Lea was also a war correspondent and artist for Life Magazine during WWII. His WWII works hang in the war art collection at the Pentagon.

This program from the Sam Houston Commemorative Stamp First Day of Issue Ceremony, January 10, 1964 is housed along with a sheet of first day issue General Sam Houston commemorative stamps in the Sam Houston Box Collection in the Sam Houston State University Archives.

Gary Snyder

 

Gary Snyder ("Gary Snyder." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.)

Gary Snyder (“Gary Snyder.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.)

Gary Snyder was born in San Francisco on May 8, 1930. His parents were Harold and Lois Hennessy Snyder. His family, impoverished by the Great Depression, moved to Washington when he was two years old. He grew up tending the family farm. At the age of seven he had an accident and was laid up for four months. During those months he was brought a lot of books from the Seattle Public Library. By the time he had recovered from his accident, he had become a voracious reader and his life was changed for the better. When he was twelve his parents got divorced and he, his sister Anthea, and his mother moved to Portland, Oregon. He got one of his first jobs as a copy room boy at The Oregonian where his mother worked. In 1947 Snyder went to study at Reed College on a scholarship. While attending college Snyder meet and befriended Lew Welch and Philip Whalen, who would become Beat poets along with Snyder.
Gary Snyder began the first of four marriages in 1950, when he married Allison Gass. The couple was married for seven months before separating. In 1952 they divorced. In 1951 Snyder graduated from Reed College. He spent the summer after he graduated working as a timber scaler at Warm Springs, the experience gleaned from these summers formed the basis for his earliest published poems. He went to Indiana University for a semester for a graduate fellowship where he studied anthropology. After a semester he left to, as he said: “sink or swim as a poet.” He returned to San Francisco where he lived with Philip Whalen. They both began the study of Zen Buddhism during this time. Snyder also worked as a fire lookout for two summers in the Northern Cascades in Washington. In 1953, while living with Whalen, Snyder enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley to study Asian culture and languages. In June of 1958 Gary Snyder met poet Joanne Kyger, and she became his girlfriend. On Febuary 28, 1960 the two got married as marriage was the only way they could live together and be associated with the First Zen Institute of America. In the early 1960’s the pair travelled to India with Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky. Snyder and Kyger divorced in 1965. On August 6, 1967 Snyder married Masa Uehara. In 1968 they moved to California with their infant son Kai. A year later Snyder and Uehara’s second son, Gen, was born.
In 1975 Snyder won the Pulitzer Prize for his collection Turtle Island. In 1986 Snyder became a professor in the writing program at the University of California, Davis. He now holds the title of Professor Emeritus. In 1989 after twenty-two years Snyder and Uehara divorced. In 1991 Snyder married Carole Lynn Koda. In addition to working with Snyder, Koda also performed independent work as a naturalist. Koda died in 2006.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, a fellow Beat poet and friend, referred to Snyder as “the Thoreau of the Beat Generation” because of his rural background. Most beat poets where more focused on the city life style, In contrast much of Snyder’s poetry was based in nature. Snyder’s writing style often reflected his Asian interest. SHSU Special Collection has two sets of work by Gary Snyder. They can be found in the Wild Dog collection. The first, titled Journeys, describes the journey through life to death. It can be found as either a manuscript version or the final version. The final version of Journeys can be found in Wild Dog issue 17 page 1. Within the Wild dog collection, issue 17 can be found in Series 2, Subseries4, Box 9, Folder 2. The second work is called Hitch Haiku. It is a set of eight-teen haikus. There are two versions of this as well, but they are almost identical. Hitch Haiku is in Wild Dog 21 page 6. In the collection Wild Dog 21 can be found in Series 2, Subseries 4, Box 9, Folder 5.

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To view and read Gary Snyder’s poetry and The Wild Dog Papers visit Newton Gresham Library’s Special Collections on the fourth floor of the Library.

Denise Levertov

Denise Levertov ("Poet Denise Levertov." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.)

Denise Levertov (“Poet Denise Levertov.” Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.)

Part of our continuing series on the Wild Dog Collection by SHSU Special Collections intern Kara Stafford

Denise Levertov is considered an American author, although she was born in Ilford, Essex, England. Her father was a Hasidic Jew who converted to Christianity and her mother was Welsh. Her mother loved to read and would read to her daughter often. Denise Levertov has claimed to have known at the age of five that she would become an author. At seventeen she had one of her poems published for the first time. Between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one she wrote her first book, The Double Image. In 1946, when Levertov was about 23, that book got published. It would be the first of many publications by Denise Levertov.

During World War II Levertov worked as a civilian nurse, and was stationed in London throughout the blitz. In 1947 she married Mitchell Goodman, an American writer. They moved to New York City in 1948 and in 1949 their son Nikolai was born. It was through her husband that she became associated with the Black Mountain School. In 1956 not only did Denise Levertov become a Naturalized U.S citizen, but she also wrote a book Here and Now which made her an important voice in the American avant-garde. By 1959, when she published Eyes at the back of our heads, she was seen as one of the great American poets and her British roots were all but forgotten. In 1961 and again from 1963-1965 she was the poetry editor for The Nation magazine. Then, in 1975-1978 she became the poetry editor for Mother Jones Magazine.

During her lifetime Denise Levertov published over twenty volumes of poetry. In 1975 she won the Lenora Marshall Poetry Prize. She was a professor at Stanford University from 1982-1993. In 1997, at the age of seventy-five, she died of complications of lymphoma.
Denise Levertov’s work embraced a wide variety of genres and themes. She wrote nature lyrics, love poems, protest poetry and even poetry inspired by her faith. Her poetry was read by many. Newton Gresham Library’s SHSU Special Collections has a poem by her. The poem is called Threshold and it can be found in the Wild Dog Collection, Issue 4 on page 8. Issue 4 of the Wild Dog is located in Series 2, Subseries 4, Box 8, and Folder 4 of the Collection.

Wild Dog 4 Cover

To view and read the poem by Denies Levertov and The Wild Dog Papers visit Newton Gresham Library’s Special Collections On the fourth floor of the Library.

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Allen Ginsberg

Allan Ginsberg. ( "Allen Ginsberg." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web.   21 Apr. 2015.)

Allan Ginsberg. ( “Allen Ginsberg.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.)

Part of our continuing series on the Wild Dog Collection by SHSU Special Collections intern Kara Stafford

Allen Ginsberg, born June 3, 1926 to Louis and Naomi Ginsberg, was a famous and popular Beat poet. Interestingly Ginsberg’s father was a writer and his mother was a member of the communist party. His mother also had an undiagnosed mental illness which led to her death via lobotomy. Ginsberg’s career as a Beat writer had its start his freshman year at Columbia University where he befriended future Beat authors Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and John Clellon Holmes. Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Burroughs would become pivotal figures in the beat movement. Ginsberg was a voice in many political movements such as: free speech, Vietnam War protests, Gay rights, he supported drug use, and brought attention to Bangladeshi war victims. His political activism led to many arrests and even a stint in a mental institution for hiding stolen goods for a friend. He dated many men, one of which was William Burroughs. Ginsberg’s most notable and lengthy romantic relationship was with Peter Orlovsky. Their relationship lasted over 30 years, and even if they were on breaks they remained friends.
Ginsberg’s first major piece of Beat poetry is called Howl. He used his study in Eastern religions in his poetry through mantras, rhythm, and chants used for spiritual effects. His poems Who Will Take Over the Universe, which talks about protest and his view of government, and a poem titled simply From Journals-1963 , which is a funny piece about an alcoholic telling his wife how he wants his funeral to go, can be found in the SHSU Special Collections Wild Dog Collection. Who Will Take over the Universe can be found in, Series 2, Subseries 4, Box 8, Folder 6 page 31, for the published clean copy. A second, annotated copy can be found in Series 2, Subseries 1, Box 5, and Folder 5. From Journals-1963 can be found in Series 2, Subseries 4, Box 9, and Folder 4 on page 14. Like the first poem a manuscript version of the second can be found in Series 2, Subseries 1, Box 5, Folder 18.

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Ginsberg continued to produce great literary works throughout his life, win awards, and perform readings up until the last months of his life. He died on April 5, 1997 surrounded by friends and loved ones.

To view and read poems by Allen Ginsberg and learn more about The Wild Dog Papers, visit Newton Gresham Library’s Special Collections on the fourth floor of the Library.

http://library.shsu.edu/about/departments/specialcollections/

View a detailed finding aid of this collection at Sam Houston State University’s Archon page and see just what materials are in the collection.

https://archon.shsu.edu/?p=collections/findingaid&id=34&q=

Drew Wagnon

Cover of Issue 6 which contains the poem Ariba. It can be located in series 2, subseries 2, box 6, folder 10.

Cover of Issue 6 which contains the poem Ariba. It can be located in series 2, subseries 2, box 6, folder 10.

Part of our continuing series on the Wild Dog Collection by SHSU Special Collections intern Kara Stafford

Hugh Andrew Wagnon Jr., better known as simply Drew Wagnon was not only a beat poet but also one of the editors of the Wild Dog Papers a beat poetry magazine. In the Wild Dog collection, housed in the Thomason Room, you can find poetry by Drew Wagnon as well as read correspondence between Wagon and other beat poets, which offers a bit of interesting insight into Drew Wagnon the poet and Drew Wagnon the man. Many of the correspondence between Wagnon and other poets published in The Wild Dog are friendly and not very business oriented, which makes them very interesting. You can find Wagnon’s poems in issues 6,13,16,18. Wagons poems include Ariba, Poem, Alto, and Later. Ariba can be found in series 2, subseries 4, box 8, folder 6. Poem can be found in series 2, subseries 4, box 8, folder 13. Wagnon’s poem Alto describes a trip to Mexico and can be found in series 2, subseries 4, box 9, folder 1. Wagon’s last poem in The Wild Dog collection can be found in series 2, subseries 4, box 9, folder 3, it contains a very interesting view on the world.

Wagnon was married 3 times and outlived his last wife. Terry, Wagnon’s first wife helped him edit several editions of The Wild Dog Papers. In the correspondents section, found in series 1, subseries 1 and 2, boxes 1-3, you can read letters sent to her and Drew Wagnon from other beat authors.

Along with editing and writing poetry, Wagnon also had a variety of odd jobs, throughout his life, which included; electrician, housing inspector, high rise steel worker, printing press operator, and postal worker.
Drew Wagnon died on November, 4 2011, but he lives on through his amazing beat poetry.

To view and read Drew Wagnons poetry and The Wild Dog Papers visit Newton Gresham Library’s Special Collections in room 400 of the Library.

http://library.shsu.edu/about/departments/specialcollections/

View a detailed finding aid of this collection at Sam Houston State University’s Archon page and see just what materials are in the collection.

https://archon.shsu.edu/?p=collections/findingaid&id=34&q=

The Wild Dog Magazine: A Brief Overview

artwork for briefoverview.For the months of June and July, Out of the Box will be highlighting the Wild Dog Manuscript collection. Each article, written by SHSU Special Collection intern Kara Stafford, will highlight material from the collection and the authors who contributed to the literary magazine.  Enjoy!

The Wild Dog magazine is a literary magazine featuring Beat poetry. Beat poetry is mostly free verse poetry, it is often surrealistic. It was influenced by the cadences of Jazz as well as Native American and Zen spirituality. The Beat movement started in the 1950’s on the east coast; New York mainly. The core of the wild dog movement was Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. It later moved to the West Coast and San Francisco was the hub of Beat poetry by the 1960’s. Many Beat writers struggled to be published at first, because they did what they were told not too or were seen as “weird.” Many Beat poets got their start writing for The Wild Dog, a campus literary magazine started in Pocatello, ID. Beat poetry sees uncensored, authentic human thoughts as art and this is what made the movement and poetry so interesting.

The picture shown above can be found in The Wild Dog Collection, Series 2, Subseries 2, Box 6, Folder 20

To view and read The Wild Dog Collection visit Newton Gresham Library’s Special Collections.

http://library.shsu.edu/about/departments/specialcollections/

View a detailed finding aid of this collection at Sam Houston State University’s Archon page and see just what materials are in the collection.

https://archon.shsu.edu/?p=collections/findingaid&id=34&q=

USO Clubs, Paris, Texas 1944

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USOCLUB 1944 Mason

 

The USO (United Service Organizations) Clubs in WWII were a major component of keeping morale up for those in the military, along with their dependents. From java hour, to wives craft club, to a class called Ball and Chain for military couples, to basketball at Paris Jr. College there was something to keep everyone occupied.

This 1944 USO Club program bulletin is from Paris, Texas. The bulletin is part of the Melvin Mason Collection. Dr. Melvin Mason taught English here at Sam Houston State from 1962-1991. In he was drafted into the Army from Roxton, Texas and sent to Chicago for training. WWII ended before he was sent overseas.

Global Stability

 

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Global Stability by Gerald R. Ford was the tiniest book in the library for a number of years till someone decide to actually measure the recent acquisitions. While no longer the tiniest, this tiny treatise from our former president remains a wonderful oddity in our collection.

Who knew the answers to world peace only need a couple of pages in tiny print?