McGrath, Thomas Papers (S2728)

  • 1977-1982

    Biographical Sketch

    Nationally known poet, Thomas McGrath grew up in Sheldon, North Dakota. He studied at the University of North Dakota, worked for a time in New York, and earned his Masters degree in English from the University of Louisiana. In 1939, he won the Rhodes Scholarship. During WWII, he served in the U.S. Army. After the war, he continued his education in England for one year. While McGrath was teaching in Los Angeles in the 1950s, he was called before the House of Un-American Activities Committee. McGrath refused to answer questions and was therefore blacklisted from popular film or television employment. He was able to find work writing for documentary films. Thomas McGrath had taught at colleges in Maine, California, and New York before coming to North Dakota State University in 1962 and Moorhead State University in 1969. In 1966, he was awarded the Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Scholarship and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1967. He and his wife Eugenia founded the poetry magazine, Crazy Horse. McGrath was involved in writing a couple of dozen movies, which included drams, training and industrial films, and the narrations for Omnimax Theatre presentations such as Genesis, To Fly, and Living Panel. McGrath's books include Clouds, The Beautiful Things, Passages Toward Dark, A Sound of One Hand, Voices from Beyond the Wall, First Manifesto, To Walk a Crooked Mile; Longshot-O'Leary's Garland of Practical Poesie, and A Witness to the Times.

    Collection Description

    This collection consists of correspondence, poems, scripts, and interviews with McGrath.

    Inventory

    Box 1

    • The American Poetry Review.  (Cover Picture of McGrath).  1974
    • Autobiographical Note, On My Work.  1974
    • The Beautiful Things (Children’s Book). 1960 
    • Clouds (Children’s Book). 1959
    • "Conquering Horse,” Script by Thomas McGrath and Michael Cimino. 1969
    • Correspondence - Beech, Jack and Charolette.  1978-82
      • Copper Canyon Press, Sam Hamill and Tree Swenson.  1978-82
      • Kirilovich,  Shapk Valery.  1979-81
      • Miscellaneous.  1976-82
      • Pawlak, Mark. 1981
      • Publication of Poems. undated; 1975-76
      • Whitey, Jim - “The Clay Dancer.” 1974
       
    • “Home Again”
    • Interviews - “O’Learly’s Last Wish,” Published in Cultured Correspondence. 1979
      • Thomas McGrath, undated; 1972-73
       
    • “Letters to an Imaginary Friend,” Part I and II, and Notes (Includes a special edition of the Shining Times)
    • “Letters to Ernest Cardenal,” by Charles Upton.  1981
    • Manuscript (untitled), Correspondence, Notation, Poems.  1978
      • Part One: Wartime
        • “Crash Report”
        • “Encounter”
        • “Here Is a Skeleton”
        • “Homecoming”
        • “How It All Looked After the War”
        • “Night in Wartime”
        • “The Odor of Blood”
        • “Remembering That Island”
        • “Sailing North on a Troop Ship”
        • “The Spectators”
        • “War in the Aleutians”
         
      • Part Two: Memories of the Depression
        • “Cal, the Last of the Real Wobs”
        • “The Depression”
        • “Depression in Baton Rouge”
        • “Fords Leaving”
        • “Gate to the Dream"
        • “Going to College”
        • “In Baton Rouge”
        • “Stealing from the President of The University of North Dakota”
        • “Strike Days”           
        • “Studying the Mel Physicals in Baton Rouge"
         
      • Part Three: Something Permanently Good
        • “Chaos”
        • “Epitaph”
        • “Fanfare for a Procession of Heroes”
        • “Hot, Great-Hearted Women”
        • “In Los Angeles”
        • “Legend”
        • “Like the Watchmen in Agamemnon”
        • “Love in a Bus”
        • “Ode for the American Dead in Korea”
        • “One Who Has Looked at the Dark”
        • “Pueblo! Pueblo!"
        • “Such Simple Love”
        • “The Tourists”
         
       
    • Miscellaneous
    • The Movie at the End of the World.  Proposed Budget, Correspondence, and Script. 1979, 1981
    • New York State Museum Narration
    • Pablo Neruda Twenty-Three Poems.  1979
    • Permission Requests to Reprint for New Book. 1974-75
    • Poems - Excluded from Waiting for the Angel
      • “If Birds Can Fly”
      • Miscellaneous (Folder 27)
        • “Alas!"
        • “Amelia’s Waltz”
        • “Anniversary”
        • “Any Day of the Week: A Sunday Text"
        • “A Proposition”
        • “Calling"
        • “The Communist Poet in Hell”
        • “Faucets of Darkness”
        • “Giuffri’s Nightmare”
        • “The Good Old Days”
        • “How It Feels to Be Saved"
        • “Inheritances”
        • “In the High Country”
        • “In the Pentagon Lot”
        • “Just as the Other Car Hit Us”
        • “Late Arrival”
        • “My Lai – 1637”
        • “Near Gettysburg"
        • “Night Work”
        • “Peace! Land! Peyote!”
        • “Preterition Again"
        • “The Progress of Philosophy"
        • “Revisionists Poem”
        • “Revolutionary Frescoes”
        • “Remembering Issa”
        • “Salute”
        • “Somewhere Ahead”
        • “The Trouble with Literary Criticism”
        • “The Unfairness of It All”
        • “The Use of Books”
        • Untitled Poems
         
      • Miscellaneous (Folder 28)
        • “At the Edge of the Glacier"
        • “At the Motel De Dieu: Rediscovery after Absence”
        • “Another Day”
        • “Chorus from a Play (And So It Will Happen)”
        • “Complaint”
        • “Departure from an Imperialist War”
        • “Doper’s Song at Little Ah Sid’s"
        • “Fable"
        • “Fallen Chestnut Blossoms”
        • “Figures in an Allegorical Landscape”
        • “First Mystery”
        • “Flight"
        • “Ghost Talk”
        • “Go Ask the Dead"
        • “Higher Criticism”
        • “History”
        • “Homage to Neruda #1”
        • “The Homilies of Bedrock Jones”
        • “Let Us Now Praise”
        • “L’Hareng Hot”
        • “Love Belongs to the North”
        • “Manifesto”
        • “Miss Penelope Burgess, Balling the Jack”
        • “One for the Road”
        • “Repetitive Crusoe"
        • “Revolutionary Heroes—The Ascension”
        • “Revolutionary Song”
        • “A Sirvente for Augusto Trujillo Figueroa”
        • “A Sixth Heresy of Purson Chance”
        • “Song (That Face We Valued)”
        • “This Year”
        • “Uses of the Lost Poets”
        • “Winter Roads”
         
      • Miscellaneous (Folder 29)
        • "Caribbean Cruise"
        • “Ceremony"
        • “Farther South"
        • “For My Aunt, Julia Shea”
        • “Hard Traveling"
        • “Inheritances”
        • “Keeping Track"
        • “Late Arrival”
        • “Living on Faith"
        • “News of Your Death”
        • “Once Upon a Very Young Time”
        • “Point of View”
        • “Proposal”
        • “A Sound of One Hand”
        • “The World; The Lovers; Falling Stars"
        • Untitled Poems
        • Notes
         
      • New book, Part I and II
      • Selected for New Angel (Folder 33)
        • “Again...This Sea”
        • “Another Hitch Hiker Says”
        • “As You Saw It, Comrade Honeyman”
        • “Callings”
        • “Deaths in the Family: Turtles, Birds, Cats, and Gerbils”
        • “The Editor-Poets’ Anthology”
        • “Fairy Story”
        • “Faults of Darkness”
        • “The Fence Around the H-bomb Plant”
        • “For a Book By Charles Humbolt”
        • “For a Critic Who Tries to Write Poems”
        • “For David Johnson Gallatin Cumberland”
        • “For David Martinson at Duluth”
        • “For Jack Beeching”
        • “For My Aunt, Julia Shea”
        • “For Naomi Replansky”
        • “For Tomasito, Leaving” 
        • “Gulliver’s’ Travels”
        • “The Horse Nations in Their Leather Towns”
        • “How It Feels to Be Saved”
        • “In March”
        • “Journeys”
        • “Keynote Speech for a Convention of Arsonists”
        • “Legislators of Darkness” 
        • “L’Haring Hot”
        • “Living on Faith”
        • “Mystery”
        • “Next Door to the Poorhouse”
        • “Night Song”
        • “On Moving Into a New House”
        • “The Paper Man” 
        • Poem   
        • “The Preterion of Aquarius”
        • “Prophecy”
        • “Proposal”
        • “Revisionist Poems: Machado”
        • “A Short History of Imperialist War”
        • “Signature”
        • “The Skull of a Horse”
        • “A Sociology of Instincts”
        • “Somewhere Ahead”
        • “Spanish Fandango”
        • “Thanksgiving, 1979”
        • “Thru Functions of Irony”  
        • “Tomasito Song”
        • “Tomasitos’ Down-and-Up Mantra”
        • “Traveling Song”
        • “Travels of an American in Search of God”
        • “Triumphal March”
        • “A Vision of Mechanical Movement”
        • “The Way I Live Now”
        • “Where We’re At”
        • “Why the Blind Must Refuse Guides”
        • “The World; The Lovers; Falling Stars”
        • “XI: 20:16”
         
       
    • Praises II (early drafts)
    • Vision of the City, Part I and II 
    • Waiting for the Angel
    • The Winter Count, Politics in the Poetry of Thomas McGrath by Joseph Butwin.  1981

     

     Box 2

    • Quetzalcoatl
      • Narration Script. September 17, 1981
      • Narration Script and Correspondence. September 21, 1981
      • Script and 1st Draft
      • Script and 2nd Draft
      • Story Board