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NED O'GORMAN PAPERS

The Ned O'Gorman Papers consist of correspondence, manuscripts, notebooks and diaries. The papers trace O'Gorman's career from a graduate student at Columbia University in the late 1950's to his tenure at the Children's Storefront in the mid 1980's.

Edward Charles O'Gorman was born in New York City on September 26, 1929. He received a B.A. from St. Michael's College in 1950 and later an M.A. from Columbia University. He received Guggenheim fellowships in 1956 and 1962, and his poetry won the Lamont Poetry Selection award in 1958, leading to the first publication of his collected works, The Night of the Hammer, in 1959. In 1957, Ned O'Gorman began teaching at Iona College. His contract was abruptly cancelled in 1960 for the following year, probably because of his involvement in peace demonstrations held there by the students. O'Gorman soon published another set of poems, Adam Before the Mirror in 1961. O'Gorman was an editor at Jubilee from 1962 to 1965, and during that time published another set of poems, The Buzzard and the Peacock (1964). O'Gorman later taught at Tougaloo College in Mississippi in 1965 and 1966.

In the mid-1960's O'Gorman decide to get involved in the local community in Harlem in New York City. He founded the Children's Storefront, meant as a refuge for children, "where the senses of the children could thrive..or, at the very least, exist." The Children's Storefront, now privately supported without any federal, city or state aid, accepts any child who wishes to come there.

O'Gorman has continued to publish both poetry and books relating to his experiences in Harlem as a teacher. Among his works are The Harvesters' Vase: Poems (1968); (editor) Prophetic Voices: Ideas and Words on Revolution (1969); The Storefront: A Community of Children on 129th Street and Madison Avenue (1970); The Blue Butterfly (children's, 1971); The Flag and Hawk Flies (poetry, 1972); and The Children are Dying (1978). He has also published articles and poetry in various magazines including Columbia Forum, Chicago Choice, Commonweal, Jubilee, The Nation, Poetry, Harper;s Bazaar and Atlantic Monthly.

BULK DATES: 1944 - 1985
SPAN DATES: 1944 - 1985

EXTENT: 3 BOXES

SERIES


SERIES: 1. Correspondence Series


SERIES DESCRIPTION: The Correspondence Series mainly contains letters to O'Gorman from family, friends and acquaintances. Among his fellow poets and artists are letters from Bernard Malamud, Arthur Miller, Marianne Moore, Herbert Read, Dame Freya Stark, Dame Janet Baker, Leonie Adams, Gwendolyn Brooks, Richard Eberhard, Anne Fremantle, Robert Lax, Robert Penn Warren, Abbie Huston Evans and Isabella Gardiner. Much of his correspondence relates to his religious and social conscience, with letters from Martin D'Arcy, S.J., Daniel Berrigan, John Cardinal Wright and many other clerics. Letters by O'Gorman to his family, mostly in the late 1950's during some very reflective travels in Europe and Africa, reveal much about his thoughts during this period.

SERIES: 2. Manuscripts Series


SERIES DESCRIPTION: The Manuscripts Series consists mainly of prose manuscripts by Ned O'Gorman, but include a few writings by friends and acquaintances. Among the most interesting of O'Gorman's manuscripts may well be his autobiographical writings, under the title "Venerated Trinkets, Kept Memorials and Things Lifted Up..." Many pages of poems, both whole and fragmented, are also contained in the series. Another interesting manuscript is that of Edna Ramsey Yellins, a black woman from Harlem; the manuscript tells the story of her life as she recorded it for her children, beginning in rural Mississippi and ending up in Manhattan in the mid 1970's. The series also holds notebooks and "diaries" kept by Ned O'Gorman, containing a wide variety of material, from class notes to appointments to fragments of poems and essays.

SERIES: 3. Periodicals & Miscellaneous Series


SERIES DESCRIPTION: Periodicals, ephemera, Children's Storefront and personal items of Ned O'Gorman.

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