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John Allman Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRR
Date: 20 Jul 2006

Biographical History

John Allman (1935- ) is an award-winning American poet.

Born in New York City, Allman holds a B.A. from Hunter College and an M.A. from Syracuse University in creative writing. He taught at Cazenovia College in Central New York State and, for 26 years, at Rockland Community College of the State University of New York. He is retired and lives in Katonah, NY, with his wife, Eileen Allman, also a writer.

His awards include the Helen Bulls Prize from Poetry Northwest (1976) and a Pushcart Poetry Prize (1983); in 1984 and 1990, he was awarded National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships in Poetry. Journals that have published John Allman's poems include The Yale Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Kestrel, The Antioch Review, The Paris Review, and Atlantic Monthly, as well as online journals Full Circle and Blackbird.

He is the author of six books of poetry: Walking Four Ways in the Wind (1979); Clio's Children (1985), Scenarios for a Mixed Landscape (1986), Curve Away from Stillness (1989), Inhabited World: New & Selected Poems 1970-1995 (1995), and Loew's Triboro (2004). He is also the author of a collection of fiction, Descending Fire & Other Stories (1994).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John Allman Papers contains correspondence files, memorabilia printed material, records pertaining to his work, writings, and a small amount of miscellany.

Correspondence-subject files contains a mix of incoming and outgoing correspondence with friends, colleagues, editors, and publishers. Notable correspondents include poets Philip Booth and Jay Meek. The most extensive correspondence is with Anna Munster, a physician in Pearl River, New York. Munster and Allman were evidently good friends; the letters, which include both incoming and outgoing, are affectionate, detailed, and often include enclosures of brief poems or pieces of writing by Munster or Allman. In some cases, Allman had written notes about the person on the front of the folder in which the items were donated; these have been preserved and are foldered with the relevant correspondence.

Memorabilia consists of clippings about Allman from various publications, photographs of Allman, and two portraits of him, one by his wife.

The bulk of Printed material consists of reviews of Allman's published collections of poetry. Also in this series are advertisements or announcements of appearances (e.g. lectures, workshops, panel discussions, etc.), a copy of his entry in Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series, Vol. 15, and a few clippings by or about other poets.

Records contains logs of poetry and short stories along with lists and correspondence relating to submissions of Allman's work to a wide range of publications, including The New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly.

Writings contains both prose and poetry works, as well as a few speeches and miscellaneous items. Types of material include typescripts with and without annotations, galleys, proofs, and so on. In some cases, Allman had written notes on the front of the folder in which the items were donated; these have been preserved and are foldered with the relevant items.

Miscellany consists of audio recordings and videorecordings. Included here are several audio recordings of Allman reading his poetry, and a video recording of a recital at Juilliard for which the performer set some of Allman's poems to music.

Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetical by topic or title. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by name and within that chronologically.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Allman, John, 1935-
Booth, Philip E., 1925-2007.
Laughlin, James, 1914-1997.
Mairowitz, David Zane, 1943-
Meek, Jay.
Munster, Anna J.
Slate, Ron.

Corporate Bodies

New Directions Publishing Corp.


American poetry.
Poets -- Correspondence.
Poets, American.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Galley proofs.
Manuscripts for publication.
Sound recordings.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John Allman Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of John Allman, 2006-2013.

Table of Contents

Correspondence-subject files


Printed material