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Howard Moss Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: JA
Date: Jan 1975

Biographical History

Howard Moss (1922-1987) was an American poet, dramatist, children's author, editor, and critic. Born in New York City, he attended the University of Michigan 1939-1940 where he won a Hopwood Award; Harvard University during the summer of 1942; and received his BA from the University of Wisconsin in 1943. He later did graduate work at Columbia University.

Moss was an instructor at Vassar College in 1945-1946, and in 1948 became the Poetry Editor of The New Yorker magazine, a post he held for more than thirty-five years until his death in 1987.

Some of Moss' works include the following:

Moss was awarded the 1972 National Book Award for his Selected Poems.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Howard Moss Collection consists of correspondence, criticism, drama, and poetry.

Correspondence contains one letter, written by Sinclair Lewis.

Criticism contains three book reviews and the manuscript for The Magic Lantern of Marcel Proust.

Drama contains successive drafts of two plays, The Folding Green and the Oedipus-Mah-Jongg Scandal.

Poetry includes material from three books of poetry (Finding Them Lost and Other Poems, Second Nature, and a children's collection, Tigers and Other Lilies) as well as individual poems. Types of material include holograph, typescripts, galley proofs, and a few printed copies of poems.

Note: During processing, drafts were labelled e.g. A, B, C, etc. This was done with careful attention to paper characteristics, completeness of the manuscript, revisions and their subsequent incorporations, but these labels were designated solely at the processor's discretion, and should not be taken as either author's notation or as scholarly direction. In the seven versions of "The Folding Green", Moss does inscribe one as "Second version" and one as "Fourth version"; the researcher must choose his own path.

Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged alphabetically by type and, within each series, alphabetically by title.


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


Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951.
Moss, Howard, 1922-1987.


American literature -- 20th century.
American poetry -- 20th century.
Dramatists, American.
Poets, American.

Genres and Forms

Drafts (documents)
Galley proofs.
Manuscripts for publication.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Howard Moss Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Bulk of collection purchased in several lots, 1970. The Folding Green stage manager's script, gift of Kate Spector, 2019.

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