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Robert S. Phillips Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: unknown

Biographical History

Robert S. Phillips (1938-2022) was an American poet, author, and editor, with more than 30 volumes of poetry, fiction, criticism, and belles lettres to his name.

Born in 1938 in Milford, Delaware, Phillips graduated from Syracuse University's creative writing program. He is currently (May 2007) a professor of English at the University of Houston; he was also director of the Creative Writing Program there from 1991 to 1996. His honors include a 1996 Enron Teaching Excellence Award, a Pushcart Prize, an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, a New York State Council on the Arts CAPS Grant in Poetry, MacDowell Colony and Yaddo Fellowships, a National Public Radio Syndicated Fiction Project Award, a Syracuse University Arents Pioneer Medal, and Texas Institute of Letters membership. In 1998 he was named a John and Rebecca Moore Scholar at the University of Houston.

[Portions of biographical sketch taken from Mr. Phillips' faculty home page at the University of Houston, retrieved 11 May 2007.]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Robert S. Phillips Papers contains correspondence, writings and memorabilia.

Correspondence contains that of both individuals and organizations, and includes poets (John Ashbery, Mitchell Cullin, Sybil Pittman Estess, William Heyen, Denise Levertov, Delmore Schwartz, Elizabeth Spencer, Daniel Stern), writers (Edward Albee, Donald Barthelme, Saul Bellow, Harold Bloom, Paul Bowles, William S. Burroughs, Raymond Carver, Jules Feiffer, Horace Gregory, Granville Hicks, Shirley Jackson, Erica Jong, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, Marya Zaturenska), artists (Paul Cadmus), publishers (E.P. Dutton, Farrar Straus & Giroux, David R. Godine, Harper Collins, Johns Hopkins University Press, Gibbs Smith, University of Houston Press), literary magazines (Chelsea, Commonweal, Dark Horse Literary Review, Hudson Review, Manhattan Poetry Review, Ontario Review, Paris Review, Shenandoah) and professional societies and organizations (Gulf Coast Association of Creative Writing Teachers, National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Society of America, Yaddo).

Writings comprises typescripts, production records, and other material relating to Phillips' writing -- books, essays, interviews, novels, poetry, reviews, scripts, speeches, and short stories. At the end is a small section of miscellaneous material which includes audio and video cassettes with interviews and readings, biographical sketches of authors, and assorted other writings.

Memorabilia contains printed material -- there are a few programs and announcements but the bulk consists of issues of various periodicals in which Phillip's work appears.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is alphabetized by name of correspondent. Writings are subdivided by type (books, essays, interviews, novels, poetry, reviews, scripts, speeches, and short stories) and within that arranged alphabetically by title. Memorabilia periodicals are arranged alphabetically by title of publication.


Access Restrictions:

The following correspondence is completely restricted: Erica Jong, Joyce Carol Oates, Elizabeth Spencer.

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


Goyen, William.
Gregory, Horace, 1898-1982.
Heyen, William, 1940-
Jong, Erica.
Larkin, Philip.
Laughlin, James, 1914-1997.
Mazzaro, Jerome.
Oates, Joyce Carol, 1938-
Philbrick, Stephen.
Phillips, Robert, 1938-2022.
Poulin, A., Jr., 1938-1996.
Schwartz, Delmore, 1913-1966.
Shapiro, Karl, 1913-2000.
Spencer, Elizabeth, 1921-2019.
Zaturenska, Marya, 1902-1982.


American literature -- 20th century.
American poetry -- 20th century.
Critics -- United States.
Novelists, American.
Poets, American.

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts for publication.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Robert S Phillips Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

Correspondence-subject files