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A.M. Sullivan Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: [Summit record]
Date: 1996-02-07

Biographical History

A. M. Sullivan (1896-1980) was an American poet, radio broadcaster, editor and businessman. An advertising executive for Dun and Bradstreet, Inc., and later the editor of Dun's Review, Sullivan simultaneously maintained close ties with the literary world through a career as a radio broadcaster for the WOR-Mutual network's "New Poetry Program," the publication of 13 books of poetry, and membership in the Poetry Society of America, which included five terms as its President. The collection illuminates Sullivan's reconciliation of the two seemingly different aspects of his life, in which he urged upon fellow businessmen the need for ethics, humanitarianism and creativity in their lives, while bringing managerial skills and organizational talents to his literary endeavors.

List of "New Poetry Program" broadcasts

1933 Jan 29 Monroe, Harriet
1933 Mar. 5 Dole, Nathan Haskell
1933 Mar. 12 Markham, Edwin
1933 Apr. 16 Mullins, Helene; Roberts, Walter Adolphe
1933 Apr. 30 Griffith, William; Widdemer, Margaret
1933 May 28 Russell, Sydney King; Vinal, Harold; Wagner, Charles A.
1933 June 11 Morton, David
1933 June 18 Curran, Eileen; Herron, Walter
1933 June 25 Curran, Eileen; Erskine, Gladys Shaw; Lawrence, Gordon
1933 July 16 Benet, William Rose
1933 July 23 Erskine, Gladys Shaw; Vargas, Ramon de
1933 July 30 Torrence, Ridgely
1933 Aug. 6 Everett, Herbert C.; Holberg, Ruth Langland
1933 Aug. 13 Hasselriis, Caspar Henrik Wolffsen; Litsey, Sarah
1933 Aug. 20 "Irish Program"
1933 Sept. 10 Vilas, Faith
1933 Sept. 27 "Irish Program" (rebroadcast)
1933 Oct. 1 Kenyon, Theda
1933 Oct. 8 Lieberman, Elias
1933 Oct. 15 Deutsch, Babette
1933 Oct. 22 Cowell, Henry (not broadcast); Curran, Eileen?
1933 Nov. 12 Benet, Rosemary; Benet, Stephen Vincent; Farrar, John
1933 Nov. 19 Cowell, Henry; Curran, Eileen
1933 Dec. 17 Coffin, Robert Peter Tristram
1933 Dec. 24 Christmas program; Erskine, Gladys Shaw ; Griffith, William ; Hast, Gwendolyn; Henderson, Daniel Maclntyre ; Lieberman, Elias; O'Sheel, Shaemas ; Van Doren, Mark ; Vinal, Harold; Wagner, Charles A.
1933 Dec. 31 Markham, Anna Catherine
1934 Jan. 7 Colum, Padraic
1934 Jan. 14 "Kahlil Gibran Memorial"; Young, Barbara (reader)
1934 Jan. 21 Benet, Laura
1934 Jan. 28 Coffin, Robert Peter Tristram
1934 Feb. 2 "Continuity for St. Brigid"; Colum, Padraic ; Curran, Eileen ; Herron, Walter
1934 Feb. 4 Laing, Alexander
1934 Feb. 11 Auslander, Joseph
1934 Feb. 18 Smith, Chard Powers; Vinal, Harold
1934 Feb. 25 Kenyon, Bernice
1934 Mar. 4 Wurdemann, Audrey
1934 Mar. 11 Deutsch, Babette
1934 Mar. 17 St. Patrick program; Colum, Padraic ; Curran, Eileen ; Nunan, Sean
1934 Mar. 18 Flaccus, Kimball; Raftery, Gerald
1934 Mar. 25 Helton, Roy Addison
1934 Apr. 1 Campbell, Joseph
1934 Apr. 8 McCord, David
1934 Apr. 15 Hay, Sara Henderson
1934 Apr. 22 Davison, Edward; Tribute to Edwin Markham
1934 Apr. 27 Markham, Edwin (rebroadcast)
1934 Apr. 27 Ephros, Gershon
1934 Apr. 29 Kantor, MacKinlay
1934 May 6 Henderson, Daniel Maclntyre
1934 May 13 O'Brien, Seumas
1934 May 20 "Edwin Arlington Robinson Program"; Kenyon, Theda (reader)
1934 May 31 "Memorial [Day] Program"; Curran, Eileen ; Erskine, Gladys Shaw; Firth, Ivan; Robinson, W. C.
1934 June 3 Myers, Betty (and intercollegiate group); Bagg, Aaron Moore; Deschere, Carol ; Fletcher, Lucille ; Flowers, Nancy ; Horton, Philip
1934 June 10 Cane, Melville
1934 June 17 Conrad, Lawrence Henry (reading poetry of Robert Frost); Review of Leonard Bacon's Dream and Action
1934 June 24 Rorty, James
1934 July 1 Gengo, Kimi
1934 July 15 "69th Regiment Program"
1934 Dec. 17 Bostelmann, Carl John
1935 Dec. 25 Christmas program; Petersen, Edward (zither)
1936 May 24 Hay, Sara Henderson; Holden, Raymond
1936 May 31 "Memorial [Day] Program"; Firth, Ivan; Kilmer, Kenton; Roberts, Walter Adolphe (?) ; Wagner, Charles A.
1936 July 26 Masters, Edgar Lee
1936 Sept. 13 Coffin, Robert Peter Tristram
1936 Sept. 27 Masters, Edgar Lee
1936 Nov. 1 Landreth, Helen
1936 Nov. 17 "Memorial Program for Harriet Monroe"; Dillon, George; Leach, Henry Goddard ; Speyer, Leonora; Taggard, Genevieve ; Widdemer, Margaret
1937 Jan. 16 Robinson, Henry Morton
1937 Jan. 30 Roosevelt, Theodore
1937 Feb. 16 Jones, Thomas S. (dedication); Foley, John L. (reader)
1937 June 13 "Modern Irish Poets"; Curran, Eileen (reader)
1937 June 20 Corwin, Norman
1938 Feb. 13 "Poetry: a Magazine of Verse" (tribute); Corwin, Norman (reader); Masters, Edgar Lee (guest)
1938 Feb. 20 Teasdale, Sara (dedication); Girard, Ruth (reader); Wheelock, John Hall (appreciation)
1938 Feb. 27 Taylor, Henry W.
1938 July 3 Johnson, James Weldon (memorial); Cullen, Countee; Fauset, Jessie Redmon; McKay, Claude; Waters, Ethel
1938 Apr. 15 La Farge, Christopher
1940 May 12 "A Day in Manhattan" - by A. M. Sullivan (Columbia Workshop)
1948 July 2 Cane, Melville
1948 July 9 Firth, Ivan
1948 July 23 Munson, Gorham
1948 Aug. 20 Johnson, Norman ("Negro Poetry")
1948 Aug. 27 Firth, Ivan
1948 Sept. 10 Keith, Joseph Joel
1948 Sept. 17 Kreymborg, Alfred
1948 Oct. 1 Grimes, Willard M.
1948 Oct. 8 Vinal, Harold
1948 Oct. 22 Lee, Lawrence
1948 Dec. 3 Kramer, Aaron
1954 Mar. 14 St. Patrick program

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The A. M. Sullivan Papers comprise Correspondence-Subject files, Writings and Memorabilia. Spanning the years from 1925 to 1980, the papers reflect Sullivan's dual career as businessman and poet.

Correspondence-subject files contain biographical material; incoming and outgoing business and personal letters interspersed with biographical data, radio interviews, and other miscellaneous material relating to various correspondents; and topical subject information. The bulk of the literary correspondence concerns the Poetry Society of America and Sullivan's radio broadcasts. His radio program was variously entitled "The New Poetry Program," "New Poetry Period," and "Poetry Appreciation Series." These titles appear to have been used interchangeably during Sullivan's tenure as poetry broadcast conductor with the WOR-Mutual Network, however the program's dialog format was retained regardless of the title. The programs were generally divided into two parts: a broadcast essay by Sullivan regarding a particular aspect of poetry, followed by a dialog with one or more contemporary poets. These program scripts have been filed by program title or poet's name in the Correspondence-Subject files. In addition, the correspondence includes a significant number of letters in which Sullivan either requests or receives background information which he incorporated into his historical ballads. Of particular interest is a substantial amount of material about Edgar Lee Masters and Edwin Markham, including autographed poems, photographs, printed ephemera, and memorabilia. Most of the business correspondence concerns speaking arrangements before various organizations represented by Dun and Bradstreet, and there are a number of letters to and from business and political contacts to whom Sullivan presented his poetry volumes. Reflecting his ethnic origins, Sullivan maintained a life-long fascination with Ireland, its history, landscape, and most particularly, its writers. Sullivan was an active member of the American Irish Historical Society and the Brendan Society. There is extensive correspondence with both Irish and Irish-American writers including Padraic Colum, Oliver St. John Gogarty, Mary Margaret McBride, Phyllis McGinley, Seumas O'Brien and Shaemas O'Sheel.

Writings includes research material and typescripts for Sullivan's books; typescript business and literary essays; as well as poetry, reviews, scripts and speeches. There are extensive files of research material for Sullivan's historical ballads about John Castner and Timothy Morgan, in addition to drafts and revisions of those works. The bulk of the Writings document the production of his poetic work, The Bottom of the Sea, a labor of more than two decades which was published and distributed by Dun and Bradstreet in celebration of its 125th anniversary. Also included in the collection are scripts for Sullivan's plays, two of which "A Day in Manhattan" and "Wings for an Eagle," were broadcast on radio in the Columbia Workshop series of productions. Among the printed material in the collection are business articles which appeared in Dun's Review, and copies of Sullivan's Ballad of Dick Dowling (1954) and This Day and Age (1943).

Memorabilia includes photographs, reviews of Sullivan's work, and publicity items for his books.

Arrangement of the Collection

The Correspondence-subject files are arranged alphabetically. The writings are divided by type (books, essays, poetry, etc) and arranged 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


McBride, Mary Margaret, 1899-1976.
Colum, Padraic, 1881-1972.
Gogarty, Oliver St. John, 1878-1957.
Hillyer, Robert, 1895-1961.
Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940.
Masters, Edgar Lee, 1868-1950.
McGinley, Phyllis, 1905-1978.
O'Brien, Seumas, 1880-
O'Sheel, Shaemas, 1886-1954.
Sullivan, A. M. (Aloysius Michael), 1896-1980.


American poetry -- 20th century.
American poetry -- Catholic authors.
Authors, Irish -- 20th century.
Ballads, English -- United States.
English poetry -- Irish authors.
Irish Americans.
Poetry, Modern -- 20th century.
Poets, American.
Radio and literature.
Sea poetry -- American.

Genres and Forms

Drafts (documents)
Manuscripts for publication.
Scripts (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

A. M. Sullivan Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Aloysius M. Sullivan, 1965.

Table of Contents

Correspondence - subject files