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Marguerite Wilkinson correspondence

Identifier: C-5
The majority of the letters in this collection are responses from contemporary American poets to Marguerite Wilkinson’s requests for permission to use their works in her anthology, New Voices, originally published in 1919. Much of the correspondence is of a business-like nature; however, there are several instances of heated exchanges between Wilkinson and her correspondents on the inclusion (or exclusion) of particular poems or poets (e.g. Ezra Pound and Maxwell Bodenheim) as well as her interpretation of the poems (e.g. Richard Aldington). In addition, some of the correspondents, such as Amy Lowell, Sara Teasdale and Vachel Lindsay, were personal friends and the letters reflect on their relationships and ideas about poetry.

The second series of this collection contains letters to and from publishers and agents to which Marguerite Wilkinson was writing to gain publication permission to specific poems for her various anthologies. Of particular note is the folder for The Macmillan Company Publishers containing over 40 pages dating from late 1918 to mid 1919 relating to the publication of New Voices.


  • 1912 - 1928


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Open for research without restrictions.

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2 Boxes

1 Linear Feet


This collection comprises letters written to Marguerite Wilkinson from contemporary American poets. The bulk of the correspondence was written in 1919, and primarily concerns Wilkinson’s poetry anthologies: Golden Songs of the Golden State (1917), New Voices (1919), Contemporary Poetry (1923) and The Way of the Makers (1925), with responses from authors to her requests for permission to use their poems. These responses frequently include suggestions of different poems or discussions of poetry in general. The remainder of the collection is comprised of correspondence from publishers and authors’ agents concerning the terms and conditions for publishing selected poems in Wilkinson’s anthologies. Copies of Marguerite Wilkinson’s own letters to the publishers and agents are sometimes included.

Biographical / Historical

Marguerite Ogden Bigelow Wilkinson (1883-1928) was born in Nova Scotia. She attended Northwestern University and married James Wilkinson in 1909. A poet, essayist and journalist, she was the author of several books of original poetry including In a Vivid Garden (1911), By a Western Wayside (1912), Bluestone (1920), and Citadels (1926). Wilkinson also edited several poetry anthologies aimed at introducing contemporary poets to the lay person. Her best known anthology, New Voices (1919), generated much of the correspondence in this collection. Marguerite Wilkinson became associated with Middlebury College through the Bread Loaf School of English, where she lectured and taught Contemporary Poetry from 1924-1926. She died in an accidental drowning in 1928.

All works by Marguerite Wilkinson are in the Abernethy Collection at Middlebury College Special Collections.


Untermeyer, Louis. (1921). More American Poetry. Harcourt Brace & Company. in Google Books. Digitized Feb. 28, 2006.


Correspondence is arranged alphabetically. Folders 1-130 are authors. Folders 131-150 are publishers and agents. Box I. Folders 1-90, Poets A-M Box II. Folders 91-150, Poets N- W; Publishers and Agents: A-Y

Other Finding Aids

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were bequeathed to Middlebury College by Marguerite Wilkinson’s husband, James Wilkinson, upon his death in 1929.

Related Materials

Marguerite Wilkinson: A Biographical Sketch and Some Critical Opinions. Chicago: Macmillan, 1928. Print. Aber Pamphets – Abernethy
All works by Marguerite Wilkinson are in the Abernethy Collection at Middlebury College Special Collections.
Collection re-processed, 1969, by R.W. Franklin Finding Aid compiled by M. Robbins, 2011. Finding Aid revised, August 2012, by Peter Andersen ‘13

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States