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Louis Untermeyer correspondence

Identifier: C-53

Scope and Contents

This collection primarily consists of typescript and holograph letters written to Louis Untermeyer between 1916 and 1977. Untermeyer frequently wrote to unknown or little-known poets when he appreciated their work. Correspondents include Stanley Burnshaw, Robert Grant Burns, Allen Ginsberg, John Tagliabue, Guy Daniels, Peter Viereck, Myron Wilder, and others. The letters typically pertain to the poetry of Untermeyer and his correspondents, and also include works that were mailed to Untermeyer by their authors.


  • Creation: 1920-1977


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact: Special Collections & Archives Middlebury College Phone: (802) 443-2387 Email:

Biographical / Historical

Louis Untermeyer (1885-1977) was an American poet, anthologist, critic, and editor, and was the fourteenth Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (appointed 1961). For the most part self-educated, Untermeyer resigned from his father's jewelry firm in order to focus on literary pursuits. He married Jean Starr in January 1907. The couple had one son, Richard, who committed suicide in 1927. Untermeyer and Starr divorced in 1926, but reunited in 1929, and adopted two sons, Laurence and Joseph. Untermeyer married poet Virginia Moore in 1927, and the couple had one son, John Moore Untermeyer, who was renamed John Fitzallen Moore after his parents' divorce in 1929. Untermeyer married Esther Antin in the 1930s (divorced 1945), and Bryna Ivens in 1948. In 1950, Untermeyer was a panelist during the first year of the What's My Line? television quiz show. Untermeyer was forced to leave the television series after lending his signature to a number of communist publications. Untermeyer authored and/or edited close to 100 books. In 1956 he was awarded a gold medal by the Poetry Society of America.


1 Box (35 folders)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged alphabetically by sender. Individual letters are arranged chronologically.

Related Materials

Five letters written by Louis Untermeyer may be found in C-5 (Marguerite Wilkinson correspondence): Five letters (1917 to 1922), 3 holograph, all signed by LU, in which he first praises her discernment then quibbles about her choice of his poems for her anthology. The Untermeyers then lived in Manhattan and summered in the Adirondacks.

Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

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