MsC 623

C ollection Dates: 1950 -- 1987
.5 linear ft.

Collection Guide

This document describes a Manuscript Collection held by the

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
e-mail: lib-spec@uiowa.edu

Guide Contents

Administrative Information

Biographical and Historical Information

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Related Materials

Acquisition and Processing Information

Box Contents List

Administrative Information

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for re search.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

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Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Biographical Note

James Schell Hearst was born in Black Hawk County near Cedar Falls, Iowa in 1900. Hearst cultivated his interest in writing early in life, in eighth grade rewriting prose stories into verse. At the age of nineteen, Hearst became a paraplegic after a diving accident in the Cedar River. For much of his life Hearst, along with his brother, Charles, was an active farmer on the Hearst family farm, Maplehearst, near Cedar Falls. Hearst wanted to use his writing to "tell the truth about farming and about life as it is lived on a farm," (The North American Review, Fall 1974). He began his professional writing career in his twenties writing articles on farm matters. In 1941 Hearst was invited to teach creative writing at the Iowa State Teachers College (the University of Northern Iowa) by Dr. H. W. Reninger, Head of the English Department. Upon his retirement Hearst was a Distinguished Professor of English and in 1975 he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature from UNI. Hearst was also a poet-in-residence for many summers at Aspen, Colorado.

At the age of 43 Hearst married Carmelita Calderwood, a nurse he had met in Iowa City, Iowa during his physical therapy. Their marriage ended prematurely as Carmelita succumbed to cancer seven years later. In 1953 Hearst was married again to Meryl Norton, a friend of Carmelita's with whom Hearst corresponded frequently after Carmelita's death. Meryl devoted much of her time to Hearst: harvesting corn on his farm, typing his manuscripts and helping edit his autobiography, My Shadow Below Me (1981) . The two invited many notable writers into their Black Hawk County home including Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg. Hearst authored thirteen volumes of poetry and two autobiographical works, publishing more than 600 poems in his lifetime. Known often as the "farmer-poet," Hearst died in 1983.

A. Neville, August 2005

Scope and Contents

The papers of James Hearst include poems, correspondence, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, publicity materials, and other miscellaneous materials.

Photograph: Box 1

Related Materials

The Hearst Family Papers a re held at the University of Northern Iowa Library in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Hearst corresponded with Paul Engle MsC514

See the Carroll Coleman Papers for correspondence with Hearst

Lanter, Wayne. Threshing Time: A Tribute to James Hearst. SPECIAL COLLECTIONS Iowa Authors Collection 

Acquisition and Processing Information

These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries by James Hearst.

Guide posted to Internet: August 2005

Box Contents List

Box 1

"Breachy," by James Hearst. Today. October (1965)

"A Conversation With James Hearst," by Bill Witt. The Iowan. Spring (1979)

Correspondence (4 folders)


J. Hearst to Milton Monroe Reigelman, 17 June 1971

W. Leslie Garnett, 3 January 1978

Frank Paluka, 3 January 1978

Don H. Stefanson

5 May 1978

12 September 1978

Nancy Langanwater, 29 September 1981

Clarence Andrews, 21 May 1982

Steve Scaffer, 13 October 1982

Ferner Nuhn, Sunday the 29th


J. Hearst to Rochelle (Holt) (Stefanson) DuBois

6 October 1968

24 April 1969

6 May 1969

16 May 1969

14 June 1969

18 June 1969

6 September 1969

17 September 1969

5 October 1969

16 November 1969 (with enclosed poem "Hard Words")

Two holiday cards, one undated and one dated December 17

7 January 1970

9 February 1970

29 April 1970

15 May 1970

25 May 1970

14 June 1970

10 July 1970

29 July 1970

27 September 1970

7 November 1970

22 November 1970

17 January 1971

23 April 1972

28 April 1972

25 May 1972

11 June 1972

14 July 1972

28 July 1972 (?)

24 August 1972 (?)

1 September 1972

7 September 1972

27 September 1972

8 October 1972

13 October 1972

13 October 1972

18 November 1972

24 November 1972

Elizabeth (?) to Rochelle Holt, 12 December 1972

L.M.H. Lusk to Rochelle Holt, 27 December 1972

FOLDER 3 James Hearst to Rochelle Holt, cont.

4 January 1973

14 January 1973

14 January 1973 (from Meryl Norton)

28 January 1973

11 February 1973

1 April 1973

R.E.W. Adams to J. Hearst, 2 April 1973 (mailed to Rochelle Holt)

L.M.H. Lusk to Rochelle Holt, 7 April 1973 (?)

9 April 1973

15 April 1973

undated 1973

2 May 1973

1 June 1973

10 June 1973

6 July 1973

5 August 1973

30 August 1973

23 September 1973

11 November 1973

1 December 1973

27 January 1974

3 February 1974

St. Valentine's Day card, undated

1 March 1974

14 April 1974

10 May 1974

5 June 1974 (with enclosed poem "For God's Sake")

25 June 1974

21 July 1974

11 or 12 August 1974 (misdated as August 18)

5 September 1974

29 September 1974

22 January 1975

23 March 1975

6 May 1975 (with enclosed newspaper clipping)

18 May 1975

1 June 1975

3 September 1975

21 September 1975

12 October 1975

15 December 1975 (with poem "Each To Its Own Purpose")

31 December 1975

FOLDER 4 James Hearst to Rochelle Holt, cont.

15 January 1976 (with poem "Two Men")

22 January 1976

6 February 1976

27 February 1976 (with enclosed letter to J. Hearst from William J. Parker)

28 March 1976

2 May 1976 (with enclosed poems "Muskrats in the Cornfield," "Born Again," and "Instead of Honey")

6 July 1976

25 August 1976

24 September 1976

12 October 1976

27 October 1976

10 December 1976 (with poem "Veteran's Day")

22 February 1977 (with enclosed poems "The Maid Who Served an Ogre" and "Still Heard But Faintly")

3 March 1977

1 September 1977 (with poems "Words That Smell Bad" and "The Promise Seems True")

10 November 1977 (with poem "The Enemy")

26 December 1977

20 February 1978

9 April 1978

23 April 1978 (with poem "No News is Good News")

8 May 1978 (with poem "No News is Good News")

24 July 1978 (with poem "Bereaved")

27 August 1978 (with poem "Change in Appetites")

29 August 1978 (with enclosed writing by Rochelle Holt)

1 November 1978

5 April 1979 (with poem "The Insatiable Demand")

23 April 1979 (with poem "The Insatiable Demand")

20 June 1979

27 August 1979 (with poem "Outsider")

December 1979 (Christmas card with poem "Still Heard But Faintly")

11 January 1980

10 May 1980 (with poem "The Backward Flow")

17 December 1980

15 March 1981 (with poems "House Broken" and "Espaliered on a Wailing Wall")

25 January 1982

7 March 1982

21 July 1982

17 January 1983

Two holiday cards, undated

Correspondence from editors to J. Hearst (67 items)

Miscellaneous envelope, State College of Iowa, 25 April 1963

Enid Harlow (Harper's Bazaar), 30 June 1970

Bruce Bennet Brown (Twigs Magazine), 19 January 1971

Richard S. Alm (English Journal), 20 January 1971

Radcliffe Squires (Michigan Quarterly Review), 9 February 1971

H.C. Dillow (Wascana Review), 15 March 1971

A. Lagams (?) (Quartet Magazine), 28 March 1971

Phil Dacey (Crazy Horse), 20 November 1971

John Moffit (publication unknown), 12 December 1971

Jim Maare (?) (publication unknown), 4 January 1972

Michael Heffernan (Midwest Quarterly), 3 February 1972

Howard McKinley Corning (Oregonian Verse) to Meryl Norton, Good Friday 1972

Julia Sciscento (Ladies' Home Journal), 12 June 1972

Jean Burden (Yankee), 6 August 1972

John (America), 28 October 1972

Charlotte Kohler (The Virginia Quarterly Review), 10 July 1974

Leo Romero (Puerto Del Sol), 10 January 1975

Phil Dacey (Crazy Horse), 4 March 1975

Jane Ellen Glasser (The Ghent Quarterly), 7 March 1975

Jane Ellen Glasser (The Ghent Quarterly), 11 April 1075

John (The South Dakota Review), 9 September 1976

William Howard (Wascana Review), 29 December 1976

Tom Marshall (Canadian Forum), 2 January 1977

Jerry Nemanic (The Great Lakes Review), 18 January 1977

Gar Smith (The Berkeley Barb), 9 April 1977

Louise T. Reynolds (The New Renaissance), 2 May 1977

Cheryl Lang for William Howard ( Wascana Review), 25 May 1977

John Milton (South Dakota Review ?), 22 June 1977

Danny (The Small Farm), 21 July 1977

Linda Getze (NRTA Journal), 17 August 1977

Jack Garlington (Western Humanities Review), 23 August 1977

Ron Slate (The Chowder Review), 27 August 1977

Staige D. Blackford (The Virginia Quarterly Review), 21 August 1977

Jean Burden (Yankee), 31 August 1977

Ben Nyberg (Kansas Quarterly), 4 October 1977

Margaret L. Hartley (Southwest Review), 19 October 1977

Lisa McAuliffe (The American Scholar), 25 October 1977

Patti Petrosky (Rapport Magazine), 29 October 1977

Ernest J. Oswald (Heirs Magazine), 29 October 1977

Leona Gom (Event), 5 November 1977

Editors (The Colorado Quarterly), 22 November 1977

David E. Hostetler (Purpose Magazine), 23 November 1977

Phil Dacey (Crazy Horse), 4 December (no year)

Rich Hughes (Freshwater Biological Research Foundation), 28 February (no year)

Diane Kruchkow (University of New Hampshire English Department), 20 June (no year)

Dorothy Dalton (Poetry View), undated

Rosellen Brown (Ploughshares), undated

DeWitt Henry (Ploughshares), undated

David Lenson (Panache), undated

Mark Vinz (Dacotah Territory), undated

Dana (Neugent) (The Westerly Review), undated

Michael McFee (?) (Carolina Quarterly), undated

Marvin Malone (The Wormwood Review), undated

Dana F. Neugent (The Westerly Review), undated

Tom (?) Oldknow (Mainstreeter), undated

Ernest Oswald (Heirs Magazine), undated

David Schuermer (?) (Amanuensis), undated

Ron Slate (The Chowder Review), undated

Ron Slate (The Chowder Review), undated

Ron Slate (The Chowder Review), undated

David Young (Field), undated

Editors (The Christian Science Monitor), undated

Editors (In Wyoming), undated

Editor (University of Windsor Review), undated

Editors (The Colorado Quarterly), undated

Pat Gray (publication unknown), undated

Mike ( publication unknown), undated

Excerpt from "The Dark Boy"

"James Hearst: Prairie Poet." The Iowan. Fall (1963)

"James Hearst: Voice of the Earth We Stand On," by Rochelle Holt. Sunday Clothes. Summer (1973), vol. 2, no. 2

Hearst Center for the Arts materials

Interview with Rochelle (Holt) Stefanson, 1973

Interview questions

Answers and interview notes

Rough draft of interview introduction

Questions and answers

Iowa Humanities Board program. "James Hearst: Farmer and Poet"

"Limited View" galley copy. The Prairie Press, 1962.

"Manuscript Collections: The Hearst Papers," by Gerald L. Peterson. Annals of Iowa, Fall (1982)


Newspaper clippings, 1950 -- 1987 and undated


Poems with letter of explanation from J. Hearst

"Barns in November"

"When a Neighbor Dies" (with corrections by Ruth Suckow)


"Now I Have Taken to the Fields"

"On the Credit Side"

"Burning a Dead Heifer" (2 drafts)

"All Anyone Could Say" (2 drafts)

"Three Old Horses" (3 drafts)

"For a Neighbor Woman" (2 drafts)

"Weather Wise" (2 drafts)

"Shake in Vain"

"The Orchard Man"

"A Home of Her Own"

"The Landowner"

"Threat of Weather"

"After Corn Husking"

Poems (published)

"Calendar's Mischief," America. September (1977)

"Shaped by Names," The Canadian Forum. October (1977)

"The Cure," The Sandlapper. November (1977)

"Born Each Morning," The Colorado Quarterly. (1977)

"It Never Went Away," The New River Review. (1977)

"The Enemy," The Westerly Review. (1977)

"Ute Cemetery," The Westerly Review. (1977)

Poems (rough drafts)

"The morning paper carried a story..."

"Iowa dreams of cloud strewn blossoms..."

"Day With a Bad Taste"

"Need for a Quick Step"

"The committee debated..." (on verso of "Need for a Quick Step")

"Just when the grass begins..."

"It waits on the hill..."

"She's liberated, you know..." ("The Dainty Lily Bell")

"There's music in my heart..." (on verso of "She's liberated, you know...")

"Thank goodness it doesn't bug you often..."

"Modern Design"

"Granted the meeting..." ("Beloved")

"On the road to the farm..."

"The Cure"

"Live with Love"

"Chilled and speared by the weather..." ("Book of the Mind")

"Lust stinks in my nostrils..." ("Ape in My Heart")

"The Road" and "Country Road"

"You better grow the greenest grass..." ("Enjoy Your Release?")

"Every morning the paper boy..."

"Interview with Myself"


"The horrendous voice of headlines..." ("Pray for Belief")

"Women Shearing Men"

"This country needs live dragons..." ("Dragon Lesson")

"Proved by Trial," by James Hearst (1977)

Publicity materials

"Roots of Poetry," The North American Review. Fall (1974). Feature including poems, reflections, and a bibliography (3 copies).

"Salute to Iowa," by James Hearst. Iowa 2000: Land, Water, Energy. May (1978)

A Tribute to James Hearst. Program and publicity materials. November, 1981

Box 2

Allen, Nelson Thomas. Notes for dissertation. Index cards with OP (original publication?) and book information for poems. Arranged alphabetically

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