Der Bat Artist / Maurice Sendak RIP

Source: Stuart Wright Collection – Randall Jarrell Papers #1169-005.6.u

Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo

Description:

Poet Randall Jarrell collaborated on three children’s books with illustrator Maurice Sendak: Fly by Night (1976), The Animal Family (1965) and The Bat-Poet (1964). Of the three, The Bat-Poet has always been my favorite.  Shortly before publication of The Bat Poet, in 1964, Sendak sent this undated letter to Jarrell.  In place of a signature, Sendak signed his letter with a characteristically charming and tiny pen & ink cartoon of himself in the guise of “Der Bat Artist” flourishing his brush in hand (or foot) and about to create.  The miniature drawing perfectly captures the spirit of Jarrell’s poetic hero, who, like a real human child, tale is just so eager and sweet and shy and curious, yet manages all this without being too cloying. The small bat wants to know things, and then he wants to sing, and when that doesn’t work, he begins to make up poems, trying to express himself. He sets out to explore the day world, for example, and he gets a creative crush on the vain yet talented mockingbird. Little by little, he puts his observations into words.  When he received Sendak’s letter, Jarrell filed it carefully inside his copy of The Bat Poet, where it remained until Joyner Library acquired it in 2010.

This post is in honor of Maurice Sendak who died on 8 May 2012 in Danbury, Connecticut at age 83.

The Lost Children a poem by Randall Jarrell

 

 

Source: #1169.5 Wright Collection/ Randall Jarrell Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection

Staff Person: Lynette Lundin 

Description: 

The Randall Jarrell Papers are dated 1913 to 1989. The manuscript collection includes correspondence, essays, manuscripts, printed poems, notes, original art, AV materials and books. He was an American poet of distinction, author and educator. Some of his notable instructors in college were Robert Penn Warren, Allen Tate, and John Crowe Ransom.

The newspaper article is from The Carolinian, dated October 22, 1965. The review was written by Dr Robert Watson of Jarrell’s book “The Lost World.” The article has excerpts from the book and the poem “The Lost Children and a brief biography.

Richard Eberhart photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Source: Stuart Wright Book Collection Printed Works Inventory #46-18
Staff Person: Ralph Scott
Description: Henri Cartier-Bresson [1908-2004] was a French photographer that pioneered modern photojournalism. Early to try the new 35mm Leica format, Cartier-Bresson is famous for his street scene photographs and portraits of individuals. He felt that the new compact camera format enabled him to stroll the streets ready to “trap life,” on film. This candid of Richard Eberhart [1904-2005] an American poet who won the 1966 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, is attributed to Henri Cartier-Bresson. Cartier-Bresson travelled to the United States several times and moved in literary circles throughout the world. His first American show was in 1935, at the New York Julien Levy Gallery. At some point his path crossed with that of Eberhart. The photograph was found in a volume recently acquired by Joyner Library through purchase from Eberhart’s literary agent, Stuart Wright.

Merrill Moore X-Ray

 

Source: Stuart Wright Rare Book Collection 59-23

Staff Person: Ralph Scott

Description: X-Ray photograph of Merrill Moore, author of The Noise that Time Makes. Photograph is captioned “because his poems are chiefly about time Mr. Moore thought the x-ray more appropriate than the ephemeral face.” Photograph is inscribed to John Crowe Ransom.