Clemo Papers

Scope and Content

The collection is the complete literary archive of Jack Clemo, not including his letters, which, for the time being remain with his widow. Included are all his manuscript notebooks and typescripts for prose work as well as poetry.

Administrative / Biographical History

Reginal John 'Jack' Clemo (1916-1994) poet, was born and lived all his life in Cornwall. As a child he began to lose his sight and hearing, and he left school at the age of twelve. He began to write at the end of his schooldays, but for many years his only vehicle for publishing his verse and stories was a local newspaper. In 1948 he published a novel, Wilding Graft. This was followed in 1949 by an autobiography, Confession of a Rebel, and in 1951 by his first volume of poetry, The Clay Verge. Further volumes of poetry in 1961 (The Map of Clay) and in 1967 (Cactus on Carmel) furthered his reputation as a poet. He published a theological volume, The Invading Gospel in 1958. By 1955 he was totally blind. His later works include The Echoing Tip (1971) and Broad Autumn (1975).


The collection has not yet been systematically arranged.

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL arrangements apply

Acquisition Information

The material was acquired directly from the poet and his widow.

Other Finding Aids

Full handlist available.

Conditions Governing Use

During the lifetime of Clemo's widow, her permission should be sought in writing. Afterwards, the permission of the University Librarian will be required.

Custodial History

The initial purchase of eight notebooks of Jack Clemo's was supported by a grant from the Arts Council in 1980. Further material was donated to the library in 1981, 1987, 1989 and 1994

Related Material

Sally Magnusson, Clemo, a love story (Tring, 1986), Stephen John Lane, 'Jack Clemo: cartographer of grace' PhD Thesis (University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 1989).

Geographical Names