Papers relating to poetry pamphlets

Scope and Content

This subgroup contains files relating to Poetry Supplements 2-6 and 10-16, which were variously edited by Sylvia Plath, Brian Cox (either alone or with A.E. Dyson), Damian Grant, and Michael Schmidt. The material was generated by Brian Cox, and none of the guest editors' correspondence is included here. The files are largely comprised of correspondence between Cox and literary agents or publishers relating to copyright permission for reproducing poems in the supplements. In some of the files there is additional material, however, such as: copy letters to poets enclosing complimentary copies of the pamphlets or inviting contributions; correspondence with the printers and publishers of the pamphlets; invoices and orders relating to the supply and sales of the pamphlets; typescript copies of the poems included; some original authors' manuscripts; and a small quantity of correspondence with contributors, including David Harsent, Alasdair Maclean, Paul Muldoon, Michael Schmidt, and Peter Scupham.

Administrative / Biographical History

As outlined in the headnote to the archive, the editors' plans for CQ encompassed more than the production of a single literary journal, and from 1960 they began the tradition of publishing an annual poetry supplement - either themed, or containing a selection of the best recent poetry. Sylvia Plath edited the second pamphlet (American Poetry Now) in 1961. This sold 12,000 copies and established the CQ tradition of annual supplements, which appeared regularly until 1976.


As the production of the poetry pamphlets was essentially a separate operation from the regular issues of CQ, and generated a distinct group of files, this material forms a subgroup of its own. Most of the material was arranged by Cox into files, each of which related to a specific supplement. The remaining material (mostly from the later period) was simply loose in a file hanger labelled 'Poetry Pamphlets'. This has now been arranged into files based on each poetry supplement as with the earlier material. Where original file titles survived they are transcribed below.