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John Woods Papers

Identifier: 03-exws_woods

Scope and Contents

This is a collection of the personal papers of American poet and Western Michigan University English professor John Warren Woods (1926-1995). After completing his BS and MA at Indiana University, he began his academic career in the English department at Western Michigan University in 1955. He retired in 1992 as a full professor. Over the course of his career he published over a dozen books of poetry.
His papers include manuscript drafts of individual poems as well as manucript drafts of his books. There is a significant amount of correspondence between Woods and various publishers, records of contracts, copyright agreements and other documents related to his publishing activities. There are also newspaper articles containing interviews with Woods or mentions of his works or public readings, a scrapbook and other documents relating to his academic career at Western Michigan University and twenty five cassette tape recordings of poets giving readings or lectures; these include recordings of Robert Bly, Robert Frost, Alan Ginsberg, W.S. Merwin, Czesław Miłosz and others.


  • Creation: 1948-1996
  • Creation: Majority of material found within Bulk 1950-1992
  • Other: Date acquired: 07/15/1999



13 boxes

Language of Materials



Personal papers of twentieth century American poet John Woods, including drafts of individual poems and book manuscripts, research materials, academic career files, photographs, cassette tape recordings. Also associated with this collection are 987 books from the poet's personal library, many inscribed by the authors (the books are cataloged separately and searchable through the WMU Libraries online catalog)

Physical Access Requirements

WMU Special Collections. Non-circulating. Contact department for access.

Source of Acquisition

Richard W. and Christy R. Woods

Method of Acquisition


Physical Description

The collection is housed in 12 archival boxes and 1 commercially produced cassette tape case (Box 11), which is the original container for the cassettes. The collection spans approximately 6.25 linear feet.

Inventory of the John Woods Papers Finding Aid
Sydney Small
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Special Collections Repository

Western Michigan University Libraries, Special Collections
Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490