Guide to the Charles Simic Papers, 1958-2018

Collection number: MC 110
Size: 86 boxes (26.66 cu.ft.)

About Charles Simic (born 1938)

Charles Simic was born on May 9, 1938, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In 1953 he left Yugoslavia with his mother and brother to join his father in the United States, where they lived in and around Chicago until 1958. His first poems were published in 1959, when he was twenty-one. In 1961 he was drafted into the U.S. Army, and in 1966 he earned his Bachelor’s degree from New York University.

His first full-length collection of poems, What the Grass Says, was published the following year. Since then he has published more than sixty books in the U.S. and abroad, among them Jackstraws (Harcourt Brace, 1999), which was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times; Walking the Black Cat (Harcourt Brace, 1996), which was a finalist for the National Book Award in poetry; A Wedding in Hell (1994); Hotel Insomnia (1992); The World Doesn’t End: Prose Poems (1990), for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; Selected Poems: 1963-1983 (1990); and Unending Blues (1986). He has also published many translations of French, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, and Slovenian poetry, and books of prose, most recently The Monster Loves His Labyrinth (Ausable Press, 2008) and The Renegade (Braziller, 2009). He was also the guest editor of The Best American Poetry 1992.

Elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 2000, his many awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Since 1973 he has lived in New Hampshire, where he is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of New Hampshire. In 2007 Simic was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States.

About the Charles Simic Papers

The collection consists of correspondence, notebooks, manuscripts, published works, recordings, photographs, and material about Simic’s work.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection has the following restrictions: 1.) Written permission to view the collection must be obtained in advance from Charles Simic until his death; and 2.) No direct quotations of any type may be made from the collection without first obtaining written permission from Charles Simic. Please contact Special Collections staff for more information (including how to get in touch with Mr. Simic).

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [Folder number], [Box number], Charles Simic Papers, 1958-2018, MC 110, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Multiple acquisitions, multiple sources, 1983-2014 (many varied accession numbers)

Charles Simic publications in the University of New Hampshire library catalog.

Collection Contents

Series 1: Introductory Material and Correspondence, 1958-2011

(10 cu. ft. (30 boxes))

This series contains personal correspondence from and to Simic, correspondence with publishers, and correspondence related to events, awards, and memberships.

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1-7Introductory Materials
  • Biographies of Simic
  • Bibliographies of his prose and poetry
  • Drawings and Photographs
  • Material related to his father, Djordje Simic
Box 2
Box 2, Folder 1-14Personal, From Simic, A-R
Box 3
Box 3, Folder 1-5Personal, From Simic, S-Z and unidentified
Box 3, Folder 6-20Personal, To Simic, Aaron - Arnoldy
Box 4
Box 4, Folder 1-25Personal, To Simic, Asali - Bromige
Box 5
Box 5, Folder 1-23Personal, To Simic, Brooks - Collins
Box 6
Box 6, Folder 1-18Personal, To Simic, Commission - DeConnick
Box 7
Box 7, Folder 1-20Personal, To Simic, Degruson - Feeny
Box 8
Box 8, Folder 1-26Personal, To Simic, Feigenson - Gluck
Box 9
Box 9, Folder 1-18Personal, To Simic, Goff - Harper
Box 10
Box 10, Folder 1-19Personal, To Simic, Harris - Jusdanis
Box 11
Box 11, Folder 1-21Personal, To Simic, Kaesshaefer - Laughlin
Box 12
Box 12, Folder 1-20Personal, To Simic, Law - Lynch
Box 13
Box 13, Folder 1-21Personal, To Simic, McBride - Mignola
Box 14
Box 14, Folder 1-21Personal, To Simic, Minailovic - Parnas
Box 15
Box 15, Folder 1-17Personal, To Simic, Pascal - Rudman
Box 16
Box 16, Folder 1-23Personal, To Simic, Ruefle - Smilijanic
Box 17
Box 17, Folder 1-20Personal, To Simic, Smith - Vyec
Box 18
Box 18, Folder 1-19Personal, To Simic, Waberer - Young
Box 19
Box 19, Folder 1-8Personal, To Simic, Young - Zwicky; Unidentified Correspondence
Box 20
Box 20, Folder 1-7Unidentified Correspondence
Box 21
Box 21, Folder 1-15Publishers, Amnesty International - Hanser
Box 22
Box 22, Folder 1-14Publishers, Carl - Franckstiflungen
Box 23
Box 23, Folder 1-19Publishers, Frankfurter - Hunger Mountain
Box 24
Box 24, Folder 1-18Publishers, Imprint Publishers - New York Review of Books (up to 2010)
Box 25
Box 25, Folder 1-17Publishers, New York Review of Books (2011 onwards) - Retivov
Box 26
Box 26, Folder 1-19Publishers, The Review - Vuelta
Box 27
Box 27, Folder 1-17Publishers, Events
  • Publishers, W.W. Norton - WSOY
  • Events, Absolute Poetry Fest - Coyahuga
Box 28
Box 28, Folder 1-13Events, Dartmouth - Lynchburg College
Box 29
Box 29, Folder 1-12Events, MacArthur Foundation - Purchase College
Box 30
Box 30, Folder 1-16Events, Queens College - Zbignew Award

Series 2: Notebooks, 1963-2017

(8 boxes (2.66 cubic feet))

This series contains Simic's working notebooks for his poetry and translations, organized chronologically.

Box 31
Box 31, Folder 1-12Draft notebooks, 1963-1991
Box 32
Box 32, Folder 1-10Draft notebooks, 1991-1997; Bibliography of works 1994-2004
Box 33
Box 33, Folder 1-14Draft notebooks, 1997-2002
Box 34
Box 34, Folder 1-16Draft notebooks, "1963-2002" and 2003-2011
Box 35
Box 35, Folder 1-15Draft notebooks, 2010-2017 and undated
Box 36
Box 36, Folder 1-18Draft notebooks, undated
Box 37
Box 37, Folder 1-8Translation Notebooks

Simic's translations of works by fellow Balkin poets Hristic, Janevski, Ladic, Mihalic, Miljovic, Pistalo, and Popa.

Box 38
Box 38, Folder 1-8Translation Papers

Simic's translations and subject files for translating Popa, Lalic, Keaten, Ashbury, Bosch, Hess, ICP, Brodsky, Freilicher, Lightman, Merrill, and Ristovic. Also includes subject file on dictator Milosovic.

Series 3: Published Poetry, 1963-2017

(17 boxes (5.5 cubic feet))

The Published Poetry series contains drafts, galleys, edits (sometimes on published volumes), and proof copies of Simic's poetry, as well as pre-publication material related to his translations of others' works.

Box 39
Box 39, Folder 1-17Poetry, 1967-1990
  • What The Grass Says (1967)
  • White (1972)
  • Staring at Night (1982)
  • Unending Blues (1986)
  • The Puppet (1986-1990)
  • Whistling in the Dark (1987-1990
  • The World Doesn't End (1989)
  • The Book of Gods and Devils (1990)
Box 40
Box 40, Folder 1-16Publications, 1990-1994
  • The Book of Gods and Devils (1990)
  • Hotel Insomnia (1992)
  • Cornell Notebooks [became Dimestore Alchemy] (1992)
  • A Wedding in Hell (1994)
Box 41
Box 41, Folder 1-12Publications, 1994-1996
  • A Wedding in Hell (1994)
  • Frightening Toys (1995)
  • Walking the Black Cat (1996)
Box 42
Box 42, Folder 1-14Publications, 1996-1999 and Undated
  • Walking the Black Cat (1996)
  • Jack Straws (no date)
Box 43
Box 43, Folder 1-13Publications, 1999-2000 and undated
  • Jack Straws (no date)
  • Selected Early Poems (1999)
  • Where is Baby Pepe? (2000)
Box 44
Box 44, Folder 1-14Publications, 2000-2001 and undated
  • Where is Baby Pepe? (2000)
  • Night Picnic (2001)
  • Speck Sized Screaming Head (no date)
  • Quickly Improvised Gallows (no date)
Box 45
Box 45, Folder 1-12Publications, 2002-2006 and undated
  • Quickly Improvised Gallows (no date)
  • Cellular Overview (no date)
  • Selected Poems 1963-2003 (2003)
  • Aunt Lettuce, I Want To Peek Under Your Skirt (2005)
  • My Noiseless Enterage (2002)
  • That Little Something (2006?)
Box 46
Box 46, Folder 1-13Publications, 1992-2012 and undated
  • That Little Something (2006?)
  • Master of Disguises (2010)
  • A Wedding in Hell (1994)
  • Talking to the Ceiling (no date)
  • Poems II (2009)
  • Marinda's Epic (1992)
  • Aunt Lettuce, I Want To Peek Under Your Skirt (2005)
  • Jack Straws (1999)
  • New & Selected Poems 1962-2012 (2012)
  • El Imarto de los Suenos (no date)
  • Translations (by others) of Simic's poems (misc. dates)
  • Another Republic (2012)
  • Oranges and Snow (2010)
Box 47
Box 47, Folder 1-15Publications and Translations, 1990-2010 and undated
  • Oranges and Snow (2010)
  • The Horse Has Six Legs (1992)
  • Night Mail / Novica Tadic (1992)
  • Ristovic: "Devil's Lunch" translation (1999)
  • Sarajlic translations (no date)
  • Unpublished Simic poems
  • Poetry and prose, translated into non-English languages
  • The Partial Explaination (no date)
  • Charon's Cosmology (no date)
  • The Book of Gods and Devils (1990)
  • Explaining a Few Things (no date)
  • Translations of Demirovic
  • Simic's poems, translated by others (misc. dates)
Box 48
Box 48, Folder 1-23Publications, 2006-2013 and undated
  • Assorted poems, published and unpublished, 2007-2013
  • Night Music (2013)
  • The Invisible (no date)
  • Eternities (no date)
  • Poems by Thomas Campion, selected by Simic (2006)
  • El Pollo sin Cabeza (no date)
  • White: "What the White Head Had To Say" (no date)
Box 49
Box 49, Folder 1-10Misc. Poetry, 1960s-2013
  • Offprints of Simic Poetry
  • "As You Come Over The Hill" (NY Review of Books, 2013)
  • Translation of Andrew Beton poem
  • Offprint of untitled poem by Simic
  • Writings, 1960s - 1980s
  • Unidentified poetry, some in English
  • Unidentified poetry book draft, starting with "The Lucky Couple" (no date)
Box 50
Box 50, Folder 1-23Misc. Poetry, undated
  • "The Memory Piano" (no date)
  • "The Lunatic" (no date)
  • "White Pebble" (no date)
  • French translations of Simic's poetry
  • Other unidentified and undated single poems
Box 51
Box 51, Folder 1-23Misc. Poetry & Unsorted proofs
  • "Come Closer And Listen" (no date)
  • Annotated proofs: White, A Wedding In Hell, Walking the Black Cat, Hotel Insomnia, Scribbled In The Dark, Night Picnic
Box 52
Box 52, Folder 1-48Published Poems, 1980-2018 and undated
  • Assorted published and unpublished poems, both from collections such as Jackstraws and single publications (2000-2018)
Box 53
Box 53, Folder 1-22Published Poems, 1983-2012 and undated
  • Poems published in periodicals, 1983-2012
  • Galley proof,drafts, correspondence for "The Best American Poetry" (1992)
Box 54
Box 54, Folder 1-50Periodicals and Poetry Publications, 1961-1995
  • Contributions to periodicals in English, alphabetical Q-Z
  • Poetry Publications, 1961-1995
Box 55
Box 55, Folder 1-53Poetry Publications, 1995-2004
Box 56
Box 56, Folder 1-40Poetry, Translations, Prose, 1975-2006
  • Poetry publications, 2005-2006 and undated
  • Poems in translation, 1975-2002 and undated

Series 4: Published Prose, 1958-2018

(12 cu. ft. (14 boxes))

The Published Prose series contains drafts, galleys, edits, and proof copies of Simic's prose, as well as pre-publication material related to his translations of others' works. Occasional poetry is also included.

Box 56
Box 56, Folder 41-60Prose published in magazines, 1994-2000
Box 57
Box 57, Folder 21-48Published Prose, 1958-2018 and undated
  • From Notebooks, 1980-1984; 1996-1997
  • "Wonderful Words, Silent Truth" (1990)
  • Preface to "Red Knight: Serbian Women's Songs" (1992)
  • Introduction to "The Wolf at the Door: Simic Translations of Bogomil Gjuzel" (2001)
  • The Friends of Heralitus (1994-1994)
  • The Unemployed Fortune Teller (1994)
  • Orphan Factory (1958-1964)
Box 58
Box 58, Folder 1-32Prose and Book Reviews, 1990-2004

Poems and Prose:

  • Poems from "Letters of Transit" (2000)
  • Introduction to "Summons" (2000)
  • Poem from "A Fly In The Soup" (2000)
  • Poems from "The Metaphysician in the Dark" (2003)
  • Introduction to "New British Poetry Anthology" (2004)
  • Introduction to "The Late Matha Pascal" (2004)
  • "Memory Piano" (1998)
  • "In Praise of Folly" (1998); "Evil: Menus & Recipes" (1997)
  • Material from Notebooks
  • "Abelardo Morelli's Poetry of Appearances" (1998)
  • "Displaced Persons" (no date)

Book Reviews, 1990-1997 and undated, including:

  • "Over Scandal" (1997)
  • "Cats Watch Over Us" (1990)
  • "On Milosz" (no date)
  • "The Trouble With Poetry" (prose, no date)
Box 59
Box 59, Folder 1-46Published Reviews, Introductions, and Prose Manuscripts, ca. 1998-2006 and undated
  • Book reviews, 1998-2006 and undated
  • Poem ideas

Manuscripts (dates not given):

  • "Bombing of Cities"
  • "Notes on Poetry & Philosphy"
  • "My Back Pages"
  • "Joseph Cornell's Theater of the Mind"
  • "New York City Book"
  • "Jimmie Roder's Last Blue Yodel"
  • "Gentleman Alone"
  • "Image Mania"
  • Unidentified manuscript
  • "Weather Forecast for Utopia and Vacinity"
  • "Farewell Slobo"
  • "James Laughlin"
  • "Form"
  • "On Translation"
  • "A Short Note on an Endless Poem"
  • "Some Thoughts on the Poetic Line"
  • "The Trial of Surrealism"
  • "Anti-Poetry"

Introductions to:

  • "Wadsorth Anthology on Poetry"
  • "Looking For Trouble"
  • "I Love You Baby Till The Cows Come Home"
Box 60
Box 60, Folder 1-34Prose, Speeches, and Manuscripts/Reviews, 1996-2013
  • Unpublished prose, many untitled, 2001-2012 and undated

Published Prose and Speeches, dates not given:

  • America's Refugees
  • Introduction of Misty Harper
  • Introduction of Hans Magnus Enzenberger
  • Abelardo Morelli's Poetry of Appearance

Books:

  • Orphan Factory (2000)
  • The True Adventures of Kafka's Cage (2011)
  • Poetry on the Road (2013)
  • Museum Exhibition Reviews, 2011 and 2013
  • Introduction to "1941: Bodina Kaja Se Vraca" (Goldstein, 2007)
  • Preface to "Godinia Raspoda" (Lukovic, 2000)
  • Faces in the Crowd (2010)
  • Tribute to Kenneth Roch (undated)
  • Piece on James Laughlin, untitled and undated
  • Untitled, 1996
  • Review of "Milosevic: Portrait of a Tyrant" (Doder & Branson, 2000)
  • Review of children's poetry books, 1999
Box 61
Box 61, Folder 1-12Published Prose, 1994-2005 and Undated
  • Alquimia de baratillo (1994)
  • Ich spielte Krieg im Krieg in Belgrad (1999)
  • Mit Gene Tierney in Paris (1999)
  • Fluch der Rach (1999)
  • Est ist immer drei Uhr (2000)
  • Wettervorhersage fur Utopia und die nahere Umgebung (2001)
  • I migliori del mondo per diritto divino (2001)
  • Blutiger Martyrer (2001)
  • Der Geruch des Gemetzels (2001)
  • The Scent of Carnage (2001)
  • Er war ein Wilder und wollte seine Artgenossen studieren (2002)
  • Blinde Weltmacht (2004)
  • Amerikas Fluchtlinge (2005)
  • Hunger nacht Musik (2005)
  • Several folders of misc. prose by Simic, most undated
Box 62
Box 62, Folder 1-34Periodicals, 1970-1991
  • Contributions to periodicals in English, alphabetical A-P
Box 63
Box 63, Folder 1-56Prose, Poems, Reviews Published in Magazines, 1982-2014 and undated
  • Prose, 1998-2003 and undated
  • Poems, 1982-1914 and undated
  • Reviews, 2006-2014 and undated
Box 64
Box 64, Folder 1-60Reviews, Prose Published in Magazines, 1993-2014
  • Reviews, 2001-2008 and undated
  • Articles and Essays, 1993-1914 and undated
Box 65
Box 65, Folder 1-29Interviews and Prose, 1973-2013 and undated
  • Published English interviews with Simic, 1973-2013 and undated
  • Non-English Prose Publications, 1998-2003 and undated
Box 66
Box 66, Folder 1-26Published Prose, 1997-2006
Box 67
Box 67, Folder 1-29Translations in Periodicals, undated
  • Simic's published translations of others, including Iven, Beckovic, Benedikt, Hristic, Janevsia, Livada, Michaux, Miljkovic, Nastasijevic, Pasternack, Pavic, Paulovic, Pavolovski, Petricic, Petrov, Petrovic, Popa, Ristovic, Salamun, Tristan, and unidentified
  • Translations of Simic by others, in Arabic, Croatian, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, and Polish

Series 5: Material About Simic, 1960-2016

(14 boxes (4.66 cubic feet))

Articles, interviews, translations, reviews, tributes to Simic, awards, reading ephemera, scholarly works on his poetry and prose, and materials related to his professional appointments can be found in this series.

Box 68
Box 68, Folder 1-35Translations and Interviews, 1973-2000
  • Translations of Simic by others
  • Interviews with Simic, 1973-2000
Box 69
Box 69, Folder 1-6Reviews and Interviews, Unsorted
Box 70
Box 70, Folder 1-32Interviews and Simic's Books Reviewed, 1970s-2007 and undated
  • Interviews with Simic, 1973-2000
  • Music inspired by Simic's work
Box 71
Box 71, Folder 1-6Scholarly Works Studying Simic's Poetry & Prose
Box 72
Box 72, Folder 1-20Poems, Prose, and Music Dedicated to Simic, most undated
Box 73
Box 73, Folder 1-29Simic's Books Reviewed and Works Inspired by Simic,
  • Simic's books reviewed, A-B by title of book
  • Simic's books reviewed, C-W and unidentified, by title of book
Box 74
Box 74, Folder 1-5Drawings and Photos of Simic and of his Gardner Museum Exhibit
Box 75
Box 75, Folder 1-50Articles About Simic, 1971-1999
Box 76
Box 76, Folder 1-5Articles About Simic, Unsorted & Undated
Box 77
Box 77, Folder 1-39Articles and Reviews, 1960-2006 and Undated
  • Articles about Simic, ca. 2000-2005
  • Reviews of Simic, 1960s-1980s and Undated
Box 78
Box 78, Folder 1-39Reviews and Appearences, 1980-2002
  • Reviews of Simic, D-W titles
  • Public Appearences, Invites, Fliers, Press Releases, 1980-2002
Box 79
Box 79, Folder 1-15Appearences, Awards, Introductions, 2000-2016
Box 80
Box 80, Folder 1-28Awards, Readings, Contracts, 1966-1998
  • Awards, 1975-1996
  • UNH Convention Speech 1999
  • Readings, 1966-1998
  • Royalty Statements and Contracts, A-H
Box 81
Box 81, Folder 1-24Contracts, War Writing, UNH Materials
  • Royalty Statements and Contracts, G-U
  • Book Cover Designs, Biographies, Class Lectures
  • Balkan and Iraq War Writings
  • Syllabi, Correspondence related to professional appointments to jobs
Box 82
Box 82, Folder 1-2Readings/Events, Contracts (Unsorted)

Series 6: Audiovisual Materials, Ca. 1980-2018

(4 boxes (1 cubic foot))

The Audiovisual series contains interviews, readings, and digital versions of some of Simic's works.

Box 83
Interviews and Readings (DVD, VHS, and floppy disc formats)
Box 84
Blogs, Emails, Music, Readings, Interviews (compact disc format)
Box 85
Readings and Interviews (cassette tape format)
Box 86
Readings and Interviews (cassette tape format)

Series 7: Oversize Materials, Undated

(1 box (1 cubic foot))
Oversize Box 1
Broadsides, Musical Scores, Oversize Art (dates not given)