Monthly Archives: November 2011

Rochelle Holt: Sharon Spencer Papers

Sharon Spencer and Rochelle Holt January 1979

First an inquiry from Rochelle to Donna regarding finding a home for some Sharon Spencer papers:

Donna, I’m in the process of cleaning and findng again. A while ago I remember you said there was a Swallow Press library for pertinent information? I have some of Sharon’s books and not sure if they are in there, i.e. WIRE RIMS, VOICES FROM THE EARTH, her last unpublished ms. “Gentle Revolutionaries,” a letter from Gabriel Alcocer Sanchez in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico regarding Sharon’s last days which I reread, very sad. Anyway, do you think the collection would be interested in any of this??? If so, where would I send?

Then a response from Donna Ippolito:

I’m aware of two collections, U. of Illinois Chicago has a Swallow Press collection, but I don’t have any contact information. You can look it up online, however, because I’ve done so in the past, back in 2004, I think. Also, Northwestern U. has an Anaïs Nin collection. I was there with Valerie some 30 years ago and saw only materials from Nin & Henry Miller, but who knows what other kinds of documents they’d be interested in. When we corresponded about this before, I also suggested that you contact Montclair College. Maybe they have a Sharon Spencer collection by now or would be interested in starting one. Someone in the English Department might also know who else you might contact. These are all just suggestions, of course. I have no specific email links or contact names to provide. Last time this came up, Moira & I tried to find Sharon’s sister, who had all Sharon’s papers, but the contact information for Pat was out of date and led to a dead end. Also, aren’t Anaïs’s papers in California somewhere? Moira might be able to help by putting up something on the website–perhaps a notice that your materials are available, with a call to anyone who might know where they could find a home. I wish I could be more help than this, but if you have time to Google, I’m guessing you will eventually turn up something. Unfortunately, I’m not able to do the legwork. Hope all is well – Donna

Then a reply from Rochelle, who had no luck with Montclair:

Someone suggested I start with Montclair where my late friend Sharon Spencer taught a number of years; she passed in 2002. I’ve found papers, books and her last unpublished ms. I’m wondering if Montclair ever started a special collections for Dr. Sharon Spencer? Let me know. Rochelle Lynn Holt She and I were part of the Anaïs Nin Circle

No collection was ever started of Sharon’s work. I don’t know that we have done that for any present or former faculty member.

But did have luck with Northwestern University.

Northwestern U Special Collections will take anything regarding Sharon Spencer which is where I’m sending her last ms. correspondence, etc.

Scott Krafft, Curator of Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections Northwestern U Library 1970 Campus Drive Evanston, Il 60208 has agreed to accept correspondence, books by and about Sharon Spencer. Best to write to him first. Scott Krafft

Anaïs Nin As A Teacher and Theorist of Creativity

I’m interested in Anaïs Nin as a teacher and as a theorist of creativity.

I’d like to bring that very important dimension of her life into the foreground of the discussion about her. Nan Hunt, Leah Schweitzer and I were in a M.A. program with her in the last years of her life. We’ll be reading our own work, and discussing Nin’s long-term effect on us as poets, teachers, essayists, etc. Let all who might be interested know to show up. All 3 of us did good work then and are doing good work now.

We’ll put on a good show. Nancy

Please forward to all who might be interested

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310.822.3006 /
681 Venice Blvd. West of Lincoln
December 16, Friday 7:30 PM
ANAIS NIN’S students read their work and discuss her impact on their lives

“Eroticism is one of the basic means of self-knowledge, as indispensable as poetry…”

Anaïs Nin, In Favor of the Sensitive Man

Nancy Shiffrin’s new collection of love poems GAME WITH VARIATIONS is now available on-line. Click on the link below to read more and order

“Nancy Shiffrin’s poems are gut-land responses to a personal life of risks, frustrations, and celebrations. Her writing is lean, sensitive, erotic. She celebrates the female body with a rare vigor.” –Robert Peters

THE VAST UNKNOWING collects a wide spectrum of poetry from Nancy Shiffrin…One of her main questions is Who are we? What made us that person? She explores a number of sources of our identity….(in the poem) “My Shoah” (Shiffrin) brings together many of her disparate threads—family religion…evil…details from her personal history—and makes them work together. When she is at her best, as in this poem, Shiffrin produces deep powerful poetry. G. Murray Thomas,