James Marcus Schuyler (November 9, 1923 – April 12, 1991) was an American poet. He was a central figure in the New York School and is often associated with fellow New York School poets John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, and Barbara Guest. A native of Chicago, Schuyler attended Bethany College in West Virginia from 1941 to 1943. He moved to New York City in the late 1940s where he worked for NBC. In 1947, he moved to Ischia, Italy, where he lived in W.H. Auden's apartment and worked as his secretary while attending the University of Florence.
After returning to the United States and settling in New York City, he roomed with John Ashbery and Frank O'Hara. While living in New York, Schuyler found inspiration in the art world. From 1955-1961, he was a "curator of circulating exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art." He was also an editorial associate and critic for Art News. From 1961 to 1973, Schuyler lived with Fairfield Porter and his family in Southampton, Long Island. Porter became an influence for Schuyler as well, and he dedicated his first major collection, Freely Espousing, to Anne and Fairfield Porter.
Schuyler is also noted for his distinct ability to take things that are "normal," and bring out their greatness. He takes a look at things that many people may not see, or care to take note of, such as individual raindrops. He received the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his 1980 collection The Morning of the Poem, which is considered to be among the best long poems of the postmodern era. He also coauthored a novel, A Nest of Ninnies, with John Ashbery in 1969.
Kenward Gray Elmslie (April 27, 1929 - ) is an American writer, performer, editor and publisher associated with the New York School of poetry. Born in New York City, Elmslie spent his childhood in Colorado Springs, Colorado, prepped at the St. Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard in 1950 with a B.A. in literature. He began his career collaborating with composers on operas and musicals in an attempt to bring a contemporary style to classical theater. Among his theatrical works are The Grass Harp and Lola, both projects in collaboration with Claibe Richardson.
His poetry and prose is often combined with the graphical work of other artists. A collection of his writing, Motor Disturbance (1971), won the Frank O'Hara Award for Poetry in 1971. He was awarded the National Endowment of the Arts Award for Power Plant Sestina (1967) and the Ford Foundation Grant. In 1973, Elmslie began work as editor and publisher of Z Magazine and Z Press, working to promote the work of other New York School artists such as John Ashbery, Ron Padgett, James Schuyler, and perhaps most extensively, Joe Brainard.
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Acquisition Note: Source: Purchase.
Transferred from Stonehill blanket order
Accession number 1354
Preferred Citation:Name of the Collection, Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections
Scope and Contents: Typescript [carbon] of Unpacking the Black Trunk, a play in one act by Schuyler and Elmslie. No revisions or corrections. Note on title page, "only edition." In black folder. 9 pages