Abe Louise Young papers
Scope and Contents
Collection contains correspondence; diaries; calendars from Young's senior year at Smith College; poetry and writings; passport; audio and video tapes of Young reading her poems; posters advertising readings in which Young participated; flyers, brochures and newsletters pertaining to the women's movement and lesbian activism; and miscellaneous printed material, memorabilia, and photographs. A typescript of an interview with Elizabeth Alexander, first director of the Smith Poetry Center, is also included.
Dates of Materials
- Creation: 1973 - 2016
- Young, Abe Louise (1976) (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research use with following restrictions on access: At the direction of the donor, the diaries and correspondence are closed to research until the death of the author.
Abe Louise Young, ’99, was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. A Sophia Smith Scholar in Poetry, Young was involved in the founding of the Poetry Center and served as assistant to its first director, Elizabeth Alexander.
After leaving Smith, Young earned an M.A. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, taught writing at Loyola University in Chicago, and went on to complete an MFA at the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a James Michener Fellow. She has published poems, essays, and reviews in many journals and anthologies. A gifted poet herself, Young is two-time winner of the Academy of American Poets Anne Bradstreet prize, as well as runner-up in the Ellen LaForge memorial Poetry Competition, and was awarded the Nell Altizer Prize in Poetry from Hawaii Review. She is author of a poetry two chapbooks, Ammonite (2008) and Heaven to Me (2016). Her poems and essays have appeared in Witness, Verse Daily, Narrative Magazine, The Massachusetts Review, and The Nation. Among her prizes are the 2017 Vilcek Prize from the Bellevue Literary Review for “Poem for a Friend Getting Lighter and Lighter,” selected by Kazim Ali and a Grolier Poetry Prize.
A self-described social change artist, Young has conducted writing workshops with diverse constituencies in more than 30 states, including residents of public housing and gifted high school students, and has won enthusiastic reviews for innovative teaching on the college level.
She has worked on a wide variety of story-based social change projects, including Jailhouse Stories: Voices of Pre-Trial Detention in Texas; Queer Youth Advice for Educators: How to Protect Your LGBTQ Students (Next Generation Press); and she created and directed Alive in Truth: The New Orleans Disaster Oral History Project. Young has also worked as an oral history consultant for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Danish-American Dialogue for Human Rights, interviewing Holocaust rescuers whose stories were contributed to the U.S. Holocaust Museum.
Currently, Young serves as Executive Director of Education and Training at Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) and Co-Director of Prizer Arts & Letters, a center for socially engaged arts and literature in Austin, where she makes her home. Abe Louise Young is involved in direct action, third wave activism, radical queer politics, and the women's poetry community.
[From the Smith College Poetry Center website: https://www.smith.edu/poetrycenter/wp/young/]
4.605 linear feet (10 containers)
Language of Materials
Abe Louise Young is a poet, activist, Sophia Smith Scholar in Poetry, and a founder of the Poetry Center at Smith College. Collection contains correspondence; diaries; poetry and writings; passport; flyers, brochures and newsletters pertaining to the women's movement and lesbian activism; and miscellaneous printed material, memorabilia, and photographs. A typescript of an interview with Elizabeth Alexander, first director of the Smith Poetry Center, is also included.
This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by Abe Louise Young in 2000-2016.
Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.
- Finding Aid to the Abe Louise Young papers
- Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
- Madison White
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2018-12-14: archived website added
- 2019-01-02: updated to current descriptive standards
- 2021-06-29: Content listing added from accession inventories
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063