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Abe Louise Young papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00399

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

  • 1983 - 2007

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Biographical Note

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/]

Extent

3.5 linear feet (7 boxes. Other materials in the collection: Posters in flat file)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

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.

Arrangement

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. Note that in most cases, container numbers start over at 1 with each new accession.

Other Finding Aids

One or more content listings to individual accessions in this collection are available for download. Links can be found in the description of the individual accessions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Abe Louise Young in 2000-2016.

Source

Creator

Title
Finding Aid to the Abe Louise Young papers
Status
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Author
Madison White
Date
2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 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

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063