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Eleanor Ross Taylor letters to Paul Collinge

 Collection — Box: BW 47, Folder: 1/1
Identifier: MSS 16687

Content Description

Letters and notes from Eleanor Ross Taylor to Paul Collinge and Mary Lyons (Heartwood Books). Also includes one program from Taylor's funeral and one from her husbands funeral (St Paul's Church, Charlottesville, Virginia) collected by Paul Collinge.


  • Creation: 1999-2012

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Eleanor Ross Taylor (June 30, 1920 – December 30, 2011) was an American poet who published six collections of verse from 1960 to 2009. Her work received little recognition until 1998, but thereafter received several major poetry prizes. She was born in rural North Carolina in 1920. She enrolled at the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she studied with the poet Allen Tate and novelist Caroline Gordon. She graduated in 1940, and worked for a time as a high school English teacher. With the recommendation from Allen Tate, she was admitted to Vanderbilt University for master's work with Donald Davidson.

In 1943 she married short story novelist Peter Taylor. Like most women of her generation, Eleanor Ross assumed that marriage and a career were incompatible. In the 1950s, Peter Taylor was teaching at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, along with the poet Randall Jarrell. Eleanor Taylor had been writing poems for some time, and Jarrell became her critic and sponsor. In 1960, her first poetry collection, A Wilderness of Ladies, was published.

In 1998, she was awarded the Shelley Memorial Award by the Poetry Society of America, which honors one or two poets each year "with reference to genius and need". She received the 2000 Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, which honors a "substantial and distinguished career". In 2009, she was elected to the Fellowship of Southern Writers and was awarded the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize. In March 2010, her volume Captive Voices: New and Selected Poems, 1960–2008 received the William Carlos Williams Award for the year's best volume of poetry from a small or a university press. On April 13, 2010 the Poetry Foundation announced that Taylor would receive the 2010 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, which honors poets whose "lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition"; the prize was $100,000.

Source: "Eleanor Ross Taylor". Wikipedia. Accessed 7/7/2022.


0.03 Cubic Feet (1 folder) : letters, notes, and funeral programs

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was a gift from Paul Collinge to the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library.

Condition Description


Eleanor Ross Taylor letters to Paul Collinge
Ellen Welch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States