Stephen Spender Papers

Collection Summary

Title: Stephen Spender Papers
Call Number: MS 92-22
Size: 0.25 linear feet
Acquisition: Purchased from George Robert Minkoff, Inc.
Processed By: KJC and AG, circa 1992, MN, 11-7-1997; JEF, 4-27-1998; MN, 11-21-2014
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

Stephen Spender, English poet and critic, was a member of the noted group of writers that included W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood and Louis MacNiece among others. This collection includes some of his correspondence and a typewritten essay he authored about the future of literature and art. The items date between 1938 and 1975. An original photograph of Spender, signed and dated February 1964, is also included. This collection also contains one signed, hand-lettered bound book of poems. The book was created by Eda Kavin as a Christmas gift in 1938.


Stephen Spender (1909-1995), a British author of prose, plays, and novels, was born September 28, 1909, the son of writer Harold Spender. He was educated at University College School, and later University College in London.  His professional career included stints as a fireman, college lecturer and editor. For over 30 years, Spender worked intermittently as co-editor for Horizon Magazine, beginning in the mid 1940s. During this time and for years afterward, Spender traveled to the United States and served in various professorships in colleges across the nation.
He was the recipient of notable writing awards such as the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and the Companion of Literature in 1978.   He also was granted honorary membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Box 1 FF 1 Contains a signed, hand-lettered, bound book of poems by Stephen Spender, created by Eda Kavin, 1938.
Box 1 FF 2 Contains a one page, handwritten poem entitled “Algerian Refugee Camp, Ain-Khemouda.”
Box 1 FF 3 Contains a letter from Stephen Spender to “Alan,” dated July 2, 1958, regarding refugee camp poem.
Box 1 FF 4 Contains a seven-page typewritten essay by Spender regarding the future of literature and art.
Box 1 FF 5 Contains a letter from Spender to A. G. Anderson, Librarian, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, dated 1-31-1975.
Box 1 FF 6 Contains a photograph of Spender, signed and dated February 1964.