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The poet, novelist and nonfiction writer May Sarton was born in Belgium in 1912, but relocated with her parents to Cambridge, MA at an early age. Her literary career began with the publication of a collection of poetry in 1937; The Single Hound, her first novel, appeared the following year. Sarton published nearly 20 collections of poetry, 20 novels, 13 works of nonfiction, and two children’s books during her career.
Sarton received awards and grants from the Poetry Society of America, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation. In addition, she received the American Book Award and honorary doctorates from Bates College, Colby College, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Maine, Bowdoin College, Union College and Bucknell University. Sarton died on July 16, 1995 in York, Maine.
This collection represents material created through the friendship of the donor, Maureen Connelly, and May Sarton. Correspondence, photographs (all taken by Ms. Connelly unless noted otherwise), ephemera, and signed books and rare pamphlets published by Sarton make up the bulk of the collection.
Ms. Connelly and May Sarton shared a mutual friend, the poet and author Conrad Aiken. This combined with Ms. Connelly writing numerous reviews on Sarton’s works caused for continual interaction and correspondence between the two women for many years, which is represented by the correspondence in the collection. One set of photographs are of May Sarton at her house in York, Maine, which Ms. Connelly visited on multiple occasions.
This collection also has secondary resources to help make it a well-rounded research collection, including book reviews by the donor and by others, ephemera involving May Sarton and signed by her, and many of Sarton’s published works, nearly all inscribed.