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Collection Number: 04934

Collection Title: Anne Blackwell Payne Papers (#4934) 1920s-1960s

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size About 630 items (1.0 linear feet)
Abstract Anne Blackwell Payne (1887-1969) was born in Concord, N.C. She attended Flora MacDonald College and taught in the graded schools of Washington, N.C. After her mother's death, Payne moved to New York to attend Columbia University and studied poetry under Joseph Auslander. She was a charter member of the Writers' Society at Columbia and an award-winning member of the Poetry Society of America. In 1930, the University of North Carolina Press published her only book of poetry, Released. The book's favorable reviews made her well-known in her home state. After spending summers with her brother's family at their home on the Pimlico River and a brief stint running a library in Wilmington, N.C., for the Federal Housing Administration during World War II, Payne left New York permanently to live in Charlotte, N.C. There she acted as hostess-housekeeper for her cousin Thomas Sparrow. Her writings were published steadily in newspapers, magazines, and anthologies until her death in 1969. Writings, correspondence, clippings, and photographs of Anne Blackwell Payne. Writings are chiefly typed or holograph versions of Payne's poems, many annotated with publisher names and publication dates. Most poems appear in several versions, often with typed or holograph revisions. Also included are several versions of projected books of poems, 1930s-1960s, including a book of poetry for children. Some of Payne's poems were award winners in competitions sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society, the Poetry Council of North Carolina, or the Poetry Society of America. Also included are a few typed short stories and essays, most annotated with place of publication. Correspondence chiefly relates to the publication of Payne's poetry and includes two invoices and a note from Paul Green, then editor of The Reviewer, discussing the author's poetry and accepting at least one poem for publication; items concerning anthology publication; and requests for permission to offer for publication a few of Payne's poems set to music. Clippings are mostly poems published in newspapers and magazines, with a few reviews of Payne's work, including mention of Released (University of North Carolina Press, 1930). There are also a few undated studio photographs of Payne.
Creator Payne, Anne Blackwell, 1887-1969
Language English.
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Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Provenance
Received from Mary Wright Payne of Washington, N.C, in May 1998 (Acc. 98134).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Athough born in Concord, N.C., in October 1887, Anne Blackwell Payne, the daughter of Charles M. Payne, a Presbyterian minister, and Margaret Justice Sparrow Payne, always considered Washington, N.C., her hometown. She lived there from the age of six months until she attended Flora MacDonald College for two years. Returning to Washington, Payne taught in the graded schools and lived as a companion to her, by then, widowed mother.

Upon her mother's death, Payne moved to New York to attend Columbia Unviersity, where she began the serious study of poetry. At Columbia, Payne established several literary contacts, including Carl Van Doren and Joseph Auslander, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet in the twenties. During this time, Payne lived for several years with writer Kathryn Worth, a friend from Wilmington, N.C. Worth later became known as a writer of teenage novels based on North Carolina historical figures and locations.

Although she had been writing verse for many years, under Auslander at Columbia, Payne refined her skills in the art of song and sonnet. Subsequently, Payne became well-known through poems published a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including Century Magazine, the Virginia Quarterly Review, The Reviewer, Commonweal, the Boston Herald, the New York Herald, and the New York Times. Many of Payne's published works were children's poems, some of which were included in anthologies for children.

Payne's only published poetry book, Released (1930), was the first book of poetry published by the University of North Carolina Press. For the rest of her life, Payne published steadily in newspapers and magazines, although she continued to plan for the publication of one or more books, particularly one for children.

While at Columbia, Payne became active in the Writers' Club, where she was a charter member, as well as in the Poetry Society of America, through which she won several awards. She continued to win awards for her poetry, such as the Sidney Lanier Prize, and, in the sixties, was published in issues of Award Winning Poems, published by the North Carolina Poetry Society.

During her New York years, Payne returned to North Carolina in summers to spend time with her brother, Thomas Sparrow Payne, at his home on the Pamlico River. There she enjoyed visiting her niece and nephew, Mary and Tim, for whom she wrote much of her children's poetry. Payne also left New York for a time during World War II to run a library for the Federal Housing Administration in Wilmington, N.C.

With the publication of Released to favorable reviews, Payne's fame spread to her native state. She eventually returned there to make her home in Charlotte with her double first cousin, Dr. Thomas Sparrow, a prominent surgeon. Payne lived in Charlotte, acting as hostess-housekeeper for her cousin, until her death in March 1969. During this time, she continued to publish her work in national magazines and in local newspapers, such as the Raleigh News and Observer and the Charlotte Observer. She is buried in Oakdale Cemetery, Washington, N.C.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Writings, correspondence, clippings, and photographs of Anne Blackwell Payne. Writings are chiefly typed or holograph versions of poems, many annotated with publisher names and publication dates. Most poems appear in several versions, often with typed or holograph revisions. Also included are several versions of projected books of poems, 1930s-1960s, including a book of poetry for children. Some of Payne's poems were award winners in competitions sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society, the Poetry Council of North Carolina, or the Poetry Society of America. Also included are a few typed short stories and essays, most annotated with place of publication.

Correspondence chiefly relates to the publication of Payne's poetry and includes two invoices and a note from Paul Green, then editor of The Reviewer, published at the University of North Carolina, discussing the author's poetry and accepting at least one poem for publication; items concerning anthology publication; and requests for permission to offer for publication a few of Payne's poems set to music.

Clippings are mostly poems published in newspapers and magazines, with a few reviews of Payne's work, including mention of Released (University of North Carolina Press, 1930). There are also a few undated studio photographs of Payne.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Writings, 1920s-1960s.

About 650 items.

Chiefly typed or holograph versions of Anne Blackwell Payne's poems, many annotated with publisher names and publication dates. Most poems appear in several versions, often with typed or holograph revisions.

"Poems sold" and "Humor" are categories apparently established by Payne.

There are several versions of at least one projected book of poems, 1930s-1960s. Titles proposed for versions having title pages include "Light Verses and Verses for a Child: Afternoons and Mornings (Half-A-Hundred Poems) for a Middle-aged Child," "Under the Bright Blue Walls, or, Afternoons and mornings (Half-A-Hundred Poems) For a Middle-aged Child," and "Afternoons and Mornings (Half-A-Hundred Poems) For a Middle-aged Child." Some versions are untitled, but have acknowledgments pages listing previous publishers of the poems included. Versions of a projected children's book seem to be an expansion of "For a Child," published by the University of North Carolina Press as Part III of Released. There is also a collection of typed poems labeled "Sampler. Sonnets, Lyrics, Light Verse." (See also Related Collections.)

"Published poems" are mostly award winners in competitions sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society, the Poetry Council of North Carolina, or the Poetry Society of America. There are also published minutes of the Poetry Society of America listing readings of Payne's poems and the awards they won from the Society and the title page from a 1925 copy of The Reviewer, edited by Paul Green and published by the University of North Carolina, listing one of the Payne's poems.

Poems outside these groupings are arranged in alphabetical order as "Miscellaneous poems."

Also included are a few typed short stories and essays, most annotated with place and of publication.

Folder 1

Poems sold (A-M) #04934, Series: "1. Writings, 1920s-1960s. " Folder 1

Folder 2

Poems sold (N-W) #04934, Series: "1. Writings, 1920s-1960s. " Folder 2

Folder 3

Humor (A-G) #04934, Series: "1. Writings, 1920s-1960s. " Folder 3

Folder 4

Humor (H-N) #04934, Series: "1. Writings, 1920s-1960s. " Folder 4

Folder 5

Humor (O-W) #04934, Series: "1. Writings, 1920s-1960s. " Folder 5

Folder 6-8

Folder 6

Folder 7

Folder 8

Projected book of poems (untitled, undated) #04934, Series: "1. Writings, 1920s-1960s. " Folder 6-8

Folder 9-11

Folder 9

Folder 10

Folder 11

Projected book of poems (titled, undated) #04934, Series: "1. Writings, 1920s-1960s. " Folder 9-11

Folder 12

Sampler. Sonnets, Lyrics, Light Verse (undated) #04934, Series: "1. Writings, 1920s-1960s. " Folder 12

Folder 13-14

Folder 13

Folder 14

Published poems #04934, Series: "1. Writings, 1920s-1960s. " Folder 13-14

Folder 15

Miscellaneous poems (A-K) #04934, Series: "1. Writings, 1920s-1960s. " Folder 15

Folder 16

Miscellaneous poems (L-Y) #04934, Series: "1. Writings, 1920s-1960s. " Folder 16

Folder 17

Short stories and essays #04934, Series: "1. Writings, 1920s-1960s. " Folder 17

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Correspondence, 1920s-1960s.

About 50 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Correspondence chiefly relating to the publication of Payne's poetry, including two invoices and a note from Paul Green, then editor of The Reviewer, discussing the author's poetry and accepting at least one poem for publication; items concerning anthology publication; and requests for permission to offer for publication a few of Payne's poems set to music. Also included are a program for the annual dinner of the Shakespeare Club of New York City and invitations to formal functions, one sponsored by the English-Speaking Union of the United States, the other by the Poetry Society of America.

Folder 18

Correspondence #04934, Series: "2. Correspondence, 1920s-1960s. " Folder 18

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Clippings,1920s-1960s.

About 40 items.

Arrangement: alphabetical.

Newspaper clippings from the Raleigh News and Observer, the Washington Daily News, the Waldoboro Press, the New York Herald Tribune, and other newspapers and magazines. Most are clippings of published poems, with a few reviews of Payne's work, including mention of Released (University of North Carolina Press, 1930) and her plans to publish one or two other books of poetry. Some of the articles are illustrated with photographs of Payne. A clipping of one of the author's poems set to music is also included.

Folder 19

Clippings #04934, Series: "3. Clippings,1920s-1960s. " Folder 19

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse 4. Pictures, Undated.

4 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Four black and white studio photographs of the poet, one as a child, one apparently as a teenager, and two as an adult. One of the adult photographs is in postcard format. None of the photographs is dated.

Folder P-4934

Photographs #04934, Series: " 4. Pictures, Undated. " Folder P-4934

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Items separated include: P-4934/1-4.

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