Collection ASM0124 - Laurence Donovan papers

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Laurence Donovan papers


  • 1945-2001 (Creation)


12 Linear Feet (12 boxes)

Name of creator

Biographical history

Laurence Donovan was a poet, artist, and English professor at the University of Miami.

Donovan was born in 1927, and grew up in southern Florida. His parents were Ruth and Laurence Donovan, and he had one brother, Patrick. His father was best known for publishing Doc Savage novels under the alias Norman Danberg.

Donovan served as a private in the Army Corps of Engineers in the Philippines from 1945-1946. Following his military service, he graduated with an A.B. from the University of Miami in 1951, and an M.A. in 1954. He also completed one year of Ph.D. coursework at the University of Iowa in 1957. Donovan taught English at the University of Miami from the 1950s through the 1980s, first as an instructor, and then as a professor. He passed away in 2001.

Laurence Donovan is best known for his poetry, much of which was inspired by Florida’s natural beauty. His poems were published in literary journals across the nation. An avid artist, Donovan was prominent in the Coconut Grove art scene in the 1960s. His artwork was featured in numerous exhibitions and it was frequently published, sometimes accompanying his literary work. Donovan also wrote book reviews for the Miami Herald for many years.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Laurence Donovan Papers include correspondence, poetry, artwork, book reviews, writings, subject files, and other documents concerning the life and career of Laurence Donovan, an English professor at the University of Miami.

The correspondence dates from 1945-2001, and includes letters from Donovan’s family, friends, and professional associates. It provides insight into Donovan’s personal life, in addition to documenting his writing, artwork, and teaching. Most of the letters are incoming, but the series does contain some outgoing letters.

The collection also contains poetry, artwork, and writings by Donovan. The poetry includes typescripts and published poems. The typescripts are undated, and some have handwritten revisions. The artwork includes a small selection of Donovan’s published illustrations. The writings include typescripts and photocopies of book reviews that Donovan wrote for the Miami Herald, as well as papers and other materials.

The subject files include materials related to Donovan’s teaching and work at the University of Miami, as well as his poetry and artwork. Also included are articles and other materials about literary figures and works; programs and flyers for exhibitions, readings, shows, and other events; and writings and other materials by and about his friends and colleagues.

System of arrangement

The Laurence Donovan Papers are organized into five series.

I. Correspondence

II. Poetry

III. Artwork

IV. Writings

V. Subject Files

Please see the Finding Aid/Inventory section of this guide for more detailed information.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open for research.

Physical access

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Conditions governing reproduction

Laurence Donovan Papers Finding Aid © 2010 University of Miami. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

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Generated finding aid

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Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Dee Clark, 14 May 2010, with an additional gift by Jane Freeman, 3 August 2010.

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Related archival materials

List of Poems by Laurence Donovan

The Admirals

Advice from Farther Up

After Many Years


The Anachronist


The Animals

The Arrival

Ars Poetica

The Artist

Artist and Model

The Avocados

The Bandages

Beach Runner

The Beginning

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

The Bend in the River



Bluegum is Sorrow

Blue Heron

The Butterflies

By the Blue Cabana

By the Pool At Noon

Calle Thirty y Ocho




Coda Bestiarum


The Collector

Colloquy between the Puppets & the Puppet Master

Come See the Tented Lady



Dicta for a Hidden Poem

Dog Island: A Draft

The Dream

Dune Pine



Elegy for Alan

Elegy for Jose

Elegy in Ghana

Eleven for Paul Klee


Epthalamium the Sea Grape

The Everglades

The Fall

The Figure in the Mangroves

Flower. Rain. Man. Man. Rain. Flower.

The Fly

For Hogan Logan and Cyn Zarco

For the One

From a Phrase of Genet

Further Words from Socrates

Garbage Truck

The Grail of Laughter


Holding the Boy

Homage to Marguerite Young

The Hoofprint in the Dust: for John Ashbury

The House of Stone and Branch

How the Children Had It


In Cabana

In Spite of the Sky's Death

In the Invisible Man's Suitcases Are:

In the Long Run

In the Palace

In the Waters off Largo

In the Wind, Two Roses

In Wind's Swung World

It Came About

I the Climber

I Was Astonished

Jesus is Looking out of the South

The Jeweler


King Kong

Late Night

Long Key

A Long Way


Ma Lin

The Mangroves

The Margins



The Moon

Morning Song

Netting Crabs

Old Age

Old Charlie

The Old Man Says

On Dim Peripheries

The Other Ark

Pale Usher


Past and Present

The Peacock

The Penguin


Perhaps the Memory

The Pine


A Poem on an Empty Page


Prayer for the Night Commuter

The Raven

The Reader: Description & Questions



Report from Above


Rose of the Four Winds

Running at Crandon

The Sandflats

The Scorpion

The Sea

The Seagrape



Seven Stanzas

The Shell


A Small Bestiary

A Small Chorale for Wallace Stevens

The Soapbox Derby


Song for the Northern Children

Songs of the Bluely Farers


Strangler Fig

Summer Advice to a Mother

Sunday Afternoon

The Sun Makes a Few Remarks

Sutton Hoo


The Tarot


There is a Minstrelsy Within Each Room

The Things of Love

This Day

This Time Around

Thoughts on Contemporary Poetry

Three Songs of Antilles

To Robinson Jeffers

Tower of Blue Horses


The Traveler

Tropical Haiku

Truth to Tell

Two Young Poets at Night

The Typewriter's Tale

Variations on Some Lines by Ungaretti

View of the Delta

The Walk


The Wars of Gold


The Way to Make A Bee

What We Have Here

Where I Stood

The Wind


Winter Stanzas for Norma

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