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William Kimball Flaccus galley proofs

Ms. Coll. 1297

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Flaccus, Kimball, 1911-1972
William Kimball Flaccus galley proofs
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1297
0.33 linear feet (1 box)
William Kimball Flaccus (1911-1972) was an American poet and biographer of Edgar Lee Masters. This collection contains the galley proofs of his 1934 Avalanche of April and 1940  The White Stranger.
Cite as:
William Kimball Flaccus galley proofs, 1934-1940, Ms. Coll. 1297, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
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William Kimball Flaccus was born August 8, 1911, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Louis William and Laura Flaccus. He was educated at Dartmouth College, earning his A.B. in 1933; Columbia University, earning his M.A. in 1934; and New York University, earning his Ph.D. in 1952. While still in high school, Flaccus began his career as a poet, and he won first prize in Scholastic Magazine's national interscholastic poetry competition in 1929 and first prize in the Glascock Memorial Poetry Contest at Mt. Holyoke College in 1931. He published his first book of poems, Avalanche of April, in 1934, the same year he earned his M.A. from Columbia.

In addition to writing poetry, Kimball Flaccus taught English and creative writing at several institutions, including the City College of New York from 1936 to 1942 (where he established the Phonographic Library of Contemporary Poets, recording the voices of such famous poets as Edgar Lee Masters, Genevieve Taggard, Arthur Davison Ficke, and John Hall Wheelock reading their own poems), Drexel Institute of Technology in 1946, New York University and Hunter College from 1953 to 1954, Pratt Institute in 1954, and Greensboro College in Greensboro, North Carolina from 1956 to 1957. In 1957, he became a free-lance writer.

During World War II, Flaccus served in the United States Navy, entering service in 1942 and remaining in the Navy as a reservist following the War until 1950. From 1946 to 1949, Flaccus worked as an assistant professor at the United States Naval Intelligence School. While serving in the Navy, in 1944, Flaccus won first prize in a contest for best play written by a serviceman overseas, for his play, Knock on Wood.

Published works by Flaccus include Avalanche of April (1934),  The White Stranger (1940),  Fulton Fish Market, a verse play performed on CBS radio (1940),  The Music of Mountains, a verse play performed on CBS radio (1942),  Knock on Wood (1944),  Edgar Lee Masters: A Biographical and Critical Study (1954), and  Seventy New Poems (1968).

Flaccus married Josephine Thurston in 1952 and Alice Pennock in 1968. He died on June 16, 1972, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the galley proofs for William Kimball Flaccus's Avalanche of April dating from 1934 and  The White Stranger dating from 1940. The galley proof for  Avalanche of April is neither annotated nor corrected.

There are three copies of The White Stranger that are seemingly identical in content but formatted slightly differently from one another. Additionally, all three copies include a long preface about the significance of the story of Quetzalcoatl, an Aztec deity who is the subject of the first of the poems, in Mexico and the United States. Like the galley proof for  Avalanche of April, none of the galleys for  The White Stranger are annotated or corrected.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2017 May 18

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Kelin Baldridge

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

At Dartmouth College:

William Kimball Flaccus papers, 1921-1978, ML-64

At the University of California Santa Barbara:

William Kimball Flaccus collection, circa 1930-1972

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Controlled Access Headings

  • Galley proofs
  • Poetry
  • American poetry--20th century
  • Authors
  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Poets
  • Poets, American--20th century

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Avalanche of April, 1934.

1 1

The White Stranger (3 copies), 1940.

1 2