Thomas Blackburn papers
Introduction
Thomas Eliel Fenwick Blackburn
Contents
Arrangement
Related material - here

Catalogue

Reference code: GB-0033-ADD-1664
Title: Thomas Blackburn papers
Dates of creation: 1960s-1993
Extent: 1 box
Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections
Origination: Thomas Blackburn (1916-1977), poet and critic
Language: English

Thomas Eliel Fenwick Blackburn

Born 10 February 1916 at Hensingham, Cumberland, the son of an Anglican clergyman, Blackburn later chronicled his traumatic youth in his fictionalised autobiography A clip of steel. After an abortive period at Cambridge, he studied English at Durham University (B.A. 1937-40, M.A. in absentia 1950). He was Gregory Poetry Fellow at the University of Leeds 1956-1958 and became a lecturer in English at the College of St Mark and St John (attached to London University) in 1960. When the College (usually referred to as “Marjohns”) relocated to Plymouth in 1973, he eventually decided to stay in London and moved to another London University institution, Whitelands College, where he found little satisfaction, retiring in early 1976. He died on the 13 August, 1977, at Brynhyfred, the cottage in Snowdonia which features in several of his late poems.

Contents

The collection contains material given by three friends of Blackburn: Barry Bloomfield had been a colleague of his at the College of St Mark and St John, where Alex Evans had been principal, while Jean Macvean edited a posthumous edition of his late poetry.
Barry Bloomfield presented the manuscript material along with his collection of printed works by Blackburn to Durham Univeristy in 1983. Jean Macvean (1916-1996) edited The adjacent kingdom (London: Peter Owen, 1988)from the group of typescript poems in this collection, and wrote a radio programme on Blackburn, The price of an eye. She collected reviews and references to his work and corresponded with former colleagues and friends. Alex Evans and his family were close friends with the Blackburns since he started working at the College of St Mark and St John, and their correspondence chronicles Blackburn's work there and less happy situation after it relocated.

Accession details

Add.MS.1664/1-11: presented by Barry Bloomfield, 1983 (Misc.1983.1). Add.MS. 1644/12-272 presented by Jean Macvean (Misc.1987.1 and Misc.1988.2). Add.MS. 1644/273-347 presented by Alex Evans (Misc.1992/3.6 and Misc.1993/4.20).

Conditions of access

Open for consultation.

Copyright and copying

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail PG.Library@durham.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material

Arrangement

The collection results from several separate accessions, which appear to have been re-arranged several times. It has been broadly organised by donor, and then by type of material. Where it has been possible to identify them, the poems used by Macvean in The adjacent kingdom have been listed in the order that they appear in it and the remainder in alphabetical order of title.

Finding aids

Items listed in Location register of twentieth-century English literary manuscripts and letters: a union list of papers of modern English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh authors in the British Isles are all in the first section Add.MS. 1664/1-11.

Related material - here

Printed books The books donated by Bloomfield are now in DUL printed special collections and can be found in the relevant catalogue at http://library.dur.ac.uk/search/a?SEARCH=blackburn%2C+thomas%2C+1916-&search=author.

Catalogue

Correspondence with Barry Bloomfield
Reference: Add.MS.1664/1-11
Add.MS.1664/1   [ca. 1969]
A clip of steel by Thomas Blackburn. A picaresque autobiography. Typescript in card cover with printed labels giving address of MacGibbon & Kee, and of Christy & Moore Ltd, literary agents, of Covent Garden.
Pen and overpasted typescript corrections by the author; marked up (in red ink) with printer's instructions.
Paper, typescript   186 p.
Printed: Blackburn, Thomas, A clip of steel: a picaresque autobiography, (London: MacGibbon & Kee, 1969)
Add.MS.1664/2-3   [1960s ?]
“En route”. Poem by Blackburn in 9 stanzas. Typescript, marked up with printer's instructions
2p.
Printed: Blackburn, Thomas, A breathing space: poems (London: Putnam, 1964), p.8-9, with a few textual variants.
Add.MS.1664/4-5   [1960s ?]
“Martin of Tours”. Poem by Blackburn. Typescript, with minor correction of layout.
2p.
Printed: Blackburn, Thomas, The fourth man: poems (London: MacGibbon & Kee, 1971), p.16-7, with a few punctuation variants.
Add.MS.1664/6   [1962 or 1963]
Typescript letter to Bloomfield from Blackburn, Cambria Lodge, 28 Oakhill Rd, London, thanking him belatedly for a copy of [George Granville] Barker's Calamiterror and berating Barker's treatment of his wife. Gives latest news from Marjohn and news of family and friends.
1p
Add.MS.1664/7-9   11 - 14 June 1973
Typescript letter to Bloomfield from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Avenue, London, and reply. With typescript copy of Blackburn's poem “Aubade”, first line “Becoming weaker I grow stronger” which had already appeared in The tablet and was used by Bloomfield in his pamphlet A keepsake from the new library at the School of Oriental & African studies, 5 October, 1973. It is not the same work as “Aubade”, printed The holy stone, p.29.
1p. each
Add.MS.1664/10-11   25 September [1970s]
Typescript letter from Blackburn, 18A Hazlewell Road, London), to John Smith [editor of Poetry review], enclosing typescript poem “Schiarra”.
2p.
Printed: Blackburn, Thomas, A breathing space: poems (London: Putnam, 1964), p.32, with title “Schiara” and a few textual variants.
Thomas Blackburn material collected by Jean Macvean
Poems of Thomas Blackburn edited by Jean Macvean after his death
Reference: Add.MS.1664/12-83
Typescript poems, printed in The adjacent kingdom: collected last poems, Thomas Blackburn; edited with an introduction by Jean MacVean (London: Peter Owen, 1988). Many have pen corrections that reflect the final published text, although some variants remain. There are other markings on some: the names of people or publications (to whom they had been submitted?); pencil dates in the 1970s (dates of composition?); an asterisk, and various lines, or “NO”.

Add.MS.1664/12   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “January, 1975”
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.23
Add.MS.1664/13-14   1975
Typescript poem, “Resurge”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.24.
Add.MS.1664/15   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “December”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.25.
Add.MS.1664/16   1975
Typescript poem, “Exodus”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.26.
Add.MS.1664/17-18   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Conversation piece”.
2p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.27.
Add.MS.1664/19   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Alcoholism” ( marked “TLS”) .
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.28.
Add.MS.1664/20   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Zennor” (marked “Encounter”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.29.
Add.MS.1664/21   1975
Photocopy of typescript poem, “Schizophrenia”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.30.
Add.MS.1664/22   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Maturation”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.31.
Add.MS.1664/23   1975-6
Typescript poem, “My wife”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.32.
Add.MS.1664/24-25   [1970s ?]
Photocopy typescript poem, “Halloo”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.33.
Add.MS.1664/26-27   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Supper”.
2p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.34.
Add.MS.1664/28   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Daughter”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.35.
Add.MS.1664/29   1976
Typescript poem, “Companion” (marked “Kitty?”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.37.
Add.MS.1664/30   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Insomnia” (marked “Taken Poetry Review”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.39.
Add.MS.1664/31   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “All change”
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.40.
Add.MS.1664/32-33   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Lent” (marked “New Statesman”).
2p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.41.
Add.MS.1664/34   1976
Typescript poem, “Knowing”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.42.
Add.MS.1664/35   1976
Typescript poem, “Vernal” (marked “Encounter” and “The Listener”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.44.
Add.MS.1664/36   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “The pearl” (marked “Kathleen?”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.45
Add.MS.1664/37   1975
Typescript poem, “A salutation”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.46.
Add.MS.1664/38   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Morituri”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.47.
Add.MS.1664/39   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Unpredictable” (marked “Tablet” and “100 poems by 100 poets Greville Press”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.48.
Add.MS.1664/40   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Bring alone” (published as “Being alone”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.51.
Add.MS.1664/41   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Common sense”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.52.
Add.MS.1664/42-43   [1970s ?]
Photocopied typescript poem, “Blame” (marked “Tablet”).
2p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.53.
Add.MS.1664/44-45   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Senex” (marked “Sisson Faber”).
2p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.54.
Add.MS.1664/46   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “The visit” (marked “Kathleen”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.56.
Printed: Temenos, 4, p.123.
Add.MS.1664/47   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Nadir” (marked “TLS”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.57.
Add.MS.1664/48   July 1975
Typescript poem, “Brynhyfryd” (marked “Eddie?”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.58
Add.MS.1664/49   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Retirement” (marked “Sisson? Faber”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.59.
Add.MS.1664/50-51   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “For Margaret” (marked “Sisson Faber”).
2p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.60.
Add.MS.1664/52-53   1976-7
Typescript poem, “Home”
2p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.62.
Add.MS.1664/54   1976
Typescript poem, “Clinical depression” (marked “The Listener” and “New Statesman”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.63.
Add.MS.1664/55   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Mountain” (marked “Eddie”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.64.
Add.MS.1664/56   1977
Typescript poem, “Sorrow” (marked “Sisson”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.65.
Add.MS.1664/57-58   1974
Typescript poem, “Crib-y-Dysgil” (marked “Kathleen”).
2p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.66.
Add.MS.1664/59   July 1977
Typescript poem, “Headlined review” (marked “Kathleen”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.68.
Printed: Temenos, 4, p.124.
Add.MS.1664/60   1976
Typescript poem, “Pathways” (marked “Taken by The Listener” and “Sisson”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.75.
Add.MS.1664/61-62   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Morituri” (marked “Neither P M nor Bread”).
2p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.76.
Add.MS.1664/63-64   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Dualities” (marked “Poetry Review”).
2p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.78.
Add.MS.1664/65   1974
Typescript poem, “Steel”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.79.
Add.MS.1664/66   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Sober” (marked “London Mag” and “Broadsheet”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.80.
Add.MS.1664/67   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Dauphine” (marked “Used” and “Reject” [deleted]).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.81.
Add.MS.1664/68-69   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Nobis pace”
2p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.82.
Add.MS.1664/70   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Meeting”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.83.
Add.MS.1664/71   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Speed” (marked “London Mag” and “Broadsheet”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.84
Add.MS.1664/72-73   1977
Typescript poem, “Senex”, crossed out and called “Aging” (marked “Kathleen”).
2p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.85
Add.MS.1664/74   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “Mid-October” (marked “Eddie”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.86.
Add.MS.1664/75   [1970s ?]
Typescript poem, “To be continued” (marked “Eddie” and “Published poems”).
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.87.
Add.MS.1664/76   March 1977
Photostat typescript poem, “Never the less”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.88.
Add.MS.1664/77   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Prenatal”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.89.
Add.MS.1664/78   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Choosing”.
1p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.90.
Add.MS.1664/79-81   1976
Typescript poem, “Brynhyrfryd” (marked with alternate title “Words” and “Reject”).
3p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p91.
Add.MS.1664/82-83   August 1977
Typescript poem, “With you” (marked “Eddie”).
2p.
Printed: The adjacent kingdom, p.93.
Other poems by Thomas Blackburn
Typescript poems. There are markings on some: the names of people or publications (to whom they had been submitted?); pencil dates in the 1970s (dates of composition?); an asterisk, and various lines, or “NO”. Where possible, appearance in print has been noted, otherwise the first line is given for identification.

Add.MS.1664/84-85   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Aftermath” (marked “NO”).
First line “I watched him walking from the pub that night”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/86   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “April” (marked “Bread for the winter birds”)
1p.
Printed: Bread for the winter birds, p.31.
Add.MS.1664/87-88   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “At randomn”
First line “Dreams are necessary to be heard”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/89   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Aura”
First line “Russian scientists have photographed the Aura”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/90-91   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Becomings”.
First line “Silently, where no reason as yet is”.
2p.
   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Brother” (marked “NO”).
First line “I rang up my brother for my sister's number”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/94   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Brothers”
First line “You were probably shattered when I had my breakdown”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/95-98   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Cauterize”, (marked “Peggy doesn't want this using” and “NO”).
First line “It seemed eleven o'clock though nearly three”.
4p.
Add.MS.1664/99-100   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “A cold March dawn” (marked “NO”).
First line “Some people leave their dogs when they go abroad”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/101-102   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Columbia College” (marked “NO”).
First line “I had been lucky in my jobs and bosses”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/103   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Connubial” (marked “NO”).
First line “Noone ever loved anyone with so accurate an observance”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/104   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Contacts” (marked “Eddie”).
First line “The books must live and breathe and on their own”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/105-106   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Daughter”
First line “Why should I say that you are not here?”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/107   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Dawning”, (marked “Encounter”“NO” and “Reject”).
First line “Am I travelling as I ought to? There's no answer to that one.”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/108-109   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Debtors”
First line “We cannot go for dampness”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/110-111   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Dog”
First line “I know it's unfashionable to write about”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/112   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Dogma” (marked “NO”).
First line “Well, no more books about theology!”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/113   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Doing”
First line “What is serviceable”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/114-115   August 1977
Typescript poem, “Dried out” (marked “NO”).
First line “A month ago I would not have thought”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/116-117   1977
Typescript poem, “Frater” (marked “NO” and “To John”).
First line “Did I say I'd been to Russia”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/118   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “The ghost in the machine” (marked “NO”).
First line “Koestler's idea of sedating water”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/119   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Gold ring” (marked “The pen”, “London mag”, “Poetry Review”, “Broadsheet” and, several times, “NO”).
First line “I do think a man and woman living together is commendable”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/120   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Greylands College” (marked “NO”).
First line “Was it me or the college that was blameworthy?”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/121   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Haunted”
First line “A drink drenched hulk of a man”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/122   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Heat” (marked “NO”).
First line “Today was of great heat”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/123-124   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Horror”
First line “Why do we like watching murders on the screen”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/125   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “In memoriam: Hubert Dalwood” (marked “Used” and “NO”).
First line “In this great city under North Wales I wander”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/126-127   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “In memoriam: Rosalind Vacher” (marked “NO”).
First line “Rosalind Vacher, the psychiatrist, and my friend”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/128-129   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Julia” (marked “NO”).
First line “Where the Thames is, there the flat is”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/130   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Julia at Croesor” (marked “NO”).
First line “What you are doing up there in our cottage in Snowdonia”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/131-133   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Lit' crit'” (title crossed out and replaced by “The seminar”.
First line “I like to think when walking up and down”.
3p.
Add.MS.1664/134   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Living death” (marked “Second class” and “NO”).
First line “The trouble is when the spirit goes elsewhere”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/135   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Luncheon” (marked “NO”).
First line “The louder he talked the more sociable he thought he was”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/136   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Mine shafts in the mist” (marked “NO”).
First line “Walking in deep mist over the plain of the Moelwinian”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/137   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Missing” (marked “NO”).
First line “Why when you are always with me”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/138   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Morning after” (marked “NO”).
First line “I am tired of the states of being high and low”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/139-140   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “My name is legion”
First line “It has been the fashion to dismiss”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/141-142   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Naming” (marked “Kathleen”).
2p.
Printed: Temenos, 4, p.121-2.
Add.MS.1664/143-144   1974
Typescript poem, “New Year's Eve” (marked “NO”).
First line “"My father" she said is chasing a girl of twenty one”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/145   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Pain” (marked “NO”).
First line “Whatever happens”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/146-147   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Pardon” (marked “Encounter” and “NO”).
First line “Now after a long cold winter and late summer”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/148   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Partial” (marked “New Statesman” and “Reject”).
First line “I am coming into the centre”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/149   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Party” (marked “Reject”).
First line “I dreaded their coming, how dull is it possible to be”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/150-151   July 1977
Typescript poem, “Poetry reading” (marked “NO”).
First line “Why are readings of contemporary poetry so dull”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/152   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Possession”, (marked “NO”).
First line “Where the madness is and the full-falling egolessness of the Ego”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/153   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Posthumous” (marked “Kathleen” and “Bread for the winter birds”).
1p.
Printed: Bread for the winter birds, p.61.
Printed: Temenos, 4, p.127.
Add.MS.1664/154   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Prenatal” (marked with alternate title“Pre-birth” and “Reject”).
First line “I who wrestled from dawn to midnight with a beast at Ephesus”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/155   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Pronouns”, (marked “NO”).
First line “It is necessary to live in a state of uncertainty”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/156   1975
Typescript poem, “Rag and bone”, (marked “TLS” and “NO”).
1p.
Printed: Bread for the winter birds, p.23.
Add.MS.1664/157   1975
Typescript poem, “Ravenna”, (marked with alternative title “Torchello”, “TLS” and “NO”).
First line “If you try to strangle in heaven”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/158   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Resurge”, (marked with alternative title “Potency” and “NO”).
First line “It was not what I thought must be to blame”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/159   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Richmond Park”, (marked “NO”).
First line “It's the pond an island on it at its side Corot trees”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/160   1975-6
Typescript poem, “Richmond Park”, (marked “London mag”, “Tablet”, “Broadsheet”, and “NO”).
First line “There's the pond with reeds about it”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/161-163   1974
Typescript poem, “Rock bottom”, (marked (alternative title?) “William”, “Reject”).
First line “There was that descent within the anguished garden”.
3p.
Add.MS.1664/164-166   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Septimo alpini”, (marked (alternative title?) “RIFUGIO” and “Better version in Post Mortem”).
First line “Cyclamen and gentian by the passes”.
3p.
Add.MS.1664/167-168   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Serpent”, (marked “NO”).
First line “With razor fangs and Spectacled hood”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/169   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Some contemporaries”, four line epigrams on Anon, Sylvia Plath, John Heath Stubbs, George Barker and Ted Hughes, (marked “NO”).
1p.
Add.MS.1664/170   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Spinal”, (marked “NO”).
First line “All day I had watched the mountain”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/171-172   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Stream”, (marked (alternative title?) “St Mark & John”, “College”“Sisson” and “Taken”).
First line “Tomorrow that, the next day this”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/173   1977
Typescript poem, “Uner Cnight”, (marked “Poetry Review” and “NO”).
First line “Up the MI to the M6, then to Bala and its lake”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/174   May 1974
Typescript poem, “Unsleeping”
First line “I thought I had a body but a skeleton”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/175   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Vale”, (marked “NO”).
First line “Has it gone my long relation with the drug of alcohol”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/176   1975
Typescript poem, “Vernal”, (marked “NO”, “New Statesman” and “Rejects”).
First line “I am glad we are over”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/177-178   [1970s]
Typescript poem, “Voyager”, (marked “NO”).
First line “First by boat and train to Paris”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/179   1977
Typescript poem, “Wounding”, (marked “NO”).
First line “I suppose I hate cruelty so much now”.
1p.
Articles and biographical notices
Reference: Add.MS.1664/180-272
Add.MS.1664/180-233   1983-1988
Correspondence between Jean Macvean and Durham University Library about Thomas Blackburn and her work to publish a posthumous volume of his poetry. Where possible, enclosures have been replaced with the relevant letter, and originals substituted for multiple photocopies. Includes the following enclosures:
1 file.
Add.MS.1664/180   11 January 1979
Letter from Alex Evans to Jean Macvean congratulating her on “The price of an eye” and giving biographical information on Blackburn.
2p. on 1f.
Add.MS.1664/181-200   9 January 1979
Jean Macvean, “The price of an eye”. Photocopied typescript study of Blackburn's work, delivered on BBC Radio 3.

20p.
Add.MS.1664/202-203   [ca. 1978]
“Tom Blackburn - college tutor 1960-1973”, photocopy of typescript memoir by Philip Boothby of Blackburn at St Mark and St John written after his death.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/205-212   [1970s]
“Thomas Blackburn”, by Kathleen Raine. Photocopied typescript review of Post mortem and Bread for the winter birds.
8p.
Add.MS.1664/213   27 August 1977
The tablet, obituary of Thomas Blackburn.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/214-215   [ca. 1980]
Photocopied review of Bread for the winter birds, PN review, p.63-4.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/230   24 September 1988
Photocopied review of The adjacent kingdom from The tablet, by John Heath-Stubbs.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/232-233   [ca. 1988]
Photocopied review of The adjacent kingdom from Poetry Wales, by Philip Pacey.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/234-239   November 1977
“The last days of Thomas Blackburn”, by Margaret McGuire Blackburn. Typscript memoir of the last five days of Blackburn's life. A longer version of the foreword to Bread for the winter birds.
6p.
Add.MS.1664/240   3 February 1980
Letter from Alex Evans to Jean Macvean, with biographical information and enclosing copies of a tribute to Blackburn's inspirational teaching (probably Add.MS.1664/202-3 or 204).
2p. on 1f.
Add.MS.1664/241   13 November 1983
Typescript letter from Alex Evans to Jean Macvean, with biographical information and enclosing Add.MS.1664/202-4.
2p. on 1f.
Add.MS.1664/242-243   26 January 1984
Typescript letter to Jean Wright from Rosalie Blackburn encouraging her work on Blackburn and providing corrections and additional biographical details.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/244   30 June 1982
Typescript letter to Mrs Blackburn from Jos van Meurs, Vries, Netherlands in appreciation of Blackburn's poetry and asking if he had written any Jungian material.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/245-251   22 September 1982
Letter to Jean Macvean from Peter Dickinson, Department of music, University of Keele, commending her radio broadcast and providing information about The Judas tree, including typescript biographical note on Blackburn, programme note to be translated for a forthcoming Swedish production and press notices of the original production.
1p., 3p. & 3p.
Add.MS.1664/246-248   April 1967
Photocopy of “A note on 'The Judas tree'”, by Peter Dickinson, The musical times, 323-5.
3p.
Add.MS.1664/252   5 October 1982
Letter to Jean Macvean from Peter Dickinson, Department of music, University of Keele, about the Swedish production of The Judas tree.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/253   24 November 1982
Letter to Jean Macvean from Hutchinson Publishing, regretting they cannot take on publishing a volume of Blackburn's work.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/254   24 April 1984
Letter to Jean Macvean from OUP, regretting that they cannot publish The adjacent kingdom.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/255   5 February 1985
Letter to Jean Macvean from Anvil Press turning down publishing a volume of Blackburn's poems.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/256   22 February 1985
Letter to Jean Macvean from Howard Sergeant, regretting that he cannot take on publishing a volume of Blackburn's work, but willing to consider individual poems for Outposts.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/257   1 October 1985
Letter to Jean Macvean from A.T. Tolley, on behalf of Comparative literature, based at Carleton University, regretting that her article does not match the theme of the current volume.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/258   20 January 1987
Letter to Jean Macvean from the editor of Interim, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, asking to use “Brynhyfryd”, “Morituri” and “Purgatorial” in the Spring 1987 issue.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/259   20 October 1987
Letter to Jean Macvean from C.H. Sisson encouraging her work publishing Blackburn.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/260   2 November 1987
Letter to Jean Macvean from Patricia Beer explaining her opinion on publishing Blackburn's uncollected poems.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/261   1 February 1988
Letter to Jean Macvean from P. Malekin, School of English, University of Durham about arranging a grant from Durham University Library towards the publication of The adjacent kingdom.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/262-263   [ca.1980]
Photocopied corrected typescript of Kathleen Raine's introduction to The adjacent kingdom.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/264   [ca.1980?]
Letter to Jean Wright [i.e. Macvean] from Helen Pitts, thanking her for her help and reporting the reading of Blackburn's poems by a reading group.
2p. on 1f.
Reviews
Reference: Add.MS.1664/265-272
Add.MS.1664/265   [ca.1958 ?]
Photocopies of reviews of The next word, from The observer, by Alan Ross and The Sunday times by John Press.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/266   6 August 1977
Photocopy of review of Post mortem, from The spectator, by Anthony Burgess.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/267-268   23 July 1977
Photocopy of review of Post mortem, from The tablet, by David Wright.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/269   [ca. 1980]
Newspaper cutting of review of Bread for winter birds, by Neville Braybrooke.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/270   [ca. 1980]
Newspaper cutting of review of Bread for winter birds, from TLS, by John Heath-Stubbs.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/271   7 November 1980
Newspaper cutting of review of Bread for winter birds, from Dartington Hall news, by Bob Mann.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/272   22 July 1984
Photocopy of review of Temenos 4, from The tablet, by Peter Thornber.
1p.
Correspondence between Thomas Blackburn and Alex Evans and enclosures
Correspondence with Alex Evans, mainly about Thomas Blackburn
Reference: Add.MS.1664/273-347
Add.MS.1664/273   [1990s]
Letter from Alex Evans to Durham University Library, enclosing the following letter to his son:
1p
Add.MS.1664/274   [ca. 1966]
Letter from Thomas Blackburn to Michael Evans thanking him for the drawings and regretting the departure of his parents from the college.
1p
Add.MS.1664/275   8 June 1993
Letter from Alex Evans to Durham University Library explaining the differences between The feast of the wolf and A clip of steel and mentioning another autobiography - “it was thought wiser to lock it up at the British Library because of its references to living people”.
2p. on 1f.
Add.MS.1664/276   [ca. 1970s ?]
Letter from John Heath-Stubbs to Alex Evans on his dislike of The feast of the wolf.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/277-278   23 January 1979
Letter from Jean Macvean to Alex Evans about Thomas Blackburn.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/279   
Letter from Jean Macvean to Alex Evans about Thomas Blackburn and his memorial service.

Add.MS.1664/280   20 January 1981
Letter from Jean Macvean to Alex Evans about Bread for winter birds.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/281   29 January 1981
Letter from Jean Macvean to Alex Evans about Bread for winter birds, and arranging a meeting.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/282-284   29 November 1983
Letter from Jean Macvean to Alex Evans about Blackburn's last work, with a typescript copy of “Purgatorial”.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/285   10 November 1983
Letter from Jean Macvean to Alex Evans asking permission to quote from his letter about her BBC broadcast.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/286-287   12 May 1993
Letter from Alex Evans to Durham University Library discussing the dates of Blackburn's residency at various houses, autobiographical and biographical work on Blackburn, and The Judas tree.
3p. on 2f.
Add.MS.1664/288-289   16 July 1993
Letter from Alex Evans to Durham University Library (offering Add.MS.1664/342-343;345-347) discussing Heath-Stubbs' Hindsight and correcting somes errors about himself in it.
3p. on 2f.
Reviews
Reference: Add.MS.1664/290-294
Add.MS.1664/290   30 December 1977
Newspaper review of Post mortem, from TLS, by Peter Scupham.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/291   18 August 1977
Obituary of Thomas Blackburn, from The times, by John Heath-Stubbs.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/292   27 August 1977
“An instrument of the spirit”, article on Thomas Blackburn from The tablet, by John Heath-Stubbs.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/293   24 September 1988
Newspaper review of The adjacent kingdom, from The tablet, by John Heath-Stubbs.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/294   9 July 1988
“Poet at 70”, memoir on John Heath-Stubbs, from The tablet.
1p.
Letters from Thomas Blackburn to Alex Evans
Reference: Add.MS.1664/295-341
Typescript letters unless otherwise described. They have been annotated in places by Evans, suggesting dates and identifying references to people and places. In many cases the correspondence is addressed to and signed jointly from Blackburn and his wife and Evans and his wife. With a few additional items which may have been enclosures.

Add.MS.1664/295-296   [ca. 1993]
“The origin of the correspondence Blackburn - Evans”, account by Alex Evans of working with Blackburn at the College of St. Mark and St. John, and after, as background to the following correspondence.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/297   26 September [early 1960s]
Letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Avenue, London, to Evans apologising and mentioning personal problems.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/298   [early 1960s]
Letter from Blackburn, Villa San Lorenzo, Belluno, to Evans arranging to meet in Belluno (Italy) and describing local mountain walks.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/299   2 August [early 1960s]
Letter from Blackburn, Villa San Lorenzo, Belluno, to Evans describing the drive over through Europe. Some lines on the back - “the gist of a bit of a pome”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/300   17 January [1963]
Letter from Blackburn, 18A Hazelwell Rd, London, to Evans about a throat infection, the vacant headship of the college English department and the latest book of poems by Michael Baldwin.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/301   21 January 1963
Manuscript letter from Blackburn, 18A Hazelwell Rd, London, to Evans about the headship.
2p. on 1f.
Add.MS.1664/302   [early 1963]
Letter from Blackburn, Cambria Lodge, London, to Evans, thanking him for his congratulations and mentioning the previous night's dinner with Francis Bacon.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/303   [1963]
Manuscript letter from Blackburn to Evans, enclosing Add.MS.1664/343 and discussing his poem “Sea-piece” in it.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/304   [1964?]
Letter from Blackburn, Brynhyffryd, to Evans looking forward to his visit, Peggy's poor health and the local scenery.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/305   [1964?]
Letter from Blackburn, Brynhyffryd, to Evans thanking him for the visit and commenting on the neighbours.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/306   [1965]
Letter from Blackburn to Evans with a description of an anthology ( Contemporary) he has just been published in for the yearbook.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/307   Wednesday [1965]
Manuscript letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Avenue, Putney, to Evans, apologising for having to take time off sick with the flu, and a favourable review of The Judas tree.
2p. on 1f.
Add.MS.1664/308   [1968]
Manuscript letter from Blackburn, Charing Cross Hospital to Evans about his treatment for depression.
2p. on 1f.
Add.MS.1664/309-310   Saturday [1970?]
Manuscript letter from Blackburn, 18A Hazelwell Rd, London, to Evans about the flu, and teaching.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/311   20 March [1971]
Letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Ave, Putney, to Evans, mentioning his latest work The fourth man, the potential move to Plymouth and his illness.
2p. on 1f.
Add.MS.1664/312   31 April [1971]
Letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Ave, Putney, to Evans about the move to Plymouth.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/313   16 December 1971
Letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Ave, Putney, to Evans, about his work, poetry readings by a Liverpudlian poet, Sylvia Plath, the move to Plymouth and Heath-Stubbs' reaction to his novel.
2p. on 1f.
Add.MS.1664/314   19 May [1972]
Letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Ave, Putney, to Evans about the move to Plymouth, family news, and writing poetry.
2p. on 1f.
Add.MS.1664/315   8 November 1972
Letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Ave, Putney, to Evans about teaching, writing and family news.
2p. on 1f.
Add.MS.1664/316-317   25 November 1972
Manuscript letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Ave, Putney, to Evans about writing, not moving to Plymouth, family news. Booklist on back in Evans' hand.
3p. on 2f.
Add.MS.1664/318   [1970s ?]
Manuscript short poem by Blackburn, “The paper knife” (enclosed with a letter?).
1p.
Add.MS.1664/319   18 December 1972
Letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Ave, Putney, to Evans: he does not wish to work at Thomas Huxley so will probably have to move to Plymouth.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/320-322   14 January 1973
Letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Ave, Putney, to Evans about a potential house to rent near Plymouth, a selection of his works that William Plomer is helping him to try to publish, problems of getting poetry published, the reactions of colleagues to the move and enclosing a carbon copy typescript of “my last poem”, “Broken ribs”, first line “Normally one breathes in, with a division roses”, asking Evans' opinion.
2p. on 1f. and 2p.
Add.MS.1664/323-324   [1973?]
Letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Ave, Putney, to Evans about a possible vacancy at Whitelands that would be preferable to going to Plymouth, the departures of his colleagues to other work, the effect of age on his rock climbing abilities, Yeats, Eliot, and poetry.
2p.
Add.MS.1664/325   November 1973
“Copy of Tom Blackburn's notes (not his writing) on his desk. Jan. 1974”.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/326-328   16 February 1974
Letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Ave, Putney, to Evans about his recovery, starting work at Whitelands, enclosing “a poem about my reaction to the Demented Geriatrix Ward” ( “Mental ward”, carbon typescript), and loss of contact with his brother.
2p. on 1f. and 2p.
Printed: Selected poems, p.80. Although it states there that it is taken from Bread for the winter birds [p.16-7], the poem of the same title in that collection is completely different.
Add.MS.1664/329   19 August [1974?]
Manuscript letter from Blackburn, Brynhyfryd, to Evans about his current work - a book Inroads on dying for Hutchinson, poems on the same theme and a “waking dream vision” (these seem to have led to the article for Light - see Add.MS.1664/346), and a visit to R.S. Thomas and his wife at his vicarage.
2p. on 1f.
Add.MS.1664/330   18 January [1975?]
Letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Ave, Putney, to Evans about work, poetry readings, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, family.
2p. on 1f.
Add.MS.1664/331   1[1] April [1975?]
Letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Ave, Putney, to Evans about his latest publication ( Selected poems, 1975 ?) and work.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/332-334   Saturday April 1975
Letter from Blackburn, 4 Luttrell Ave, Putney, to Evans about the syllabus at Whitelands and his different approach to teaching.
3p.
Add.MS.1664/335   1962
Typescript carbon copy of poem “A small keen wind”
1p.
Printed: A breathing space, p.24.
Add.MS.1664/336-338   [1960s or 1970s]
Typescript copy of poem “An encounter”.
3p.
Printed: A breathing space, p.12-3.
Add.MS.1664/339   15 August 1977
Postcard from Peggy Blackburn, to the Evans telling them of Blackburn's death.
1p.
Add.MS.1664/340-341   [1977]
Letter from Peggy Blackburn, to Evans about Blackburn's autobiography and memorial service.
2p.
Printed works
Reference: Add.MS.1664/342-347
Add.MS.1664/342   March 1962
The Cremorne review (London: St Mark & St John Students Union,1962), vol.1, no.1.
Contains poem by Thomas Blackburn “Trewarmett” (p.20).
1 vol.
Add.MS.1664/343   March 1963
The London magazine: a monthly review of literature, vol.2, no.12.
Includes two poems by Thomas Blackburn, “Sea-piece” and “Decree absolute”.
1 vol.
Add.MS.1664/344   1963
John: motet for ATB (unaccompanied), words by Thomas Blackburn. Music by Peter Dickinson.
1 vol.
Add.MS.1664/345   Autumn 1966
Poetry review, vol.58, no.3.
Includes (p. 144-5) two poems by Thomas Blackburn, “Sagittarius” and “All the immortals”.
1 vol.
Add.MS.1664/346   Winter 1974
Light: a review of psychic and spiritual knowledge and research, vol.94, no.4.
Includes article by Thomas Blackburn - “Inroads on dying”.
1 vol.
Add.MS.1664/347   Spring 1976
Meridian poetry magazine, no.8.
Includes Thomas Blackburn - Poems at sixty (p.3-6), “Mountain”, “Phoebe, Helen, Angela” and Queries, with photographs.
1 vol.
Other material
Add.MS.1664/348-354   1983
Typescript biographical note on Blackburn (2p.) by D. Burnett, Durham University Library, which has been amended by Margaret Blackburn, with accompanying letter from her (2 July 1983; 4p) giving further biographical information.
Photocopy of typescript letter from John Heath-Stubbs (19 June 1983; 1p.) commenting on the biographical note.
7p.