Big thank yous for including me and my LIONS in the Dean F. Echenberg War Poetry Collection at UT Austin (honored is how I feel this morn)
UT Austin’s Harry Ransom Center Acquires Dean F. Echenberg War Poetry Collection
Oct. 23, 2017
AUSTIN, Texas — The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin is now home to the Dean F. Echenberg War Poetry Collection. The collection was started in the early 1970s by Dean Echenberg, a flight surgeon during the Vietnam War who later became the director of disease control for the City of San Francisco during the first years of the AIDS crisis.
“The Dean Echenberg War Poetry Collection extends the Ransom Center’s holdings in significant ways,” said Stephen Enniss, director of the Ransom Center. “It reminds us that one of the persistent sources of art is in suffering.”
Throughout history numerous writers have tried to capture their experiences of war in language, often turning to poetry for its ability to convey intensity of feeling and for its authenticity. The common thread that runs through the collection is poetry by people who have experienced war, combatants and noncombatants alike. Included in the collection are printed and manuscript works by men and women from many countries and multiple languages and conflicts. The mix of poetry by both established and nonprofessional writers makes this a uniquely valuable collection for research into war literature.
Noteworthy items in the collection include poet Edmund Blunden’s manuscript for his prose account of his wartime experience “De Bello Germanico: A Fragment of Trench History” and the rare first printing of Robert Graves’ “Goodbye to all That.” Contemporary authors
include Dunya Mikhail, Shelly Taylor and Kevin Powers, a graduate of UT Austin’s Michener Center for Writers.