Online Exhibitions


In this exhibit, the Poetry Center Library presents first editions of works by some of the twentieth century’s most iconic poets, including T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Dylan Thomas, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and others. In addition to historical first editions, the Poetry Center also holds a number of facsimile reprints of first editions the Library would otherwise be unable to collect. Some of the facsimile editions on display here include facsimile reprints of important works by W.B. Yeats and Robert Frost. These works have been chosen for their historical and literary significance as well as their beauty. We hope you enjoy this opportunity to experience these exceptional treasures from our Rare Book Room.

This exhibit, curated by Sarah Kortemeier, was originally presented in the Jeremy Ingalls Gallery of the University of Arizona Poetry Center from July 1, 2013 to September 4, 2013.

The Waste Land
Image of The Waste Land

T.S. Eliot. The Waste Land. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1922.

T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land was one of the most influential poems published in the 20th century. The Poetry Center’s holdings include two copies of the first edition, published by Boni and Liveright in 1922 (the Hogarth Press, run by Leonard and Virginia Woolf, subsequently brought out a UK edition in 1923). These copies are part of the permanent collection of the Poetry Center’s L.R. Benes Rare Book Room. They are the generous gift of John and Helen Schaefer.

Image of Animula

T.S. Eliot. Animula. London: Faber and Faber, 1929. 

The Cultivation of Christmas Trees
Image of the Cultivation of a Christmas Tree

T.S. Eliot. The Cultivation of Christmas Trees. New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1956.

The Pisan Cantos
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Ezra Pound. The Pisan Cantos. New York: New Directions, 1948.

Like Eliot, Ezra Pound influenced a generation of poets. His Cantos, a long, unfinished poem in 120 sections, is one of the most widely studied modernist works in English-language literature.

Drafts and Fragments of Cantos CX-CXVII
Image of Drafts and Fragments of Cantos CX-CXVII

Ezra Pound. Drafts and Fragments of Cantos CX-CXVII. New York: New Directions, 1968.

A Boy's Will
Image of facsimile reprint of A Boy's Will

Robert Frost. A Boy’s Will [facsimile reprint]. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1915; reprinted New York: Collectors Reprints, Inc., 1992.

A Boy’s Will and Mountain Interval were Robert Frost’s first and third collections, respectively. The 1915 Holt edition of A Boy’s Will is the first American edition, a republication of David Nutt’s UK edition of 1913. 

Mountain Interval
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Robert Frost. Mountain Interval. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1916.

Mountain Interval includes “The Road Not Taken,” one of Frost’s most famous poems.

Fields of Wonder
Image of Fields of Wonder

Langston Hughes. Fields of Wonder. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1947.

One of the most influential figures of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes published poetry, plays, fiction, and criticism. Fields of Wonder was his fifth collection of poetry.

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Interior image of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Cover image of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. London: The Bodley Head, 1933.

Gertrude Stein shot to international fame on the publication of this bestselling biography written in the persona of her partner, Alice B. Toklas. The book remains her best-known work.

New Poems
Image of New Poems

Dylan Thomas. New Poems. Norfolk: New Directions, 1943.

One of the most famous Welsh poets of the twentieth century, Dylan Thomas published several collections in the United States under the auspices of James Laughlin’s publishing company New Directions. New Poems was produced as part of the company’s “Poets of the Year” pamphlet series of the 1940s.

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