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Poet's Guide to Library Resources: Manuscript Collections in The Thomason Room

Artist Books and Poetry Chapbooks

Wild Dog Collection, 1961-2011

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Wild Dog Collection contains correspondence documenting the lives and writing careers of authors and poets who started their careers writing for a small, campus magazine called Wild Dog during the early 1960s (the Beat period). The collection contains material documenting the small press publishing industry as demonstrated by the “Wild Dog” magazine, including correspondence between “Wild Dog” and other small presses. It also documents editorial workings that sustained the press during its short existence. This collection contains manuscript and first edition versions of poems and short stories written by the many authors who got their start writing for “Wild Dog.” The original artwork in the Wild Dog Collection includes various sketches for magazine covers.

Collection Historical Note

Wild Dog Magazine was founded in the early 1960s as a small, campus magazine at Idaho State College located in Pocatello, Idaho. The magazine existed from 1963-1966 but many of the authors who wrote for this magazine went on to lead lives of literary largesse. The magazine had numerous contributors of prose and poetry as well as non-fiction pieces. The high quality content can be at least partially credited to the work of editors Hugh “Drew” Wagnon, Gino Clays, and Joanne Kyger. Wild Dog was funded by a combination of donations and subscriptions. Approximately 500 copies of Wild Dog were circulated.

Hilton Ross Greer and John P. Sjolander Collection, 1916-2004

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Hilton Ross Greer and John P. Sjolander collection (1916-2004; one box) contains a thesis, correspondence, newspaper articles, documents, and poetry concerning the Texas poet and journalist Hilton Ross Greer and his friend, poet John P. Sjolander.  The collection includes several handwritten poems and original correspondence between John P. Sjolander and Hilton Ross Greer.  The Hilton Ross Greer and John P. Sjolander poetry collection also contains a thesis on Sjolander and a copy of his poetry book, Salt of the Earth and Sea.

Collection Historical Note

Hilton Ross Greer and John P. Sjolander were colleagues and friends that shared a love for southwestern literature.  The two writers corresponded frequently and even collaborated on several occasions.  Hilton Ross Greer was born in Hawkins, Texas on December 10, 1879.  Greer was a journalist at the age of twenty working for the Pittsburg Gazette in Pittsburg, Texas.  He then moved to Louisiana and was a reporter for the Shreveport Times until 1901 when he returned to Texas.  Greer spent two years in Washington, D.C. working for Congressman Choice Boswell Randall.  He returned to Austin to continue journalism and attend the University of Texas in 1908.  Greer later worked as a clerk in the General Land Office of the State of Texas and as a journalist in San Antonio.  He then worked in Dallas for twenty-four years as a journalist.  Hilton Ross Greer was significant in promoting southwestern literature and he was a founding member of the Poetry Society of Texas, in which he served as president from 1921 through 1940.  Greer was a member of the Texas Folklore Society, the Texas Institute of Letters, the Texas Geographic Society, and the Poetry Society of America.  Hilton Ross Greer died in Dallas on November 26, 1949.

John Peter Sjolander was born March 25, 1851 in Hudiksville, Sweden.  He was a published poet and song writer in Sweden and England but his best known works came after he moved to America.  From Sweden, Sjolander traveled to Galveston, Texas.  At the age of 20, he worked at a brickyard in Cedar Bayou about sixty miles from Galveston.  By 1878, Sjolander had married and started a family in Cedar Bayou.  He became a farmer and in his spare time he wrote poetry that went on to appear in many national publications.  Sjolander became known as the “Sage of Cedar Bayou” and “The Dean of Texas Poets” with his most fruitful era of writing between 1876 and 1910.  He died June 15, 1939 and is buried at Cedar Bayou.  John P. Sjolander is considered to be one of the greatest pioneer poets of the Southwest.  There is a historical marker on John P. Sjolander at the old Sjolander home site northeast of Baytown, Texas.


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