Papers of John Beecher

MS 161
Photograph of John Beecher, April, 1962

Photograph of John Beecher originally printed in National Guardian, April, 1962.

Collection area: Literature

Collection dates: 1957-1979

About this collection

Mainly outgoing letters from Beecher to various editors at Macmillan Publishing Co. between 1965 and 1967. Also includes clippings, book notices, photographs of Beecher, publicity brochures and announcements for poetry readings, and poetry broadsides. Letters in 1965, 1967, and 1968 discuss a planned book by Beecher on “realities of Negro life in the South.” News clippings and correspondence relate the activities of Beecher’s private press, Morning Star, then Rampart Press. Also included is a questionnaire completed by the Beechers about their book design and printing experiences.

Historical background

American poet, labor and civil rights activist, educator and journalist; John Beecher taught at several universities, worked at various administrative projects during the New Deal, and wrote for newspapers and magazines throughout his career. In 1956, he and his wife, Barbara, founded the Morning Star Press. This private press was moved to Jerome, Arizona in 1958 and renamed Rampart Press. It later moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1959 while Beecher taught English at Arizona State University. He resigned there in 1961, continuing his teaching, writing, and lecturing until his death in 1980.

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