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Archives and Creative Writing

This guide offers resources, prompts, and readings about how to use archival materials for creative writing projects.

Below is a list of interviews, essays, journal articles, and books that touch on the interconnectedness of creative writing and archives.

Betts, V. (2021). “Stories from the classroom: Creative writing with archives.” NC State University Libraries. https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/news/special-collections/stories-classroom-creative-writing-archives 

 

Chow, A. (2019). “Uses of archives as creative activity: What does it mean to be creative within the archive and library profession?” Art Libraries Journal, 44(1), 13-18. doi:10.1017/alj.2018.37 

 

Dean, C. M. and Hughes, K. (2019). “Using archives and special collections in creative writing research.” Library and Learning Services, York St. John University. https://blog.yorksj.ac.uk/infoincurriculum/2019/06/05/using-archives-and-special-collections-in-creative-writing-research/ 

 

Fraser, A. (2019). “2019 riverrun summer research program.” University at Buffalo Libraries News Center. https://library.buffalo.edu/news/2019/10/18/2019-riverrun/

 

Harrington, J (2011). “Docupoetry and archive desire.” 

Jacket2.https://jacket2.org/article/docupoetry-and-archive-desire

 

Kaufman, R. (2021). “Historical traces in archival poetry.” Journal of the History of Ideas Blog. https://jhiblog.org/2021/05/12/archival-poetry/

 

Lahman, M. K. E., & Richard, V. M. (2014). Appropriated Poetry: Archival Poetry in Research. Qualitative Inquiry, 20(3), 344–355. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800413489272 

 

Metres, P. (2021). “Poetry as untelling: A conversation with M. NourbeSe Philip.” World Literature Today. 

https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/blog/interviews/poetry-untelling-conversation-m-nourbese-philip-philip-metres 

 

Ripatrazone, N. (2018). “On poetry and archiving.” The Millions. https://themillions.com/2018/03/on-poetry-and-archiving.html

 

Romain, M. (2015). “The Tragedy of MacNolia Cox.” Wednesday Journal of Oak Park and River Forest. https://www.oakpark.com/2015/05/20/the-tragedy-of-macnolia-cox/ 

 

Sharpe, J. (2014). “The archive and affective memory in M. Nourbese Philip's Zong!” Interventions, 16(4), 465-482. DOI: 10.1080/1369801X.2013.816079

 

Sharpe, J. (2020). Immaterial Archives : An African Diaspora Poetics of Loss. Northwestern University Press. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/columbia/detail.action?docID=6021121

 

Taylor, R. X., & Jordan-Baker, C. (2019). ““Fictional Biographies”: creative writing and the archive.” Archives & Records, 40(2), 198–212. https://doi.org/10.1080/23257962.2017.1419944

 

University of Westminster Archive Services (2016). “Finding and using archives for creative writing.” https://www.westminster.ac.uk/sites/default/public-files/general-documents/using-archives-for-creative-writing.pdf 


Wahl, E. R. and Pierce, P. (2021). "How creative writers can work with archivists: A crash course in cooperation and perspectives," Journal of Creative Writing Studies, 6(1). https://scholarworks.rit.edu/jcws/vol6/iss1/1