Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Elizabeth Ann Burton Papers, 1984-1997, undated | Special Collections and University Archives

By Elizabeth Vincelette

Collection Overview

Title: Elizabeth Ann Burton Papers, 1984-1997, undated

ID: 17/RG 17-3B4

Primary Creator: Burton, Elizabeth Ann (1958-1990)

Extent: 0.4 Linear Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged chronologically.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2000

Subjects: Old Dominion University--Alumni and alumnae, Old Dominion University--Dept. of English, Poets, American--20th Century

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection includes typed and handwritten drafts of poetry written by Elizabeth Ann Burton, mostly from the late 1980s.  Included are the original manuscripts for Burton’s published book of poetry Waiting for the Messiah, as well as the draft of a second book, which was never published.  Letters from Elizabeth Burton to Mildred Guilds Peele, donator of the collection, as well as letters written after Burton’s death by Mildred Peele to L. S. Loomer, a potential publisher of Elizabeth Burton’s poetry, and correspondence between Burton’s mother and Peele.

Collection Historical Note

Elizabeth Ann Burton (1958-1990) was a poet born in Richmond, VA, who lived in Painter, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  A member of the Poet Society of Virginia, she held a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Old Dominion University.  In 1990, Burton’s book of poetry, Waiting for the Messiah, was published.  Additionally, she had poems published in a volume of The Poet’s Domain, a book of poetry featuring work by regional authors of the Mid-Atlantic states.  She was working on a creative writing degree at Old Dominion University and a second book of poetry when she died.

Burton’s manuscripts were collected and donated in 2000 by Mildred Guilds Peele, former lecturer in the English department at Old Dominion University, and wife of E. Vernon Peele, professor of English at ODU and past dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.

Subject/Index Terms

Old Dominion University--Alumni and alumnae
Old Dominion University--Dept. of English
Poets, American--20th Century

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Alternate Extent Statement: 1 Hollinger document case

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers without restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Acquisition Source: Mildred Guilds Peele

Acquisition Method: Donation.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Elizabeth Ann Burton Papers, Special Collections, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, Virginia.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],

Box 1
Folder 1: Poetry of Elizabeth A. Burton, 1984-1988
Item 1: Typed and Handwritten Drafts of Poetry, undated
Thirty-four typed and handwritten drafts of poetry (“The Falcon Came”; “Instructions for the Messiah”; “The Poor Poet”; “Visiting Italy”; “No Title”; “Root, Stem, Leaf”; “Love Poem in Twos and Threes”; “Torn and Tattered Elegy in Black”; “Stoned Cold”; “Remembrance of my Trip to Europe Italy”; “Human Being”; “Buddha Inside the Light”; “An Anginal Equivalent”; “Gift”; “Solitude Late At Night In the Woods”; “Remembering A March Against The Vietnam War”; “But I Do Not Need Kindness”; “The Ghetto Girls at Eastern State”; “The Hospital”; “Christmas Poem”; “August 24, 1987”; “Nocturne for the U. S. Congress”; “Hunger for Me”; “Reading the Names of the Vietnam Dead”; “The Kiss”; “The Black Woman”; “The Phoenix Has Come”; “To a woman in a pink bathing suit”; “A Solitary Woman”; “Exaggerated Self-Portrait”; “To my Sister”; “Mothers, Daughter”; “To a Friend’s Child”; “A Dream”)
Item 2: Letter to Mildred Peele attached to: Iron Heaven and Other Poems, November 16, 1987
Manuscript of forty-three poems by Burton ("Iron Heaven"; "To My Sister"; A Dream”; “Summer Garden”; “Silence”; “Song for South Africa”; “The Black Woman”; “V. D. Clinic”; “Newly Born”; “Sounds”; “Harlem on the Poor Side of Town”; “Pheasant”; “Poem”; “Drum”; “You’re”; “The Flying Change”; “Your Child”; “A Walk”; “Democracy”; “A Ghost May Come”; “There are Poems”; “To a Friend’s Child”; “A Solitary Woman”; “As Benefits A Woman”; “End of the World”; “Madness”; “Our Hands in the Garden”; “I am going to Sleep (suicide poem)”; “The Ghetto Girls at Eastern State”; “Platoon”; “Self-Portrait”; “The Painter in the Lion Cage”; “Song of the Old Woman”; “Talking Fish”; “So Long”; “Abortion”; “The Three Fates”; “Slump”; “Mothers, Daughter”; “Nothing”; “dust”; “July 29, 1987”; “Troubled Woman”)
Item 3: Notebook of Poetry: To Bedlam and Part Way Back, undated
Contains twenty three poems (“Tucker’s”; “Madness”; “Words to Dr. S.”; “Another Morning”; “The Hospital Windows at Dunbar”; “I am going to Sleep (suicide poem)”; “Suicidal Note”; “Mr. Death”; “Psychiatrist”; “This is not a Dream”; “Poem #3 on Shock Treatment”; “Shock #9”; “Psychotics at Eastern State”; “Poem #112”; “Sonnet to Satan”; “A Villanele”; “Leftovers from a Mental Institution”; “Let every Woman”; “Coming out of the depression”; “Elencierro”; “La analista”; “Unas palabras ala dra. A.”; “A Bedlam y de reqreso en porte”)
Folder 2: Correspondence from Elizabeth A. Burton to Mildred Peele, 1987-1990
Contains correspondence dating from November 30, 1987 to October 2, 1990.
Folder 3: Newspaper Clippings, 1991
Clippings in regard to the death of Elizabeth A. Burton, including her obituary.
Folder 4: Correspondence from L. S. Loomer to Mildred Peele, 1997
Contains correspondence dating from March 4 to May 9, 1997.
Folder 5: Correspondence from Mary Ann Burton to Mildred Peele, 1997
Contains correspondence between Burton’s mother and Peele, also includes handwritten and typed lists of Burton's books.
Folder 6: Publication notes by Mildred Peele, undated
Contains handwritten notes about publishing Elizabeth A. Burton’s poetry.

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