Marion Buchman papers
Scope and Contents
This collection contains personal and professional letters and correspondence; poetry drafts; magazines, anthologies, and newspaper clippings featuring the creator’s poetry; original documents and copies of memberships and awards; photographs; and an audio reel of a poetry reading by the creator. Series one through three are maintained in original order.
- Creation: 1942-1982
- Buchman, Marion, 1914 - 2000 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on access. This collection is open to the public.
Conditions Governing Use
Towson University Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is the owner of the original materials and digitized images in our collections; however, the collection may contain materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials. Consult with SCUA to determine if we can provide permission for use.
Marion Buchman was born in Baltimore, MD on February 25, 1914 to parents Jacob and Minnie Friedman. As a child, she lived in West Baltimore and wrote poetry. She also had interests in acting, and performed as a chorus girl in “Ok Baltimore” during her teens. She screen tested for a movie production company, but her parents discouraged the prospect of an acting career. Little is known about her early education, but Buchman later attended Johns Hopkins University to study poetry. She also hosted her own radio program at station WITH in Baltimore during the 1940’s. In 1938, she married Harold S. Buchman and had two children, Sara and Sharon. The Buchmans divorced in 1973.
Buchman supplemented her poetry career by teaching in local colleges and universities. In 1970, she began teaching at the Community College of Baltimore Essex and then Johns Hopkins University from 1976 to 1982. From 1976 to 1978, Buchman continued teaching at American University and the Baltimore Free University. She also taught part time at Baltimore County Public Schools. Buchman lectured in several other schools from middle schools to college. She also traveled frequently to give poetry readings. Known for her clear and even voice, this was one of Buchman’s favorite ways to engage her audience.
During her career, Buchman won over one hundred awards for her poetry. She was known for her serene, lyrical style and often included themes of environmentalism and Judaism in her work. Some of her most important achievements were the Maryland Poetry Society’s Poet of the Year, 1965; the Arts Council of Great Britain’s Cheltenham Prize; and the Al Di La Prize from Franklin College, Lugano, Switzerland for her poem “In the Italian Alps.” Buchman also belonged to several literary clubs and societies including the New York Poetry Forum, the Poetry Society of America, the Academy of American Poets, and the Marquis Biographical Society.
Buchman’s first book, A Voice in Ramah, was published in 1960 followed by America in 1976. Her third and final book was In His Pavillion, published in 1986. Many anthologies featured her work including From Sea to Sea, Answer from the West, and Best Poets of the Twentieth Century. She was also published in an avian enthusiasts’ newspaper entitled The Call and was well known for her ecological interests. Buchman was an environmentalist and an animal lover. Several other newspapers and magazines published her work, including Redbook, Poet Lore, American Judaism, The Maryland English Journal, Arizona Quarterly, Midland Poetry Review, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The New York Herald Tribune. Buchman published under the pen names Melanie Bloom and Marion Jona Reid, Reid having been her mother’s maiden name. She died on April 11, 2000 of lung cancer.
2.1 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Marion Buchman was an award-winning Baltimore poet and lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University. This collection contains personal and professional letters and correspondence; poetry drafts; magazines, anthologies, and newspaper clippings featuring the creator’s poetry; original documents and copies of memberships and awards; photographs; and an audio reel of a poetry reading by the creator.
Series 1: Numerical Files (1942-1978)
This series includes files numbered by the creator and arranged accordingly. Materials include letters and correspondence between Marion Buchman and various publishing professionals; magazines, anthologies and newspaper clippings featuring the creator’s poetry; and original documents and copies of memberships and awards. Some materials contain corresponding numbers on the back sides to designate their appropriate locations within the arrangement. Copies of documents within this series were found outside of the numbered system with no identifiable order. Some copies were retained and filed with the existing originals or copies within the numbered arrangement and the remaining copies were discarded. Blank folders found within the numbered arrangement were also discarded. Subjects include acceptance and rejection letters, poetry reviews, A Voice in Ramah reviews, poetry readings, notable awards, and biographical listings.
Series 2: Alphabetical Files (1945-1982)
This series includes files arranged alphabetically by the creator. Materials include the creator’s memorabilia, personal effects, letters, and correspondence. Subjects include poetry readings, publications, awards, and correspondence primarily between Dorthea Neale, Ogden Nash, Jacob Moses, Louis Ginsberg, and Paul Gallico.
Series 3: Poetry Files (n.d.)
This series is an alphabetical file of the creators’ poetry drafts. The poems are filed alphabetically within each letter file.
Series 4: Photographs and Media (1941-1973, n.d.)
This series contains photographs found within the collection and an audio reel of the creator on a Baltimore radio show entitled “The Enjoyment of Poetry.” Photos are maintained in original order.
Series 5: Miscellaneous (n.d.)
This series contains materials such as personal correspondence unrelated to the creator’s profession and a composition book of the creator’s notes, thoughts and verses.
- Guide to the Marion Buchman papers
- Hillary Svoboda, revised by John Esh
- undated, 2020
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