Sue McConkey Collection, 1912-2001

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Volume: .5 linear feet

Organization/Arrangement: Organized as a single series.

Biographical Note: Born in 1911 in Littleton, New Hampshire, Lillian "Sue" Goldberg lived in the Conway area until her marriage to Thomas Wright McConkey in 1934. The two settled on a hilltop farm, Star Hill, in Alfred in 1947. McConkey did not start writing until she was about 40, when she was encouraged to try writing poetry, and attended a Breadloaf summer conference. Her first volume of poetry, The View From Douglas Hill, was published in 1958 by Wake-Brook House, a small press specializing in hand-crafted books. Her second and third books, Hold Bright the Star and Jade Bough, White Shadows, came out five and ten years later, also from Wake-Brook House. McConkey's poetry is described as spare, clean and acute, and she was regarded as master of the forms of Tanka and Haiku. She was highly regarded for her encouragement of young poets, who came from around New England to "Star Hill Poetry Day," a program founded by McConkey and her husband. McConkey was President of the Poetry Fellowship of Maine from 1962-63, and received several awards from the Maine Writers Conference, as well as honorary degrees from Nasson College in 1971 and Westbrook College in 1980. She was well-known as a speaker and for her involvement in national patriotic and literary organizations.

Description: This collection contains biographical material, including family photographs, and transcripts from interviews with McConkey. Other items include published articles about the writer and her work, material associated with the Poetry Fellowship of Maine, and chapbooks containing some of her poems. Also found in the collection is correspondence from McConkey addressed to the Maine Women Writers Collection curators; 1960s correspondence to H. Frederick Hartman, friend and Boston artist; and correspondence to Jeffrey Lee, a poet she mentored throughout the 1970s and '80s.

Access Restrictions: None

Please cite as: Sue McConkey Collection, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England, Portland, Maine.

Container List
001.  Poetry, published and manuscript, 1970s
002.  Verse in Maine Writers' Conference Chapbooks, 1973-79
003.  Reviews and clippings, 1960-1970
004.  Interview summaries by Grace Dow, 1969
005.  Correspondence with Dorothy Healy and Grace Dow, undated
006.  Wake-Brook House Publishers, 1971
007.  Correspondence to Jeffrey Lee, 1976
008.  Correspondence to Jeffrey Lee (9 items), 1977
009.  Correspondence to Jeffrey Lee (6 items), 1980s
010.  Letter to MWWC from Jeffrey Lee explaining correspondence from Sue McConkey, 2001
011.  Photographs, family undated
012.  Photographs, Sue McConkey as a child, undated
013.  Photographs (9), 1930-1969
014.  Photographs, Tom and Sue McConkey (4), 1942, undated
015.  Photographs, Tom McConkey (4), undated
016.  Photographs, Tom McConkey (3), undated
017.  Photographs (2) and clipping DAR
018.  Photographs, Nellie and Willie Parker (4), 1912
019.  Photograph, Margaret (?), friend, 1937
020.  Photographs (5), family homes, undated
021.  Photographs (2), book displays, undated
022.  Weston [VT] Playhouse program, 1941
023.  Highlights - Poetry Fellowship of Maine, 1936-1986
024.  Thomas McConkey booklet on seeding, 1987
025.  Young poets booklet 1976 and poetry poster, 1970s
026.  Student papers on SLM, 1971
027.  Honorary degree from Nasson College, 1971
028.  Deborah Morton Award 1980, biographical information, 1980
029.  Geneology of the Zimmerman Family, 1947
030.  Death certificate (copy), 1/28/01
031.  Poetry group feedback letter to H. Frederick Hartman, undated
032.  Correspondence to H. Frederick Hartman, 1964-1965
033.  Correspondence to H. Frederick Hartman, 1966
034.  Correspondence to H. Frederick Hartman, 1967
035.  Correspondence to H. Frederick Hartman, 1968
036.  Correspondence to H. Frederick Hartman, 1969-1970
037.  Correspondence to H. Frederick Hartman (1 of 2), undated (ca. 1960s)
038.  Correspondence to H. Frederick Hartman (2 of 2), undated (ca. 1960s)
039.  Correspondence to H. Frederick Hartman, 3 book brochures, 1958-1968
040.  Letter from Tom McConkey to H. Frederick Hartman, undated
041.  "Meeting Sue McConkey--Poet" essay by Bonnie Studdiford (2 copies), 4/19/1990
042.  Sue McConkey estate auction newspaper notice, undated