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James A. Perkins Papers

Identifier: MS-2682

  • Staff Only

The James A. Perkins Papers, 1997-2002, consists of materials relating to two books: For the Record: a Robert Drake Reader (2001) and Brother Enemy: Poems of the Korean War (2002). The materials relating to each book are listed in two series: Robert Drake Materials (Series I) and Materials Relating to Brother Enemy: Poems of the Korean War (Series II). The bulk of the collection consists of multiple rough drafts of each publication. There is also correspondence regarding the content and the publication of each book. The correspondence is primarily between James Perkins and collaborators, Randy Hendricks and Ji-Moon Suh. Series I contains a 72 page interview between Perkins and Drake.


  • 1997-2002

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.

Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.


2 Linear Feet


This collection contains the papers and the computer files (electronic versions of the paper formats in the collection) related to two books written by James A. Perkins. The first series contains materials related to the publications of Robert Drake (1930-2001), an acclaimed writer of fiction who was an English professor at the University of Tennessee from 1965 until the early 1990s. James Perkins and Randy Handpicks, both former students of Drake, published For the Record: a Robert Drake Reader in 2001. The second series contains materials relating to Perkins's book on Korean War poetry, entitled Brother Enemy: Poems of the Korean War.

Biographical/Historical Note

James Ashbrook Perkins was born in Covington, Kentucky on February 7, 1941. After attending Holmes High School, he obtained degrees from Centre College (1963), Miami University (1965), and The University of Tennessee (1972), where he got his PhD in English. While working on his doctorate, Perkins spent two years teaching at All Saints Episcopal School in Vicksburg, Mississippi. His dissertation was completed under Bobby Leggett on the American socialist poet Kenneth Fearing. After a year as instructor at UTK, Perkins was hired to teach creative writing and American literature at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, where he eventually became Professor Emeritus of English and Public Relations.

Perkins participated in four summer seminars and institutes hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities. At a seminar under R. W. B. Lewis, Perkins was reintroduced to the work of Robert Penn Warren and subsequently spent almost two decades researching and writing about Warren. Perkins authored books on Robert Penn Warren, Robert Drake, David Madden and other Southern writers. He was also a poet and writer of short stories. In 1998 Perkins was named a senior Fulbright Scholar to Seoul National University in Korea. Perkins passed away in 2022.


Collection consists of two boxes. Material is divided into two series: Robert Drake Materials and Materials related to Brother Enemy: Poems of the Korean War.

Acquisition Note

This collection was donated to Special Collections by James A. Perkins in 2002.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA