James Perkins Papers
The first series of this collection consists primarily of photocopies of letters that James Perkins used in compiling his Selected Letters of Robert Penn Warren (Volume 4). These letters are organized chronologically and separated according to whether or not they were used in the final version of the book. Additionally, this series houses correspondence and notes documenting this work and material showing Perkins' book of short stories entitled Snakes, Butterbeans, and the Discovery of Electricity (1990).
The second series of this collection houses material showing David Madden: A Writer for All Genres. This book constitutes a collection of essays by authors interested in Madden's work and style. Additionally, this series houses correspondence about the book and an edited manuscript.
Interested researchers may also wish to consult MS.2682: James A. Perkins Papers, 1997-2002; MS.2834: James Perkins' The Cass Mastern Material Papers, 1996-2005; MS.2919: James A. Perkins Book Materials, 1997-2004 (Bulk 2000); and MS.3057: James Perkins' Selected Letters of Robert Penn Warren (Volume 3) Material, 2004-2006, for more information about Perkins' life and work.
- 1935-2008 March 26 (bulk 2000-2006)
Conditions Governing Access
Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See www.special.lib.utk.edu 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 www.special.lib.utk.edu for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.
3.5 Linear Feet
This collection houses manuscript materials, correspondence, notes, and page proofs for three of James Perkins' books: Snakes, Butterbeans, and the Discovery of Electricity (1990), Selected Letters of Robert Penn Warren (Volume 4) (forthcoming), and David Madden: A Writer for All Genres (2007).
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.
This collection consists of four boxes divided into two series:
- Series I: James Perkins Manuscript Material, 1935- 2008 February 11 (bulk 1953-2000)
- Series II: David Madden: A Writer for all Genres, 2000- 2008 March 26
This collection was donated to Special Collections in 2008.