Madeline DeFrees papers, 1952-1975

Overview of the Collection

DeFrees, Madeline, b. 1919
Madeline DeFrees papers
1952-1975 (inclusive)
0.4 linear ft.
Collection Number
Mss 599
This collection contains some of poet Madeline DeFrees’s correspondence and writings from 1952 to 1975.
University of Montana, Mansfield Library, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
University of Montana
32 Campus Dr. #9936
Missoula, MT
Telephone: 4062432053
Fax: 4062434067
Access Restrictions

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and the University of Montana--Missoula.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Madeline DeFrees is a noted author of poetry and short fiction who has taught creative writing at the elementary, high school, and college levels for over fifty years. She was born in Ontario, Oregon, in 1919, and moved to Hillsboro in 1923. She graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Portland and entered the Sisters of Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, where she was known as Sister Mary Gilbert. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Maryhurst College and a Master of Arts from the University of Oregon. She taught at Holy Names College in Spokane, Washington, from 1950 to 1967. While still a nun, she taught at the University of Montana, in Missoula, from 1967 to 1979. She was dispensed from her religious vows in 1973. She taught at the University of Massachusetts from 1979 to 1985, after which she retired to Seattle, Washington.

DeFrees has penned seven poetry collections, including Blue Dusk: New and Selected Poems, 1951-2001 (Copper Canyon Press, 2001). She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry and a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection contains some of poet Madeline DeFrees’s correspondence and writings from 1952 to 1975. Some of the correspondence is organized by publisher, correspondent, or book project. Other correspondence and writings are arranged chronologically by year. Among the correspondents are Richard Hugo, John Logan, David Posner, William Stafford, Edith Shiffert and James Arlington Wright. The collection also contains copies of literary digests featuring Madeline DeFrees’s poetry.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Copyright not transferred to The University of Montana

Preferred Citation

Madeline DeFrees Papers, Archives and Special Collections, The University of Montana-Missoula.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Donated through Richard Gercken, UM Humanities Librarian, 1973 and Madeline DeFrees, 1977.

Processing Note

The author’s original arrangement and folder descriptions were maintained whenever possible. Unlabeled materials were organized and described during processing. In 2015, ten literary journals containing poetry by DeFrees were removed from this archival collection and placed in the Mansfield Library's Poetry Corner.

Related Materials

The W.E.B. DuBois Library at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst also holds a collection of Madeline DeFrees’s papers, circa 1950-1986.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 Certificates 1958-1959
1/2 Notes about writing projects, submissions 1960-1972
1/3 Book contracts and royalty reports 1952-1967
1/4 Springs of Silence, correspondence 1960-1964
1/5 Bobbs-Merrill Publishers correspondence on Later Thoughts and From the Darkroom 1961-1966
1/6 Correspondence with Bobbs-Merrill Publishers and others 1962
1/7 Correspondence grouped by publisher or correspondent 1959-1970 and undated
1/8 Correspondence, writings and miscellaneous 1960-1965
1/9 Correspondence, writings and miscellaneous 1966-1969
1/10 Correspondence, writings and miscellaneous 1970-1973
1/11 Correspondence, writings and miscellaneous Undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • American poetry--20th century
  • Hugo, Richard, 1923-1982
  • Logan, John, 1923-
  • Wright, James Arlington, 1927-1980

Corporate Names

  • Montana State University --Missoula--Faculty

Form or Genre Terms

  • Poems


  • Women poets, American