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Nathalia Crane correspondence to Louis Untermeyer

Collection MS-1986-157: Nathalia Crane correspondence to Louis Untermeyer


  • Creation: 1966-1972

Scope and Contents

Author and scholar Nathalia Crane's correspondence to poet Louis Untermeyer. Also included is a letter Jim Sullivan wrote to Crane. Additional materials include photographs, programs, and publications that Crane also sent to Untermeyer. Most of the materials relate to Crane's support for Irish political prisoners at Long Kesh prison.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical note

Nathalia Clara Ruth Crane was born on August 11, 1913 in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Clarence and Nelda Crane. She began writing at an early age and at nine years old the New York Sun published her first poem though the newspaper editors were unaware of her age. She became known as a child prodigy after the publication of her first book of poetry The Janitor's Boy, which she wrote at the age of ten. In September 1925, shortly after Nathalia’s twelfth birthday, her second book of poems, Lava Lane was published. Crane was dubbed "The Brooklyn Bard" by the time she was thirteen and became part of the Louis Untermeyer poetry circle during her late teens, with Untermeyer contributing an introduction to her 1936 volume Swear by the Night & Other Poems. She was elected into the British Society of Authors, Playwrights, and Composers in 1925, though it was later discovered that this honor was accomplished by her father simply paying the dues to become a member.

Some of Crane’s other collections of poems include The Singing Crow (1926) and Venus Invisible (1928). In addition to poetry she wrote The Sunken Garden (1926), an account of the ill-fated 13th-century Children’s Crusade to the Holy Land, and an adult science fiction novel, An Alien from Heaven (1929). Crane attended the New Jersey College for Women (now Douglass Residential College, a part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey) and Barnard College. Her first husband was Vete George Black who died and she married her second husband Peter O'Reilly in 1973. Crane later became a professor of English at San Diego State University. She died on October 22, 1998, in San Diego, California at the age of 85.


"Crane, Nathalia," Authors: Science Fiction Encyclopedia, accessed July 1, 2019.

"Crane, Nathalia [Clara Ruth]," Oxford Reference, The Oxford Companion to American Literature, accessed July 1, 2019.

Hulbert, Ann. "The Child-Poet Genius of Brooklyn: On the Prodigious Poetic Talents of Nathalia Crane", January 9, 2018. Accessed on October 6, 2020.

Nathalia Crane. Britannica Kids, accessed October 6, 2020.

"Nathalia Crane Wed to Professor," The New York Times, accessed July 1, 2019.

Nathalia Crane. Wikipedia, accessed October 6, 2020.


.5 Linear Feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



This collection includes several letters from twentieth-century American poet and author Nathalia Crane to the poet Louis Untermeyer, as well as photographs, publications, and programs she sent to him. Most of the material relates to Crane's support for Irish political prisoners at Long Kesh prison.


This collection is arranged in three series: I. Correspondence, II. Photographs, and III. Publications.


Because the current accessioning system was not used until January 1986, it is not possible to know exactly the dates of acquisition of materials received before that time. Records indicate that these materials were the gift of Louis Untermeyer.

Related Materials

Crane, Nathalia. Woodberry Poetry Room collection of poems, correspondence, and other manuscripts, MS Am 1641. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library.

Crane, Nathalia. Poems. Typewritten and manuscript. Widener Library manuscripts. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library.

Nathalia Crane Correspondence to Louis Untermeyer
Susan Rainville, 1996; and Rachael Young
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Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States