Your author archive is your legacy, not only as a record of your creative process but also as a piece of cultural history. You need both a plan and a partner to ensure it survives. What should you keep, and how do you find it a permanent home? How do you choose a literary executor, and what should you discuss with them? How can you work together now so they know all they need to know about your archive and your wishes?
Anne McDuffie spent more than a decade working with the late poet Madeline DeFrees and her archive. In honor of DeFrees’ Centennial Year—and her actual birthday, November 18, she’d like to share what she learned along the way.
Anne McDuffie has edited two collections of DeFrees’ work, Where the Horse Takes Wing: The Uncollected Poems of Madeline DeFrees, and Subjective Geography: A Poet’s Thoughts on Life, Work and Craft (essays). She delivered the DeFrees archive to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in January 2019.