Leah Bodine Drake papers


The Leah Bodine Drake papers (dated 1918-1968, undated; 3 cubic feet; 6 boxes) contain scrapbooks, writings, correspondence with publishers, photographs, and notebooks which document her career as a poet.

Descriptive Summary

Leah Bodine Drake papers
Drake, Leah Bodine
3 Cubic Feet
Women poets, American -- 20th century.
Collection is arranged by format.
Finding Aid Author
Ida Sell
Preferred Citation
68m100: [identification of item], Leah Bodine Drake papers, 1918-1968, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Writer and poet, Leah Bodine Drake was born in Chanute, Kanas, in 1904 to oilman Thomas Hulbert Drake. She attended Hamilton College for Women and Sayre College, both in Lexington, Kentucky. She published her first volume of poetry, A Hornbook for Witches, in 1950. From 1941-1951, she worked as a drama critic for the Evansville Courier in Indiana. Her second volume, This Tilting Dust, appeared in 1956. She reviewed poetry for The Atlantic Monthly from 1957-1958. Additionally, many of her own poems were published in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Commonweal, The Saturday Review, and other national magazines. She won several poetry awards, including the Borestone Mountain award (twice). Her last volume of poetry, Multiple Clay was collected and arranged after her death in 1964.
Scope and Content
The Leah Bodine Drake papers (dated 1918-1968, undated; 3 cubic feet; 6 boxes) contain scrapbooks, writings, correspondence with publishers, photographs, and notebooks which document her career as a poet. The bulk of the collection consists of scrapbooks of her poems and illustrations that accompany the writings. There are notebooks with her thoughts on art, poetry, and witchcraft. Additionally, the collection includes her correspondence with major publishers in the United States. The 1959 Marquis' Who's Who of Poetry is included in the collection because Leah Bodine Drake's entry. The collection includes two manuscripts for collections of poems, This Tilting Dust and Multiple Clay, a collection Drake worked on prior to her death. Finally, there are photographs of Leah Bodine Drake, her family and friends.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Poetry scrapbooks, 1918-1964

The Poetry scrapbooks series includes colorful albums with Leah Bodine Drake's poems handwritten by her and accompanied with illustrations perhaps found in her contemporary magazines.

Early poems , 1918-1935

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Domes and minarets , 1934-1941

  • Box 1, folder 2
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Magic Casement: children's poems , 1935-1937

  • Box 1, folder 3
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The Haunted Hour , 1938

  • Box 1, folder 4
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The Search of the Soul , 1946

  • Box 1, folder 5
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The Singer from the Waste , 1942-1949

  • Box 1, folder 6
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The Book of Elfin , 1944

  • Box 2, folder 1
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Troll Women and Elfin Maids , 1940

  • Box 2, folder 2
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The Garden of Spices , 1935-1948

  • Box 2, folder 3
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Mermaids' Combs and Witches' Brooms , 1935-1948

  • Box 2, folder 4
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The Court of Oberon , 1937-1940

  • Box 2, folder 5
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Black Peacocks , 1944-1946

  • Box 2, folder 6
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Fantasy in a Forest , 1947-1953

  • Box 3, folder 1
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Precarious Ground , 1949-1951

  • Box 3, folder 2
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A Hornbook for Witches , 1940-1948

  • Box 3, folder 3
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A Design for a Tapestry , 1952-1953

  • Box 3, folder 4
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Toadstool Town , 1952-1954

  • Box 3, folder 5
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The Middle Ages , 1953-1955

  • Box 3, folder 6
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Candle, Last the Night , 1955-1956

  • Box 3, folder 7
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The Fruit Uneaten , 1956

  • Box 4, folder 1
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The Turn of the Year , 1957-1959

  • Box 4, folder 2
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A Cindering of Phoenixes , 1959-1963

  • Box 4, folder 3
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Enchanted Sails: poems for children , 1937-1947

  • Box 4, folder 4
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A Record of Poetry - poems accepted for newspaper write ups and reviews, 1957-1964

  • Box 4, folder 5-6
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Collected published magazine poems , 1954-1964

  • Box 4, folder 7
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Published Poems , 1935-1951

  • Box 5, folder 1-2
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The Woods Grow Darker , 1962-1964

  • Box 5, folder 3
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Notebooks, 1964, undated

The Notebooks series includes the thoughts of Leah Bodine Drake on poetry, folklore, witchcraft and art. Her writings in the notebooks suggest some ideas that influenced her own poetry.

Notes on poetry, undated

  • Box 5, folder 4
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Notes on folklore and art, undated

  • Box 5, folder 5
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Notes on witchcraft, undated

  • Box 5, folder 6
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Poems in progress, 1964

  • Box 6, folder 6
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Correspondence with publishers, 1950-1964

The correspondence with publishers series includes many letters between Leah Bodine Drake and the magazine and book industry. She often wrote reviews of works for national and local newspapers and magazines which is reflected in the communication. Also she petitioned for her poetry to be published which is also addressed in the letters of the series.


  • Box 5, folder 7
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1964 July-October

  • Box 5, folder 8
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1964 November-December

  • Box 5, folder 9
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Miscellaneous, 1935-1968

The miscellaneous series includes various writings by and about Leah Bodine Drake, as well as, photographs. Many articles and poems were published by Drake and clippings of some are included in the series. There are two copies of the 1959 Marquis' Who's Who which recognized Drake as a leading United States poetess. A copy of her final manuscript which was never published is included in the series. Some photographs of Drake, her family and friends from around the southern united states are apart of the series. Finally, the series contains a paper written on the life and work of Leah Bodine Drake by an english student at the University of West Virginia.

Published poems clippings, 1935-1959

  • Box 6, folder 1
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The Supplement to Who's Who, 1959 March-May

  • Box 6, folder 2
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This Tilting Dust manuscript, circa 1955

  • Box 5, folder 10
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Multiple Clay: new and selected poems manuscript, 1964

  • Box 6, folder 3
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Photographs, 1914-1947

  • Box 6, folder 4
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Leah Bodine Drake: paper written by Edelene Wood at University of West Virginia, 1968 April 10

  • Box 6, folder 5
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